Melachim 1/Kings 1-Chapter 17: Eliyahu Hanavi flees from Achav

Chapter 17: Eliyahu Hanavi flees from Achav

1.      Eliyahu Hanavi forewarns Achav that there will not be rain:

  • Eliyahu the Tishbite, from the city of Gilead, said to Achav, “I swear by the name of Hashem that during these years there will not be dew or rain unless I say so.”

2.      Hashem instructs Eliyahu to hide from Achav by a stream near the Jordon:

  • Hashem instructed Eliyahu to do the following: “Leave this area [so Achav does not kill you[1]] and travel eastward and hide in the stream of Keris, which is on then face of the Jordan river. You will drink from the water of the above stream, and I have instructed the ravens to provide you with food while you are there.”
  • Eliyahu does as he was instructed: Eliyahu did as Hashem instructed him, and he went and traveled to the stream of Keris which is near the Jordan river.
  • Eliyahu is fed by the ravens: The ravens would bring bread and meat to Eliyahu in the morning, and bread and meat for him in the evening, and he would drink from the stream.
  • The stream dries up: After some time, the stream dried up being that there was no more rain in the land.

3.      Hashem instructs Eliyahu to move to the city of Tzarfata:

  • After the stream dried up, Hashem instructed Eliyahu to as follows: “Get up and travel to the city of Tzarfatah which belongs to Tzidon and dwell there. I have instructed a widow who is there there to feed you.”
  • Eliyahu does as he was instructed: Eliyahu got up and went to Tzarfatah.

4.      Eliyahu is fed by the widow:

  • Eliyahu asks the widow for water and some bread: When he arrived by the entrance of the city, he saw a widow who was gathering wood. He asked the woman to give him a little water in a cup to drink. He then asked her to give him a piece of bread from the bread that she was holding in her hand.
  • The widow states that she has no food: The widow replied to Eliyahu: “I swear by the name of G-d that I do not have anything, even a loaf, but simply have a handful of flour and a little oil in a jar. Now, I am gathering two pieces of wood to prepare some food for my son and I so we can eat it, although I have no more food after this and therefore will surely die.”
  • Eliyahu replies that G-d will make a miracle with her flour and oil vessels: Eliyahu replied to her, that she should not fear [as a miracle will occur and there will be enough food for everyone]. He instructed her: “Do exactly as you intended with the flour, but first make me a small cake which I will be given to eat, and only afterwards should you make a cake for you and your son, as Hashem has spoken to me saying that your pitcher of flour and flask of oil will never cease to provide food until Hashem gives rain upon the land.”
  • The widow follows Eliyahu’s instructions and a miracle occurs: The widow went and did as Eliyahu had said, and she and her household and Eliyahu ate for many days. The pitcher of flour and flask of oil did not cease to provide food, as Hashem had promised to Eliyahu.

5.      The widow’s son dies from illness and is resurrected by Eliyahu:

  • The boy dies: After the above event, the son of the above widowed woman became ill. His illness was very serious to the point that her son’s soul left his body.
  • The widow confronts Eliyahu: The widow said to Eliyahu, “Why have you come to me to remind G-d of my sins and to kill my son?”
  • Eliyahu revives the dead son: Eliyahu asked her to give him her son. So, she took him from her bosom, and brought him up to stairs to the upper chamber where he was living, and the boy was laid on the bed. Eliyahu then prayed to Hashem saying, “My God, have You also decided to do evil to the widow with whom I am living with, to kill her son?” He prostrated himself over the boy three times, and prayed to Hashem asking Him to restore the soul of the child. Hashem listened to the prayer of Eliyahu and returned the child’s soul within him.
  • The revived boy is returned to his mother: Eliyahu took the child and brought him down from the upstairs chamber to the house, and he gave him to his mother, telling her that her son is alive. The woman then replied to Eliyahu, that now she knows that he is a true Man and prophet of God.

[1] Metzudos Dovid 17:3

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