BREENBERGH, Bartholomeus
(b. 1598/1600, Deventer, d. 1657, Amsterdam)

Elijah and the Widow of Zarephath

c. 1630
Oil on panel, 28 x 49 cm
Private collection

Elijah was a Hebrew prophet, a forceful character who vigorously opposed the cult of Baal among the Israelites. During a prolonged drought Elijah went to dwell by the brook Cherith which still ran. But the brook dried up so Elijah moved on to the city of Zarephath where he met a widow gathering sticks who gave him food and drink. The widow's son was mortally sick so Elijah carried him upstairs where he 'stretched himself upon the child three times' and called upon God. By this means the child was revived (I Kings 17:8-24).

Breenbergh painted this subject several times.