Story Three

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 5
AFTER Jĕr-o-bṓ am and Nā́ dăb his son, Bā́ a-shȧ reigned as king of Ĭś̝ ra-el. But he did as Jĕr-o-bṓ am had done before him, disobeying the word of the Lord and worshipping idols. Therefore the Lord sent a prophet to Bā́ a-shȧ, saying, "Thus saith the Lord to Bā́ a-shȧ., king of Ĭś̝ ra-el, I lifted you up from the dust and made you the prince over my people Ĭś̝ ra-el. But you have walked in the way of Jĕr-o-bṓ am, and have made Ĭś̝ ra-el sin. Therefore your family shall be destroyed, like the family of Jĕr-o-bṓ am.”
When Bā́ a-shȧ died, his son Ḗ lah became king; but while he was drinking wine and making himself drunk, his servant, Zĭḿ rī, came in and killed him, and killed also all his family, and all the house of Bā́ a-shȧ, so that not one was left.
Zĭḿ rī tried to make himself king, but his reign was short, only seven days. Ŏḿ rī, the general of the Ĭś̝ ra-el-īte army, made war upon him, and shut him up in his palace. When Zĭḿ rī found that he could not escape, he set his palace on fire and was burned up with it. After this there was war in Ĭś̝ ra-el between Ŏḿ rī and another man, named Tĭb́ nī, each trying to win the kingdom. But at last Tĭb́ nī was slain, and Ŏḿ rī became king.
Ŏḿ rī was not a good man, for he worshipped idols, like the kings before him. But he was a strong king, and made his kingdom great. He made peace with the kingdom of Jū́ dah, for there had been war between Jū́ dah and Ĭ́ ra-el ever since Jĕr-o-bṓ am had founded the kingdom. Ŏḿ rī bought a hill in the middle of the land, from a man named Shemer; and on the hill he built a city which he named Sā̇́ mā́ rĭ-ȧ, after the name of the man from whom he had bought the hill. The city of Sā̇-mā́ rĭ-ȧ became in Ĭś̝ ra-el what Jē̇-rṳ́ sā̇-lĕm was in Jū́ dah, the chief city and capital. Before the time of Ŏḿ ri the kings of Ĭś̝ ra-el had lived in different cities, sometimes in Shḗ chem, and sometimes in Tīŕ zah; but after Ŏḿ rī all the kings lived in Sā̇-mā́ rĭ-ȧ; so that the kingdom itself was often called "the kingdom of Sā̇-mā́ rĭ-ȧ.”
After Ŏḿ rī came his son, Ā́ hăb, as king of Ĭś̝ ra-el, reigning in Sā̇-mā́ rĭ-ȧ. He was worse than any of the kings before him. Ā́ hăb took for his wife Jĕź e-bĕl, the daughter of the king of Zī́ dŏn, on the coast of the Great Sea; and Jĕź e-bĕl brought into Ĭś̝ ra-el the worship of Bā́ al and of the Ash-ḗ rah, which was far more wicked than even the worship of the golden calves at Bĕth́=el and Dăn. And Jĕź e-bĕl was so bitter against the worship of the Lord God of Ĭś̝ ra-el that she sought out the prophets of the Lord everywhere, and slew them; so that to save their lives the prophets hid in caves among the mountains.
You remember that when Jŏsh́u-ȧ destroyed and burned the city of Jĕŕ ĭ-chō, he spoke a curse, in the name of the Lord, upon any man who should ever build again the walls of Jĕŕ ĭ-chō. (See Story Two in Part Second.) In the days of Ā́ hăb, king of Ĭś̝ ra-el, five hundred years after Jŏsh́ u-ȧ, the walls of Jĕŕ ĭ-chō were built by a man named Hī́ el, who came from Bĕth́=el, the place of the idol temple. When he laid the foundation of the wall his oldest son, Ā̇-bī́ ram, died; and when he set up the gates of the city his youngest son, Sḗ gub, died. Thus came to pass the word of the Lord spoken by Jŏsh́ u-ȧ.
In the reign of King Ahab a great prophet suddenly rose up, named Ē̇-lī́ jah. He came from the land of Ḡĭĺ e-ăd, beyond the river Jôŕ dan, and he lived alone out in the wilderness. His clothing was a mantle of skin, and his hair and beard were long and rough. Without any warning, Ē̇-lī́ jah came into the presence of King Ā́ hăb, and said, "As the Lord God of Ĭś̝ ra-el lives, before whom I stand, there shall not fall upon the ground any dew or rain until I call for it.”
And then he went away as suddenly as he had come. At the Lord's command he hid himself in a wild place by the brook Chḗ rĭth, which flows down from the mountains into the river Jordan. There he drank of the water in the brook, and every day the wild birds, the ravens, brought him food.
It came to pass as Ē̇-lī́ jah had said, that no rain fell upon the land, and there was not even any dew upon the grass. Every day the brook from which Ē̇-lī́ jah drank grew smaller, until at last it was dry, and there was no water. Then the Lord spoke to Ē̇-lī́ jah again, and said, "Rise up, and go to Zăŕ e-phăth, which is near to Zī́ dŏn, by the Great Sea, on the north of the land of Ĭś̝ ra-el. I have commanded a widow woman there to care for you." So Ē̇-lī́ jah left the brook Chḗ rĭth and walked northward through the land until he came near to the city of Zăŕ-e-phăth. There, beside the gate of the city, he saw a woman dressed as a widow picking up sticks. Ē-lī́ jah said to her, "Will you bring to me some water, that I may drink?”
She went to bring him the water, and Ē-lī́ jah said again, "Bring me also, I pray you, a little piece of bread to eat.”
And the woman said to Ē-lī́ jah, "As sure as the Lord your God lives, I have not in the house even a loaf of bread; but only one handful of meal in the barrel, and a little oil in a bottle; and now am gathering a few sticks to make a fire, that I may bake it for me and my son; and when we have eaten it, there is nothing left for us but to die.”
Then the word of the Lord came to Ē-lī́ jah, and he said to the woman, "Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake, and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son. For thus saith the Lord, the God of Ĭś̝ ra-el, 'The barrel of meal shall not waste nor the bottle of oil fail, until the day when the Lord sends rain upon the earth.'
And the widow woman believed Ē-lī́ jah's word. She took from her barrel the meal and from her bottle the oil, and made a little cake for the prophet, and then found enough left for herself and for her son. And the barrel always had meal in it, and the bottle held oil every day. And the prophet, and the woman, and her son had food as long as they needed it.
After this, one day the son of the widow was taken very and his illness was so great that there was no breath left in him. The boy's mother said to Ē-lī́ jah, "O man of God! have you come here to cause my son to die?”
And Ē-lī́ jah said to her, "Give me your son.”
And Ē-lī́ jah carried the boy up to his own room, and laid him on the bed. Then he cried to the Lord, and said, "O Lord God, halt thou brought trouble upon this woman, by taking away the life of her son?”
Then he stretched himself upon the child's body three times, and cried to the Lord again, "O Lord God, I pray thee, let this child's soul come into him again!”
And the Lord heard Ē-lí̄ jah's prayer, and the child became living once more. Then Ē-lī́ jah carried the living boy back to his mother; and she said, "Now I am sure that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord which you speak is the truth.”
Lesson 33. Elijah.
(Read Story 3 in Part Fourth.)
1. Who was the most wicked of all the kings of Israel? Ahab.
2. What was the name of Ahab wife, who led him to wickedness? Jezebel.
3. At what city did the kings of Israel live? At Samaria.
4. What great prophet came at the time while Ahab was king? Elijah.
5. What did Elijah tell King Ahab? That no rain should come upon the land.
6. Where did Elijah hide from King Ahab? By the brook Cherith.
7. Who brought him food while he was by the brook? Wild birds called ravens.
8. Where did God send Elijah afterward? To the city of Zarephath.
9. Who cared for Elijah in that city? A poor widow.
10. What did Elijah do for this widow? He brought her dead son to life,