1 Kings 17:8
And the word of the LORD came unto him, saying,
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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.The ravens - This is the translation of most of the ancient versions; others, omitting the points, which are generally allowed to have no authority, read "Arabians;" others, retaining the present pointing, translate either "merchants" (compare the original of Ezekiel 27:9, Ezekiel 27:27), or "Orbites." Jerome took it in this last sense, and so does the Arabic Version. 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.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And the word of the Lord came unto him,.... As before, after he had been a year at the brook, and that was dried up:

saying; as follows.

And the {d} word of the LORD came unto him, saying,

(d) As the troubles of the saints of God are many, so his mercy is always at hand to deliver them.

Verse 8. - And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, 1 Kings 17:8After some time this brook dried up for want of rain. Then the Lord directed His servant to go to the Sidonian Zarephath, and to live with a widow whom He had commanded to provide for him. ימים מקּץ does not mean post annum, for ימים merely derives this meaning in certain passages from the context (cf. Leviticus 25:29; 1 Samuel 27:7; Judges 17:10); whereas in this instance the context does not point to the space of a year, but to a longer period of indefinite duration, all that we know being that, according to 1 Kings 18:1, the sojourn of Elijah at Cherith and Zarephath lasted at least two years. Zarephath (Σαρέπτα, lxx) was situated on the Mediterranean Sea between Tyre and Sidon, where a miserable Mohammedan village with ruins and a promontory, Surafend, still preserve the name of the former town (Rob. iii. p. 413ff., and V. de Velde, Syria and Palestine, i. pp. 101-3, transl.).
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