1 Kings 19

Elijah runs away

1 King Ahab told Jezebel about everything that Elijah had done. He told her how Elijah had killed all Baal's prophets with a sword. 2 So Jezebel sent someone with this message to Elijah: ‘By this time tomorrow, I will make sure that you are dead, the same as Baal's prophets! If I do not do that, I pray that the gods will kill me instead.’

3 Elijah became very afraid. He ran away to save his life. He arrived at Beersheba in Judah. He left his servant there. 4 Then Elijah went into the desert by himself. He travelled for about a day. He found a small tree there and he sat down under it. He prayed that he might die. He said, ‘Lord, I have had enough trouble! Take my life from me. It is no better for me here than to be with my dead ancestors.’ 5 Then he lay down under the tree and he slept. Suddenly, an angel came and touched him. The angel said, ‘Get up and eat something.’ 6 When Elijah looked, he saw a some bread near his head. Someone had baked it on a fire. There was also a jar of water. So he ate the bread and he drank the water. Then he lay down again to sleep. 7 The angel of the Lord came back a second time. He touched Elijah and he said, ‘Get up and eat more food. Then you will be strong enough to go on a long journey.’ 8 So Elijah got up. He ate the food and he drank the water. The meal made him strong enough to travel for 40 days and 40 nights. He travelled to Mount Sinai, the mountain of God.

19:3Beersheba was in the south of Judah.
19:8Sinai was the mountain where God met Moses. See Exodus 3:1. Moses, Elijah and Jesus all lived without food for 40 days and 40 nights. See Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4.

The Lord appears to Elijah

9 Elijah went into a cave on Sinai mountain and he stayed there all night. Suddenly, the Lord spoke to Elijah. He asked Elijah, ‘Elijah, why have you come here?’ 10 Elijah replied, ‘The Israelites have turned away from the covenant that you made with them. They have destroyed your altars. They have killed your prophets with swords. But I have always served the Lord God Almighty faithfully. Now I am the only prophet that is still alive and they are trying to kill me too.’ 11 The Lord said, ‘Go out from the cave and stand on the mountain, in front of me. I, the Lord, will pass in front of you.’

19:10The covenant that they turned away from is in Exodus 20:3. It says, ‘You must not have any other gods except me.’ One of the altars that they destroyed was in Carmel, 1 Kings 18:30.

Then a very strong wind broke the mountain apart. It broke the rocks into pieces as the Lord came near. But the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake. But the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake, there was a fire. But the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a very quiet voice. 13 When Elijah heard that, he covered his face with his robe. He went out and he stood at the entrance of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘Elijah, why have you come here?’ 14 Elijah said, ‘The Israelites have turned away from the covenant that you made with them. They have destroyed your altars. They have killed your prophets with swords. But I have always served the Lord God Almighty faithfully. Now I am the only prophet that is still alive and they are trying to kill me too.’

19:13The question in verse 13 is the same as the question in verse 9. Elijah's answer is also the same.

15 The Lord said to Elijah, ‘Go back again along the way that you came. Go to the desert which is near Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to make him king of Syria. 16 You must also anoint Nimshi's grandson Jehu to make him king of Israel. Then anoint Shapat's son Elisha from Abel Meholah to be my prophet after you. 17 Jehu's army will kill anybody that Hazael's army does not kill. Then Elisha will kill anybody who escapes from Jehu. 18 But remember this: I still have 7,000 people in Israel who have not worshipped Baal. They have not kissed his idols.’

Elisha becomes Elijah's servant

19 Elijah went away from Sinai. He found Shaphat's son, Elisha. Elisha was ploughing a field with 12 pairs of oxen. Elisha himself was using the 12th pair of oxen to plough. Elijah went to Elisha and he threw his robe over him. 20 So Elisha left his oxen in the field and he ran after Elijah.

19:19Elijah's robe was a prophet's robe. He put it on Elisha to show him that he would now be a prophet.

Elisha said, ‘Let me go home first to kiss my father and my mother and say “goodbye”. Then I will come with you.’ Elijah replied, ‘Yes, go back home. But do not forget about what I have done to you.’

21 So Elisha went back to his field. He took his pair of oxen and he killed them as a sacrifice. He burned wood from the plough to cook the meat. He gave the meat to the people who were there and they ate it. Then he left home to go with Elijah and to become his helper.