Daily Arts Web Nucleus


Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links

2014 August 16

The Triumph of Elijah Over the Prophets of Baal (c. 1622)
Domenico Fetti (c. 1589 - 1623)
Baroque Style
Private Collection?
Image Source: Nec Spe, Nec Metu

     Explanation: In 1 Kings 18 Elijah confronts King Ahab and the prophets of Baal, after which a three year drought ends. [Kings of Judah and Israel Chart]. [Chronologically and Thematically Related Scriptures: 1 Kings 22:44; 2 Chronicles 18:1; 1 Kings 17; 2 Chronicles 20:31-33; 1 Kings 22:41-46; 2 Chronicles 17].
     In the third year of the drought which Elijah predicted, the LORD told Elijah to show himself the Ahab, King of Israel; and he would send rain. Elijah then began his journey to see Ahab. At that time Obadiah, a godly man who was the governor of Ahab's house and had hid a hundred prophets from Ahab's wrath, went, by Ahab's command, to find water and grass for the horses and mules. Ahab also went to search the land. Ahab went one way on the search; and Obadiah went another (1-6). Elijah encountered Obadiah and told him to tell Ahab that Elijah was here. But Obadiah reminded Elijah of how he hid and fed a hundred prophets; and he asked Elijah not to send him to Ahab with Elijah's message because he was fearful that the LORD would hide Elijah as he had in the past and that Ahab would kill Obadiah. But Elijah assured him that he would show himself to Ahab; so Obadiah delivered the message; and Ahab went to meet Elijah (7-16). When Ahab saw Elijah he accused him of troubling Israel. But Elijah told him that it was Ahab and his father's house who troubled Israel by forsaking the LORD and serving Baalim. And Elijah told Ahab to meet him on mount Carmel (a high mountain overlooking the Mediterranean Sea) and to bring the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of the groves (17-19). So Ahab gathered the prophets and the people of Israel. And Elijah said to the people, "How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him." But the people did not answer him. So Elijah challenged Ahab's prophets to sacrifice and pray to Baal and their other gods; and he would do the same. And he said, "The God that answers by fire, let him be God," -- meaning that the God who consumed the sacrifice by fire was truly God. The people said, "It is well spoken." So Ahab's prophets cried aloud, and danced, and cut themselves with knives, and prayed with fervor. "But there was no voice, nor any that answered" (20-29). Elijah then called the people to come near to his altar. He saturated the sacrifice, and the wood beneath it, and a trench around the altar, with water (30-35). Elijah then prayed a simple prayer, asking God to reveal himself to the people and convert their heart. And the fire of God fell and consumed the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the dust, and the water. And the people fell on their face and confessed that the LORD is God. And Elijah commanded them to take Ahab's prophets and kill them, which they did (36-40). Elijah then went aside and prayed earnestly seven times, each time sending his servant to the top of Carmel to look out over the sea. On the seventh time the servant saw a small cloud, shaped like a man's hand, arising out of the sea. Elijah recognized this a sign of rain; and he told Ahab to depart quickly lest he be stopped by the downpour. A great rain began; and Elijah ran ahead of Ahab to Jezreel (41-46).

1 Kings 18

     1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth. 2 And Elijah went to shew himself unto Ahab. And there was a sore famine in Samaria. 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, which was the governor of his house. (Now Obadiah feared the LORD greatly: 4 For it was so, when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the LORD, that Obadiah took an hundred prophets, and hid them by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab said unto Obadiah, Go into the land, unto all fountains of water, and unto all brooks: peradventure we may find grass to save the horses and mules alive, that we lose not all the beasts. 6 So they divided the land between them to pass throughout it: Ahab went one way by himself, and Obadiah went another way by himself.
     7 And as Obadiah was in the way, behold, Elijah met him: and he knew him, and fell on his face, and said, Art thou that my lord Elijah? 8 And he answered him, I am: go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 9 And he said, What have I sinned, that thou wouldest deliver thy servant into the hand of Ahab, to slay me? 10 As the LORD thy God liveth, there is no nation or kingdom, whither my lord hath not sent to seek thee: and when they said, He is not there; he took an oath of the kingdom and nation, that they found thee not. 11 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here. 12 And it shall come to pass, as soon as I am gone from thee, that the Spirit of the LORD shall carry thee whither I know not; and so when I come and tell Ahab, and he cannot find thee, he shall slay me: but I thy servant fear the LORD from my youth. 13 Was it not told my lord what I did when Jezebel slew the prophets of the LORD, how I hid an hundred men of the LORD'S prophets by fifty in a cave, and fed them with bread and water? 14 And now thou sayest, Go, tell thy lord, Behold, Elijah is here: and he shall slay me. 15 And Elijah said, As the LORD of hosts liveth, before whom I stand, I will surely shew myself unto him to day. 16 So Obadiah went to meet Ahab, and told him: and Ahab went to meet Elijah.
     17 And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim. 19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel's table.
     20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: 24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken. 25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under. 26 And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and 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 upon the altar which was made. 27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked. 28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them. 29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded.
     30 And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 31 And Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, unto whom the word of the LORD came, saying, Israel shall be thy name: 32 And with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD: and he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two measures of seed. 33 And he put the wood in order, and cut the bullock in pieces, and laid him on the wood, and said, Fill four barrels with water, and pour it on the burnt sacrifice, and on the wood. 34 And he said, Do it the second time. And they did it the second time. And he said, Do it the third time. And they did it the third time. 35 And the water ran round about the altar; and he filled the trench also with water.
     36 And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy word. 37 Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their heart back again. 38 Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. 40 And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.
     41 And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, 43 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. 44 And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. 45 And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.

Home | DAWN Archive

Tomorrow's Picture: TBA

     ADDITIONAL AD LIB MATERIAL: Prose, Poetry, Writers, Visual Artists, Music, DAWN, and ILLUMINATION. ILLUMINATION features a compact, Illuminated Bible. DAWN, the page you are presently visiting, features a new image and explanation daily.

Please Email Comments and Questions To

copyright 2014, Scott Souza