"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Elijah at Mount Carmel
1 Kings 18:20-39 Commentary
by Vanessa Lovelace
This week’s passage focuses on the loyal prophet who is sent to persuade the wayward monarch and people to return to “the Lord” (Hebrew YHWH, called the tetragrammaton), the God of Israel.
Leaving God behind
Ahab son of Omri ruled the northern kingdom of Israel for 22 years (ca 874 – 853 BCE). The deuteronomistic historian (Dtr), a term applied collectively to the authors/editors of Israel’s historical narratives from Joshua to 2 Kings, judges Ahab as having done evil in the sight of the Lord more than any other Israelite king before him for promoting the spread of Baal worship in Israel (1 Kings 16:30, 33). A major theme in this corpus of literature is the tension between the prophet and king. The king was charged with seeing that the people were faithful to the covenantal law and the prophet was responsible for keeping the king accountable to the law.
The Dtr characterizes Ahab’s marriage to the Phoenician princess Jezebel as the impetus for Ahab having chosen to serve and worship Baal, one of the gods worshiped by Jezebel and as a result, leading the people astray. Promptly after his marriage to Jezebel, Ahab built a temple for Baal in Samaria and erected ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL195: Elijah at Mount Carmel
November 08, 2015
This podcast discusses 1 Kings 18:20-39, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Nov. 8, 2015.