18:17. And when he had seen him, he said: Art thou he that troublest Israel?
18:18. And he said: I have not troubled Israel, but thou and thy father's house, who have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and have followed Baalim.
18:19. Nevertheless send now, and gather unto me all Israel, unto Mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, who eat at Jezabel's table.
18:20. Achab sent to all the children of Israel, and gathered together the prophets unto mount Carmel.
18:21. And Elias coming to all the people, said: How long do you halt between two sides? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word.
18:22. And Elias said again to the people: I only remain a prophet of the Lord: but the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men.
18:23. Let two bullocks be given us, and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it upon wood, but put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under it.
18:24. Call ye on the names of your gods, and I will call on the name of my Lord: and the God that shall answer by fire, let him be God. And all the people answering, said: A very good proposal.
18:25. Then Elias said to the prophets of Baal: Choose you one bullock and dress it first, because you are many: and call on the names of your gods; but put no fire under.
18:26. And they took the bullock, which he gave them, and dressed it: and they called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying: O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered: and they leaped over the altar that they had made.
18:27. And when it was now noon, Elias jested at them, saying: Cry with a louder voice: for he is a god; and perhaps he is talking, or is in an inn, or on a journey; or perhaps he is asleep, and must be awaked.
18:28. So they cried with a loud voice, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till they were all covered with blood.
18:29. And after midday was past, and while they were prophesying, the time was come of offering sacrifice, and there was no voice heard, nor did any one answer, nor regard them as they prayed.
18:30. Elias said to all the people: Come ye unto me. And the people coming near unto him, he repaired the altar of the Lord, that was broken down:
18:31. And he 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 thy name.
18:32. And he built with the stones an altar to the name of the Lord: and he made a trench for water, of the breadth of two furrows, round about the altar.
18:33. And he laid the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid it upon the wood.
18:34. And he said: Fill four buckets with water, and pour it upon the burnt offering, and upon the wood. And again he said: Do the same the second time. And when they had done it the second time, he said: Do the same also the third time. And they did so the third time.
18:35. And the water run round about the altar, and the trench was filled with water.
18:36. And when it was now time to offer the holocaust, Elias, the prophet, came near and said: O Lord God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Israel, shew this day that thou art the God of Israel, and I thy servant, and that according to thy commandment I have done all these things.
18:37. Dear me, O Lord, hear me: that this people may learn that thou art the Lord God, and that thou hast turned their heart again.
18:38. Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the holocaust, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench.
18:39. And when all the people saw this, they fell on their faces, and they said: The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.
18:40. And Elias said to them: Take the prophets of Baal, and let not one of them escape. And when they had taken them, Elias brought them down to the torrent Cison, and killed them there.
18:41. And Elias said to Achab: Go up, eat and drink: for there is a sound of abundance of rain.
18:42. Achab went up to eat and drink: and Elias went up to the top of Carmel, and casting himself down upon the earth, put his face between his knees,
18:43. And he said to his servant: Go up, and look towards the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said: There is nothing. And again he said to him: Return seven times.
18:44. And at the seventh time: Behold a little cloud arose out of the sea like a man's foot. And he said: Go up, and say to Achab: Prepare thy chariot, and go down, lest the rain prevent thee.
18:45. And while he turned himself this way and that way, behold the heavens grew dark, with clouds and wind, and there fell a great rain.
And Achab getting up, went away to Jezrahel:
18:46. And the hand of the Lord was upon Elias, and he girded up his loins, and ran before Achab, till he came to Jezrahel.
3 Kings Chapter 19
Elias, fleeing from Jezabel, is fed by an angel in the desert; and by the strength of that food walketh forty days, till he cometh to Horeb, where he hath a vision of God.
19:1. And Achab told Jezabel all that Elias had done, and how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
19:2. And Jezabel sent a messenger to Elias, saying: Such and such things may the gods do to me, and add still more, if by this hour to morrow I make not thy life as the life of one of them.
19:3. Then Elias was afraid, and rising up, he went whithersoever he had a mind: and he came to Bersabee of Juda, and left his servant there,
19:4. And he went forward, one day's journey into the desert. And when he was there, and sat under a juniper tree, he requested for his soul that he might die, and said: It is enough for me, Lord; take away my soul: for I am no better than my fathers.
That he might die... Elias requested to die, not out of impatience or pusillanimity, but out of zeal against sin; and that he might no longer be witness of the miseries of his people; and the war they were waging against God and his servants. See ver. 10.
19:5. And he cast himself down, and slept in the shadow of the juniper tree: and behold an angel of the Lord touched him, and said to him: Arise and eat.
19:6. He looked, and behold there was at his head a hearth cake, and a vessel of water: and he ate and drank, and he fell asleep again.
19:7. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said to him: Arise, eat: for thou hast yet a great way to go.
19:8. And he arose, and ate and drank, and walked in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights, unto the mount of God, Horeb.
In the strength of that food, etc... This bread, with which Elias was fed in the wilderness, was a figure of the bread of life which we receive in the blessed sacrament; by the strength of which we are to be supported in our journey through the wilderness of this world till we come to the true mountain of God, and his vision in a happy eternity.
19:9. And when he was come thither, he abode in a cave and behold the word of the Lord came unto him, and he said to him: What dost thou here, Elias?
19:10. And he answered: With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant: they have thrown down thy altars, they have slain thy prophets with the sword, and I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away.
I alone am left... Viz., of the prophets in the kingdom of Israel, or of the ten tribes; for in the kingdom of Juda religion was at that time in a very flourishing condition under the kings Asa and Josaphat. And even in Israel there remained several prophets, though not then known to Elias. See chap. 20.13, 28, 35.
19:11. And he said to him: Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord: and behold the Lord passeth, and a great and strong wind before the Lord, overthrowing the mountains, and breaking the rocks in pieces: but the Lord is not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake: but the Lord is not in the earthquake.
19:12. And after the earthquake, a fire: but the Lord is not in the fire. And after the fire, a whistling of a gentle air.
19:13. And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his mantle, and coming forth, stood in the entering in of the cave, and behold a voice unto him, saying: What dost thou here, Elias? And he answered:
19:14. With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant: they have destroyed thy altars, they have slain thy prophets with the sword; and I alone am left, and they seek my life to take it away.