The unsuccessful sacrifice of the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18:26-18:29)

“The prophets of Baal took the bull which was given them. They prepared it. They called on the name of Baal from morning until noon, crying. ‘O Baal, answer us!’ But there was no voice and no one answer. They limped about the altar that they had made. At noon Elijah mocked them, saying. ‘Cry aloud! Surely he is a god. Either he is meditating or he has wandered away. Maybe he is on a journey or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.’ Then they cried aloud. As was their custom, they cut themselves with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out over them. As midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice, no answer, and no response.”

First up were the prophets of Baal, all 450 of them. They were not able to start the fire. Meanwhile, Elijah was mocking them. In a very strong satire, he said that Baal was mediating or wandering around. Perhaps he went on a journey of fell asleep. The prophets of Baal tried as hard as they could, but there was no fire. They cried out. They danced the limp dance. They cut themselves, as was their custom, but to no avail. There was no answer to their prayers. By evening time, they had failed.


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