THE Israelites often broke Elohim's Commandments. They married pagans and even worshiped false gods. Out of pity for them, Elohim sent holy men to lead them back to Him.
These were the prophets. They also foretold the coming of the Messiah.
The prophet Elijah lived when King Ahab was ruling Israel. This king had married a pagan, Jezebel, and had built a temple to her god, Baal. Ahab also adored Baal. Elijah was sent by Elohim to warn Ahab. He said, "To punish you for worshiping idols Elohim will not send any rain for three years. There will be a famine." With the country suffering from a great famine because there had been no rain for three years, Elohim sent Elijah back to Ahab. He told the king that the famine was a punishment for his sins. The king's wife, Jezebel, had killed almost all the true prophets of Elohim. In their place she had put several hundred false prophets to sing the praises of her false god. Elijah asked Ahab to gather these false prophets on Mount Carmel. The people also gathered there. Elijah said to them, "If Elohim all powerful, you should obey Him. But if the god of Jezebel is the true god, then follow him." Elijah then asked for two oxen, one for the false prophets and one for himself. He said to these prophets, "You call upon your gods, and I will call upon Elohim. The El that shall answer by fire consuming the sacrifice will be known to be the true El." This plan seemed very good to the people.
The false prophets laid the ox upon an altar. They called upon their god from morning till noon, but there was no answer. They cried still louder and even cut themselves until they were covered with blood. But no answer came. Then Elijah told the people to gather around him. He put wood on an altar and laid the ox on the wood. He poured buckets of water over the sacrifice. When the hour of the evening sacrifice came, Elijah prayed, "0 Elohim of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, show this day that You are the true Elohim of Israel." As he was praying, fire came down from heaven and burnt up the sacrifice and the altar itself. When the people saw this, they fell down to the ground and cried, "Elohim is El! Elohim is El!"
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