Ki Tissa

Ki Tissa Posted On Jan 1, 1980 | Haftarah Reading

This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh.

I Kings 18:1-39

Sepharadim begin with 18:20

Chapter 18

1 Much later, in the third year, the word of the Lord came to Elijah: “Go, appear before Ahab; then I will send rain upon the earth.” 2 Thereupon Elijah set out to appear before Ahab.

The famine was severe in Samaria. 3 Ahab had summoned Obadiah, the steward of the palace. (Obadiah revered the Lord greatly. 4 When Jezebel was killing off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah had taken a hundred prophets and hidden them, fifty to a cave, and provided them with food and drink.) 5 And Ahab had said to Obadiah, “Go through the land, to all the springs of water and to all the wadis. Perhaps we shall find some grass to keep horses and mules alive, so that we are not left without beasts.”

6 They divided the country between them to explore it, Ahab going alone in one direction and Obadiah going alone in another direction. 7 Obadiah was on the road, when Elijah suddenly confronted him. [Obadiah] recognized him and flung himself on his face, saying, “Is that you, my lord Elijah?” 8 “Yes, it is I,” he answered. “Go tell your lord: Elijah is here!” 9 But he said, “What wrong have I done, that you should hand your servant over to Ahab to be killed? 10 As the Lord your God lives, there is no nation or kingdom to which my lord has not sent to look for you; and when they said, ‘He is not here,’ he made that kingdom or nation swear that you could not be found. 11 And now you say, ‘Go tell your lord: Elijah is here!’ 12 When I leave you, the spirit of the Lord will carry you off I don’t know where; and when I come and tell Ahab and he does not find you, he will kill me. Yet your servant has revered the Lord from my youth. 13 My lord has surely been told what I did when Jezebel was killing the prophets of the Lord, how I hid a hundred of the prophets of the Lord, fifty men to a cave, and provided them with food and drink. 14 And now you say, ‘Go tell your lord: Elijah is here.’ Why, he will kill me!”

15 Elijah replied, “As the Lord of Hosts lives, whom I serve, I will appear before him this very day.”

16 Obadiah went to find Ahab, and informed him; and Ahab went to meet Elijah. 17 When Ahab caught sight of Elijah, Ahab said to him, “Is that you, you troubler of Israel?” 18 He retorted, “It is not I who have brought trouble on Israel, but you and your father’s House, by forsaking the commandments of the Lord and going after the Baalim. 19 Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, together with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.”

Sepharadim begin here 
20 Ahab sent orders to all the Israelites and gathered the prophets at Mount Carmel. 21 Elijah approached all the people and said, “How long will you keep hopping between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; and if Baal, follow him!” But the people answered him not a word. 22 Then Elijah said to the people, “I am the only prophet of the Lord left, while the prophets of Baal are four hundred and fifty men. 23 Let two young bulls be given to us. Let them choose one bull, cut it up, and lay it on the wood, but let them not apply fire; I will prepare the other bull, and lay it on the wood, and will not apply fire. 24 You will then invoke your god by name, and I will invoke the Lord by name; and let us agree: the god who responds with fire, that one is God.” And all the people answered, “Very good!”

25 Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, “Choose one bull and prepare it first, for you are the majority; invoke your god by name, but apply no fire.” 26 They took the bull that was given them; they prepared it, and invoked Baal by name from morning until noon, shouting, “O Baal, answer us!” But there was no sound, and none who responded; so they performed a hopping dance about the altar that had been set up. 27 When noon came, Elijah mocked them, saying, “Shout louder! After all, he is a god. But he may be in conversation, he may be detained, or he may be on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and will wake up.” 28 So they shouted louder, and gashed themselves with knives and spears, according to their practice, until the blood streamed over them. 29 When noon passed, they kept raving until the hour of presenting the meal offering. Still there was no sound, and none who responded or heeded.

30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come closer to me”; and all the people came closer to him. He repaired the damaged altar of the Lord. 31 Then Elijah took twelve stones, corresponding to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob — to whom the word of the Lord had come: “Israel shall be your name” — 32 and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord. Around the altar he made a trench large enough for two seahs of seed. 33 He laid out the wood, and he cut up the bull and laid it on the wood. 34 And he said, “Fill four jars with water and pour it over the burnt offering and the wood.” Then he said, “Do it a second time”; and they did it a second time. “Do it a third time,” he said; and they did it a third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar, and even the trench was filled with water.

36 When it was time to present the meal offering, the prophet Elijah came forward and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel! Let it be known today that You are God in Israel and that I am Your servant, and that I have done all these things at Your bidding. 37Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord, are God; for You have turned their hearts backward.”

38 Then fire from the Lord descended and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, and the earth; and it licked up the water that was in the trench. 39 When they saw this, all the people flung themselves on their faces and cried out: “The Lord alone is God, The Lord alone is God!”

Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of The Jewish Publication Society. Copyright © 1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society.
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