1 Kings 17:1-7 . ELIJAH, PROPHESYING AGAINST AHAB, IS SENT TO CHERITH.
1 Kings 17:8-16 . HE IS SENT TO A WIDOW OF ZAREPHATH.
8-16. the word of the Lord came to him--Zarephath, Sarepta, now Surafend, whither he was directed to go, was far away on the western coast of Palestine, about nine miles south of Sidon, and within the dominions of Jezebel's impious father, where the famine also prevailed. Meeting, at his entrance into the town, the very woman who was appointed by divine providence to support him, his faith was severely tested by learning from her that her supplies were exhausted and that she was preparing her last meal for herself and son. The Spirit of God having prompted him to ask, and her to grant, some necessary succor, she received a prophet's reward ( Matthew 10:41 Matthew 10:42 ), and for the one meal afforded to him, God, by a miraculous increase of the little stock, afforded many to her.
1 Kings 17:17-24 . HE RAISES HER SON TO LIFE.
17-24. the son of the woman, the mistress of the house, fell sick--A severe domestic calamity seems to have led her to think that, as God had shut up heaven upon a sinful land in consequence of the prophet, she was suffering on a similar account. Without answering her bitter upbraiding, the prophet takes the child, lays it on his bed, and after a very earnest prayer, had the happiness of seeing its restoration, and along with it, gladness to the widow's heart and home. The prophet was sent to this widow, not merely for his own security, but on account of her faith, to strengthen and promote which he was directed to go to her rather than to many widows in Israel, who would have eagerly received him on the same privileged terms of exception from the grinding famine. The relief of her bodily necessities became the preparatory means of supplying her spiritual wants, and bringing her and her son, through the teachings of the prophet, to a clear knowledge of God, and a firm faith in His word ( Luke 4:25 ).