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Why was Elijah in the Cave?

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

"Now summon all Israel to join me at Mount Carmel, together with the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” (1 Kings 18:19)

וְעַתָּ֗ה שְׁלַ֨ח קְבֹ֥ץ אֵלַ֛י אֶת־כׇּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל אֶל־הַ֣ר הַכַּרְמֶ֑ל וְאֶת־נְבִיאֵ֨י הַבַּ֜עַל אַרְבַּ֧ע מֵא֣וֹת וַחֲמִשִּׁ֗ים וּנְבִיאֵ֤י הָאֲשֵׁרָה֙ אַרְבַּ֣ע מֵא֔וֹת אֹכְלֵ֖י שֻׁלְחַ֥ן אִיזָֽבֶל

Idols Have no Chance

Elijah tackled it big.

In our time you would say he used all the media to reach everyone, everyone had to witness the decline of idolatry and the victory of HaShem.

Use whatever means you have to eradicate idolatry

That makes sense because idols are made by human hands, they still have eyes to see, ears to hear, a nose to of course the victory is for HaShem. It is known that Elijah rested in this cave (picture above) before walking further up Mount Carmel. In doing so, I can imagine that he took a moment to meditate. Of course he trusted HaShem, but it is always good and wise before (important) events to focus on HaShem, how great, all-powerful He is. The Creator of heaven and earth, He who makes everything last with His words.

Prayer for Others

On the mountain, he prayed aloud to HaShem so that the people could hear that he was asking for a fire to come from heaven to ignite the sacrifice. He did not ask this for himself, - knowing that HaShem would prevail - but prayed aloud so that the people would be sure that the miracle came from HaShem and not from other powers or forces. In this way, the people could more easily make the wise decisions to return to HaShem.

Meditation and Prayer

It is a good practice to meditate before praying. You can do this, for example, by reading a piece of Tanya. The moment you realize well before Whom you stand, it is a good time to pray.

You can pray for yourself, but certainly also for the benefit of another. In your prayer you can name needs of another, but it can also be very good that others witness your prayer. So that they hear what you give thanks for or what you ask for help with. And see that your help comes from HaShem and if you ask for help for their benefit, that they may experience that their help comes from HaShem.

Sources: Sefaria


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the website. She contributes for the admin of the website in English and Dutch. She teaches Hebrew to beginners and intermediate students at the Academy.

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