1 Kings 17:14
For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
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.As the Lord thy God liveth - The words do not prove that the woman was an Israelite, or a worshipper of the true God; any Phoenician, recognizing in Elijah's appearance the garb and manner of a Jehovistic prophet, might have thus addressed him: Baal-worshippers would have admitted Yahweh to be "a" living God. The woman does not say "as the Lord my God liveth."

That we may eat it and die - Phoenicia always depended for its cereal supplies on the harvests of Palestine (1 Kings 5:9 note); and it is evident that the famine was afflicting the Phoenicians at this time no less than the Israelites.

1Ki 17:8-16. He Is Sent to a Widow of Zarephath.

8-16. the word of the Lord came to him—Zarephath, Sarepta, now Surafend, whither he was directed to go, was far away on the western coast of Palestine, about nine miles south of Sidon, and within the dominions of Jezebel's impious father, where the famine also prevailed. Meeting, at his entrance into the town, the very woman who was appointed by divine providence to support him, his faith was severely tested by learning from her that her supplies were exhausted and that she was preparing her last meal for herself and son. The Spirit of God having prompted him to ask, and her to grant, some necessary succor, she received a prophet's reward (Mt 10:41, 42), and for the one meal afforded to him, God, by a miraculous increase of the little stock, afforded many to her.

Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, in whom I perceive thou trustest.

The barrel of meal, i.e. the meal of the barrel; an hypallage or metonymy. So

the cruse of oil, for the oil of the cruse.

For thus saith the Lord God of Israel,.... Whom the prophet perceived she had knowledge of, and faith in:

the barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail; that is, the meal in the barrel, and the oil in the cruse, by an hypallage, or change of words:

until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth; which was assuring her the rain would be sent, and that the Lord, who had the sole command of it, would send it; and that, until that time it should be sent, she would have no lack of provisions, and therefore need not scruple dressing for the prophet first.

For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, {g} The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.

(g) God receives no benefit for the use of his own, but he promises an ample recompence for them.

14. God of Israel] Omitted by the LXX., as are also, in the next verse, the words ‘according to the saying of Elijah.’

Verse 14. - For thus saith the Lord God of Israel [The words, "God of Israel," if anything, favour the supposition that he was speaking to one who was not of Israel. See on ver. 1. There the words were addressed to one who was denying the God of Israel] The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fall, until the day that the Lord sendeth [Heb. giveth. For תִּתֵן see note on 1 Kings 6:19] rain upon the earth. [Heb. on the face of the ground. Like expression 1 Kings 18:1; Genesis 2:5. It has been said that there is not a syllable here to imply a miracle, and it has been contended that this Sareptan household was sustained for over two years simply by the blessing of God on the use of natural means. But clearly, if there was nothing else, there was supernatural knowledge on Elijah's part. And it cannot be denied that the literal construction of the words points to a "supernatural and inexplicable multiplication of food" (Rawlinson), similar to those of which the Gospels tell. It is just possible that this was a figure of speech, which practically meant no more than the necessaries of life should somehow be provided, directly or indirectly, by God. Nor is this view effectually negatived, as Bahr contends, by Luke 4:26; but, in view of 2 Kings 4:44, Matthew 14:15-21; 2 Kings 15:32-38, it is extremely improbable. It is curious how many miracles of Elijah and Elisha foreshadowed those of our blessed Lord. 1 Kings 17:14In order, however, to determine with indisputable certainty whether this believing Gentile was the protectress assigned him by the Lord, Elijah comforted her, and at the same time desired her first of all to bake him a little cake משּׁם, i.e., of the last of the meal in the Kad and of the oil in the pitcher, and then to bake for herself and her son, adding this promise: Jehovah the God of Israel will not let the meal in the Kad and the oil in the pitcher fail, till He sends rain upon the earth again. And the widow did according to his word. She gave up the certain for the uncertain, because she trusted the word of the Lord, and received the reward of her believing confidence in the fact that during the whole time of the drought she suffered from no want of either meal or oil. This act of the pious Gentile woman, who had welcomed with a simple heart the knowledge of the true God that had reached her from Israel, must have been the source of strong consolation to Elijah in the hour of conflict, when his faith was trembling because of the multitude of idolaters in Israel. If the Lord Himself had raised up true worshipers of His name among the Gentiles, his work in Israel could not be put to shame.

The believing widow, however, received from the prophet not only a material blessing, but a spiritual blessing also. For, as Christ tells His unbelieving contemporaries to their shame (Luke 4:25-26), Elijah was not sent to this widow in order that he might be safely hidden at her house, although this object was better attained thereby than by his remaining longer in Israel; but because of her faith, namely, to strengthen and to increase it, he was sent to her, and not to one of the many widows in Israel, many of whom would also have received the prophet if they had been rescued by him from the pressure of the famine. And the miraculous increase of the meal and oil did not merely subserve the purpose of keeping the prophet and the widow alive; but the relief of her bodily need was also meant to be a preparatory means of quieting her spiritual need as well. On the Chethb תתּן, see at 1 Kings 6:19. In 1 Kings 17:15 the Keri והוּה היא is an unnecessary emendation of the Chethb והיא הוּא; the feminine form ותּאכל is occasioned primarily by the preceding verbs, and may be taken as an indefinite neuter: "and there ate he and she." The offence which Thenius has taken at ימים (days) has no foundation, if we do not understand the sentence as referring merely to their eating once of the bread just baked, but take it generally as signifying that in consequence of their acting according to the word of Jehovah, they (Elijah, the widow, and her family) ate for days, i.e., until God sent rain again (1 Kings 17:14).

1 Kings 17:14 Interlinear
1 Kings 17:14 Parallel Texts

1 Kings 17:14 NIV
1 Kings 17:14 NLT
1 Kings 17:14 ESV
1 Kings 17:14 NASB
1 Kings 17:14 KJV

1 Kings 17:14 Bible Apps
1 Kings 17:14 Parallel
1 Kings 17:14 Biblia Paralela
1 Kings 17:14 Chinese Bible
1 Kings 17:14 French Bible
1 Kings 17:14 German Bible

Bible Hub

1 Kings 17:13
Top of Page
Top of Page