In 1 Melachim 18:19, Eliyahu gives Achab an order to summon ‘All Israel... together with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Ba’al and the four hundred prophets of Asherah’. However, when the story reaches Mt. Carmel, Eliyahu makes reference only to the prophets of Ba’al when addressing the people (v.22) and only the prophets of Ba’al are said to partake in the trial / test. Furthermore, once Eliyahu has proven that Hashem is G-d, he asks only that the prophets of Ba’al be seized (v.40).

What therefore happened to those prophets of Asherah? Have the commentators commented on this apparent problem?


Radak on the next verse (18:20) explains that the asherah-prophets did not end up attending the trial, because Jezebel (whose household they were part of) did not allow them to.

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    See however Bamidbar Rabbah (23:9) that implies that the Asheirah prophets were also in attendance: "נתקבצו כל נביאי הבעל ונביאי האשרה, ולא יכלו לזוז את רגלו". Mar 9 '21 at 20:39

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