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Melachim A/1 Kings  18:1 - 39

~ Ashkenazim begin the Haftarah here ~
Chapter 18

1 It happened after many days that the word of Hashem came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, "Go, appear to Ahab; I shall send rain upon the face of the land."  2 Elijah went to appear to Ahab, and the famine was severe in Samaria.  3 Ahab summoned Obadiah, who was in charge of the household — Obadiah feared God greatly.  4 When Jezebel had been cutting down the prophets of Hashem, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them, fifty to a cave, and sustained them with bread and water.  5 And Ahab said to Obadiah, "Go through the land to every spring of water and to all the streams; perhaps we may find grass and keep horses and mules alive, and we shall not be cut off without animals."

6 They divided the land between themselves that they may traverse it; Ahab went alone in one direction and Obadiah went alone in another direction.  7 Obadiah was on the road and behold! Elijah was opposite him; he recognized him and fell on his face and said, "Is this you, my lord Elijah?"

8 He said to him, "It is I. Tell your lord - Elijah is here!"

9 He said, "What is my sin that you deliver your servant into Ahab's power, to put me to death?  10 As Hashem, your God, lives, there is not a nation or kingdom where my lord has not sent to seek you, and they have responded, 'He is not here!' He had the kingdom or the nation swear that they could not find you.  11 And now you say, 'Go tell your lord that Elijah is here!'  12 As soon as I go from you, a spirit of Hashem will carry you where I will not know, and I will have come to tell Ahab and he will not find you — and he will kill me! But your servant has feared Hashem since my youth.  13 Surely my lord has been told what I did when Jezebel murdered the prophets of Hashem, and I hid some of the prophets of Hashem, a hundred men, fifty, fifty men to a cave, and I sustained them with bread and water.  14 And now you say to me, 'Go tell your lord Elijah is here!' He will kill me!"

15 Elijah said, "As Hashem, Master of Legions, lives, before Whom I have stood — today I will appear to him!"

16 Obadiah went toward Ahab and told him, so Ahab went toward Elijah.  17 When Ahab saw Elijah, Ahab said to him, "Is that you, you troubler of Israel?"

18 He said to him, " I have not troubled Israel, but you and your father's house, when you forsook the commandments of Hashem and followed the Baal idols.  19 And now, send forth to gather all of Israel to me at Mount Carmel, and also the four hundred and fifty prophets of the Baal and the four hundred prophets of the Asheirah, who eat at Jezebel's table."

~ Sephardim and Chabad Chassidim begin the Haftarah here ~

20 Ahab sent among all the Children of Israel and he gathered the prophets to Mount Carmel.  21 Elijah approached all the people and said, "How long will you dance between two opinions? If Hashem is the God, follow Him! And if the Baal, follow it!" The people did not answer him a word.

22 Elijah said to the people, "I have remained a prophet of Hashem by myself, but the prophets of the Baal are four hundred and fifty men.  23 Let them give us two bulls; let them choose one bull for themselves, cut it, and put it on the wood, but not apply fire; and I will prepare one bull and place it on the wood, and I will not apply fire.  24 You shall call out in the name of your god and I shall call out in the Name of Hashem, and whichever God responds with fire, He is God!" All the people responded, "The proposal is good!"

25 Elijah said to the prophets of the Baal, "Pick yourselves one bull and prepare it first, for you are the majority, and call out in the name of your god, but do not apply fire."

26 They took the bull that he gave them and prepared it, and called out in the name of the Baal from the morning until noon, saying, "O Baal, answer us!" but there was neither sound nor response, and they danced by the altar that he made.

27 At noontime, Elijah ridiculed them, and he said, "Cry out in a loud voice, for he is a god! Perhaps he is conversing, or pursuing [enemies], or relieving himself; perhaps he is asleep and he will awaken!"

28 They called out with a loud voice and cut themselves with swords and knives, according to their custom, until blood spurted on them.  29 When the noon hour passed they prophesied until the time of the afternoon-offering — but there was neither sound, nor response, nor listener.

30 Elijah said to the entire people, "Draw near to me," and all the people drew near to him. He repaired the disassembled altar of Hashem.  31 Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the children of Jacob, to whom the word of Hashem came, saying, "Your name shall be Israel."  32 He built the stones into an altar in the Name of Hashem, and he made a trench large enough to plant two se'ah of seed, around the altar.  33 He arranged the wood, cut up the bull, and put it on the wood.  34 He said, "Fill four jugs with water and pour them on the olah-offering and on the wood." Then he said,"Do it a second time!" and they did it a second time. He said, "Do it a third time!" and they did it a third time.  35 The water went all around the altar and the water even filled up the trench.

36 At the time of the afternoon offering, Elijah the prophet approached and said, "Hashem, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today it will become known that You God are with Israel and I am Your servant, and at Your word have I done all these things.  37 Answer me, Hashem, answer me — and let this people know that You are Hashem, the God, and You will turn their heart back."

38 A fire of Hashem descended and consumed the olah-offering and the wood, and the stones and the earth; and it licked the water in the trench.  39 The entire people saw and fell on their faces and said, "Hashem — He is the God! Hashem — He is the God!"


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