וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ הַתִּשְׁבִּי מִתֹּשָׁבֵי גִלְעָד אֶל־אַחְאָב חַי־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתִּי לְפָנָיו אִם־ 17:1 יִהְיֶה הַשָּׁנִים הָאֵלֶּה טַל וּמָטָר כִּי אִם־לְפִי דְבָרִי׃
1Kin. 17:1 And Elijah, the Tishbite, from the settlers of Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, God of Israel, lives, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years but only according to my word.”
Elijah abruptly comes on the scene for a while. Rather remarkable, I think. He’s one of the most mysterious and intriguing of the prophets. A prophet of miracles!
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר׃ 17:2
1Kin. 17:2 And the word of the Lord occurred to him saying,
לֵךְ מִזֶּה וּפָנִיתָ לְּךָ קֵדְמָה וְנִסְתַּרְתָּ בְּנַחַל כְּרִית אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן׃ 17:3
1Kin. 17:3 “Go from here and turn yourself to the east and keep hidden near the brook Cherith, which is at the front of the Jordan.”
The Lord is telling Elijah to hide because Jezebel is slaughtering or has slaughtered all the prophets of the Lord. See next chapter.
וְהָיָה מֵהַנַּחַל תִּשְׁתֶּה וְאֶת־הָעֹרְבִים צִוִּיתִי לְכַלְכֶּלְךָ שָׁם׃ 17:4
1Kin. 17:4 “And it shall be, you shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.”
וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיַּעַשׂ כִּדְבַר יְהוָה וַיֵּלֶךְ וַיֵּשֶׁב בְּנַחַל כְּרִית אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי הַיַּרְדֵּן׃ 17:5
1Kin. 17:5 And he went and he did according to the word of the Lord, and went and stayed by the brook Cherith that was at the front of the Jordan.
וְהָעֹרְבִים מְבִיאִים לוֹ לֶחֶם וּבָשָׂר בַּבֹּקֶר וְלֶחֶם וּבָשָׂר בָּעָרֶב וּמִן־הַנַּחַל יִשְׁתֶּה׃ 17:6
1Kin. 17:6 And the ravens were bringing to him bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening, and he would drink from the brook.
וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ יָמִים וַיִּיבַשׁ הַנָּחַל כִּי לֹא־הָיָה גֶשֶׁם בָּאָרֶץ׃ 17:7
1Kin. 17:7 And it happened after days that the brook dried up, for there was no rain in the land.
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהוָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר׃ 17:8
1Kin. 17:8 And the word of the Lord occurred to him saying,
קוּם לֵךְ צָרְפַתָה אֲשֶׁר לְצִידוֹן וְיָשַׁבְתָּ שָׁם הִנֵּה צִוִּיתִי שָׁם אִשָּׁה אַלְמָנָה לְכַלְכְּלֶךָ׃ 17:9
1Kin. 17:9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which is Zidon's, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded there a widow woman to feed you.”
וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ צָרְפַתָה וַיָּבֹא אֶל־פֶּתַח הָעִיר וְהִנֵּה־שָׁם אִשָּׁה אַלְמָנָה מְקֹשֶׁשֶׁת עֵצִים וַיִּקְרָא אֵלֶיהָ 17:10 וַיֹּאמַר קְחִי־נָא לִי מְעַט־מַיִם בַּכְּלִי וְאֶשְׁתֶּה׃
1Kin. 17:10 So he rose and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the city, then he beheld there a widow woman gathering sticks, and he called to her and said, “Please bring a little water to me in a vessel that I may drink.”
Interesting! The commentators explain his request as a test to see if she is the woman God spoke about. I find it rather strange that Elijah did not know as soon as he saw her.
וַתֵּלֶךְ לָקַחַת וַיִּקְרָא אֵלֶיהָ וַיֹּאמַר לִקְחִי־נָא לִי פַּת־לֶחֶם בְּיָדֵךְ׃ 17:11
1Kin. 17:11 As she went to get, then he called to her and said, “Please bring a morsel of bread to me in your hand.”
וַתֹּאמֶר חַי־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אִם־יֶשׁ־לִי מָעוֹג כִּי אִם־מְלֹא כַף־קֶמַח בַּכַּד וּמְעַט־שֶׁמֶן בַּצַּפָּחַת וְהִנְנִי 17:12 מְקֹשֶׁשֶׁת שְׁנַיִם עֵצִים וּבָאתִי וַעֲשִׂיתִיהוּ לִי וְלִבְנִי וַאֲכַלְנֻהוּ וָמָתְנוּ׃
1Kin. 17:12 And she said, “As the Lord, your God, lives, I have not a cake, but only a full hand of meal in a jar and a little oil in a cruse, and I am here gathering two sticks, then I will go and prepare it for me and for my son that we may eat it and die.”
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ אֵלִיָּהוּ אַל־תִּירְאִי בֹּאִי עֲשִׂי כִדְבָרֵךְ אַךְ עֲשִׂי־לִי מִשָּׁם עֻגָה קְטַנָּה בָרִאשֹׁנָה וְהוֹצֵאתְ 17:13 לִי וְלָךְ וְלִבְנֵךְ תַּעֲשִׂי בָּאַחֲרֹנָה׃
1Kin. 17:13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear. Go do according to your word, but first make from there a small cake for me and bring to me, then afterward you can make for you and for your son.”
כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּד הַקֶּמַח לֹא תִכְלָה וְצַפַּחַת הַשֶּׁמֶן לֹא תֶחְסָר עַד יוֹם (תִּתֶּן)־ 17:14 [תֵּת]־יְהוָה גֶּשֶׁם עַל־פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה׃
1Kin. 17:14 “For thus says the Lord, God of Israel: ‘You shall not finish the jar of meal and you shall not make the cruse of oil lower until the day the Lord will be granting rain upon the surface of the land.’”
The word in parentheses is misspelled. The correction appears in the brackets.
וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתַּעֲשֶׂה כִּדְבַר אֵלִיָּהוּ וַתֹּאכַל הוּא־והִיא וּבֵיתָהּ יָמִים׃ 17:15
1Kin. 17:15 Then she went and did according to the saying of Elijah, and she ate, he and she and her house, days.
כַּד הַקֶּמַח לֹא כָלָתָה וְצַפַּחַת הַשֶּׁמֶן לֹא חָסֵר כִּדְבַר יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּיַד אֵלִיָּהוּ׃ 17:16
1Kin. 17:16 She did not finish the jar of meal, and the cruse of oil did not fail, like the word of the Lord that He spoke by the hand of Elijah.
וַיְהִי אַחַר הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה חָלָה בֶּן־הָאִשָּׁה בַּעֲלַת הַבָּיִת וַיְהִי חָלְיוֹ חָזָק מְאֹד עַד אֲשֶׁר 17:17 לֹא־נוֹתְרָה־בּוֹ נְשָׁמָה׃
1Kin. 17:17 And it came to pass after these things, the son of the woman mistress of the house became sick, and his illness became so sore until when no breath was left in him.
וַתֹּאמֶר אֶל־אֵלִיָּהוּ מַה־לִּי וָלָךְ אִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים בָּאתָ אֵלַי לְהַזְכִּיר אֶת־עֲוֺנִי וּלְהָמִית אֶת־בְּנִי׃ 17:18
1Kin. 17:18 And she said to Elijah, “What is it with me and with you, man of God? You have come to me to bring my iniquity to remembrance, and to kill my son.”
The woman apparently believes that Elijah’s presence in her house brought this punishment on her for her sins. She blames him for her son’s death. This despite the miracle of the bottomless jar of meal and cruse of oil. Her question in this verse seems to imply the contrast between her godless life and Elijah’s closeness to God. However, see v. 17:24 for more on this.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ תְּנִי־לִי אֶת־בְּנֵךְ וַיִּקָּחֵהוּ מֵחֵיקָהּ וַיַּעֲלֵהוּ אֶל־הָעֲלִיָּה אֲשֶׁר־הוּא יֹשֵׁב שָׁם וַיַּשְׁכִּבֵהוּ 17:19 עַל־מִטָּתוֹ׃
1Kin. 17:19 And he said to her, “Give your son to me. And he took him from her bosom and carried him up to the upper chamber where he lived, and laid him on his bed.
וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־יְהוָה וַיֹּאמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי הֲגַם עַל־הָאַלְמָנָה אֲשֶׁר־אֲנִי מִתְגּוֹרֵר עִמָּהּ הֲרֵעוֹתָ לְהָמִית 17:20 אֶת־בְּנָהּ׃
1Kin. 17:20 Then he called to the Lord and said, “O Lord, my God, have You brought evil even on the widow with whom I am sojourning, slaying her son?”
וַיִּתְמֹדֵד עַל־הַיֶּלֶד שָׁלֹשׁ פְּעָמִים וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־יְהוָה וַיֹּאמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי תָּשָׁב נָא נֶפֶשׁ־הַיֶּלֶד הַזֶּה 17:21 עַל־קִרְבּוֹ׃
1Kin. 17:21 Then he stretched himself over the boy three times and called to the Lord and said, “Lord my God, I pray You, let the soul of this boy return upon his innards.”
וַיִּשְׁמַע יְהוָה בְּקוֹל אֵלִיָּהוּ וַתָּשָׁב נֶפֶשׁ־הַיֶּלֶד עַל־קִרְבּוֹ וַיֶּחִי׃ 17:22
1Kin. 17:22 And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah and let the soul of the boy return upon his innards, and he lived.
וַיִּקַּח אֵלִיָּהוּ אֶת־הַיֶּלֶד וַיֹּרִדֵהוּ מִן־הָעֲלִיָּה הַבַּיְתָה וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ לְאִמּוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלִיָּהוּ רְאִי חַי בְּנֵךְ׃ 17:23
1Kin. 17:23 Then Elijah took the boy and brought him down from the upper chamber to the house and delivered him to his mother and Elijah said, “See, your son lives.”
וַתֹּאמֶר הָאִשָּׁה אֶל־אֵלִיָּהוּ עַתָּה זֶה יָדַעְתִּי כִּי אִישׁ אֱלֹהִים אָתָּה וּדְבַר־יְהוָה בְּפִיךָ אֱמֶת׃ 17:24
1Kin. 17:24 And the woman said to Elijah, “Now this has let me know that you are a man of God, and the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.”
What does this mean? Did she not realize this before, as in v. 17:18? Then perhaps, the question in that verse may not be implying anything more subtle than how different the two of them were. It would seem that the miracle of Elijah’s resuscitating her son was what she really needed to understand Elijah’s connection to the Lord.
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