The daily Mass readings this week have been following the biblical story of the prophet Elijah and his dramatic actions on behalf of the God of Israel. This painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder depicts all the drama, suspense and intense human interest at the confrontation between the Prophets of Baal and The God of Israel.
As typical for many of the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophets of Baal danced, chanted and slashed themselves in an ecstatic trance to communicate with Baal. Elijah's relationship with God is more direct and personal. Though at times scholars think the prophets of Israel may also have entered trance-like states, it's not likely in this particular case, since Elijah mocks the ritual dancing of the prophets of Baal.