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1 Kings 17

Ravens feed Elijah

1 Elijah came from a place called Tishbe in Gilead. So, Elijah was a Tishbite. Elijah said to Ahab, ‘I am a servant of the LORD, the God of Israel. As surely as God is alive, no water will appear on the ground during the night in the next few years. And it will not rain. I will say when it will rain. It will not rain until then.’ 2 Then, the word of the LORD came to Elijah. 3 The LORD said, ‘Leave here! Go to the east. And hide by the stream called Cherith, east of the River Jordan. 4 You will drink water from the stream and the ravens will feed you there. I have said to them that they must do this.’ 5 So Elijah obeyed the word of the LORD. He went. And he lived by the stream called Cherith, east of the River Jordan. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening. He drank water from the stream.

The widow at Zarephath

7 There was no rain in the country of Israel, so the stream became dry after a time.

8 Then the word of the LORD came again to Elijah. 9 ‘Go immediately to Zarephath near Sidon. Stay there. I have said to a widow there that she must supply you with food.’ 10 So Elijah went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, he met a widow. She was getting some small sticks. Elijah spoke to her and he asked her, ‘Please bring me some water in a jar, so that I can drink it.’ 11 While she was getting it, he said, ‘And bring me, please, a bit of bread.’ 12 She replied, ‘As surely as the LORD your God is alive, I do not have any bread. I have only a small amount of flour in a jar. I have also a small amount of oil to cook with. I am getting a few small sticks to take home. Then I will make a meal for myself and for my son. We will eat it. Then we will die because there is no more food.’ 13 Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid. Go home. And do what you have said. But first, make a small cake of bread for me. Use what you have got to make it. Then bring it to me. And after that, make something for yourself and for your son. 14 This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says. “You will not use all the flour in your jar. You will not use all the oil. Before you use them all, the LORD will give rain to the country called Israel.” ’ 15 Then the widow went away. And she did what Elijah had asked her to do. And after that, there was food every day for Elijah and for the widow and her family. 16 She did not use all the flour in the jar and she did not use all the oil. And that is what Elijah had promised. He did it when he spoke the word of the LORD.

17 Some time after that, the son of the woman who had the house became ill. He became worse and worse until he died. 18 The woman said to Elijah, ‘Servant of God, why have you done this to me? Did you come to cause me to think about my sins? Did you come to kill my son?’ 19 ‘Give your son to me’, Elijah replied. He took her son from her arms. Elijah carried him upstairs, to the room where he was staying. He put the widow's son on to his bed. 20 Then Elijah prayed this to the LORD. ‘LORD, you are my God! Did you cause this sad thing to happen to this widow? Did you cause the son of the widow that I am staying with to die?’ 21 Then Elijah lay on the boy three times. He prayed to the LORD. ‘LORD, you are my God! Cause this boy's life to return to him!’ 22 The LORD heard Elijah when he prayed. The boy's life returned to him. He was alive again! 23 Elijah picked up the boy and he carried him downstairs. He took the boy from his room into the house. He gave the boy to his mother and he said, ‘Look! Your son is alive!’ 24 Then the woman said to Elijah, ‘Now I know that God sent you. The word of the LORD that you speak is really true.’

Notes about chapter 17

17:24Verse 2. The deep valley of Cherith is about 40 miles north of the Dead Sea. The stream, Cherith, went through this valley.
17:24Verse 10. Towns had walls round them. The way in was through the ‘town gate’.