The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Third Book of Kings
But when Achab told Jezabel of what Elias had done, how he had put all her prophets to the sword,
she sent Elias a message, The gods punish me as I deserve, and more, if by this time tomorrow I have not sent thee the way yonder prophets went.
Whereupon he took fright, and set out upon a journey of his own devising; made his way to Bersabee in Juda, and left his servant to wait there,
while he himself went on, a whole day’s journey, into the desert. Betaking himself there, and sitting down under a juniper tree, he prayed to have done with life. I can bear no more, Lord, he said; put an end to my life; I have no better right to live than my fathers.
With that, he lay down and fell asleep under the juniper tree; but all at once an angel of the Lord roused him, bidding him awake and eat.
Then he found, close to where his head lay, a girdle-cake and a pitcher of water; so he ate and drank and lay down to sleep again.
But once more the angel of the Lord roused him; Awake and eat, said he, thou hast a journey before thee that will tax thy strength.
So he rose up, and ate and drank; strengthened by that food he went on for forty days and forty nights, till he reached God’s own mountain, Horeb.
There he made his lodging in a cave; and all at once the Lord’s word came to him, Elias, what dost thou here?
Why, he answered, I am all jealousy for the honour of the Lord God of hosts; see how the sons of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and put thy prophets to the sword! Of these, I only am left, and now my life, too, is forfeit.
Then word came to him to go out and stand there in the Lord’s presence; the Lord God himself would pass by. A wind there was, rude and boisterous, that shook the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, the whisper of a gentle breeze.
Elias, when he heard it, wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out to stand at the cave door. There a voice came to him, Elias, what dost thou here?
I am all jealousy, said he, for the honour of the Lord God of hosts; see how the sons of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thy altars, and put thy prophets to the sword! Of these, I only am left, and now my life, too, is forfeit.
Then the Lord said to him, Retrace thy journey through the desert all the way to Damascus, and there anoint Hazael to be king of Syria.
Over Israel, too, thou shalt anoint a king, Jehu the son of Namsi. And for thyself, thou shalt anoint a new prophet, Eliseus, the son of Saphat, from Abel-Meula, to take thy place.
Those who escape the sword of Hazael shall be slain by Jehu, and those who escape the sword of Jehu shall be slain by Eliseus.
Yet I mean to leave myself seven thousand men out of all Israel; knees that have never bowed to Baal, lips that have never kissed hand to do him worship.
Even as he went on his journey, Elias found Eliseus, that was son of Saphat, ploughing with twelve pairs of oxen. He was with the last pair of all; and Elias, upon reaching him, threw his own cloak about the man’s shoulders.
There and then he left his oxen behind, and ran after Elias; Give me leave, he said, to embrace father and mother in parting. Back home with thee, said Elias; I have but fulfilled my errand.
Back then Eliseus went, and chose out a pair of oxen, which he slaughtered, and cooked there with the plough for fire-wood. Such was the feast he made for the folk with him; then he rose up and left them, to follow Elias and be his servant.
The Holy Bible