1When Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done and how he had put all the prophets to the sword, 2she sent this message to Elijah, ‘The gods do the same to me and more, unless by this time tomorrow I have taken your life as you took theirs.’ 3In fear he fled for his life, and when he reached Beersheba in Judah he left his servant there, 4while he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, and sitting down under it he prayed for death: ‘It is enough,’ he said; ‘now, LORD, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers before me.’ 5He lay down under the bush and, while he slept, an angel touched him and said, 6‘Rise and eat.’ He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a pitcher of water. He ate and drank and lay down again. 7The angel of the LORD came again and touched him a second time, saying, ‘Rise and eat; the journey is too much for you.’ 8He rose and ate and drank and, sustained by this food, he went on for forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God. 9There he entered a cave where he spent the night.
The word of the LORD came to him: ‘Why are you here, Elijah?’ 10‘Because of my great zeal for the LORD the God of Hosts,’ he replied. ‘The people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.’ 11To this the answer came: ‘Go and stand on the mount before the LORD.’ The LORD was passing by: a great and strong wind came, rending mountains and shattering rocks before him, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; 12and after the earthquake fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a faint murmuring sound. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. There came a voice: ‘Why are you here, Elijah?’ 14‘Because of my great zeal for the LORD the God of Hosts,’ he replied. ‘The people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to the sword. I alone am left, and they seek to take my life.’
15The LORD said to him, ‘Go back by way of the wilderness of Damascus, enter the city, and anoint Hazael to be king of Aram; 16anoint also Jehu son of Nimshi a 19:16 son of Nimshi: or grandson of Nimshi (cp. 2 Kgs. 9:2 ). to be king of Israel, and Elisha son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah to be prophet in your place. 17Whoever escapes the sword of Hazael Jehu will slay, and whoever escapes the sword of Jehu Elisha will slay. 18But I shall leave seven thousand in Israel, all who have not bowed the knee to Baal, all whose lips have not kissed him.’
19Elijah departed and found Elisha son of Shaphat ploughing; there were twelve pair of oxen ahead of him, and he himself was with the last of them. As Elijah passed, he threw his cloak over him. 20Elisha, leaving his oxen, ran after Elijah and said, ‘Let me kiss my father and mother goodbye, and then I shall follow you.’ ‘Go back,’ he replied; ‘what have I done to prevent you?’ 21He followed him no farther but went home, took his pair of oxen, slaughtered them, and burnt the wooden yokes to cook the flesh, which he gave to the people to eat. He then followed Elijah and became his disciple.