1 Kings 17:1-16

Elijah and the ravens

1 Elijah from Tishbe, who was one of the settlers in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As surely as the LORD lives, Israel's God, the one I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain these years unless I say so."
2 Then the LORD's word came to Elijah:
3 Go from here and turn east. Hide by the Cherith Brook that faces the Jordan River.
4 You can drink from the brook. I have also ordered the ravens to provide for you there.
5 Elijah went and did just what the LORD said. He stayed by the Cherith Brook that faced the Jordan River.
6 The ravens brought bread and meat in the mornings and evenings. He drank from the Cherith Brook.
7 After a while the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land.

Elijah and the widow from Zarephath

8 The LORD's word came to Elijah:
9 Get up and go to Zarephath near Sidon and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to take care of you.
10 Elijah left and went to Zarephath. As he came to the town gate, he saw a widow collecting sticks. He called out to her, "Please get a little water for me in this cup so I can drink."
11 She went to get some water. He then said to her, "Please get me a piece of bread."
12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any food; only a handful of flour in a jar and a bit of oil in a bottle. Look at me. I'm collecting two sticks so that I can make some food for myself and my son. We'll eat the last of the food and then die."
13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid! Go and do what you said. Only make a little loaf of bread for me first. Then bring it to me. You can make something for yourself and your son after that.
14 This is what Israel's God, the LORD, says: The jar of flour won't decrease and the bottle of oil won't run out until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth."
15 The widow went and did what Elijah said. So the widow, Elijah, and the widow's household ate for many days.
16 The jar of flour didn't decrease nor did the bottle of oil run out, just as the LORD spoke through Elijah.

1 Kings 17:1-16 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO 1 KINGS 17

This chapter begins with a prophecy of Elijah, that there should be want of rain for some years to come, and he is directed to go first to the brook Cherith, where he should be fed by ravens, 1Ki 17:1-7, and afterwards he is sent to a widow at Zarephath, where he, she, and her son, were supported for a considerable time with a handful of meal, and a little oil in a cruse miraculously increased, 1Ki 17:8-16, whose son falling sick and dying, he restored to life, 1Ki 17:17-24.

1 Kings 17:1-16 In-Context

1 Elijah from Tishbe, who was one of the settlers in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As surely as the LORD lives, Israel's God, the one I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain these years unless I say so."
2 Then the LORD's word came to Elijah:
3 Go from here and turn east. Hide by the Cherith Brook that faces the Jordan River.
4 You can drink from the brook. I have also ordered the ravens to provide for you there.
5 Elijah went and did just what the LORD said. He stayed by the Cherith Brook that faced the Jordan River.
6 The ravens brought bread and meat in the mornings and evenings. He drank from the Cherith Brook.
7 After a while the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land.
8 The LORD's word came to Elijah:
9 Get up and go to Zarephath near Sidon and stay there. I have ordered a widow there to take care of you.
10 Elijah left and went to Zarephath. As he came to the town gate, he saw a widow collecting sticks. He called out to her, "Please get a little water for me in this cup so I can drink."
11 She went to get some water. He then said to her, "Please get me a piece of bread."
12 "As surely as the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any food; only a handful of flour in a jar and a bit of oil in a bottle. Look at me. I'm collecting two sticks so that I can make some food for myself and my son. We'll eat the last of the food and then die."
13 Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid! Go and do what you said. Only make a little loaf of bread for me first. Then bring it to me. You can make something for yourself and your son after that.
14 This is what Israel's God, the LORD, says: The jar of flour won't decrease and the bottle of oil won't run out until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth."
15 The widow went and did what Elijah said. So the widow, Elijah, and the widow's household ate for many days.
16 The jar of flour didn't decrease nor did the bottle of oil run out, just as the LORD spoke through Elijah.
17 After these things, the son of the widow, who was the matriarch of the household, became ill. His sickness got steadily worse until he wasn't breathing anymore.
18 She said to Elijah, "What's gone wrong between us, man of God? Have you come to me to call attention to my sin and kill my son?"
19 Elijah replied, "Give your son to me." He took her son from her and carried him to the upper room where he was staying. Elijah laid him on his bed.
20 Elijah cried out to the LORD, "LORD my God, why is it that you have brought such evil upon the widow that I am staying with by killing her son?"