The Meaning of 1 Kings 17:12 Explained

1 Kings 17:12

KJV: And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

YLT: And she saith, 'Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but the fulness of the hand of meal in a pitcher, and a little oil in a dish; and lo, I am gathering two sticks, and have gone in and prepared it for myself, and for my son, and we have eaten it -- and died.'

Darby: And she said, As Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse; and behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

ASV: And she said, As Jehovah thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but a handful of meal in the jar, and a little oil in the cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.

What does 1 Kings 17:12 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Kings 17:8-16 - The Jar Of Meal That Wasted Not
Even at Cherith we cannot be exempt from trial, and it is hard to sit beside a gradually dwindling brook. But God always provides. None of them that trust in Him shall be desolate. Whether the visible agents are ravens, or a poor heathen widow ready to perish, it matters little. God's majestic "I have commanded" is enough. Whether it is ordinary or extraordinary, natural or supernatural, through Jew or Gentile, God's purpose does not tarry.
Gentile help supplied what Israel might not give, Luke 4:25-26. God uses the weak and foolish things as well as those which are not, 1 Corinthians 1:28. Yet there were noble qualities in this woman. She did not complain, but went at once for the water; she was generous and hospitable, and believed that God would supply their need. How little did she realize the greatness of her reward, Matthew 10:41-42! But her faith was great. She stood the test of making Elijah's cake first, believing that afterward there would be enough for herself and her son. Though she little understood it, she had within her a spark of the same fire that burned in the soul of the great prophet; and therefore, when we all stand in our lot at the end of the days, Daniel 12:13, her portion will be with the great prophets and heroes of faith. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Kings 17

1  Elijah, having prophesied against Ahab,
3  is sent to Cherith where the ravens feed him
8  He is sent to the widow of Zarephath
17  He raises the widow's son
24  The woman believes him

What do the individual words in 1 Kings 17:12 mean?

So she said as lives Yahweh your God not do have I bread for only a full a handful of flour in a jar and little a oil in a jug and see I [am] gathering two sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son that we may eat it and die
וַתֹּ֗אמֶר חַי־ יְהוָ֤ה אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙ אִם־ יֶשׁ־ לִ֣י מָע֔וֹג כִּ֣י אִם־ מְלֹ֤א כַף־ קֶ֙מַח֙ בַּכַּ֔ד וּמְעַט־ שֶׁ֖מֶן בַּצַּפָּ֑חַת וְהִנְנִ֨י מְקֹשֶׁ֜שֶׁת שְׁנַ֣יִם עֵצִ֗ים וּבָ֙אתִי֙ וַעֲשִׂיתִ֙יהוּ֙ לִ֣י וְלִבְנִ֔י וַאֲכַלְנֻ֖הוּ וָמָֽתְנוּ

וַתֹּ֗אמֶר  So  she  said 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Consecutive imperfect, third person feminine singular
Root: אָמַר 
Sense: to say, speak, utter.
חַי־  as  lives 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: חַי 
Sense: living, alive.
יְהוָ֤ה  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֱלֹהֶ֙יךָ֙  your  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural construct, second person masculine singular
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
יֶשׁ־  do  have 
Parse: Adverb
Root: יֵשׁ  
Sense: being, existence, substance, there is or are.
מָע֔וֹג  bread 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: מָעֹוג  
Sense: cake.
אִם־  only 
Parse: Conjunction
Root: אִם  
Sense: if.
מְלֹ֤א  a  full 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: מְלֹא  
Sense: fullness, that which fills.
כַף־  a  handful 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular construct
Root: כַּף  
Sense: palm, hand, sole, palm of the hand, hollow or flat of the hand.
קֶ֙מַח֙  of  flour 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: קֶמַח  
Sense: flour, meal, meal flour.
בַּכַּ֔ד  in  a  jar 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: כַּד  
Sense: jar, large jar (portable).
וּמְעַט־  and  little 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Adjective, masculine singular construct
Root: מְעַט  
Sense: littleness, few, a little, fewness.
שֶׁ֖מֶן  a  oil 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: שֶׁמֶן  
Sense: fat, oil.
בַּצַּפָּ֑חַת  in  a  jug 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, feminine singular
Root: צַפַּחַת  
Sense: jar, jug (for liquids).
וְהִנְנִ֨י  and  see 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Interjection, first person common singular
Root: הֵן  
Sense: behold, lo, though hypothetical part.
מְקֹשֶׁ֜שֶׁת  I  [am]  gathering 
Parse: Verb, Piel, Participle, feminine singular
Root: קָשַׁשׁ 
Sense: to gather, assemble, collect, gather stubble or sticks.
שְׁנַ֣יִם  two 
Parse: Number, md
Root: שְׁנַיִם  
Sense: two.
עֵצִ֗ים  sticks 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: עֵץ  
Sense: tree, wood, timber, stock, plank, stalk, stick, gallows.
וּבָ֙אתִי֙  that  I  may  go  in 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, first person common singular
Root: בֹּוא 
Sense: to go in, enter, come, go, come in.
וַעֲשִׂיתִ֙יהוּ֙  and  prepare  it 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, first person common singular, third person masculine singular
Root: עָשָׂה 
Sense: to do, fashion, accomplish, make.
לִ֣י  for  myself 
Parse: Preposition, first person common singular
וְלִבְנִ֔י  and  my  son 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition-l, Noun, masculine singular construct, first person common singular
Root: בֵּן 
Sense: son, grandson, child, member of a group.
וַאֲכַלְנֻ֖הוּ  that  we  may  eat  it 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, first person common plural, third person masculine singular
Root: אָכַל  
Sense: to eat, devour, burn up, feed.
וָמָֽתְנוּ  and  die 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, first person common plural
Root: מוּת  
Sense: to die, kill, have one executed.