1 Kings 19
Elijah Runs for His Life
19:1 Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, including a detailed account of how he killed all the prophets with the sword.
19:2 Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah with this warning,1 “May the gods judge me severely2 if by this time tomorrow I do not take your life as you did theirs!”3
19:3 Elijah was afraid,4 so he got up and fled for his life to Beer Sheba in Judah. He left his servant there,
19:4 while he went a day’s journey into the desert. He went and sat down under a shrub5 and asked the Lord> to take his life:6 “I’ve had enough! Now, O Lord>, take my life. After all, I’m no better than my ancestors.”7
19:5 He stretched out8 and fell asleep under the shrub. All of a sudden an angelic messenger9 touched him and said, “Get up and eat.”
19:6 He looked and right there by his head was a cake baking on hot coals and a jug of water. He ate and drank and then slept some more.10
19:7 The Lord>’s angelic messenger came back again, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, for otherwise you won’t be able to make the journey.”11
19:8 So he got up and ate and drank. That meal gave him the strength to travel forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
19:9 He went into a cave there and spent the night. All of a sudden the Lord> spoke to him, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
19:10 He answered, “I have been absolutely loyal12 to the Lord>, the sovereign God,13 even though the Israelites have abandoned the agreement they made with you,14 torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left and now they want to take my life.”15
19:11 The Lord>16 said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord>. Look, the Lord> is ready to pass by.”
A very powerful wind went before the Lord>, digging into the mountain and causing landslides,17 but the Lord> was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord> was not in the earthquake.
19:12 After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord> was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper.18
19:13 When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. All of a sudden19 a voice asked him, “Why are you here, Elijah?”
19:14 He answered, “I have been absolutely loyal20 to the Lord>, the sovereign God,21 even though the Israelites have abandoned the agreement they made with you,22 torn down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left and now they want to take my life.”23
19:15 The Lord> said to him, “Go back the way you came and then head for the Desert of Damascus. Go and anoint Hazael king over Syria.
19:16 You must anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah to take your place as prophet.
19:17 Jehu will kill anyone who escapes Hazael’s sword, and Elisha will kill anyone who escapes Jehu’s sword.
19:18 I still have left in Israel seven thousand followers who have not bowed their knees to Baal or kissed the images of him.”24
19:19 Elijah went from there and found Elisha son of Shaphat. He was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen; he was near the twelfth pair. Elijah passed by him and threw his robe over him.
19:20 He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Please let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, then I will follow you.” Elijah25 said to him, “Go back! Indeed, what have I done to you?”
19:21 Elisha26 went back and took his pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He cooked the meat over a fire that he made by burning the harness and yoke.27 He gave the people meat and they ate. Then he got up and followed Elijah and became his assistant.