Dearth — a scarcity of provisions (1 Kings 17). There were frequent dearths in Palestine. In the days of Abram there was a “famine in the land” (Gen. 12:10), so also in the days of Jacob (47:4, 13). We read also of dearths in the time of the judges (Ruth 1:1), and of the kings (2 Sam. 21:1; 1 Kings 18:2; 2 Kings 4:38; 8:1).
In New Testament times there was an extensive famine in Palestine (Acts 11:28) in the fourth year of the reign of the emperor Claudius (A.D. 44 and 45).