Reading 99/341, 1 Kings 16-18.40

...1 Kings...

The word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, Because I exalted you out of the dust, and made you prince over my people Israel, and you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; behold, I will utterly sweep away Baasha and his house, and I will make your house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat. Him who dies of Baasha in the city shall the dogs eat, and him who dies of his in the field shall the birds of the sky eat. Now the rest of the acts of Baasha, and what he did, and his might, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? Baasha slept with his fathers, and was buried in Tirzah, and Elah his son reigned in his place. Moreover by the prophet Jehu the son of Hanani came the word of the Lord against Baasha, and against his house, both because of all the evil that he did in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger with the work of his hands, in being like the house of Jeroboam, and because he struck him. In the twenty-sixth year of Asa king of Judah began Elah the son of Baasha to reign over Israel in Tirzah, and reigned two years. His servant Zimri, captain of half his chariots, conspired against him. Now he was in Tirzah, drinking himself drunk in the house of Arza, who was over the household in Tirzah, and Zimri went in and struck him, and killed him, in the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah, and reigned in his place. It happened, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he struck all the house of Baasha, he did not leave him a single one who urinates on a wall, nor of his kin, nor of his friends. Thus did Zimri destroy all the house of Baasha, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke against Baasha by Jehu the prophet, for all the sins of Baasha, and the sins of Elah his son, which they sinned, and with which they made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger with their vanities. Now the rest of the acts of Elah, and all that he did, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? In the twenty-seventh year of Asa king of Judah did Zimri reign seven days in Tirzah. Now the people were encamped against Gibbethon, which belonged to the Philistines. The people who were encamped heard say, Zimri has conspired, and has also struck the king, therefore all Israel made Omri, the captain of the army, king over Israel that day in the camp. Omri went up from Gibbethon, and all Israel with him, and they besieged Tirzah. It happened, when Zimri saw that the city was taken, that he went into the castle of the king's house, and burnt the king's house over him with fire, and died, for his sins which he sinned in doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord, in walking in the way of Jeroboam, and in his sin which he did, to make Israel to sin. Now the rest of the acts of Zimri, and his treason that he did, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? Then were the people of Israel divided into two parts, half of the people followed Tibni the son of Ginath, to make him king, and half followed Omri. But the people who followed Omri prevailed against the people who followed Tibni the son of Ginath, so Tibni died, and Omri reigned. In the thirty-first year of Asa king of Judah began Omri to reign over Israel, and reigned twelve years, six years reigned he in Tirzah. He bought the hill Samaria of Shemer for two talents of silver, and he built on the hill, and called the name of the city which he built, after the name of Shemer, the owner of the hill, Samaria. Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and dealt wickedly above all who were before him. For he walked in all the way of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and in his sins with which he made Israel to sin, to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger with their vanities. Now the rest of the acts of Omri which he did, and his might that he shown, are not they written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Israel? So Omri slept with his fathers, and was buried in Samaria, and Ahab his son reigned in his place. In the thirty-eighth year of Asa king of Judah began Ahab the son of Omri to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty-two years. Ahab the son of Omri did what was evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him. It happened, as if it had been a light thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Sidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshiped him. He reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. Ahab made the Asherah, and Ahab did yet more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him. In his days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho, he laid the foundation of it with the loss of Abiram his firstborn, and set up the gates of it with the loss of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun. Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the immigrants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word. The word of the Lord came to him, saying, Get you hence, and turn you eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, that is before the Jordan. It shall be, that you shall drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; for he went and lived by the brook Cherith, that is before the Jordan. The ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook. It happened after a while, that the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. The word of the Lord came to him, saying, Arise, get you to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there, behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain you. So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks, and he called to her, and said, Please get me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. As she was going to get it, he called to her, and said, Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand. She said, As the Lord your God lives, I do not have a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the jar, and behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die. Elijah said to her, Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but make me of it a little cake first, and bring it forth to me, and afterward make for you and for your son. For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, The jar of meal shall not empty, nor shall the jar of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth. She went and did according to the saying of Elijah, and she, and he, and her house, ate many days. The jar of meal did not empty, nor did the jar of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spoke by Elijah. It happened after these things, that the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick, and his sickness was so sore, that there was no breath left in him. She said to Elijah, What have I to do with you, you man of God? You have come to me to bring my sin to memory, and to kill my son! He said to her, Give me your son. He took him out of her bosom, and carried him up into the chamber, where he abode, and laid him on his own bed. He cried to the Lord, and said, the Lord my God, have you also brought evil on the widow with whom I sojourn, by killing her son? He stretched himself on the child three times, and cried to the Lord, and said, the Lord my God, please let this child's soul come into him again. The Lord listened to the voice of Elijah, and the soul of the child came into him again, and he revived. Elijah took the child, and brought him down out of the chamber into the house, and delivered him to his mother, and Elijah said, Behold, your son lives. The woman said to Elijah, Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth. It happened after many days, that the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain on the earth. Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. The famine was sore in Samaria. Ahab called Obadiah, who was over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly, for it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, that Obadiah took one hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) Ahab said to Obadiah, Go through the land, to all the springs of water, and to all the brooks, peradventure we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, that we not lose all the animals. So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it, Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself. As Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him, and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Is it you, my lord Elijah? He answered him, It is I, go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. He said, Wherein have I sinned, that you would deliver your servant into the hand of Ahab, to kill me? As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom, where my lord has not sent to seek you, and when they said, He is not here, he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they did not find you. Now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here. It will happen, as soon as I am gone from you, that the Spirit of the Lord will carry you I do not know where, and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find you, he will kill me, but I your servant fear the Lord from my youth. Was not it told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the Lord, how I hid one hundred men of the Lord's prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? Now you say, Go, tell your lord, Behold, Elijah is here, and he will kill me. Elijah said, As the Lord of Armies lives, before whom I stand, I will surely show myself to him today. So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him, and Ahab went to meet Elijah. It happened, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said to him, Is it you, you troubler of Israel? He answered, I have not troubled Israel; but you, and your father's house, in that you have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and you have followed the Baals. Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel to Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred fifty, and the prophets of the Asherah four hundred, who eat at Jezebel's table. So Ahab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together to Mount Carmel. Elijah came near to all the people, and said, "How long will you waver between the two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." The people answered him not a word. Then Elijah said to the people, "I, I only, am left a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bulls, and let them choose one bull for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under, and I will dress the other bull, and lay it on the wood, and put no fire under. You call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire, let him be God." All the people answered, "It is well said." Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one bull for yourselves, and dress it first; for you are many, and call on the name of your god, but put no fire under it." They took the bull which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any who answered. They leaped about the altar which was made. It happened at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god, either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleeps and must be awakened. They cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lances, until the blood gushed out on them. It was so, when midday was past, that they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening offering; but there was nor voice, nor any to answer, nor any who regarded. Elijah said to all the people, Come near to me, and all the people came near to him. He repaired the altar of the Lord that was thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, Israel shall be your name. With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. He put the wood in order, and cut the bull in pieces, and laid it on the wood. He said, Fill four jars with water, and pour it on the burnt offering, and on the wood. He said, Do it the second time, and they did it the second time. He said, Do it the third time, and they did it the third time. The water ran round about the altar, and he filled the trench also with water. It happened at the time of the offering of the evening offering, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, the Lord, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Hear me, the Lord, hear me, that this people may know that you, the Lord, are God, and that you have turned their heart back again. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. When all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and they said, the Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God. and Elijah said to them, Take the prophets of Baal; do not let one of them escape. They took them, and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and killed them there.

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