Widow of Zarephath

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The widow of Zarephath was commanded by God to provide aid to the prophet Elijah.

Biography[edit]

Flour and oil[edit]

During a drought in Israel, God commanded Elijah to go to the widow in Zarephath.

Arise [Elijah], go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.

— 1 Kings 17:9 (AMP)

When Elijah arrived, he saw the widow gathering firewood. Elijah asked her to provide jar of water. As she was leaving to bring the water, Elijah asked for a piece of bread, but the widow informed him that she did not have any bread, only some four and oil, what she believed to be the last meal for her and her son.

As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar. See, I am gathering a few sticks so that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it [as our last meal] and die.

— 1 Kings 17:12 (AMP)

Elijah reassured the widow and told her to bake bread for him and that God for going to provide her and her son with an endless supply of flour and oil.

Do not fear; go and do as you have said. Just make me a little bread from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For this is what the Lord God of Israel says: The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted nor shall the jar of oil be empty until the day that the Lord sends rain [again] on the face of the earth.

— 1 Kings 17:13–17:14 (AMP)

The widow did as she was asked and brought Elijah water and bread, and as the Lord promised, she had a supply of flour and oil that never exhausted.

Her son[edit]

Some time after this, her son fell ill and died. The widow asked Elijah why her son died.

What [problem] is there between you and me, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to mind and to put my son to death?

— 1 Kings 17:18 (AMP)

Elijah then asked the widow to brought him her son. The widow did this, and Elijah prayed to God and asked Him to restore life to the widow's son. God heard Elijah's prayers and brought the son back to life. Elijah brought the son back to the widow, and the widow acknowledged Elijah as God's prophet and acknowledged God's word as the truth.

Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.

— 1 Kings 17:24 (AMP)