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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 17

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1Elijah the Tishbite from Tishbe in Gilead said to Ahab, ‘I swear by the life of the LORD the God of Israel, whose servant I am, that there will be neither dew nor rain these coming years unless I give the word.’ 2Then the word of the LORD came to him: 3‘Leave this place, turn eastwards, and go into hiding in the wadi of Kerith east of the Jordan. 4You are to drink from the stream, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.’ 5Elijah did as the LORD had told him: he went and stayed in the wadi of Kerith east of the Jordan, 6and the ravens brought him bread and meat morning and evening, and he drank from the stream.

7After a while the stream dried up, for there had been no rain in the land. 8Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9‘Go now to Zarephath, a village of Sidon, and stay there; I have commanded a widow there to feed you.’ 10He went off to Zarephath, and when he reached the entrance to the village, he saw a widow gathering sticks. He called to her, ‘Please bring me a little water in a pitcher to drink.’ 11As she went to fetch it, he called after her, ‘Bring me, please, a piece of bread as well.’ 12But she answered, ‘As the LORD your God lives, I have no food baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a flask. I am just gathering two or three sticks to go and cook it for my son and myself before we die.’ 13‘Have no fear,’ said Elijah; ‘go and do as you have said. But first make me a small cake from what you have and bring it out to me, and after that make something for your son and yourself. 14For this is the word of the LORD the God of Israel: The jar of flour will not give out, nor the flask of oil fail, until the LORD sends rain on the land.’ 15She went and did as Elijah had said, and there was food for him and for her and her family for a long time. 16The jar of flour did not give out, nor did the flask of oil fail, as the word of the LORD foretold through Elijah.

17Afterwards the son of the woman, the owner of the house, fell ill and was in a very bad way, until at last his breathing stopped. 18The woman said to Elijah, ‘What made you interfere, you man of God? You came here to bring my sins to light and cause my son's death!’ 19‘Give me your son,’ he said. He took the boy from her arms and carried him up to the roof-chamber where his lodging was, and laid him on his bed. 20He called out to the LORD, ‘LORD my God, is this your care for the widow with whom I lodge, that you have been so cruel to her son?’ 21Then he breathed deeply a 17:21 breathed deeply: or stretched himself. on the child three times and called to the LORD, ‘I pray, LORD my God, let the breath of life return to the body of this child.’ 22The LORD listened to Elijah's cry, and the breath of life returned to the child's body, and he revived.

23Elijah lifted him and took him down from the roof-chamber into the house, and giving him to his mother he said, ‘Look, your son is alive.’ 24She said to Elijah, ‘Now I know for certain that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD on your lips is truth.’

Notes:

a 17:21 breathed deeply: or stretched himself.

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