In the 1 Kings narrative of the prophet Elijah and his dealings with wicked Ahab & Jezebel, YHWH proved dramatically on Mt. Carmel that He was the true God, answering Elijah’s prayer by sending fire on the mountain to devour the sacrifice. The Baal prophets who were present were destroyed. The 3 1/2 year drought ended, showing God, not Baal, controlled the rain (1 Kings 18).
While one might expect that this would be a real turning point for the spiritual condition of Israel, such was not the case. Jezebel’s response: “Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me and even more, if I do not make your life as the life of one of them by tomorrow about this time” (19:2).
Elijah then had a very real struggle with fear and depression. His response: “And he was afraid and arose and ran for his life and came to Beersheba, which belongs to Judah, and left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree; and he requested for himself that he might die, and said, ‘It is enough; now, O LORD, take my life, for I am not better than my fathers'” (19:3-4).
Beersheba is located in the Negeb, the south of Israel.
Last month I had opportunity to take some aerial photos of Beersheba.
We have previously posted on Beersheba here here here and here.