I Kings 17:7-16
וַיְהִי מִקֵּץ יָמִים, וַיִּיבַשׁ הַנָּחַל כִּי לֹא-הָיָה גֶשֶׁם, בָּאָרֶץ. וַיְהִי דְבַר-ה', אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר. קוּם לֵךְ צָרְפַתָה אֲשֶׁר לְצִידוֹן, וְיָשַׁבְתָּ שָׁם; הִנֵּה צִוִּיתִי שָׁם אִשָּׁה אַלְמָנָה, לְכַלְכְּלֶךָ. וַיָּקָם וַיֵּלֶךְ צָרְפַתָה, וַיָּבֹא אֶל-פֶּתַח הָעִיר, וְהִנֵּה-שָׁם אִשָּׁה אַלְמָנָה, מְקֹשֶׁשֶׁת עֵצִים; וַיִּקְרָא אֵלֶיהָ וַיֹּאמַר, קְחִי-נָא לִי מְעַט-מַיִם בַּכְּלִי וְאֶשְׁתֶּה. וַתֵּלֶךְ, לָקַחַת; וַיִּקְרָא אֵלֶיהָ וַיֹּאמַר, לִקְחִי-נָא לִי פַּת-לֶחֶם בְּיָדֵךְ. וַתֹּאמֶר, חַי-ה' אֱלֹהֶיךָ אִם-יֶשׁ-לִי מָעוֹג, כִּי אִם-מְלֹא כַף-קֶמַח בַּכַּד, וּמְעַט-שֶׁמֶן בַּצַּפָּחַת; וְהִנְנִי מְקֹשֶׁשֶׁת שְׁנַיִם עֵצִים, וּבָאתִי וַעֲשִׂיתִיהוּ לִי וְלִבְנִי, וַאֲכַלְנֻהוּ, וָמָתְנוּ. וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ אֵלִיָּהוּ אַל-תִּירְאִי, בֹּאִי עֲשִׂי כִדְבָרֵךְ; אַךְ עֲשִׂי-לִי מִשָּׁם עֻגָה קְטַנָּה בָרִאשֹׁנָה, וְהוֹצֵאת לִי, וְלָךְ וְלִבְנֵךְ, תַּעֲשִׂי בָּאַחֲרֹנָה. כִּי כֹה אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, כַּד הַקֶּמַח לֹא תִכְלָה, וְצַפַּחַת הַשֶּׁמֶן, לֹא תֶחְסָר: עַד יוֹם תתן- (תֵּת-) ה', גֶּשֶׁם--עַל-פְּנֵי הָאֲדָמָה. וַתֵּלֶךְ וַתַּעֲשֶׂה, כִּדְבַר אֵלִיָּהוּ; וַתֹּאכַל הוא-והיא (הִיא-וָהוּא) וּבֵיתָהּ, יָמִים. כַּד הַקֶּמַח לֹא כָלָתָה, וְצַפַּחַת הַשֶּׁמֶן לֹא חָסֵר--כִּדְבַר ה', אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר בְּיַד אֵלִיָּהוּ.
After some time the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land. And the word of Adonai came to him [Elijah]: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon, and stay there; I have designated a widow there to feed you." So he went at once to Zarephath. When he came to the entrance of the town, a widow was there gathering wood. He called out to her, "Please bring me a little water in your pitcher, and let me drink." As she went to fetch it, he called out to her, "Please bring along a piece of bread for me." "As Adonai your God lives," she replied, "I have nothing baked, nothing but a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am just gathering a couple of sticks, so that I can go home and prepare it for me and my son; we shall eat it and then we shall die." "Don't be afraid," said Elijah to her. "Go and do as you have said; but first make me a small cake from what you have there, and bring it out to me; then make some for yourself and your son. For thus said Adonai, the God of Israel: The jar of flour shall not give out and the jug of oil shall not fail until the day that Adonai sends rain upon the ground." She went and did as Elijah had spoken, and she and he and her household had food for a long time. The jar of flour did not give out, nor did the jug of oil fail, just as Adonai had spoken through Elijah. [JPS translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Why do you think God chose this widow to feed Elijah?

2. Who are the players in this text--seen and unseen?

3. What are the power dynamics between them?

4. This text describes a miracle that saved a household from hunger. What, if anything, can we learn from this text in a world in which miracles don't save people from hunger?

Time Period: Biblical (early ancestors to 165 BCE)