1 Kings 17:8-16

1 Kings 17:8-16
Ordinary B50


Then the wordA of the LordB cameC to him, saying, 

Notes on verse 8

A “word” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
B “Lord” = YHVH. Related to “came” in v8. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (see note C below). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
C “came” = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.

9 “Go nowD to Zarephath,E which belongs to Sidon,F and liveG there;

Notes on verse 9a

D “go now” = qum + halak. Qum is to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense. Halak is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
E “Zarephath” = Tsarephath. 3x in OT. From tsaraph (to refine, smalt, or fuse metal; the smelter, goldsmith, or silversmith; figuratively, refine in a literal or figurative sense – to test or try, make pure). This is Zarephath or Tsarephath, a place whose name means “melting place” or “refinement” or “blast furnace” or “workshop for smelting and refining metals.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Zarephath.html
F “Sidon” = Tsidon. From Phoenician tsydon (Sidon; probably meaning fishery or fishing town). This is Sidon – a city in Phoenicia. Seehttps://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Sidon & https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidon
G “live” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.

forH I have commandedI aJ widowK there to feedL you.” 

Notes on verse 9b

H {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
I “commanded” = tsavah. This is to charge, command, order, appoint, or enjoin. This is the root that the Hebrew word for “commandment” comes from (mitsvah).
J {untranslated} = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
K “widow” = almanah. Related to alman (widowed); from alam (to be silent, bound). This is a widow or a house that is desolate.
L “feed” = kul. This is to hold in. So, it can be to contain, measure, guide, or feed. It can also mean to be able to or sustain.

10 So he set out and wentM to Zarephath. When he cameN to the gateO of the town,P, Q

Notes on verse 10a

M “set out and went” = qum + halak. Same as “go now” in v9. See note D above.
N “came” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
O “gate” = pethach. From pathach (to open wide in a literal or figurative sense; to open, draw out, let something go free, break forth, to plow, engrave, or carve). This is any kind of opening – a door, entrance, gate.
P “town” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.
Q {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v9. See note H above.

a widow was there gatheringR sticks;S he calledT to her

Notes on verse 10b

R “gathering” = qashash. 8x in OT. This is to gather or forage, generally either sticks or straw.
S “sticks” = ets. Perhaps from atsah (to shut, fasten, firm up, to close one’s eyes). This is tree or other things related to trees like wood, sticks, or stalks. It can also refer to wood products like a plank or staff or gallows. Additionally, this can refer to a carpenter.
T “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.

and said, “BringU, V me a littleW waterX in a vessel,Y so that I may drink.”Z 

Notes on verse 10c

U “bring” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
V {untranslated = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
W “little” = me’at. From ma’at (being or becoming small, decrease, diminish, pare off). This is a little or few, lightly little while, very small matter.
X “water” = mayim. This is water, waters, or waterway in a general sense. Figuratively, it can also mean juice, urine, or semen.
Y “vessel” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.
Z “drink” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.

11 As she was goingAA to bring it, he called to her and said, “BringBB me a morselCC of breadDD in your hand.”EE 

Notes on verse 11

AA “going” = halak. Same as “go now” in v9. See note D above.
BB {untranslated} = na. Same as {untranslated} in v10. See note V above.
CC “morsel” = path. 15x in OT. From pathath (to crumble, open, break). This is a piece, morsel, or fragment.
DD “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
EE “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.

12 But she said, “As the Lord your GodFF lives,GG I have nothing baked,HH

Notes on verse 12a

FF “God” = Elohim.
GG “lives” = chay. From chayah (to live or keep alive literally or figuratively). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
HH “baked” = maog. 2x in OT. From the same as uggah (bread cake, round ash cake); perhaps from ug (to gyrate, bake; baking a round cake). This is a cake, bread, feast, parasite.

only a handfulII of mealJJ in a jar,KK and a little oilLL in a jug;MM

Notes on verse 12b

II “handful” = melo + kaph. Melo is from male (fill, satisfy, replenish, accomplish, fulfill, confirm, or consecrate; fill in a literal or figurative sense). This is fullness in a literal or figurative sense. Kaph is from kaphaph (to bend – from a root meaning curve or bend down). This is palm of the hand or sole of the foot, footstep, grasp. Figuratively, it can also mean power.
JJ “meal” = qemach. 15x in OT. Root perhaps meaning to grind. This is something ground, such as flour, meal, or grain.
KK “jar” = kad. 18x in OT– 9x in Genesis 24 re: Isaac meeting Rebekah, 4x in Judges 7 of the empty jars that Gideon’s men had; 3x in 1 Kings 17 of the jar belonging to the widow of Zarephath, 1x in 1 Kings 18 of the jars filled with water as part of Elijah’s contest with the priests of Baal, and 1x in Ecclesiastes 12 regarding an extended metaphor of youth and old age – here a broken pitcher. This is a jar, pitcher, bowl, or pail. The root might mean to deepen. It is a vessel made of clay – earthenware, used domestically.
LL “oil” = shemen. From shamen (to shine, which implies being oily, growing fat). This is fat, oil, grease, olive oil – often with perfume. Used figuratively for fertile, lavish, rich.
MM “jug” = tsappachath. 7x in OT. This is jar, cruse, or saucer.

I am nowNN gathering a coupleOO of sticks, so that I may go homePP and prepareQQ it for myself and my son,RR that we may eatSS it, and die.”TT 

Notes on verse 12c

NN “now” = hen. Related to {untranslated} in v9. See note H above.
OO “couple” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
PP “go home” = bo. Same as “came” in v10. See note N above.
QQ “prepare” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
RR “son” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
SS “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
TT “die” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.

13 ElijahUU said to her, “Do not be afraid;VV goWW and doXX as you have said;YY

Notes on verse 13a

UU “Elijah” = Eliyyah. Related to “God” in v12 & “came” and “Lord” in v8. from el (see note FF above) + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note B above)}. This is Elijah, meaning “the Lord is God.’
VV “be afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
WW “go” = bo. Same as “came” in v10. See note N above.
XX “do” = asah. Same as “prepare” in v12. See note QQ above.
YY “said” = dabar. Same as “word” in v8. See note A above.

but firstZZ makeAAA me a littleBBB cakeCCC of it and bringDDD it to me, and afterwardsEEE make something for yourself and your son. 

Notes on verse 13b

ZZ “first” = rishon. From rishah (beginning or early time); from rosh (head, captain, or chief; excellent or the forefront; first in position or in statue or in time). This is first, former, ancestor, beginning, ranked first.
AAA “make” = asah. Same as “prepare” in v12. See note QQ above.
BBB “little” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.
CCC “cake” = uggah. Related to “baked” in v12. 7x in OT. See note HH above.
DDD “bring” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
EEE “afterwards” = acharon. From achar (to be behind, delay, be late, procrastinate, continue). This is end, last, coming behind, to loiter, later. It can also refer to the west.

14 For thus says the Lord the God of Israel:FFF The jar of meal will not be emptiedGGG and the jug of oil will not failHHH

Notes on verse 14a

FFF “Israel” = Yisrael. Related to “God” in v12 & “Elijah” in v13. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (see note FF above). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives  with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
GGG “emptied” = kalah. Related to “vessel” in v10. See note Y above.
HHH “fail” = chaser. This is to lack, abate, have need of, bereave, fail.

until the dayIII that the Lord sendsJJJ rainKKK on theLLL earth.”MMM 

Notes on verse 14b

III “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
JJJ “sends” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
KKK “rain” = geshem. Perhaps from gasham (to rain). This is rain, shower, or rainy. It can be used figuratively for blessing or for destruction.
LLL {untranslated} = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
MMM “earth” = adamah. From the same as adam (man, humankind); perhaps from ‘adom (to be red). This is ground, earth, soil as red, or land.

15 She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her householdNNN ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail,OOO according to the word of the Lord that he spokePPP byQQQ Elijah.

Notes on verses 15-16

NNN “household” = bayit. Related to “son” in v12. Probably from banah (see note RR above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
OOO “fail” = chaser. Related to “fail” in v14. 19x in OT. From chaser (see note HHH above). This is needy, lacking, without, void, or destitute. This is “I shall not want” from Psalm 23:1.
PPP “spoke” = dabar. Related to “word” in v8. See note A above.
QQQ “by” = yad. Same as “hand” in v11. See note EE above.

Image credit: “A Widow Feeds Elijah” by FreeBibleImages with Peter Hutley and the Wintershall Players.

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