Elijah's Warning

From Gilead, this messenger of G‑d, girt with a leather belt and wrapped in a long sweeping mantle, came to meet the monarch.

They met in the house of Hiel, who had dared to rebuild Jericho and had lost all his seven sons during the construction of the accursed city. Elijah came to admonish Hiel and to warn the monarch at the same time. Ahab defied the prophet and derided the curse imposed by Joshua upon the rebuilder of Jericho. Moreover, he made light of all the prophecies and admonitions of Moses.

Indifferent to the danger to which his tidings might expose him, Elijah replied: "As the L-rd G‑d of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, except according to my word!"

At the Cherith Brook

At G‑d's command Elijah then retired to the brook of Cherith, east of the Jordan. There he drank of the water of the brook, and ate the food which G‑d commanded ravens to bring him from the table of the pious King of Judah.

The Widow of Zarephath

Weeks passed and neither rain nor dew fell over the land of Israel. Even the Cherith brook dried up and Elijah was now deprived of its refreshing water. Then G‑d told Elijah to leave his hiding and go to Zarephath, a town in Siddon, where He had ordered a widow to give him food and shelter.

Elijah went there. Reaching the outskirts of the city, he saw a widow gathering sticks of wood for a fire. He asked her for a drink and something to eat, and the poor widow replied that all she had in her house was a handful of flour in a barrel and a little oil in a cruse, just enough to serve her and her son for their last meal. Elijah told her not to worry. He bade her prepare a cake for him, assuring her that neither she nor her son would perish of hunger, for thus said the L-rd G‑d of Israel: "The barrel of flour shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail until the day that G‑d sends rain upon the earth!" The woman did as Elijah had told her, and the words of the prophet came true. The barrel of flour never diminished, and the cruse of oil never failed. Elijah, the widow, and her son lived on this miraculous food for the duration of the famine.

Elijah Revives the Widow's Son

One day the son of the widow fell ill. His sickness grew worse and worse, until he stopped breathing. Prostrate with grief, the woman appeared before Elijah and begged for mercy. Elijah carried the lifeless body of the child into his chamber and put it on his bed. Then he prayed to G‑d to restore the child's soul to his body, so that his pious mother might be spared such deep grief after she had shown him so much kindness. G‑d accepted Elijah's prayer, and the child revived. Elijah brought him back to his mother who, overwhelmed with joy and happiness, exclaimed: "Now by this I know that thou art a man of G‑d, and the word of the L-rd in thy mouth is truth."


More than two years of drought in the Northern Kingdom brought a serious famine which impoverished the land of Israel. Yet the king and queen did not mend their evil ways, and Jezebel continued to persecute the true prophets of G‑d. But Obadiah, the governor of the royal household, a pious and G‑d fearing man, disregarding all danger to himself, hid one hundred young prophets in two caves and supplied them with food and drink during the years of famine.