A-Z: Famous stories from the Bible: Elijah and the widow


Elijah the prophet was once on the run from King Ahab and his wife Jezebel and went into hiding in the desert. There was a drought, so God sent ravens to feed him in the wilderness, but when the nearby brook dried up, God told him to seek out a widow in Zarephath who would feed him. 

When Elijah found the widow she was destitute and had only enough food for one more meal for herself and her son before they died of starvation. Nevertheless, Elijah repeated his request for a meal and prophesied that God would not let her starve all the while there was a drought. 

The woman trusted Elijah and miraculously, her food did not run out for the duration of Elijah’s stay. 

Elijah raises the son of the widow of ZarephathLater on, however, the woman’s son became very ill and died. She became very angry with Elijah, who took the boy from her and carried him to his own bedroom. He prayed loudly, pleading with God to restore the boy’s life. Laying the boy on the bed, he stretched himself out on top of the dead boy three times, crying out until God answered his prayer and the boy came back to life. 

Elijah presented him back to his mother, who was delighted and declared that she now knew that Elijah was a trustworthy man of God.

The story illustrates:

  • God can and will provide for those who trust him
  • People’s faith in God can often be tested
  • Christians believe that God can provide and heal in miraculous ways.

Related topics

Big ideas from the Bible: Miracles; Death and resurrection 

Bible References

1 Kings 17:2-24
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