I Kings 18:20-39
Elijah foresees a three-year drought—punishment for the worship of Ba’al, the local deity of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, rulers of the the Northern Kingdom of Israel who championed & encouraged various forms of idolatry. Ahab accuses Elijah of causing the hardship, at which point Elijah suggests a Battle of the Gods.
In this instance, Ba’al is the Northern Semetic title for “lord” used in many cases, both for local spirit deities, such as patron gods of cities, and sometimes for people, and attributed as a primary god of the Phoenicians. Not to be confused with Baal (or Bael) who appears in the 1600’s in some occult writings as a prince of Hell.
Elijah, the Ba’alists and assorted spectators gather on Mount Carmel and challenges the people: “How long will you hop between two ideas? If the L-rd is G-d, go after Him, and if the Baal, go after him.”
In the [Read more…]