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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: 1 Kings

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FRAMEWORKS: 1 Kings 17: Elijah (Part 1)


v.1 Elijah Announces a Great Drought

v.2-6 Elijah Fed by Ravens

v.7-9 The Lord tells Elijah to go to Zarephath

v.10-24 Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath



v.1 Elijah Announces a Great Drought


v.1 Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”


[Notes: The focus turns away from the kings of Israel to the ministry of Elijah [whose name means “My God is Yah(weh)”]. Little is known about him apart from the fact that he came from Tishbe, a town identified as ‘in Gilead' an area to the east of the Jordan. He confronts Ahab in Samaria with a prophecy that there will be no rain for three years. He will declare when it is to end.]



v.2-6 Elijah Fed by Ravens


v.2 Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: 

v.3  “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. 

v.4 You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.” 

v.5 So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. 

v.6 The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.


[Notes: The word comes from the Lord to Elijah to leave (Samaria) and travel to a brook (small river) in a gorge to the east of the Jordan, thought to be north of Tishbe, his home territory, presumably to stay well out of Ahab's reach. There he gets droppings from the local ravens.]



v.7-9 The Lord tells Elijah to go to Zarephath


v.7 Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 

v.8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 

v.9 “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 


[Notes: That supply is limited by the drought drying up the brook at which point the Lord tells him to travel to the far north to Zarephath where the Lord will further provide for him using a widow who lives there.]



v.10-24 Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath


v.10-12 He meets a poor widow

v.10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 

v.11  As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” 

v.12 “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don't have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 


v.13-16 He instructs her on a miracle of provision

v.13 Elijah said to her, “Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 

v.14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.' ” 

v.15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 

v.16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. 


v.17-24 Elijah revives her dead son

v.17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 

v.18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” 

v.19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. 

v.20 Then he cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” 

v.21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, let this boy's life return to him!” 

v.22 The LORD heard Elijah's cry, and the boy's life returned to him, and he lived. 

v.23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” 

v.24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”


[Notes: The subheadings above reveal the stages of his life in the north. First, on arriving at Zarephath, he encounters the widow from whom he requests bread and water. In her reply she indicates she has but a little flour and some oil. Second, he tests her hospitality and faith by telling her to go and bake him a small loaf and she will find that God will provide for her until the drought ends. And so it happens. Third, she has a crisis when her son appears to be dying. She challenges Elijah and he cries out to the Lord for the apparently dead boy to be revived. And so it happens.]