1 Kings 17 – “Elijah and the Widow”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Elijah promises to stop the rains. He performs two miracles for a widow, granting her an unlimited supply of food and healing her son.

II. Photo
Elijah performs a miracle for the widow: “The jar of flour shall not give out and the jug of oil shall not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain upon the ground.” (v. 14b)

III. Important Verses
1:  Elijah the Tishbite, an inhabitant of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD lives, the God of Israel whom I serve, there will be no dew or rain except at my bidding.”
10-16: So he went at once to Zarephath. When he came to the entrance of the town, a widow was there gathering wood. He called out to her, “Please bring me a little water in your pitcher, and let me drink.” As she went to fetch it, he called out to her, “Please bring along a piece of bread for me.”  “As the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I have nothing baked, nothing but a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am just gathering a couple of sticks, so that I can go home and prepare it for me and my son; we shall eat it and then we shall die.”  “Don’t be afraid,” said Elijah to her. “Go and do as you have said; but first make me a small cake from what you have there, and bring it out to me; then make some for yourself and your son. For thus said the LORD, the God of Israel: The jar of flour shall not give out and the jug of oil shall not fail until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the ground.” She went and did as Elijah had spoken, and she and he and her household had food for a long time. The jar of flour did not give out, nor did the jug of oil fail, just as the LORD had spoken through Elijah.
22-24: The LORD heard Elijah’s plea; the child’s life returned to his body, and he revived. Elijah picked up the child and brought him down from the upper room into the main room, and gave him to his mother. “See,” said Elijah, “your son is alive.” And the woman answered Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD is truly in your mouth.”

IV. Outline
1. Elijah warns Ahab about the rains
2-4. God tells Elijah to travel to Wadi Cherith
5-6. Elijah travels to the wadi and is fed by ravens
7. The wadi dries up
8-9. God tells Elijah to travel Zarephath
10-16. Elijah is miraculously supported by a widow
17-24. Elijah heals the widow’s son

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
De Vries, Simon John. “1 Kings” Word Biblical Commentary vol. 12 (Waco, Texas: Wordbooks, 1985).
Longe, Burke O. “1 Kings with an Introduction to Historical Literature” Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 9 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 1984).
Photo taken from http://www.bakesourdough.com/images/uploads/one%20cup%20of%20flour.jpg