Some parallels between the two narratives:

  • Both stories mention the “city gate” (1 Kings 17:10; Luke 7:12)

  • Both stories concern raising the dead son of a widow (1 Kings 17:10,21-2; Luke 7:12)

  • Both stories use the same introductory phrase, “And it came to pass” (1 Kings 17:17; Luke 7:11)

  • Both stories use the phrase,“delivered him to his mother” (1 Kings 17:23; Luke 7:15)

  • As a result of these miracles, Elijah and Jesus were both declared to be prophets (1 Kings 17:24; Luke 7:16)

Did Luke intentionally compose the story of Jesus raising the widow's son as a parallel of the Elijah story? If so, what point did he intend to convey by the parallel?

  • «Continuity between the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament is an assumption and should be explicitly stated as such (and in the case of questions about the Hebrew Bible with no mention of New Testament texts, it's relevance will likely also need to be defended). There are of course exceptions, such as when a New Testament text itself cites the Hebrew Bible.» See more... Dec 5, 2014 at 4:40
  • Dick, I edited this with goals of 1) clarifying the question and 2) grounding this firmly within the site's scope. Asking about a divine meta-narrative connecting these stories would likely be off topic, but asking about the author's intent (in this case, the author of the later work) seems to me interesting and on topic. However, if this was not the direction you wanted to go here, feel free to roll back/edit again and we can decide whether it's on topic however you like it.
    – Susan
    Dec 5, 2014 at 13:17
  • @Susan thx. I am trying to understand just what is on-topic and off-topic in terms of asking questions, and this is a great help. I had read an explanation and I wanted to see if anyone had a different answer. The answer I now see before me confirms what I read, and I might expand further by writing another answer. Dec 5, 2014 at 20:03
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    There's an article by J. Huddleston in the Journal of Theological Interpretation (Vol. 5, Fall 2011), titled, "What Would Elijah and Elisha Do? Internarrativity in Luke’s Story of Jesus." He argues that the pervasive points of contact to Elijah and Elisha in Luke's narratives are designed to invite comparison and allow the author to overturn in some cases the expectations formed as a result (e.g. 9:54-55, cf. 2 Kg 1).
    – Soldarnal
    Dec 6, 2014 at 7:20

1 Answer 1


1 Kings 17:23 = Lk 7:15 καὶ ἔδωκεν αὐτὸν τῇ μητρὶ αὐτοῦ

The wording in Lk 7:15 agrees word for word with 1 Kings 17:23 (LXX). I think it is very likely that the author of Luke had the LXX version of the Elijah story in front of him (or at least in his memory) and took it as a literary model.

Compare also:

1 Kings 17:10 εἰς τὸν πυλῶνα τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἰδοὺ….

with Lk 7:12 τῇ πύλῃ τῆς πόλεως, καὶ ἰδοὺ…

But the details of the two stories are rather different.

  • Thanks. This confirms what I read. Rex Weyler says in 'The Jesus Sayings' that evidence that Luke copies from the earlier story is confirmed because no wall or city gate appears in the archaeological record of Nain, which was only a small village in Galilee. He says the author was unfamiliar with Galilee and simply unaware of this. Dec 5, 2014 at 20:11

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