Elijah at Mount Horeb (Sinai)
1 King Ahab told Jezebel everything that Elijah did and how Elijah had killed all the prophets of Baal with a sword. 2 So Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah and said, “I swear that by this time tomorrow, you will be just as dead as those prophets. If I don’t succeed, may the gods do the same or worse to me.”
3 When Elijah heard this, he was afraid. So he ran away to save his life. He took his servant with him, and they went to Beersheba in Judah. Then Elijah left his servant in Beersheba 4 and walked for a whole day into the desert. Then he sat down under a bush and asked to die. He said, “I have had enough, LORD! Take my life. I am no better than my ancestors.”
5 Then Elijah lay down under the bush and went to sleep. An angel came to him and touched him. The angel said, “Get up and eat!” 6 Elijah looked around, and by his head there was a cake that had been baked over coals and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then went back to sleep.
7 Later the LORD’S angel came to him again, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat! If you don’t, you will not be strong enough to make the long trip.” 8 So Elijah got up. He ate and drank and felt strong. Then Elijah walked for 40 days and nights to Mount Horeb, the mountain of God. 9 There Elijah went into a cave and spent the night.
Then the LORD said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?”
10 Elijah answered, “LORD God All-Powerful, I have always served you the best I can, but the Israelites have broken their agreement with you. They destroyed your altars and killed your prophets. I am the only prophet left alive, and now they are trying to kill me!”
Then the LORD said to Elijah, “Go, stand in front of me on the mountain. I, the LORD, will pass by you.”*
Then a very strong wind blew. The wind caused the mountains to break apart. It broke large rocks in front of the LORD. But that wind was not the LORD. After that wind, there was an earthquake. But that earthquake was not the LORD. 12
After the earthquake, there was a fire. But that fire was not the LORD. After the fire, there was a quiet, gentle voice.†
13 When Elijah heard the voice, he used his coat to cover his face and went to the entrance to the cave and stood there. Then a voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?”
14 Elijah said, “LORD God All-Powerful, I have always served you the best that I can, but the Israelites broke their agreement with you. They destroyed your altars and killed your prophets. I am the only prophet left alive, and now they are trying to kill me.”
15 The LORD said, “Go back. Take the road that leads to the desert around Damascus. Go into Damascus and anoint Hazael as king over Aram. 16 Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi as king over Israel. Next, anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel Meholah. He will be the prophet who takes your place. 17 Jehu will kill anyone who escapes Hazael’s sword, and Elisha will kill anyone who escapes from Jehu’s sword. 18 I still have 7000 people in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed that idol.”
Elisha Becomes a Prophet
So Elijah left that place and went to find Elisha son of Shaphat. Elisha was plowing 12 acres of land and was working on the last acre when Elijah came.‡
Elijah went to Elisha and put his coat§
on Elisha. 20
Elisha immediately left his oxen and ran after Elijah. Elisha said, “Let me kiss my mother and father goodbye. Then I will follow you.”
Elijah answered, “You can do that. I will not stop you.*
21 Elisha turned away from him and went back. He killed the oxen and used the yoke for firewood. He boiled the meat, gave it to the people, and they all ate together. Then Elisha went to follow Elijah and became his helper.