Scripture Stories
Elijah and the Priests of Baal

“Elijah and the Priests of Baal,” Old Testament Stories (2021)

“Elijah and the Priests of Baal,” Old Testament Stories

1 Kings 18

Elijah and the Priests of Baal

The Lord’s prophet versus false priests

mini statue of Baal

The kingdom of Israel continued to suffer from having no water. King Ahab told the people to follow a false god named Baal.

1 Kings 18:1–2, 17–18

Elijah talking to Ahab

The Lord sent Elijah the prophet to meet Ahab. Elijah invited all the people to the top of a mountain. He invited the king and his priests to a challenge to see whether the Lord or Baal was the true God.

1 Kings 18:19–21

Elijah talking to priests of Baal

Elijah explained the challenge. He and the priests would sacrifice a bull on an altar, but they would not light a fire themselves. Instead, the priests would pray to Baal to start a fire. Then Elijah would pray to the Lord to start a fire. Elijah knew that only the true God would start the fire.

1 Kings 18:22–25

Elijah talking to group of people

The priests of Baal prayed to their god from morning until noon, but nothing happened. Elijah joked with them and said their god Baal must be asleep.

1 Kings 18:26–27

priests of Baal praying over altar

The priests grew angry, jumped on the altar, and shouted into the evening. They hoped their god would answer, but there was still no fire.

1 Kings 18:28–29

Elijah kneeling

Then it was Elijah’s turn. He built an altar to the Lord, dug a trench around the altar, and prepared the sacrifice.

1 Kings 18:30–32

Elijah and people building altar

Elijah asked the people to fill four barrels of water and pour them onto the wood of his altar three times. Water soaked the wood and the altar. It filled the whole trench.

1 Kings 18:33–37

Elijah praying next to altar

Elijah prayed to the Lord to show the true God’s power. The Lord’s fire came down and consumed the sacrifice, wood, stones, and water. The people knew that Elijah’s God was the true God. Elijah prayed that the drought would end, and the Lord sent rain.

1 Kings 18:38–41