Who was Sarepta’s widow?

Sarepta’s widow was a lady who welcomed the prophet Elijah, despite being very poor. God rewarded Sarepta’s widow for her hospitality and cared for her only child.

The city of Sarepta was in Sidom, a pagan land in northern Israel. Elias fled there because he was being pursued. The king of Israel, named Ahab, was a very bad man and persecuted God’s prophets.

Because of Ahab’s sin, the prophet Elijah announced that it would not rain. It didn’t rain for three years and the whole region went hungry. Elijah hid from Ahab, living by a small stream for some time and being fed by crows every day. But the drought worsened and the stream dried up. Therefore, God sent Elijah to Sarepta ( 1 Kings 17: 7-9 ).

See here: who was Ahab?

Elijah and Sarepta’s widow

When Elias arrived at the gate of the city of Sarepta, he found a widow gathering firewood to make a fire. Elijah then asked for some water and a piece of bread ( 1 Kings 17: 10-11 ). The widow agreed to bring the water but explained that she had no bread at home.

Sarepta’s widow was gathering firewood for her last meal! She only had a little flour and oil, enough to make some bread for herself and her only son. After eating the bread, they would have nothing else to eat or buy food ( 1 Kings 17:12 ). They would both starve to death.

Elias told the widow that she need not be afraid. If she made him some bread, the flour and oil would not run out until the drought was over ( 1 Kings 17: 13-14 ). God would multiply the food! Sarepta’s widow believed Elijah and obeyed. And, as Elijah had prophesied, the flour and oil were not over . The food fed Elias, the widow and her family for a long time.

See also the story of the prophet Elijah.

The resurrection of the widow’s son

After some time, the son of Sarepta’s widow became very ill and died. Then she came to Elijah and asked what she had done to deserve this ( 1 Kings 17: 17-18 ). She had helped Elias but now her son was dead!

Elijah took the widow’s son, took the body to his room and prayed to God. He lay on the boy three times, asking God to bring him back to life. Then the boy woke up! Elijah took the boy to his mother and Sarepta’s widow believed in God ( 1 Kings 17: 22-24 ).

The Bible tells us nothing more about what happened to Sarepta’s widow. However, we can see from these two episodes that her life has been completely transformed . Sarepta’s widow knew God’s love and power and received new hope!

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