In 1 Kings 17:9-10 Elijah is commanded by God to go to Zarephath where God had commanded a widow to provide for him. When Elijah got there he saw a woman gathering sticks outside the city gates. How did Elijah know that she was a widow? Was there some distinction between Married, single, and widowed women by their dress or something similar that would have indicated her as such? Or did God direct Elijah that she was the one to lodge with?

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There are many examples in Scripture that tell us something about how prophets of God "know" things:

  • Acts 8:29 - The Spirit told Philip, "Go to that chariot and stay near it."
  • Acts 10:19 - While Peter was thinking about the vision, the Spirit told him, "Three men are here looking for you. ...
  • Acts 11;12 - The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. ...
  • Acts 21:4 - Through the Spirit they told Paul not to go to Jerusalem. ...
  • 1 Sam 16:12 - So Jesse sent for his youngest son and brought him in. He was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. And the LORD said, “Rise and anoint him, for he is the one.”
  • Eze 11:5 - The LORD's Spirit came to me and told me to say, "This is what the LORD says: You are saying these things, nation of Israel. But ...

Since Elijah was a prophet of God, it is entirely possible that, in addition to her widow's clothing (assuming it was even noticeable) that Elijah was instructed directly by the Spirit of God.

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