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INTRODUCTION. When Jezebel learned that Elijah had killed her prophets, she vowed revenge. Elijah fled to the wilderness south of Judah, lay down under a tree, and asked God to allow him to die. An angel ministered unto him, providing food and encouraging him to continue his journey. For forty days and nights on the strength of that food, Elijah journeyed through the wilderness to Mount Horeb where he sought shelter in a cave (I Kings 19:1-9).
When the Lord asked Elijah what he was doing there, Elijah said the children of Israel had forsaken God's covenant and were seeking his life because he had been zealous for the Lord. The Lord told Elijah to stand upon the mountain. Then the Lord passed by, and a strong wind rent the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces, but the Lord was not in the wind. Next there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a still small voice (I Kings 19:10-12).
When Elijah heard the voice, he wrapped his face in his mantle and stood in the entrance of the cave. The voice of the Lord asked him once more what he was doing there. Again Elijah said the children of Israel were seeking his life, and he was the only one left in Israel who served the Lord. God spoke to him and assured him there were seven thousand in Israel who had not bowed to Baal. He instructed Elijah to anoint Hazael to be king of Syria, Jehu to be king of Israel, and Elisha to be a prophet and his successor. These three men would bring about reformation in Israel (I Kings 19:13-18).
Sometime later Ahab desired a vineyard which was adjacent to his summer palace in Jezreel. The vineyard belonged to Naboth who refused to sell it to Ahab. Jezebel, therefore, plotted the execution of Naboth. After Naboth was dead, Ahab went to the vineyard to take possession of it, and Elijah met Ahab for the last time. Elijah prophesied the violent deaths of Ahab and Jezebel and the extermination of their house (family). When Ahab repented at Elijah's word, the Lord had compassion on Ahab and said the prophecy would not come to pass during Ahab's lifetime but in the days of his son
(I Kings 21).