In the book of Kings chapter 20, after Elijah goes to Mount Horeb and speaks to G-d, he basically quits or gets fired, telling G-d that he's the only one left that still follows G-d. But then the text goes on to speak about a certain prophet that sends word to Ahab that he will win the battle with ben Hadad.

I don't get what's going on. Was this certain prophet a real prophet or what?

I'm extremely confused. I thought Jezebel killed all the G-d fearing prophets.


2 Answers 2


Izevel tried to kill them but failed. For example, Ovadiah saved 100 prophets (50 in a cave) and arranged for them them to be fed and hidden from Izevel.

The Gemara in tractate Sanhedrin, page 37a, describes how Ovadia hid 100 prophets in two separate caves during the reign of the wicked King Ahab and his wanton idolatrous wife Jezebel: Jezebel had executed almost all the prophets of G-d in order to promote the pave the way for the heathen prophets of the Baal, the popular idolatry of the time. Ovadia rescued 100 of them with great risk to himself, for he was the officer in charge of the royal household! With his life in peril every single day, not only hid these prophets in two separate caves, fifty in each, but supplying them with food and drink during the three years of extreme famine when there was no rain in the Land of Israel. By virtue of his devotion to hashem and his courage in saving the save true prophets, was blessed with the gift of prophecy.

That is part of the story of his widow who had to have the miracle of the oil (performed by Elisha) so that she could repay the debt.


of the wives of the disciples of the prophets: She was the wife of Obadiah. Every expression of b’nei han’viim, the sons of the prophets, in Scripture, is translated in Targum as the disciples of the prophets.

and the creditor: He was Jehoram the son of Ahab, who would lend him with interest what he used to sustain the prophets in his father’s time. In R. Tanhuma’s Midrash (Mishpatim 9): Therefore it is stated (below 9:24): “And he struck Jehoram between his arms which stretched out to take interest.”

Eliyahu was mistaken as to being the only one left


a certain prophet: That was Micaiah the son of Imlah.


In verse 10 (Kings I, chapter 19), Elijah speaks badly of B'nei Yisrael. G-d shows him a phenomenon intended to change his position but Elijah then repeats the same thing in verse 14.

Seeing that Elijah did not get the message and has not changed his position, he gets replaced as the main prophet.

According to Rashi (on verse 16), Elijah's position was only that of prosecutor. Whereas Moshe had defended the people when G-d sought to destroy them. And that is why he needed to be replaced as the prophet (but G-d gave him the chance to change his position first with what happened in verses 11-13).

His claim of "I have remained alone" at this point seems a strange one. This is after the incident at Mount Carmel, and he had met Ovadiah along the way who had told him that he had saved certain prophets in the cave.

In addition, G-d can always make new prophets. The difficulty with Elijah is if he thinks he is the only one worthy, due to his zealousy, and that all the rest of Yisrael are too wicked.

Perhaps this incident is out of sequence, and happened before the incident at Mount Carmel. In some ways that makes more sense, but still it was necessary to replace him for the reasons Rashi outlined.

  • This does not answer the question. The question is were there other prophets surviving? Jul 7, 2016 at 17:17
  • It answers the part of why he "gets fired". It's a statement of facts followed by a question of "what is going on"
    – CashCow
    Jul 7, 2016 at 17:22

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