1 Kings 17:12
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"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."

New Living Translation
But she said, "I swear by the LORD your God that I don't have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die."

English Standard Version
And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. And now I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it and die.”

New American Standard Bible
But she said, "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; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die."

King James Bible
And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I don't have anything baked--only a handful of flour in the jar and a bit of oil in the jug. Just now, I am gathering a couple of sticks in order to go prepare it for myself and my son so we can eat it and die."

International Standard Version
"As the LORD your God lives," she replied, "I don't have so much as a muffin, just a handful of flour in a bowl and some oil left in a bottle. Now I'm going to find some sticks so I can cook a last meal for my son and for me. Then we're going to eat it and die."

NET Bible
She said, "As certainly as the LORD your God lives, I have no food, except for a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. Right now I am gathering a couple of sticks for a fire. Then I'm going home to make one final meal for my son and myself. After we have eaten that, we will die of starvation."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
She said, "I solemnly swear, as the LORD your God lives, I didn't bake any bread. I have one handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I'm gathering wood. I'm going to prepare something for myself and my son so that we can eat it and then die."

Jubilee Bible 2000
And she said, As the LORD thy God lives, I have no baked bread, but only a handful of meal in a pitcher and a little oil in a cruse; and now I was gathering two sticks that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.

King James 2000 Bible
And she said, As the LORD your God lives, I have not bread, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a jar: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

American King James Version
And she said, As the LORD your God lives, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

American Standard Version
And she said, As Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And she answered: As the Lord thy God liveth, I have no bread, but only a handful of meal in a pot, and a little oil in a cruse: behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it, for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

Darby Bible Translation
And she said, As Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse; and behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

English Revised Version
And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in the barrel, and a little oil in the cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

Webster's Bible Translation
And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

World English Bible
She said, "As Yahweh your God lives, I don't have a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the jar. Behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die."

Young's Literal Translation
And she saith, 'Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but the fulness of the hand of meal in a pitcher, and a little oil in a dish; and lo, I am gathering two sticks, and have gone in and prepared it for myself, and for my son, and we have eaten it -- and died.'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

17:8-16 Many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, and some, it is likely, would have bidden him welcome to their houses; yet he is sent to honour and bless with his presence a city of Sidon, a Gentile city, and so becomes the first prophet of the Gentiles. Jezebel was Elijah's greatest enemy; yet, to show her how powerless was her malice, God will find a hiding-place for him even in her own country. The person appointed to entertain Elijah is not one of the rich or great men of Sidon; but a poor widow woman, in want, and desolate, is made both able and willing to sustain him. It is God's way, and it is his glory, to make use of, and put honour upon, the weak and foolish things of the world. O woman, great was thy faith; one has not found the like, no not in Israel. She took the prophet's word, that she should not lose by it. Those who can venture upon the promise of God, will make no difficulty to expose and empty themselves in his service, by giving him his part first. Surely the increase of this widow's faith, so as to enable her thus readily to deny herself, and to depend upon the Divine promise, was as great a miracle in the kingdom of grace, as the increase of her meal and oil in the kingdom of providence. Happy are all who can thus, against hope, believe and obey in hope. One poor meal's meat this poor widow gave the prophet; in recompence of it, she and her son did eat above two years, in a time of famine. To have food from God's special favour, and in such good company as Elijah, made it more than doubly sweet. It is promised to those who trust in God, that they shall not be ashamed in evil time; in days of famine they shall be satisfied.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 12. - And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth [Bahr, Keil, al. conclude from this formula that the woman was a worshipper of the God of Israel. Bahr is extremely positive on this point, affirming that, had she been a heathen, the words would have been positively hypocritical, and more, that Elijah would never have been sent (Luke 4:26) to an idolater. He further suggests that possibly she was an Israelite by birth, who had been married to a Phoenician. But all this is extremely doubtful. In the first place, it is noteworthy that the words are, "Jehovah thy God," words which show that she recognized Elijah, perhaps by his Jewish face, probably by his prophetic dress (2 Kings 1:8) as a worshipper of Jehovah. But had she also been the same, it is probable that she would have said "my God," for that form would not only have given greater force to her obtestation, but would have established a bond of sympathy - such as Jews in a foreign land were only too glad to recognize - between them. And the remark that it is hypocrisy to swear by a god in whom one does not believe is disposed of by the consideration that she may well have believed in the Lord as well as in Baal. See note on 1 Kings 5:7. The Tyrians knew nothing of monotheism], I have not a cake [מָעונֹ, the synonym of עֻגָּה (ver. 13), the smallest kind of bread. It was baked in the ashes; hence the LXX. ἐγρυφίας. We gather from this pitiful disclosure that the famine had already extended to Phoenicia, as it naturally would do, considering how dependent that country was on Israel for its breadstuffs; see note on 1 Kings 5:9,11. Josephus (Ant. 8:13, 2) cites Menander as attesting to a year's drought in the reign of Ethbaal], but an handful of meal in a [Heb. the] barrel [כַּד, probably connected with cadus, cadeau, etc.; bucket, pail], and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks [i.e., a few sticks (Gesenius). We may compare the German idiom ein Paar and our "two or three." But "two" in this sense occurs nowhere else in the Bible - "two or three" is found in 2 Kings 9:32; Isaiah 17:6; Amos 4:8. According to Roberts, the word is constantly used for "few" by the natives of India. This widow was evidently reduced to the greatest extremities], that I may go in and dress it for me and my son [The LXX. has τέκνοις here and in ver. 13, and τὰ τέκνα in ver. 15. Bahr contends that Elijah first learnt from these words - the mention of a son and the absence of any mention of her husband - that he was addressing a "widow woman." But we read Genesis 38:14, 19, of "garments of widowhood" (cf. Deuteronomy 24:17), and ver. 10, "a widow woman," etc., almost implies that Elijah from the first recognized her as such], that we may eat it, and die.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And she said, as the Lord thy God liveth,.... Which shows her to be a good woman, swearing by the living God, and him only, and that she took Elijah to be a good man, and a prophet of the Lord:

I have not a cake; greater or less, not a morsel of bread in the house:

but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse; these separate and unmixed, and not made into a cake, and dressed as she intended to do with them:

and, behold, I am gathering two sticks; or a few, which would be sufficient to bake such a quantity as her meal and oil would make; she speaks by the figure "meiosis", which expresses less than what is meant, as Ben Melech observes:

that I may go in and dress it for me, and my son, that we may eat it, and die; having nothing more left, and no expectation of any elsewhere, and the famine strong in the land; so that she could look for nothing but death after this was eaten.



1 Kings 17:12 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Widow of Zarephath
11As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand." 12But she said, "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; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die." 13Then Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son.…
Cross References
Matthew 26:7
a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, which she poured on his head as he was reclining at the table.

Genesis 21:15
When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes.

Genesis 21:16
Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, "I cannot watch the boy die." And as she sat there, she began to sob.

1 Kings 17:1
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."

1 Kings 17:11
As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread."

1 Kings 17:13
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.

2 Kings 4:2
Elisha replied to her, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?" "Your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a small jar of olive oil."
Treasury of Scripture

And she said, As the LORD your God lives, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

As the Lord

1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said …

1 Samuel 14:39,45 For, as the LORD lives, which saves Israel, though it be in Jonathan …

1 Samuel 20:3,21 And David swore moreover, and said, Your father certainly knows that …

1 Samuel 25:26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, …

1 Samuel 26:10 David said furthermore, As the LORD lives, the LORD shall smite him; …

2 Samuel 15:21 And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the LORD lives, and as …

Jeremiah 4:2 And you shall swear, The LORD lives, in truth, in judgment, and in …

Jeremiah 5:2 And though they say, The LORD lives; surely they swear falsely.

but an handful

2 Kings 4:2-7 And Elisha said to her, What shall I do for you? tell me, what have …

Matthew 15:33,34 And his disciples say to him, From where should we have so much bread …

that we may eat it

Genesis 21:16 And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as …

Jeremiah 14:18 If I go forth into the field, then behold the slain with the sword! …

Lamentations 4:9 They that be slain with the sword are better than they that be slain …

Ezekiel 12:18,19 Son of man, eat your bread with quaking, and drink your water with …

Joel 1:15,16 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction …

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Alphabetical: a am and any As behold bowl bread But die don't eat few flour for gathering go God handful have home I in it jar jug little lives LORD make may me meal my myself no of oil only prepare replied said she son sticks surely take that the to we your

OT History: 1 Kings 17:12 She said As Yahweh your God lives (1Ki iKi i Ki 1 Kg 1kg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools

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