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1 Kings 19:1–20:25

Elijah Flees Jezebel

19 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how qhe had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, r“So may the gods do to me and more also, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid, and he arose and ran for his life and came to sBeersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. tAnd he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food uforty days and forty nights to vHoreb, the mount of God.

The Lord Speaks to Elijah

There he came to a cave and lodged in it. And behold, wthe word of the Lord came to him, and he said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 10 He said, “I have been very xjealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, ythrown down your altars, and zkilled your prophets with the sword, aand I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 11 And he said, “Go out and bstand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and ca great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind dan earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.1 13 And when Elijah heard it, ehe wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, fthere came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 14 He said, x“I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, ythrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.” 15 And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. 16 gAnd Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and hElisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. 17 And the one who escapes from ithe sword of Hazael jshall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu kshall Elisha put to death. 18 lYet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not mkissed him.”

The Call of Elisha

19 So he departed from there and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and cast nhis cloak upon him. 20 And he left the oxen and ran after Elijah and said, o“Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” And he said to him, “Go back again, for what have I done to you?” 21 And he returned from following him and took the yoke of oxen and sacrificed them and boiled their flesh pwith the yokes of the oxen and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he arose and went after Elijah and assisted him.

Ahab’s Wars with Syria

20 qBen-hadad the king of Syria gathered all his army together. rThirty-two kings were with him, and horses and chariots. And he went up and closed in on sSamaria and fought against it. And he sent messengers into the city to Ahab king of Israel and said to him, “Thus says Ben-hadad: ‘Your silver and your gold are mine; your best wives and children also are mine.’ ” And the king of Israel answered, “As you say, my lord, O king, I am yours, and all that I have.” The messengers came again and said, “Thus says Ben-hadad: ‘I sent to you, saying, “Deliver to me your silver and your gold, your wives and your children.” Nevertheless I will send my servants to you tomorrow about this time, and they shall search your house and the houses of your servants and lay hands on whatever pleases you and take it away.’ ”

Then the king of Israel called all the telders of the land and said, u“Mark, now, and see how this man is seeking trouble, for he sent to me for my wives and my children, and for my silver and my gold, and I did not refuse him.” And all the elders and all the people said to him, “Do not listen or consent.” So he said to the messengers of Ben-hadad, “Tell my lord the king, ‘All that you first demanded of your servant I will do, but this thing I cannot do.’ ” And the messengers departed and brought him word again. 10 Ben-hadad sent to him and said, v“The gods do so to me and more also, if the dust of Samaria shall suffice for handfuls for all the people wwho follow me.” 11 And the king of Israel answered, “Tell him, ‘Let not him who straps on his armor boast himself as he who takes it off.’ ” 12 When Ben-hadad heard this message as xhe was drinking with the kings in the booths, he said to his men, “Take your positions.” And they took their positions against the city.

Ahab Defeats Ben-hadad

13 And behold, a prophet came near to Ahab king of Israel and said, “Thus says the Lord, Have you seen all this great multitude? Behold, yI will give it into your hand this day, zand you shall know that I am the Lord.” 14 And Ahab said, “By whom?” He said, “Thus says the Lord, By the servants of the governors of the districts.” Then he said, “Who shall begin the battle?” He answered, “You.” 15 Then he mustered the servants of the governors of the districts, and they were 232. And after them he mustered all the people of Israel, seven thousand.

16 And they went out at noon, while Ben-hadad xwas drinking himself drunk in the booths, he and the thirty-two kings who helped him. 17 The servants of the governors of the districts went out first. And Ben-hadad sent out scouts, and they reported to him, “Men are coming out from Samaria.” 18 He said, “If they have come out for peace, take them alive. Or if they have come out for war, take them alive.”

19 So these went out of the city, the servants of the governors of the districts and the army that followed them. 20 And each struck down his man. The Syrians fled, and Israel pursued them, but Ben-hadad king of Syria escaped on a horse with horsemen. 21 And the king of Israel went out and struck the horses and chariots, and struck the Syrians with a great blow.

22 Then athe prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, “Come, strengthen yourself, and consider well what you have to do, for bin the spring the king of Syria will come up against you.”

23 And the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills, and so they were stronger than we. But let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they. 24 And do this: remove the kings, each from his post, and put commanders in their places, 25 and muster an army like the army that you have lost, horse for horse, and chariot for chariot. Then we will fight against them in the plain, and surely we shall be stronger than they.” And he listened to their voice and did so.

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