I Kings Chapter 18

20And Ahab sent among all of the Children of Israel, and he gathered the prophets to Mount Carmel.   כוַיִּשְׁלַ֥ח אַחְאָ֖ב בְּכָל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַיִּקְבֹּ֥ץ אֶת־הַנְּבִיאִ֖ים אֶל־הַ֥ר הַכַּרְמֶֽל:
21And Elijah drew near to all the people and said, "Until when are you hopping between two ideas? If the Lord is God, go after Him, and if the Baal, go after him." And the people did not answer him a word.   כאוַיִּגַּ֨שׁ אֵלִיָּ֜הוּ אֶל־כָּל־הָעָ֗ם וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ עַד־מָתַ֞י אַתֶּ֣ם פֹּסְחִים֘ עַל־שְׁתֵּ֣י הַסְּעִפִּים֒ אִם־יְהֹוָ֚ה הָֽאֱלֹהִים֙ לְכ֣וּ אַחֲרָ֔יו וְאִם־הַבַּ֖עַל לְכ֣וּ אַחֲרָ֑יו וְלֹֽא־עָנ֥וּ הָעָ֛ם אֹת֖וֹ דָּבָֽר:
two ideas: two thoughts, for you do not know to decide who is God.  
and if the Baal: is God, go after him.  
And the people did not answer him a word: because they did not know to distinguish.  
22And Elijah spoke to the people, "I have remained a prophet to the Lord by myself, and the prophets of the Baal are four hundred and fifty men.   כבוַיֹּ֚אמֶר אֵלִיָּ֙הוּ֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם אֲנִ֞י נוֹתַ֧רְתִּי נָבִ֛יא לַיהֹוָ֖ה לְבַדִּ֑י וּנְבִיאֵ֣י הַבַּ֔עַל אַרְבַּע־מֵא֥וֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁ֖ים אִֽישׁ:
23And let them give us two bulls and let them choose one bull for themselves and cut it up and place it on the wood, but fire they shall not put, and I will prepare one bull, and I will put it on the wood, and fire will I not place.   כגוְיִתְּנוּ־לָ֜נוּ שְׁנַ֣יִם פָּרִ֗ים וְיִבְחֲר֣וּ לָהֶם֩ הַפָּ֨ר הָאֶחָ֜ד וִֽינַתְּחֻ֗הוּ וְיָשִֹ֙ימוּ֙ עַל־הָ֣עֵצִ֔ים וְאֵ֖שׁ לֹ֣א יָשִֹ֑ימוּ וַאֲנִ֞י אֶעֱשֶֹ֣ה | אֶת־הַפָּ֣ר הָאֶחָ֗ד וְנָֽתַתִּי֙ עַל־הָ֣עֵצִ֔ים וְאֵ֖שׁ לֹ֥א אָשִֹֽים:
24And you will call in the name of your deity, and I will call in the name of the Lord, and it will be the God that will answer with fire, he is God." And all of the people answered and said, "The thing is good."   כדוּקְרָאתֶ֞ם בְּשֵׁ֣ם אֱלֹֽהֵיכֶ֗ם וַֽאֲנִי֙ אֶקְרָ֣א בְשֵׁם־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְהָיָ֧ה הָאֱלֹהִ֛ים אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲנֶ֥ה בָאֵ֖שׁ ה֣וּא הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים וַיַּ֧עַן כָּל־הָעָ֛ם וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ ט֥וֹב הַדָּבָֽר:
25And Elijah said to the prophets of the Baal, "Choose for yourselves the one bull and prepare it first since you are the majority, and call in the name of your deity, and fire place not."   כהוַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלִיָּ֜הוּ לִנְבִיאֵ֣י הַבַּ֗עַל בַּחֲר֨וּ לָכֶ֜ם הַפָּ֚ר הָֽאֶחָד֙ וַעֲשּׂ֣וּ רִאשֹׁנָ֔ה כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֖ם הָרַבִּ֑ים וְקִרְאוּ֙ בְּשֵׁ֣ם אֱלֹהֵיכֶ֔ם וְאֵ֖שׁ לֹ֥א תָשִֹֽימוּ:
26They took the bull that he gave them and prepared [it]. And they called in the name of the Baal from the morning until noon, saying, "O Baal, answer us!" But there was no voice and no answer, and they hopped on the altar that they had made.   כווַ֠יִּקְחוּ אֶת־הַפָּ֨ר אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֣ן לָהֶם֘ וַֽיַּעֲשׂוּ֒ וַיִּקְרְא֣וּ בְשֵׁם־הַבַּ֠עַל מֵהַבֹּ֨קֶר וְעַד־הַצָּהֳרַ֚יִם לֵאמֹר֙ הַבַּ֣עַל עֲנֵ֔נוּ וְאֵ֥ין ק֖וֹל וְאֵ֣ין עֹנֶ֑ה וַֽיְפַסְּח֔וּ עַל־הַמִּזְבֵּ֖חַ אֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָֹֽה:
that he gave them: For he slipped away from them lest he be offered to the idol. He escaped under the skirt of Elijah’s cloak. He said to him, Go! Through both of you the Omnipresent will be sanctified.  
and they hopped on the altar that they had made: Jonathan renders: And they raved. They were dancing according to their custom, on their altars.  
and they hopped: Heb. ויפסחו, like ויפסעו, and they stepped.  
27And it was at noon that Elijah scoffed at them, and he said, "Call with a loud voice, for he is a god. [Perhaps] he is talking or he is pursuing [enemies] or he is on a journey; perhaps he is sleeping and will awaken.   כזוַיְהִ֨י בַֽצָּהֳרַ֜יִם וַיְהַתֵּ֧ל בָּהֶ֣ם אֵלִיָּ֗הוּ וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ קִרְא֚וּ בְקוֹל־גָּדוֹל֙ כִּֽי־אֱלֹהִ֣ים ה֔וּא כִּ֣י שִֹ֧יחַ וְכִֽי־שִֹ֛יג ל֖וֹ וְכִֽי־דֶ֣רֶךְ ל֑וֹ אוּלַ֛י יָשֵׁ֥ן ה֖וּא וְיִקָֽץ:
for he is a god: for you say he is one to be feared.  
Perhaps he is talking or he is pursuing: Perhaps he is having a conference with his advisors now, or he is overtaking and pursuing his enemies in war.  
or he is on a journey: to the water closet.  
28And they called with a loud voice and gashed themselves as was their custom, with swords and lances, until blood gushed on them.   כחוַֽיִּקְרְאוּ֙ בְּק֣וֹל גָּד֔וֹל וַיִּתְגֹּֽדְדוּ֙ כְּמִשְׁפָּטָ֔ם בַּחֲרָב֖וֹת וּבָֽרְמָחִ֑ים עַד־שְׁפָךְ־דָּ֖ם עֲלֵיהֶֽם:
and gashed themselves: an expression of tearing [the flesh] with an instrument. Such was their custom.  
29And as the afternoon passed and they feined to prophesy until the time of the sacrifice of the [evening] offering, and there was no voice and no answer and no one was listening.   כטוַֽיְהִי֙ כַּעֲבֹ֣ר הַֽצָּהֳרַ֔יִם וַיִּֽתְנַבְּא֔וּ עַ֖ד לַעֲל֣וֹת הַמִּנְחָ֑ה וְאֵֽין־ק֥וֹל וְאֵין־עֹנֶ֖ה וְאֵ֥ין קָֽשֶׁב:
and they feigned to prophesy: and they raved.  
30And Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me," and all the people came near to him and he repaired the torn down altar of the Lord.   לוַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלִיָּ֚הוּ לְכָל־הָעָם֙ גְּשׁ֣וּ אֵלַ֔י וַיִּגְּשׁ֥וּ כָל־הָעָ֖ם אֵלָ֑יו וַיְרַפֵּ֛א אֶת־מִזְבַּ֥ח יְהֹוָ֖ה הֶהָרֽוּס:
and he repaired the torn down altar of the Lord: He built an altar and reminded Israel that the altar of the Lord should enter their thoughts and should be spoken of with fluency, for it was torn down and destroyed and its name and its mention had ceased from the mouth of all the ten tribes. Thus I heard its simple interpretation. And its Midrashic interpretation I have heard, that Saul built an altar on Mt. Carmel. That is what [Scripture means when] it states: (I Sam. 15:12) “Saul has come to Carmel, and behold, he is setting up a place,” and there (Gen. 33:20) it says: “And he set up an altar there.” [By a gezerah shavah, analogous expression, we deduce that Saul too, set up an altar]. And the kings of Israel tore down all the altars and high places in their land that were made in the name of Heaven, and Elijah built this altar of Saul that was torn down.  
31Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, "Israel shall be your name."   לאוַיִּקַּ֣ח אֵלִיָּ֗הוּ שְׁתֵּ֚ים עֶשְׂרֵה֙ אֲבָנִ֔ים כְּמִסְפַּ֖ר שִׁבְטֵ֣י בְנֵֽי־יַעֲקֹ֑ב אֲשֶׁר֩ הָיָ֨ה דְבַר־יְהֹוָ֚ה אֵלָיו֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל יִהְיֶ֥ה שְׁמֶֽךָ:
to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, “Israel shall be your name.”: Why is this stated here? Because on the day that the Shechinah was revealed to Jacob in Bethel and called him Israel, on that day He said to him, “A nation and a congregation of nations will be from you” (Gen. 35:11). Your children are destined to congregate like other nations and build an altar to burn sacrifices on it during the time when the high places are proscribed. Nevertheless, I will consent to it (Gen. Rabbah 82:6).  
32He built the stones into an altar in the name of the Lord and he made a trench as great as would contain two se'ah of seed, around the altar.   לבוַיִּבְנֶ֧ה אֶת־הָאֲבָנִ֛ים מִזְבֵּ֖חַ בְּשֵׁ֣ם יְהֹוָ֑ה וַיַּ֣עַשׂ תְּעָלָ֗ה כְּבֵית֙ סָאתַ֣יִם זֶ֔רַע סָבִ֖יב לַמִּזְבֵּֽחַ:
a trench: fosse in French.  
as great as would contain two se’ah: Its width was as great as to hold two se’ah, one hundred cubits by fifty cubits like the court of the mishkan.  
33And he arranged the wood, and he cut up the bull and placed [it] upon the wood.   לגוַֽיַּעֲרֹ֖ךְ אֶת־הָֽעֵצִ֑ים וַיְנַתַּח֙ אֶת־הַפָּ֔ר וַיָּ֖שֶׂם עַל־הָעֵצִֽים:
34And he said, "Fill me four pitchers of water and pour them on the burnt-offerings and on the wood." And he said, "Repeat it," and they repeated it. And he said, "Do it a third time," and they did it a third time.   לדוַיֹּ֗אמֶר מִלְא֨וּ אַרְבָּעָ֚ה כַדִּים֙ מַ֔יִם וְיִֽצְק֥וּ עַל־הָעֹלָ֖ה וְעַל־הָעֵצִ֑ים וַיֹּ֚אמֶר שְׁנוּ֙ וַיִּשְׁנ֔וּ וַיֹּ֥אמֶר שַׁלֵּ֖שׁוּ וַיְשַׁלֵּֽשׁוּ:
pitchers of water: to make the miracle greater.  
and pour: Elisha poured on his hands, and his fingers became like springs, and the trench became full. This is the meaning of what is stated (II Kings 3:11): “Here is Elisha the son of Shaphat who poured water on Elijah’s hands, and a miracle took place with the water through him.” He is fit that a miracle should take place with water through him.  
35And the water went around the altar, and also the trench he filled with water.   להוַיֵּלְכ֣וּ הַמַּ֔יִם סָבִ֖יב לַמִּזְבֵּ֑חַ וְגַ֥ם אֶת־הַתְּעָלָ֖ה מִלֵּא־מָֽיִם:
36And it was when the evening sacrifice was offered that Elijah the prophet came near and said, "Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, today let it be known that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant, and at Your word have I done all these things.   לווַיְהִ֣י | בַּעֲל֣וֹת הַמִּנְחָ֗ה וַיִּגַּ֞שׁ אֵלִיָּ֣הוּ הַנָּבִיא֘ וַיֹּאמַר֒ יְהֹוָ֗ה אֱלֹהֵי֙ אַבְרָהָם֙ יִצְחָ֣ק וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַיּ֣וֹם יִוָּדַ֗ע כִּֽי־אַתָּ֧ה אֱלֹהִ֛ים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וַאֲנִ֣י עַבְדֶּ֑ךָ וּבִדְבָרְךָ֣ (כתיב וּבִדְבָרְיךָ֣) עָשִֹ֔יתִי אֵ֥ת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִ֖ים הָאֵֽלֶּה:
and at Your word I have done: that I sacrificed on a high place at the time of the prohibition of high places.  
37Answer me, O Lord, answer me, and this people shall know that You are the Lord God, and You have turned their hearts backwards."   לזעֲנֵ֚נִי יְהֹוָה֙ עֲנֵ֔נִי וְיֵֽדְעוּ֙ הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה כִּֽי־אַתָּ֥ה יְהֹוָ֖ה הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים וְאַתָּ֛ה הֲסִבֹּ֥תָ אֶת־לִבָּ֖ם אֲחֹרַנִּֽית:
Answer me, O Lord, Answer me: Answer me with fire, answer me with rain. So did Jonathan render this. Our Rabbis, however, said: Answer me with fire, answer me that they do not say that these deeds were accomplished by sorcery.  
shall know that You are the Lord: and I am Your servant, and when You send me to bring them tidings [of the forthcoming redemption], they will believe me if You answer me today.  
and You have turned their hearts backwards: You have given them a place to turn away from following You, although You were able to direct their hearts toward You. And according to Midrash Agadah, if You do not answer me, I will deny and say, You turned their hearts. And so did Moses say (Num. 16:29), “If these people die the death of all men, I, too, will deny and I will say that the Lord did not send me to speak [the words of] the Torah and the commandments,” and so said Micaiah (below 22:28), “If you return safely, God did not speak through me.”  
38And the fire of the Lord fell and consumed the burnt offerings and the wood and the stones and the earth, and the water which was in the trench it licked up.   לחוַתִּפֹּ֣ל אֵשׁ־יְהֹוָ֗ה וַתֹּ֚אכַל אֶת־הָֽעֹלָה֙ וְאֶת־הָ֣עֵצִ֔ים וְאֶת־הָאֲבָנִ֖ים וְאֶת־הֶעָפָ֑ר וְאֶת־הַמַּ֥יִם אֲשֶׁר־בַּתְּעָלָ֖ה לִחֵֽכָה:
39And all the people saw and fell on their faces, and they said, "The Lord is God, the Lord is God."   לטוַיַּרְא֙ כָּל־הָעָ֔ם וַֽיִּפְּל֖וּ עַל־פְּנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיֹּ֣אמְר֔וּ יְהֹוָה֙ ה֣וּא הָאֱלֹהִ֔ים יְהֹוָ֖ה ה֥וּא הָאֱלֹהִֽים:
The Lord is God: and the Baal is not God.