Widow of Zarephath


SITUATION:  The prophet Elijah proclaimed a drought on the land of Israel.  After some time passed, God told Elijah to go to Zarephath and dwell there.


  1. Whom did God command to take care of Elijah? (1 Kings 17:9)
  2. What did the widow say when Elijah asked her for some bread? (verse 12)
  3. What instructions did Elijah give her? (verses 13, 14)
  4. What was the widow’s response and what were the results? (verses 15, 16)
  5. What tragedy occurred and how did the widow react? (verses 17, 18)
  6. What did Elijah do?   (verses 19-21)
  7. What did the Lord do? (verse 22)
  8. What did the widow learn from this experience? (verse 24)


The widow was much like the ravens whom God used to care for His prophet.  Like the ravens, she was considered unclean, yet, as Jesus pointed out, “…there was a great famine throughout all the land but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow” (Luke 4:26).   This widow, a Gentile, believed what Elijah said and acted in faith when she prepared bread for him and then for herself and her family.  When Elijah first met her, she was prepared to die.  The little flour she had she was going to use for the last meal she would prepare for her son and herself but after Elijah revealed Lord’s plan to her, she believed and as a result, God was able to increase that flour so that she and her family could eat for many days.  He had turned despair into hope. Not only did He provide for this widow and her family during the famine but He brought her son back to life.  The God of Elijah had revealed Himself to this woman as Provider and Restorer.


  1. What point was Jesus trying to make when He mentioned the widow of Zarephath in Luke 4:25, 26?
  2. What does the account in 1 Kings 17:12-16 teach us about faith?  How is this situation similar to what happened in Luke 5:4-9?  Why is it crucial that we exercise faith in any situation in spite of how things might appear?
Widow of Zarephath