| Hurlbut's Story of the Bible|
|by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut|
|A book which stands in such honor as the Bible should be known by all. And the time when one can most readily obtain a familiarity with the Bible is in early life. Those who in childhood learn the Story of the Bible are fortunate, for they will never forget it. In this unabridged and unedited edition you will find all the principal stories of the Bible, each one complete in itself, while together combining to form a continuous narrative. With 168 stories from both the Old Testament and the New Testament, there is ample material for a full year of reading. Ages 6-12 |
THE VOICE THAT SPOKE TO ELIJAH IN THE MOUNT
I Kings xix: 1 to 21.
HEN King Ahab told his wife, Queen Jezebel, of all
that Elijah had done; how the fire had fallen from
heaven upon his altar, and how he had slain all the
prophets of Baal with the sword, Queen Jezebel was very
angry. She sent a messenger to Elijah with these
"May the gods do to me as you have done to the prophets
of Baal, if I do not by to-morrow kill you, as you have
Elijah saw that his life was in danger, and he found
that not one man in all the kingdom dared to stand by
him against the hate of Queen Jezebel. He rose up, and
ran away to save his life. He went southward to the
land of Judah, but did not feel safe even there. He
hastened across Judah southward to Beersheba, which is
on the edge of the desert, eighty miles away from
Samaria. But not even here did Elijah dare to stay,
for he still feared the wrath of Queen Jezebel. He
left his servant at Beersheba, and went out alone into
the desert, over which the children of Israel had
wandered five hundred years before. After he had
walked all day under the sun, and over the burning
sand, he sat down to rest under a juniper-tree. He was
tired, and hungry, and discouraged. He felt that his
work had all been in vain, that in heart the people
were still worshippers of Baal; and he felt, too, that
he had shown weakness in running away from his place of
duty in fear of Queen Jezebel. Elijah cried out to the
Lord, and said, "O Lord, I have lived long enough!"
Take away my life, O Lord, for I am no better than my
people!" Then, tired out, he lay down to sleep under
the tree. But the Lord was very kind to Elijah. While
he was sleeping an angel touched him, and said,
"Arise, and eat."
AN ANGEL TOUCHED ELIJAH
 He opened his eyes, and saw beside him a little fire,
with a loaf of bread baking upon it, and near it a
bottle of water. He ate and drank, and then lay down
to sleep again. A second time he felt the angel touch
him, and he heard a voice say, "Arise, and eat; because
the journey is too long for you."
He arose, and ate once more. Then he went on his way,
and in the strength given him by that food he walked
forty days through the desert. He came at last to
Mount Horeb, the mountain where Moses saw the burning
bush, and where God spoke forth the words of the Ten
Commandments. (See Story 25).
Elijah found a cave in the side of the mountain, and
went into it to rest. While he was in the cave he
heard God's voice speaking to him, and saying, "What
are you doing here, Elijah?"
And Elijah said to the Lord, "O Lord God, I have been
very earnest for thee; for the people of Israel have
turned away from their promise to serve thee; they have
thrown down thine altars, and have slain thy prophets
with the sword; and now I, even I only am left; and
they are seeking my life, to take it away."
 Then the Lord said to Elijah, "Go out and stand upon
the mountain before the Lord."
Then, while Elijah was standing upon the mountain, a
great and strong wind swept by and tore the mountains
apart, and broke the rocks in pieces; but the Lord was
not in the wind. Then came an earthquake, shaking the
mountains; but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And
after the earthquake a fire passed by; but the Lord was
not in the fire. And after the fire there was silence
and stillness, and Elijah heard a low, quiet voice
which he knew was the voice of the Lord.
Then Elijah wrapped his face in his mantle, for he
feared to look upon the form of God, and he stood at
the opening of the cave. The voice said to him, "What
are you doing here, Elijah?"
And Elijah said, as he had said before, "O Lord, I have
been very earnest for thee; for the people of Israel
have turned away from their promise to serve thee; they
have thrown down thine altars, and have slain thy
prophets with the sword; and now I, even I only, am
left; and they are seeking my life, to take it away."
Then the Lord said to Elijah, "Go back to the land from
which you have come, and then go to the wilderness of
Damascus, and anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and
Jehu, the son of Nimshi, you shall anoint to be king
over Israel; and Elisha, the son of Shaphat, of the
village of Abel-meholah, in the land of Manasseh, west
of Jordan, you shall anoint to take your place as
prophet. And it shall come to pass that those who
escape from the sword of Hazael, Jehu shall slay, and
those that escape from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha
slay. But there will be found some, even seven
thousand men in Israel, who have not bowed the knee to
Baal or kissed his image with their lips."
Here were tasks that would take all the rest of
Elijah's life; for, as we shall see, some of them were
not completed until after Elijah had passed away,
though Elijah prepared the way for them. But they gave
to Elijah what he needed most, work to do; a friend to
stand beside him, so that he would no longer be alone;
one also who could carry on his work after him; and the
knowledge that he had not lived in vain, since there
were still in the land seven thousand men faithful to
the Lord God of Israel.
One of these commands Elijah obeyed at once. He left
Mount Horeb, journeyed northward through the
wilderness, across the
king-  dom of Judah, and into the
land of Israel. He found Abel-meholah, in the
tribe-land of Manasseh on the west of Jordan, and there
he saw Elisha, the son of Shaphat. Elisha was plowing
in the field, with twelve yoke of oxen in front of him;
for Elisha was a rich man's son, and cared for a large
Elijah came to the field where Elisha was at work, and
without a word, took off his own mantle of skin, and
threw it upon Elisha's shoulders, and walked away.
Elisha knew well who this strange, rough, hair-covered
man was; and he knew, too, what it meant when Elijah
cast his mantle upon him. It was a call for him to leave
his home, to go out into the wilderness with Elijah, to
take up the life of a prophet, to face the danger of
the queen's hate, and perhaps to be slain, as many
prophets had been slain before. But Elisha was a man
of God, and he did not hesitate to obey God's call. He
left his oxen standing in the field; he ran after
Elijah, and said to him, "Let me kiss my father and my
mother, and then I will go with you."
ELIJAH PLACES HIS MANTLE ON ELISHA
Elijah said to him, "Go back, if you wish; for what
have I done to you?"
Then Elisha went back to the field, killed the oxen,
made a fire with the yokes and the wooden plow, roasted
the flesh of the oxen on the fire, and gave them to be
eaten by the people on the farm. This he did to show
that he had left his farm forever. Then he kissed his
father and mother, and left them, and went forth to
live with Elijah and to be Elijah's helper.
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