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80 Bible Verses About Famine

    Famine is a recurring motif in the Bible, often depicted as a punishment for sin or an instrument for testing faith. By examining various Biblical verses about famine, one can gain insights into the significance and role of this event in the narrative of faith.

    What Does the Bible Reveal About Famine?

    The Bible lends great significance to the concept of famine. Famine, in many instances, is portrayed as a divine response to human sinfulness. Israel’s corrupt kings and people often faced famine as a result of their disobedience, symbolizing the deprivation of God’s blessings due to their sinful actions. Similarly, famines are also seen as tests of faith, forcing believers to rely on God’s providence in times of scarcity.

    Who Experienced Famine in the Bible?

    Various characters in the Bible faced famine. Notably, Abraham, the ancestral figure of the Israelites, encountered famine in Canaan, prompting him to go to Egypt. His son Isaac also confronted famine years later. The story of Jacob’s sons traveling to Egypt due to severe famine in Canaan highlights the theme of survival and redemption. Perhaps the most well-known story of famine in the Bible is that of Joseph, who interpreted Pharaoh’s dream about seven years of abundance followed by seven years of famine. Joseph’s prudent planning during the years of abundance saved Egypt and surrounding nations during the famine.

    When Did Famine Occur in the Bible?

    Famines in the Bible took place at different periods in history. The story of Abraham’s encounter with famine comes from the book of Genesis, during the early history of the Hebrew people. Decades later, a severe famine struck during the time of Jacob and his sons, playing a crucial role in the unfolding of God’s plan to create a great nation out of the Israelites. Another significant famine is reported during the time of the Judges, during which Ruth and her family left Bethlehem. The prophet Elijah also prophesied a period of drought and famine during the reign of King Ahab of Israel.

    Why Are Famines Significant in the Bible?

    Famines are significant in the Bible as they often serve as turning points in the narrative. They are utilized by God to showcase His power and deliverance. For instance, during the seven-year famine foreseen by Joseph, God presented an opportunity for Joseph to rise from a prisoner to a ruler. The famine paved the way for the Israelites to settle in Egypt, setting the stage for the eventual Exodus and formation of the Israelite nation. Further, famines also allowed Biblical characters such as Ruth and Naomi to showcase their resilience and unwavering faith in God, even in times of adversity.

    How Does the Bible Resolve Famine?

    The Bible often resolves famines by demonstrating God’s timely intervention. He provides manna from heaven during the Exodus, saves the family of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob by leading them to resources, and uses Joseph’s prophetic skills to prevent a disastrous famine in Egypt. The Bible assures readers that though famine is harsh, it is not final. It consistently presents God as the ultimate provider who can turn scarcity into abundance, asserting that reliance on God can lead to deliverance and sustenance amidst famine.

    Below is the full list of bible verses on famine (King James Version – KJV). The list is ranked in order of popularity and we hope you find the inspiration you need.

    Most Popular Bible Verses About Famine

    Amos 8:11

    11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:”

    Related Themes: Apostasy

    Luke 21:11

    11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”

    Related Themes: Pestilence Weather

    Matthew 24:7

    7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.”

    Related Themes: Pestilence

    Genesis 41:53-57

    53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended.54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt.57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.”

    Genesis 12:10

    10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.”

    Related Themes: Telling The Truth Strangers

    Psalm 107:34

    34 A fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.”

    Amos 4:6-9

    6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.7 And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.8 So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.9 I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.”

    2 Kings 7:4

    4 If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.”

    Job 5:20

    20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.”

    Jeremiah 52:6

    6 And in the fourth month, in the ninth day of the month, the famine was sore in the city, so that there was no bread for the people of the land.”

    Ezekiel 14:13

    13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:”

    Related Themes: Trespassing

    Psalm 37:19

    19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”

    Genesis 26:1

    1 And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar.”

    Joel 1:16

    16 Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yea, joy and gladness from the house of our God?”

    Psalm 105:16

    16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread.”

    Lamentations 5:10

    10 Our skin was black like an oven because of the terrible famine.”

    Luke 12:33

    33 Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth.”

    Related Themes: Homelessness Money Homelessness Money Heart

    Jeremiah 48:33

    33 And joy and gladness is taken from the plentiful field, and from the land of Moab; and I have caused wine to fail from the winepresses: none shall tread with shouting; their shouting shall be no shouting.”

    Joel 1:17-20

    17 The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.18 How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yea, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.19 O LORD, to thee will I cry: for the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame hath burned all the trees of the field.20 The beasts of the field cry also unto thee: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire hath devoured the pastures of the wilderness.”

    Ruth 1:1

    1 Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.”

    Amos 8:11-12

    11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.”

    Related Themes: Apostasy

    Revelation 6:5-8

    5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see.8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.”

    Isaiah 3:1-8

    1 For, behold, the Lord, the LORD of hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water,2 The mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prophet, and the prudent, and the ancient,3 The captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counseller, and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator.4 And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.5 And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable.6 When a man shall take hold of his brother of the house of his father, saying, Thou hast clothing, be thou our ruler, and let this ruin be under thy hand:7 In that day shall he swear, saying, I will not be an healer; for in my house is neither bread nor clothing: make me not a ruler of the people.8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory.”

    Related Themes: Manipulation Respecting Your Parents

    Acts 11:28

    28 And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.”

    1 Kings 18:1

    1 And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.”

    Luke 14:12-14

    12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.”

    Related Themes: Hospitality Serving The Poor Strangers Education

    Jeremiah 19:9

    9 And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and they shall eat every one the flesh of his friend in the siege and straitness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives, shall straiten them.”

    Ezekiel 5:16

    16 When I shall send upon them the evil arrows of famine, which shall be for their destruction, and which I will send to destroy you: and I will increase the famine upon you, and will break your staff of bread:”

    1 Samuel 28:6

    6 And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.”

    1 Chronicles 21:12

    12 Either three years’ famine; or three months to be destroyed before thy foes, while that the sword of thine enemies overtaketh thee; or else three days the sword of the LORD, even the pestilence, in the land, and the angel of the LORD destroying throughout all the coasts of Israel. Now therefore advise thyself what word I shall bring again to him that sent me.”