An oppressive government is more to be feared than a tiger. — Confucius

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The Prophet Whose Prayer Raised a Boy to Life

After Jeroboam and Nadab, his son Baasha reigned as king of Israel. But he did as Jeroboam had done before him, disobeying the word of the Lord and worshipping idols. Therefore the Lord sent a prophet to Baasha, saying, "Thus saith the Lord to Baasha, king of Israel, I lifted you up from the dust and made you the prince over my people Israel. But you have walked in the way of Jeroboam, and have made Israel sin. Therefore your family shall be destroyed, like the family of Jeroboam."

When Baasha died, his son Elah became king; but while he was drinking wine and making himself drunk, his servant, Zimri, came in and killed him, and killed also all his family, and all the house of Baasha, so that not one was left.

Zimri tried to make himself king, but his reign was short, only seven days. Omri, the general of the Israelite army, made war upon him, and shut him up in his palace When Zimri found that he could not escape, he set his palace on fire and was burned up with it. After this there was war in Israel between Omri and another man, named Tibni, each trying to win the kingdom. But at last Tibni was slain, and Omri became king.

Omri 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 Judah, for there had been war between Judah and Israel ever since Jeroboam had founded the kingdom. Omri 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 Samaria, after the name of the man from whom he had bought the hill. The city of Samaria became in Israel what Jerusalem was in Judah, the chief city and capital. Before the time of Omri the kings of Israel had lived in different cities, sometimes in Sheehem, and sometimes in Tirzah; but after Omri all the kings lived in Samaria; so that the kingdom itself was often called "the kingdom of Samaria."

After Omri came his son, Ahab, as king of Israel, reigning in Samaria. He was worse than any of the kings before him. Ahab took for his wife Jezebel, the daughter of the king of Zidon, on the coast of the Great Sea; and Jezebel brought into Israel the worship of Baal and of the Asherah (see Story Eight in Part Second), which was far more wicked than even the worship of the golden calves at Bethel and Dan And Jezebel was so bitter against the worship of the Lord God of Israel 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 Joshua destroyed and burned the city of Jericho, he spoke a curse, in the name of the Lord, upon any man who should ever build again the walls of Jericho (See Story Two in Part Second). In the days of Ahab, king of Israel, five hundred years after Joshua, the walls of Jericho were built by a man name Hiel, who came from Bethel, the place of the idol-temple. When he laid the foundation of the wall his oldest son, Abiram, died; and when he set up the gates of the city his youngest son, Segub, died. Thus came to pass the word of the Lord spoken by Joshua

In the reign of King Ahab a great prophet suddenly rose up, named Elijah. He came from the land of Gilead, beyond the river Jordan, 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, Elijah came into the presence of King Ahab, and said, "as the Lord God of Israel 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 Cherith, 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.

Elijah was fed by the birds

It came to pass as Elijah 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 Elijah drank grew smaller, until at last it was dry, and there was no water. Then the Lord spoke to Elijah again, and said, "Rise up, and go to Zarephath, which is near to Zidon, by the Great Sea, on the north of the land of Israel. I have commanded a widow woman there to care for you."

So Elijah left the brook Cherith and walked northward through the land until he came near to the city of Zarephath. There, beside the gate of the city, he saw a woman dressed as a widow picking up sticks. Elijah said to her, "Will you bring to me some water, that I may drink?"

She went to bring him the water, and Elijah said again, "Bring me also, I pray you, a little piece of bread to eat."

And the woman said to Elijah, "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 at little oil in a bottle; and now I 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 world of the Lord came to Elijah, 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 Israel, "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 Elijah'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 ill, and his illness was so great that there was no breath left in him. The boy's mother said to Elijah, "O man of God! Have you come here to cause my son to die?"

And Elijah said to her, "Give me your son."

And Elijah 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, hast 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 Elijah's prayer, and the child became living once more. Then Elijah 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."

Elijah brings the boy to his mother


Front Matter

The Story of a Beautiful Garden
The First Baby in the World and His Brother
The Great Ship That Saved Eight People
The Tower That Was Never Finished
The Story of a Long Journey
How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing
The Angel by the Well
The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City
The Boy Who Became an Archer
How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life
The Story of a Journey after a Wife
How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing
Jacob's Wonderful Dream
A Midnight Wrestling Match
The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave
From the Prison to the Palace
How Joseph's Dream Came True
A Lost Brother Found
From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty
The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River
The Voice from the Burning Bush
The River That Ran Blood
The Night When a Nation Was Born
How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre
The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke
How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It
The Tent Where God Lived Among His People
How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle
What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons
The Scapegoat in the Wilderness
The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan
How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an
What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass
How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land
The Story of Job
The Story of a Scarlet Cord
How the River Jordan Became Dry
The Story of a Wedge of Gold
How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan
The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants
The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge
The Story of an Altar Beside the River
The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon
How a Woman Won a Great Victory
Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred
Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It
The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died
The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest
How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz
The Little Boy with a Linen Coat
How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark
The Last of the Judges
The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King
How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh
The Brave Young Prince
Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss
The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem
The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant
The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows
Where David Found the Giant's Sword
How David Spared Saul's Life
The Last Days of King Saul
The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King
The Sound in the Treetops
The Cripple at the King's Table
The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb
David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom
Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne
The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah
Solomon on This Father's Throne
The Wise Young King
The House of God on Mount Moriah
The Last Days of Solomon's Reign
The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom
The King Who Led Israel to Sin
The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life
The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire
The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount
The Wounded Prophet and His Story
What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard
The Arrow That Killed a King
Elijah's Chariot of Fire
A Spring Sweetened by Salt
The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison
The Little Boy at Shunem
How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper
The Chariots of Fire around Elisha
What the Lepers Found in the Camp
Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot
Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh
How the Ten Tribes Were Lost
The First Four Kings of Judah
The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King
Three Kings and a Great Prophet
The Good King Hezekiah
The Lost Book Found in the Temple
The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph
What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley
The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King
The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace
The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again
The Writing upon the Wall
Daniel in the Den of Lions
The Story of a Joyous Journey
The New Temple on Mount Moriah
The Beautiful Queen of Persia
The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament
The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem
Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem
The Angel by the Altar
The Manger of Bethlehem
The Star and the Wise Men
The Boy in his Father's House
The Prophet in the Wilderness
Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River
The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast
The Stranger at the Well
The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot
A Net Full of Fishes
The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof
The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand
The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount
The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn
Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea
"Peace, Be Still"
The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life
A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her
The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It
The Answer to a Mother's Prayer
The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain
The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus
At the Feast of Tabernacles
The Man with Clay on His Face
The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan
Lazarus Raised to Life
Some Parables in Perea
The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man
Jesus at Jericho
Palm Sunday
The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple
The Parables on the Mount of Olives
The Last Supper
The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall
The Crown of Thorns
The Darkest Day of All the World
The Brightest Day of All the World
The Stranger on the Shore
The Church of the First Days
The Man at the Beautiful Gate
The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way
Stephen with the Shining Face
The Man Reading in the Chariot
The Voice That Spoke to Saul
What Peter Saw by the Sea
How the Iron Gate Was Opened
The Earliest Missionaries
The Song in the Prison
Paul's Speech on the Hill
Paul at Corinth
Paul at Ephesus
Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem
The Speech on the Stairs
Two Years in Prison
The Story That Paul Told to the King
Paul in the Storm
How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There
The Throne of God
The City of God