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Was Baal in The Loo?

This is regarding the following scripture:

1 Kings 18:27 New International Reader's Version (NIRV) At noon Elijah began to tease them. “Shout louder!” he said. “I’m sure Baal is a god! Perhaps he has too much to think about. Or maybe he has gone to the toilet. Or perhaps he’s away on a trip. Maybe he’s sleeping. You might have to wake him up.”

I really enjoy how Elijah mocked the prophets of Baal (because he's just a lifeless idol). As part of that mocking, it seems that he asks the prophets of Baal if their god is relieving himself (going to the bathroom). But other translations don't seem to say that. So I want to know what the original translation says.

It appears that at least one commentary indicates Elijah accuses Baal of traveling to the bathroom: https://www.sefaria.org/Rashi_on_I_Kings.18.27.3?lang=bi

To try to do my part (do my due diligence), I counted the number of translations that I believe directly translate as Elijah basically saying "is your god on the porta-potty?" So...

The following data is from Bible Gateway at 1 Kings 18:27. (Disclaimer: I had to put the data into a spreadsheet and go back and forth between a text editor, so the data may bear the scars of many a text search and replace to try to normalize and make the information easier to massage. I do believe that the data is still true to its original.)

15 Translations Fairly Directly Translated as "Relieving Himself" or similar

There are 15 that seem to clearly indicate Baal being on the potty / relieving himself:

  1. Relieving himself (9x)
  2. ... the toilet (3x)
  3. going to the Latrine (1x)
  4. on the potty (1x)
  5. using the bathroom (1x)

CEV At noon, Elijah began making fun of them. "Pray louder!" he said. "Baal must be a god. Maybe he's daydreaming or using the toilet or traveling somewhere. or maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up. 9 1

CJB Around noon Eliyahu began ridiculing them: Shout louder! After all, he's a god, isn't he? Maybe he's daydreaming, or he's on the potty, or he's away on a trip. Maybe he's asleep, and you have to wake him up. 8 2

ESV And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. 14 3

ESVUK And at noon Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god. Either he is musing, or he is relieving himself, or he is on a journey, or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. 15 4

GNT At noon Elijah started making fun of them: Pray louder! He is a god! Maybe he is day-dreaming or relieving himself, or Perhaps he's gone off on a trip! or maybe he's sleeping, and you've got to wake him up! 19 5

GW At noon Elijah started to make fun of them. Shout louder, since he is a god. Maybe he's thinking, relieving himself, or traveling! Maybe he's sleeping, and you have to wake him! 18 6

ISV Starting about noon, Elijah began to tease them: "Shout louder! he's a god, so maybe he's busy. Maybe he's relieving himself. Maybe he's busy someplace. Maybe he's taking a nap and somebody needs to wake him up. 22 7

JUB And it came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them and said, Cry aloud, for he is a god; peradventure he is talking or he had to go to the latrine, or he is on a journey, or he sleeps and will awake. 23 8

LEB It happened at noon that Elijah mocked them and said, Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god! Perhaps he is meditating, or is using the bathroom, or is on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must wake up! 26 9

NIRV At noon Elijah began to tease them. "Shout louder!" he said. "I'm sure Baal is a god! Perhaps he has too much to think about. or maybe he has gone to the toilet. or Perhaps he's away on a trip. Maybe he's sleeping. You might have to wake him up. 37 10

NLT About noontime Elijah began mocking them. "You'll have to shout louder, " he scoffed, "for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened! 42 11

NOG At noon Elijah started to make fun of them. Shout louder, since he is a god. Maybe he's thinking, relieving himself, or traveling! Maybe he's sleeping, and you have to wake him! 30 12

OJB And it came to pass at tzohorayim, that Eliyahu mocked them, taunting, saying, Shout with a kol gadol (loud voice); for he is a g-d; either he is meditating, or he is pursuing [something], or ki derech lo ( Perhaps he had to travel, he's relieving himself), or Perhaps he sleepeth and must be awakened. 47 13

TLB About noontime, Elijah began mocking them. "You'll have to shout louder than that, " he scoffed, "to catch the attention of your god! Perhaps he is talking to someone, or is out sitting on the toilet, or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened! 27 14

TLV Now when it was about noon, Elijah mocked them and said, Shout louder! After all, he is a god! Maybe he's deep in thought, or he's relieving himself, or he's off on a journey, or Perhaps he's asleep and must wake up! 50 15

18 Translations Possibly Meaning Restroom

And 18 are possibly referring to going to the bathroom:

occupied, gone aside, busy, doing his business.

AMP At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied, or he is out [at the moment], or he is on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened! 3 16

AMPC At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. 4 17

ASV And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god: either he is musing, or he is gone aside, or he is on a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked. 2 18

DARBY And it came to pass at noon that Elijah mocked them and said, Cry aloud; for he is a god; for he is meditating, or gone aside, or he is on a journey; Perhaps he sleeps, and will awake. 10 19

EHV When noon came, Elijah mocked them: Shout louder! He is a god, isn't he? He may be deep in thought or busy or on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and will wake up! 13 20

ERV At noon Elijah began to make fun of them. He said, If Baal really is a god, maybe you should pray louder! Maybe he is busy. Maybe he is thinking about something, or maybe he stepped out for a moment! He could be sleeping! Maybe you should pray louder and wake him up! 12 21

EXB At noon Elijah began to ·make fun of [mock; taunt] them. ·Pray [Call; Shout] louder!" he said. "·If Baal really is [Since he is surely] a god, maybe he is ·thinking [preoccupied; daydreaming], or ·busy [has wandered away], or ·traveling [is on a trip/journey]! Maybe he is sleeping so you will have to wake him! 16 22

ICB At noon Elijah began to make fun of them. He said, Pray louder! If Baal really is a god, maybe he is thinking. or maybe he is busy or traveling! Maybe he is sleeping so you will have to wake him! 21 23

NABRE When it was noon, Elijah taunted them: Call louder, for he is a god; he may be busy doing his business, or may be on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. 31 24

NASB And at noon Elijah ridiculed them and said, Call out with a loud voice, since he is a god; undoubtedly he is attending to business, or is on the way, or is on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep, and will awaken. 32 25

NASB1995 It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or Perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened. 33 26

NCB At noon, Elijah mocked them and said, Cry out loud, for he is a god. He might be meditating, or maybe he has gone aside. Perhaps he is on a journey, or maybe he is asleep and needs to be woken up. 34 27

NCV At noon Elijah began to make fun of them. Pray louder!" he said. "If Baal really is a god, maybe he is thinking, or busy, or traveling! Maybe he is sleeping so you will have to wake him! 35 28

NIV At noon Elijah began to taunt them. Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened. 38 29

NIVUK At noon Elijah began to taunt them. Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or travelling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened. 39 30

NKJV And so it was, at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is meditating, or he is busy, or he is on a journey, or Perhaps he is sleeping and must be awakened. 40 31

RSV And at noon Eli′jah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. 48 32

RSVCE And at noon Eli′jah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a god; either he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened. 49 33

Remaining 22 Translations

The presentation of this data would have been nicer, but exceeded the 30,000 char limit:

AKJV
BRG
CEB
CSB
DRA
GNV
HCSB
KJ21
KJV
MEV
MSG
NET
NLV
NRSVA
NRSVACE
NRSVCE
NRSVUE
VOICE
WEB
WYC
YLT

The Data

And here is the full spreadsheet, tab-delimited, all of the data for all translations from the English translation summary page at Bible Gateway (link given previously):

index1  s1  XLTN    AT_NOON ELIJAH_MOCKED   AND_SAID    CRY_ALOUD   For_Baal_is_your    God and index2  s2  Phrase1 Potty Category  Phrase1 Category    Phrase 1    Potty Count Phrase2 Potty Category  Phrase2 Category    Phrase 2    Phrase3 Potty Category  Phrase3 Category    Phrase 3    index4  s4  Phrase4 Potty Category  Phrase4 Category    Phrase 4    Phrase 5    Phrase 6    Phrase 7    Phrase 8    indexZ
22      ISV Starting about noon,    Elijah began to tease them:     Shout louder! "he's a  god,         so  22      02 – Possibly Potty     maybe he's busy.    1   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  Maybe he's relieving himself.   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   Maybe he's busy someplace.  22      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he's taking a nap     and somebody needs to wake him up.              22
47      OJB And it came to pass at tzohorayim, that     Eliyahu mocked them,    taunting, saying,   Shout with a kol gadol (loud voice);    for he is a     g-d;        47      07 – Thinking       either he is meditating,    2   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  or he is pursuing [something],  01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  or ki derech lo (   47      01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  Perhaps he had to travel,   he's relieving himself),    or Perhaps he sleepeth  and must be awakened.       47
14      ESV And at noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a  god.                14      07 – Thinking       Either he is musing,    3   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  or he is relieving himself, 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  14      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               14
15      ESVUK   And at noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud, for he is a  god.                15      07 – Thinking       Either he is musing,    4   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  or he is relieving himself, 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  15      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               15
50      TLV Now when it was about noon, Elijah mocked them  and said,   Shout louder! After all, he is a  god!              50      07 – Thinking       Maybe he's deep in thought, 5   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  or he's relieving himself,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he's off on a journey,   50      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he's asleep  and must wake up!               50
42      NLT About noontime  Elijah began mocking them.      You"ll have to shout louder, " he scoffed, "for surely he is a  god!                42      07 – Thinking       Perhaps he is daydreaming,  6   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  or is relieving himself.    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or maybe he is away on a trip,  42      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or is asleep    and needs to be wakened!                42
19      GNT At noon     Elijah started making fun of them:      Pray louder! He is a  god!              19      07 – Thinking       Maybe he is day-dreaming    7   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  or relieving himself,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or Perhaps he's gone off on a trip! 19      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or maybe he's sleeping,     and you've got to wake him up!              19
18      GW  At noon     Elijah started to make fun of them.     Shout louder, since he is a  god.               18      07 – Thinking       Maybe he's thinking,    8   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  relieving himself,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or traveling!   18      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he's sleeping,    and you have to wake him!               18
30      NOG At noon     Elijah started to make fun of them.     Shout louder, since he is a  god.               30      07 – Thinking       Maybe he's thinking,    9   01 – Potty  Baal Relieving Himself  relieving himself,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or traveling!   30      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he's sleeping,    and you have to wake him!               30
23      JUB And it came to pass at noon that    Elijah mocked them  and said,   Cry aloud,  for he is a     god;        23      08 – Talking        peradventure he is talking  10  01 – Potty  Baal Using the Toilet   or he had to go to the latrine, 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  23      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or he sleeps    and will awake.             23
8       CJB Around noon     Eliyahu began ridiculing them:      Shout louder! After all, he's a  god,               8       07 – Thinking       isn't he? Maybe he's daydreaming,   11  01 – Potty  Baal Using the Toilet   or he's on the potty,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he's away on a trip.     8       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he's asleep,  and you have to wake him up.                8
27      TLB About noontime, Elijah began mocking them.      You"ll have to shout louder than that, " he scoffed, "to catch the attention of your  god!              27      08 – Talking        Perhaps he is talking to someone,   12  01 – Potty  Baal Using the Toilet   or is out sitting on the toilet,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or maybe he is away on a trip,  27      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or is asleep    and needs to be wakened!                27
26      LEB It happened at noon that    Elijah mocked them  and said,   Call out with a loud voice, for he is a  god!               26      07 – Thinking       Perhaps he is meditating,   13  01 – Potty  Baal Using the Toilet   or is using the bathroom,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or is on a journey. 26      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he is asleep    and must wake up!               26
37      NIRV    At noon     Elijah began to tease them.     Shout louder!" he said. "I"m sure Baal is a  god!               37      07 – Thinking       Perhaps he has too much to think about. 14  01 – Potty  Baal Using the Toilet   or maybe he has gone to the toilet. 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or Perhaps he's away on a trip.     37      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he's sleeping.    You might have to wake him up.              37
9       CEV At noon,    Elijah began making fun of them.        Pray louder!" he said. "Baal must be a  god.                9       07 – Thinking       Maybe he's daydreaming  15  01 – Potty  Baal Using the Toilet   or using the toilet 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or traveling somewhere. 9       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or maybe he's asleep,   and you have to wake him up.                9
3       AMP At noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry out with a loud voice, for he is a  god;                3       02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   either he is occupied,  13  03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or he is out [at the moment],   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey.  3       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he is asleep    and must be awakened!               3
32      NASB    And at noon     Elijah ridiculed them   and said,   Call out with a loud voice, since he is a  god;             32      02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   undoubtedly he is attending to business,    15  03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or is on the way,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or is on a journey. 32      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he is asleep,   and will awaken.                32
31      NABRE   When it was noon,   Elijah taunted them:        Call louder, for he is a  god;              31      02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   he may be busy doing his business,  1               06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or may be on a journey. 31      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he is asleep    and must be awakened.               31
12      ERV At noon     Elijah began to make fun of them.   He said,    If Baal really is a  god,               12      09 – Pray Louder        maybe you should pray louder!   1   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   Maybe he is busy.   07 – Thinking   THINKING    Maybe he is thinking about something,   12      06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or maybe he stepped out for a moment!   He could be sleeping!   Maybe you should pray louder and wake him up!           12
16      EXB At noon     Elijah began to ·make fun of [mock; taunt] them.    ·Pray [Call; Shout] louder!" he said. "·If Baal really is [Since he is surely] a  god,              16      07 – Thinking       maybe he is ·thinking [preoccupied; daydreaming],   2   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   or ·busy [has wandered away],   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or ·traveling [is on a trip/journey]!   16      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he is sleeping    so you will have to wake him!               16
13      EHV When noon came, Elijah mocked them:     Shout louder! He is a  god,             13      07 – Thinking       isn't he? He may be deep in thought 3   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   or busy 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or on a journey.    13      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he is asleep    and will wake up!               13
38      NIV At noon     Elijah began to taunt them.     Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a  god!               38      07 – Thinking       Perhaps he is deep in thought,  4   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   or busy,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or traveling.   38      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he is sleeping    and must be awakened.               38
39      NIVUK   At noon     Elijah began to taunt them.     Shout louder!" he said. "Surely he is a  god!               39      07 – Thinking       Perhaps he is deep in thought,  5   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   or busy,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or travelling.  39      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he is sleeping    and must be awakened.               39
35      NCV At noon     Elijah began to make fun of them.       Pray louder!" he said. "If Baal really is a  god,               35      07 – Thinking       maybe he is thinking,   6   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   or busy,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or traveling!   35      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he is sleeping    so you will have to wake him!               35
40      NKJV    And so it was, at noon, that    Elijah mocked them  and said,   Cry aloud, for he is a  god;                40      07 – Thinking       either he is meditating,    7   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   or he is busy,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  40      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is sleeping   and must be awakened.               40
21      ICB At noon     Elijah began to make fun of them.   He said,    Pray louder! If Baal really is a  god,              21      07 – Thinking       maybe he is thinking.   8   02 – Possibly Potty Busy (Relieving Himself?)   or maybe he is busy 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or traveling!   21      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Maybe he is sleeping    so you will have to wake him!               21
33      NASB1995    It came about at noon, that     Elijah mocked them  and said,   Call out with a loud voice, for he is a  god;               33      02 – Possibly Potty     either he is occupied   9   02 – Possibly Potty gone aside  or gone aside,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or is on a journey, 33      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.               33
10      DARBY   And it came to pass at noon that    Elijah mocked them  and said,   Cry aloud;  for he is a     god;        10      07 – Thinking       for he is meditating,   10  02 – Possibly Potty gone aside  or gone aside,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey;  10      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he sleeps,  and will awake.             10
4       AMPC    At noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud,  for he is a     god;        4       07 – Thinking       either he is musing,    11  02 – Possibly Potty gone aside  or he has gone aside,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  4       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               4
48      RSV And at noon     Eli′jah mocked them,    saying, Cry aloud, for he is a  god;                48      07 – Thinking       either he is musing,    12  02 – Possibly Potty gone aside  or he has gone aside,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  48      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               48
49      RSVCE   And at noon     Eli′jah mocked them,    saying, Cry aloud, for he is a  god;                49      07 – Thinking       either he is musing,    13  02 – Possibly Potty gone aside  or he has gone aside,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  49      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               49
2       ASV And it came to pass at noon, that   Elijah mocked them, and said,   Cry aloud;  for he is a     god:        2       07 – Thinking       either he is musing,    14  02 – Possibly Potty gone aside  or he is gone aside,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  2       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or peradventure he sleepeth and must be awaked.             2
34      NCB At noon,    Elijah mocked them  and said,   Cry out loud, for he is a  god.             34      07 – Thinking       He might be meditating, 15  02 – Possibly Potty gone aside  or maybe he has gone aside. 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   Perhaps he is on a journey, 34      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or maybe he is asleep   and needs to be woken up.               34
53      WYC_A   And when it was then midday,    Elijah scorned them,    and said,   Cry ye with [a] greater voice,  for Baal is your    god,        53      08 – Talking        and in hap he speaketh with another,    1   03 – Somewhere  at a Motel  either he is in a harbourgerie, 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   either in the way,  53      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    either certainly he sleepeth,   that he be raised up.               53
54      WYC_B   And when it was midday, Elijah scorned them,    and said,   Cry ye with a greater voice,    for Baal is your    god,    and     54      08 – Talking        Perhaps he speaketh with another,   2   03 – Somewhere  at a Motel  or else he is at an inn,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or is on the way,   54      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or certainly he sleepeth,   so that he must be raised up.               54
11      DRA And when it was now noon,   Elias jested at them,   saying: Cry with a louder voice:    for he is a     god,    and     11      08 – Talking        Perhaps he is talking,  3   03 – Somewhere  at a Motel  or is in an inn,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or on a journey,    11      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep,    and must be awaked.             11
28      MSG By noon,    Elijah had started making fun of them,  taunting,   Call a little louder—   he is a     god,    after all.  28      07 – Thinking       Maybe he's off meditating somewhere or other,   4   03 – Somewhere  busy at Project or maybe he's gotten involved in a project, 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or maybe he's on vacation.  28      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    You don"t suppose he's overslept, do you,   and needs to be waked up?"  They prayed louder and louder,  cutting themselves with swords  and knives—a ritual common to them—until they were covered with blood.  28
6       CSB At noon     Elijah mocked them. He said,    Shout loudly, for he's a  god!              6       07 – Thinking       Maybe he's thinking it over;    5   03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  maybe he has wandered away; 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or maybe he's on the road.  6       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he's sleeping   and will wake up!               6
20      HCSB    At noon     Elijah mocked them. He said,    Shout loudly, for he's a  god!              20      07 – Thinking       Maybe he's thinking it over;    6   03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  maybe he has wandered away; 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or maybe he's on the road.  20      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he's sleeping   and will wake up!               20
41      NLV At noon     Elijah made fun of them.    He said,    Call out with a loud voice, for he is a  god.               41      07 – Thinking       It might be that he is in deep thought  7   03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or has turned away.     06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   He could be away traveling. 41      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or it may be that he is asleep  and needs to have someone wake him.             41
52      WEB At noon,    Elijah mocked them, and said,   Cry aloud; for he is a  god.                52      07 – Thinking       Either he is deep in thought,   8   03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or he has gone somewhere,   06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  52      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he sleeps    and must be awakened.               52
43      NRSVA   At noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud! Surely he is a  god;             43      07 – Thinking       either he is meditating,    9   03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or he has wandered away,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  43      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               43
44      NRSVACE At noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud! Surely he is a  god;             44      07 – Thinking       either he is meditating,    10  03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or he has wandered away,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  44      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               44
45      NRSVCE  At noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud! Surely he is a  god;             45      07 – Thinking       either he is meditating,    11  03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or he has wandered away,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  45      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               45
46      NRSVUE  At noon     Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry aloud! Surely he is a  god;             46      07 – Thinking       either he is meditating,    12  03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or he has wandered away,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  46      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.               46
29      MEV By noon,    Elijah mocked them, saying, Cry out loud,   for he is a     god.        29      08 – Talking        Either he is talking    14  03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or is gone away 06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or is on a journey, 29      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.               29
36      NET At noon     Elijah mocked them,     Yell louder! After all, he is a  god;               36      07 – Thinking       he may be deep in thought,  16  03 – Somewhere  gone somewhere  or Perhaps he stepped out for a moment  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or has taken a trip.    36      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he is sleeping  and needs to be awakened.               36
7       CEB Around noon,    Elijah started making fun of them:      Shout louder! Certainly he's a  god!                7       07 – Thinking       Perhaps he is lost in thought   17  03 – Somewhere  Gone Wandering  or wandering    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or traveling somewhere. 7       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or maybe he is asleep   and must wake up!               7
17      GNV And at noon     Elijah mocked them, and said,   Cry aloud:  for he is a     god:        17      08 – Talking        either he talketh   1   04 – Pursuing Enemies   Pursuing Enemies    or pursueth his enemies,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or is in his journey,   17      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or it may be that he sleepeth,  and must be awaked.             17
5       BRG And it came to pass at noon, that   Elijah mocked them, and said,   Cry aloud:  for he is a     god;        5       08 – Talking        either he is talking,   2   04 – Pursuing Enemies   pursuing something  or he is pursuing,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is in a journey,  5       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or peradventure he sleepeth,    and must be awaked.             5
24      KJV And it came to pass at noon, that   Elijah mocked them, and said,   Cry aloud:  for he is a     god;        24      08 – Talking        either he is talking,   3   04 – Pursuing Enemies   pursuing something  or he is pursuing,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is in a journey,  24      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or peradventure he sleepeth,    and must be awaked.             24
25      AKJV    And it came to pass at noon, that   Elijah mocked them, and said,   Cry aloud:  for he is a     god;        25      08 – Talking        either he is talking,   4   04 – Pursuing Enemies   pursuing something  or he is pursuing,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is in a journey,  25      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or peradventure he sleepeth,    and must be awaked.             25
1       KJ21    And it came to pass at noon that    Elijah mocked them  and said,   Cry aloud, for he is a  god!                1       08 – Talking        Either he is talking,   5   04 – Pursuing Enemies   pursuing something  or he is pursuing,  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or he is on a journey,  1       05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or Perhaps he sleepeth  and must be awakened.               1
55      YLT And it cometh to pass, at noon, that    Elijah playeth on them, and saith,  Call with a loud voice, for he [is] a  god,             55      07 – Thinking       for he is meditating,   6   04 – Pursuing Enemies   pursuing something  or pursuing,    06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or on a journey;    55      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    it may be he is asleep, an doth awake.              55
51      VOICE   At about midday,    Elijah began provoking them. Elijah:        You have to shout louder than that!     The one to whom you cry out certainly must be a     god!        51      07 – Thinking       Perhaps he is daydreaming   1   05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    or napping  06 – On a Journey   on a Trip   or away from his heavenly throne.   51      05 – Sleeping   Sleeping    Perhaps he is in a deep sleep,  and you must wake him up.   Shout louder!           51
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  • @NigelJ - It may answer my question, but I'm not sure (and I'm not yet sure I agree with any of the answers there). Additionally, this question adds a lot of value to the other question because I included all translations easily available, and many synonyms are now searchable to find this info if you link the two questions: Latrine, Loo, Potty, etc. Finally, I want to see if any fresh research will turn up. Jul 25, 2022 at 2:27
  • @NigelJ - A full 27.3% (15/55) of translations indicate Elijah mocking Baal by painting a picture of him either urinating or defacating, which is very effective for mocking, which is what Elijah was doing. That, to me, shows a higher confidence for this translation than the other question's answers would indicate. Jul 25, 2022 at 2:42
  • 3
    I'm staggered you spent so much effort on this. Was it really worth it ?
    – Nigel J
    Jul 25, 2022 at 9:09
  • 2
    I understand what you are saying and I do, myself, search scripture, word by word. But I seek out the Christ of God, for my own salvation, because my life is short and time is uncertain. Fare thee well on thy brief journey. Regards.
    – Nigel J
    Jul 25, 2022 at 12:59
  • 1
    @NigelJ - Thank you. And you as well! Jul 25, 2022 at 12:59

1 Answer 1

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The answer to this question depends on what is meant by the Hebrew word שִׂ֛יג (from שִׂיג) - it is used only once in the Old Testament, and is defined by Strong's as:

  • "Pursuing"
  • From suwg; a withdrawal (into a private place) -- pursuing.

Many translations & commentaries understand this term to mean attending to some business transaction or being otherwise distracted. E.g. Benson's commentary:

[pursuing] His enemies, or hunting and pursuing the prey. He is employed about some other business, and is not at leisure to mind you. For, being a god of a small and narrow understanding, he cannot mind two things at once; and you are unreasonable to expect it from him.

However, some understand this word to be a euphemism for relieving oneself, e.g. the Pulpit commentary:

Hebrew for he hath a withdrawal, i.e., for the purpose of relieving himself. A euphemism.

The general idea is that Baal has withdrawn himself to attend to other priorities or needs: he's busy.

Opinion is divided as to whether this means he's busy "on the toilet" or just generically busy without specifying why.

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  • I thought the general idea was mocking. Insinuating that he was "excreting" would also highlight how much Baal was lacking as a god. But insinuating that Baal is in the porta-potty getting rid of his waste does a really good job of mocking, don't you think? Jul 25, 2022 at 2:20
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    Good, "restrained" (factually correct) answer.
    – Dottard
    Jul 25, 2022 at 2:23
  • I guess if Baal is too busy with "private" matters to answer his loyal worshippers (even though they've been there for hours), that would also point out the shortcomings of this fake god -- but it would not be as good in the mocking department as Elijah painting the picture of Baal "excreting" as some of the research in this lengthy answer reveals. Jul 25, 2022 at 2:32
  • A full 27.3% (15/55) of translations indicate Elijah mocking Baal by painting a picture of him either urinating or defacating, which is very effective for mocking, which is what Elijah was doing. Interestingly, the GNV translates your Hebrew "pursuing" word the following way: "And at noon Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god: either he talketh or pursueth his enemies, or is in his journey, or it may be that he sleepeth, and must be awaked." Jul 25, 2022 at 3:00
  • Can you comment on this answer where he states that 'χρηματίζει might just as well have been translated "is doing his business".' and also 'that he is on a journey refers to a journey to the "water closet".' Here is a link to the Rashi that I believe he's referencing, which highlights the "journey" part of the verse as translation for going to the bathroom, not the "pursuing" word as you indicate. The Orthodox Jewish Bible OJB has this sense. Jul 25, 2022 at 3:29

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