1 Kings 17:1-24

Elijah and the widow

1 There was a prophet called Elijah who came from Tishbe in Gilead. He said to King Ahab, ‘I am a servant of the Lord, Israel's God. As surely as God lives, there will be no rain or dew for the next few years. Nothing will make the ground wet until I command it to happen.’

2 Then the Lord told Elijah, 3 ‘Leave here! Go to the east. Hide in the Cherith valley, east of the Jordan river. 4 You will drink water from the stream. I have also commanded the ravens to feed you there.’ 5 Elijah obeyed the Lord's message. He went to live in the Cherith valley, near the Jordan river. 6 The ravens brought him bread and meat to eat, every morning and every evening. He drank water from the stream.

17:3The Cherith valley is about 40 miles north of the Dead Sea. The stream, Cherith, went through this valley.

7 After some time the stream became dry, because there had been no rain in the whole land.

8 Then the Lord told Elijah, 9 ‘Go now to Zarephath in the region of Sidon. Go and live there. I have told a widow who lives there that she must give you food to eat.’

10 So Elijah went to Zarephath. When he arrived at the town gate, he met a widow. She was picking up some sticks. Elijah asked her, ‘Please bring me some water in a jar, so that I can drink it.’ 11 While she went to get it, he said, ‘Please bring me a piece of bread too.’ 12 She replied, ‘As surely as the Lord your God lives, I do not have any bread. I have only a small amount of flour in a bowl and some olive oil in a small jar. I am now picking up a few sticks to take home. Then I will cook a meal for myself and for my son. We will eat it. Then we will die because there is nothing else to eat.’

17:10Towns had walls around them. The entrance was through the ‘town gate’.

13 Elijah said to her, ‘Do not be afraid. Go home and do what you have said. But first, use some of your flour to make a small piece of bread for me. Then bring it to me. After that, you should make something for yourself and for your son. 14 This is what the Lord, Israel's God, says: “You will not use all the flour in your bowl. You will not use all the oil in your jar. They will not become empty until the day when the Lord causes rain to fall on the ground again.” ’

15 Then the widow went home. She did what Elijah had told her to do. After that, there was enough food every day for Elijah and for the widow and her family. 16 The flour in the bowl and the olive oil in the jar never finished. The Lord had promised Eijah that this would happen.

17 Some time after that, the widow's son became ill. He became very ill until he could no longer breathe. 18 The woman said to Elijah, ‘Servant of God, why have you come to hurt me like this? Did you come to kill my son so that I would remember all my sins?’ 19 Elijah replied, ‘Give your son to me.’ He took her son from her arms. He carried the boy upstairs, to the room where he was staying. He put the boy down to lie on his bed. 20 Then Elijah prayed to the Lord, ‘Lord, my God! Why have you caused such bad trouble to happen to this kind widow? I came to stay with her and now you have killed her son!’ 21 Then Elijah lay with his body across the boy. He did that three times. He prayed to the Lord, ‘Lord, my God, please cause this boy's life to return to him!’ 22 The Lord answered Elijah's prayer. The boy started to breathe again. He was alive! 23 Elijah picked up the boy. He carried him down 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 you are a servant of God. The words that you speak are truly a message from the Lord.’