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the immediate attendants of Ahab, one who feared God in secret, named Obadiah, who gave refuge to a hundred of the Lord's prophets. He hid them in caves, and fed them with bread and water.

Then the prophet Elijah stood forth before the king, and said, "As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these three years, but according to my word." And famine came upon the land. The prophet hid himself by the brook Cherith, and there the ravens brought him bread and flesh every morning

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and evening, and he drank of the brook. when the brook was dried up, the Lord said to him, "Arise, get thee to Zarephath, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee." When he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow woman was there gathering sticks. The prophet asked her for a little water; and as she was going to fetch it, he called to her and said, "Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand." The poor woman re

THE PROPHET ELIJAH.

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plied, "As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruise: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die." "Fear not," said Elijah to her; 'go, and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruise of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth."a And Elijah ate with the poor widow, and remained with her above a year. And the meal in the barrel was not consumed, neither did the oil fail in the cruise.

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When the heavens had now been closed for three years and a half, the Lord said to Elijah, Go, show thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth." Ahab saw him coming, and cried out to him, "Art thou he that troubleth Israel?" "I have not troubled Israel," said Elijah; "but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baal."

By the prophet's desire, the king called a general assembly of the people at Mount Carmel, at which especially the four hundred and fifty priests

of Baal were to appear. "How long halt ye be

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tween two opinions?" said the prophet to the people. If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him." And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the

a 1 Kings xvii. 1–14.

people, "I, even I only, remain a prophet of the Lord; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under it: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under and call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the Lord : and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God." And all the people answered and said, "It is well spoken."

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The priests of Baal slew their bullock, and laid it upon the altar, and danced after their manner around the altar, and cried from morning even until noon, "O Baal, hear us!" But there was no voice, nor any that answered. Elijah derided them : 66 Cry aloud," he said; "for he is a god: either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked." Then they cried aloud with all their might, and they cut themselves with knives till the blood gushed out upon them. But there was no voice, nor any to answer.

When the time of the evening sacrifice, according to the custom of the temple, arrived, Elijah built an altar; around the altar he had a trench dug, and he caused water to be poured upon the wood and upon the burnt sacrifice, until the trench was full of water. Then Elijah prayed, and said, "Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word." Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the sacrifice, and the

AHAZIAH AND HIS CAPTAINS.

wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces, and said, "The Lord, he is God! the Lord, he is God!" And Elijah said unto them, "Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape." And they took them: and Elijah brought them to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. b

And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel; and he prayed to God for rain, seven times, and told his servant to go up and look towards the sea, to observe whether he could see any rain coming. And the servant went six times. The seventh time he came back, and said, "Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand." And Elijah sent a message to Ahab: "Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not." And immediately afterwards the sky was black with clouds, and there came a great rain.c

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AHAZIAH AND HIS CAPTAINS.

AHAZIAH, the son of Ahab, was sick; and he sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub, the god of the Philistines, whether he should recover. And Elijah went, by the command of God, to meet the messengers, and said to them, "Is there no God in Israel, that ye go to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron? Now, therefore, thus saith the Lord, Thou shalt not come down from that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die."

b 1 Kings xviii. 1-40.

1 Kings xviii. 42-46.

And the messengers turned back, and told the king what had been said to them. The king asked them what manner of man it was that had said these words. They told him it was a man wearing a hairy skin, and with a girdle of leather about his loins. And he said, "It is Elijah the Tishbite."

And he sent a captain with fifty men to bring him prisoner. Elijah was standing on the top of a hill, and the captain said to him, "Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down." Elijah said, "If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty." And so it happened. And the king sent another captain, and the fire from heaven consumed also him and his fifty. Then there came a third; and he fell on his knees before Elijah, and said, “O man of God, I pray thee, let my life, and the life of these fifty thy servants, be precious in thy sight." Then Elijah went down with him to the king, and said to him, "Thus saith the Lord, Forasmuch as thou hast sent messengers to inquire of Baalzebub the god of Ekron, as if there were no God in Israel, to inquire of his word, therefore thou shalt not come down off that bed on which thou art gone up, but shalt surely die." a So Ahaziah died, and left no son behind him.

48. ELISHA.

By the direction of God, Elijah called Elisha to be his successor. Elisha saw the prophet Elijah taken up to heaven in a whirlwind and in a chariot

a 2 Kings i. 2-16.

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