Elijah was from Tishbe in the land of Gilead. He said to Ahab, "I serve the Lord. He is the God of Israel. You can be sure that he lives. And you can be just as sure that there won't be any dew or rain on the whole land. There won't be any during the next few years. It won't come until I say so."
Then a message from the LORD came to Elijah. It said,
"Leave this place. Go east and hide in the Kerith Valley. It is east of the Jordan River.
You will drink water from the brook. I have ordered some ravens to feed you there."
So Elijah did what the LORD had told him to do. He went to the Kerith Valley. It was east of the Jordan River. He stayed there.
The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning. They also brought him bread and meat in the evening. He drank water from the brook.
Some time later the brook dried up. It hadn't rained in the land for quite a while.
A message came to Elijah from the Lord. He said,
"Go right away to Zarephath in the territory of Sidon. Stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food."
So Elijah went to Zarephath. He came to the town gate. A widow was there gathering sticks. He called out to her. He asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar? I need a drink."
She went to get the water. Then he called out to her, "Please bring me a piece of bread too."
"I don't have any bread," she replied. "And that's just as sure as the LORD your God is alive. All I have is a small amount of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I'm gathering a few sticks to take home. I'll make one last meal for myself and my son. We'll eat it. After that, we'll die."
Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home. Do what you have said. But first make a little bread for me. Make it out of what you have. Bring it to me. Then make some for yourself and your son.
"The LORD is the God of Israel. He says, 'The jar of flour will not be used up. The jug will always have oil in it. You will have flour and oil until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.' "
She went away and did what Elijah had told her to do. So Elijah had food every day. There was also food for the woman and her family.
The jar of flour wasn't used up. The jug always had oil in it. That's what the LORD had said would happen. He had spoken that message through Elijah.
Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. He got worse and worse. Finally he stopped breathing.
The woman said to Elijah, "You are a man of God. What do you have against me? Did you come to bring my sin out into the open? Did you come to kill my son?"
"Give me your son," Elijah replied. He took him from her arms. He carried him to the upstairs room where he was staying. He put him down on his bed.
Then Elijah cried out to the Lord. He said, "LORD my God, I'm staying with this widow. Have you brought pain and sorrow to her? Have you caused her son to die?"
Then he lay down on the boy three times. He cried out to the Lord. He said, "LORD my God, give this boy's life back to him!"
The LORD answered Elijah's prayer. He gave the boy's life back to him. So the boy lived.
Elijah picked up the boy. He carried him down from the upstairs room into the house. He gave him to his mother. He said, "Look! Your son is alive!"
Then the woman said to Elijah, "Now I know that you are a man of God. I know that the message you have brought from the LORD is true."