sixty years after the division of Israel into two kingdoms, Asa, a
good king who did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, ruled in
Judah, while Ahab ruled in Samaria.
came to pass that Ahab, who did evil in the sight of the Lord,
took as a wife Jezebel, a princess of Zidonia who worshiped Baal.
Ahab planted a grove
and reared up an altar and a temple to Baal in Samaria. Ahab did
more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings
of Israel who had preceded him.
Then did the
prophet Elijah the Tishbite say unto Ahab, "According to the
word of the Lord God of Israel, there shall be neither rain nor
dew in the land for many years."
Lest the people
blame Elijah for the drought he had prophesied, God sent him to
hide himself by a brook, Chernith, near Jordan, and He commanded
the ravens to feed him. After a while, since there was no rain,
the brook dried up. Then God sent Elijah to dwell in Zarephath,
saying, "I have commanded a widow woman there to feed
Elijah did as he
was told, and when he came to the gates of the city, he met the
widow gathering sticks. He called to her and said, "Bring me
a little water, for I am very thirsty, and a morsel of
answered, "A little water I can bring you, but I have no
bread, only a handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil left in
my pitcher. I am gathering sticks now to cook it for me and my son
so that we may eat before we die."
And Elijah said
to her, "Do as you have said, but also give some to me. For
the Lord has said that neither the barrel nor the pitcher shall be
empty until the day He sends rain to end the famine." And
they had food for many days from the widow's small storehouse.
Then the widow's
son fell sick and was near death. The poor woman went to Elijah
and cried, "What have I done that my son should die?"
Elijah took her
son and carried him up into the loft where he slept, and laid him
on his own bed. He cried to God, "O Lord, why do You bring
evil upon the widow who has fed me?" And he bowed beside the
child and prayed, "O Lord, my God, let this child live."
The Lord heard
the voice of Elijah, and the child revived. Elijah took the boy,
carried him down to his mother, and said, "See, your son
Then the widow
answered, "Now I know that you are a true prophet of God and
that you speak the words of the Lord."