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Where did the water come from that Elijah used when he was building the altar on Mount Carmel?

It states in 1 Kings 18:1 that it had not rained for 3 years and famine was in the land.  There is no supply of water (sea or river) close to Mount Carmel, so where did the water Elijah used on the altar come from?

1 Kings 18:30 - 38

ESV - 30 Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the Lord that had been thrown down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord came, saying, "Israel shall be your name.

Clarify Share Report Asked May 15 2014 Mini Rosemary Spain

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Open uri20130622 23898 8dsex Kelli Hamann Supporter Pastor's Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Teacher, Writer, Cellist
The Bible doesn't specifically tell us where the water came from that Elijah used to douse the wood and the offering, but we can make some educated guesses based on what we see in scripture.

In the beginning of 1 Kings 18, we are told that people were ordered by the king to go out and search for water in every place possible:

1 d After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, "Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth." 2 So Elijah went to show himself to Ahab. Now the famine was severe in Samaria. 3 And Ahab called Obadiah, who was e over the household. (Now Obadiah feared the Lord greatly, 4 and f when Jezebel cut off the prophets of the Lord, Obadiah took a hundred prophets and hid them by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water.) 5 And Ahab said to Obadiah, "Go through the land to all the springs of water and to all the valleys. Perhaps we may find grass and save the horses and mules alive, and not lose some of the animals." 6 So they divided the land between them to pass through it. Ahab went in one direction by himself, and Obadiah went in another direction by himself.

There are a couple of things to observe here about water sources: 

1) Somehow Obadiah had managed to find water for the hidden prophets. Did he find it? Did he pray and ask for miraculous provision? We're not told, but somehow Obadiah knew the secret of how to get water during the famine. Perhaps Elijah knew what Obadiah knew; they were contemporaries, united in speaking out against the rampant sin and idolatry of the Israelite royalty and the people they were leading astray. 

2) In spite of the severe drought and famine, there was still water to be found, as we read in verses 5-6. Perhaps Elijah had found water already and had it stored up, or perhaps the water he used was a result of the search that was ordered by Ahab.

Sometimes we jump to conclusions based on the limited information we're afforded as we read the Bible. There isn't a full account of the minute details of the famine here; we're simply told that the famine was "severe" and it hadn't rained for some time. This doesn't necessarily mean that there was no water to be found anywhere, only that water sources were limited due to lack of rain, and this caused a famine and concern for the welfare of animals and people.

I hope this helps.

June 01 2014 0 responses Vote Up Share Report


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