1 Samuel 1 Commentary

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
1 Samuel Chart from Charles Swindoll

TIMELINE OF THE BOOKS OF
SAMUEL, KINGS & CHRONICLES

1107

1011

971

931

853

722

586

1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 1 Kings 2 Kings

31

1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25

1Chr

10

  1 Chr
11-19
  1 Chr
20-29

2 Chronicles
1-9

2 Chronicles
10-20

2 Chronicles
21-36

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.


The Ryrie Study Bible


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Map on Left ESV Global Study Bible, on right Jensen's Survey of the OT
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The Man Samuel in 1 Samuel 1-8

1 Samuel 1:1 Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

NET  1 Samuel 1:1 There was a man from Ramathaim Zophim, from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:1 There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:1 There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:1 And there is a certain man of Ramathaim-Zophim, of the hill-country of Ephraim, and his name is Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, and Ephrathite,

  • Ramathaim zophim: This ancient town, now called Ramla, is, according to Phocas, about thirty-six miles west of Jerusalem, and, according to modern travellers, about nine miles from Joppa and a league from Lydda, between which it is situated.  It is built on a rising ground, on a rich plain, and contains about two thousand families. 1Sa 1:19 Mt 27:57, Arimathea
  • mount: Jdg 17:1 Jdg 19:1 
  • Elkanah: 1Ch 6:25-27,34 
  • Zuph: 1Sa 9:5 
  • Ephraimite: 1Sa 17:12 Jdg 12:5 Ru 1:2 1Ki 11:26 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Judges 17:1 (see commentary) Now there was a man of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Micah.

Judges 19:1 (see commentary) Now it came about in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite staying in the remote part of the hill country of Ephraim, who took a concubine for himself from Bethlehem in Judah.


Observe: Ephraim on left map; Ramah on right map with Shiloh to the North
(Click each map to enlarge)

GOD USES A "CERTAIN MAN"
A MAN NAMED ELKANAH

Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim ("double fruitfulness") - Ramathaim-zophim means something like "double height of watchers." It is almost certainly the same as the shorter name Ramah (see note on  1Sa 1:19). A certain man (Elkanah) is front and center but quickly fades into the limelight behind Hannah and then her firstborn son Samuel. It is interesting that the same phrase "hill country of Ephraim" marks the beginning of two of the most sordid tales in all of Scripture beginning in Judges 17:1 and then mentioned again in Judges 19:1 (extending through Judges 21). So into this moral cesspool God's Spirit introduces us to a godly family, and in particular introduces a godly mother, Hannah. One is reminded of the book of Ruth bringing light in the midst of the dark days of Judges (see timeline below). Things were bad in Israel, but not everyone was bad and God moved mightily in the lives of those people who were sold out to Him. 

THOUGHT - I write in the Fall of 2022 in the midst of America's version of "the days of Judges," when everything good and moral and right seems to be turned upside down. But be encouraged dear set apart one, for pursuit of holiness in the midst of such blatant unholiness will bring glory and honor to our God. And God will use such men and women as Paul told Timothy writing "Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work." (2Ti 2:21+) The only "good work" is God's work (cf Eph 2:10+), work He initiates and His Spirit empowers (cf Jn 15:5), so set your mind on the things above and not on the things of this passing planet, for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God (Col 3:2+). Pursue holiness (cf Heb 12:14+) and prepare for usefulness to the King! God used a "certain man" and a "certain woman" at the terminus of the dark days of the Judges to bring light through his firstborn son Samuel. God can and will use you beloved if you set your face like flint to Jerusalem! 

Gilbrant on Ramathaim - "Ramathaim" (ED- "-im" usually signifies plural in Hebrew, e.g., cherub-im, seraph-im, etc) is a dual form meaning "two heights" or "double heights." Some sources view the combination as a proper name with the sense, "Ramathaim, in the district of Zuph." Others see the final "mem" on "Zophim" as an example of dittography or as an enclitic "mem." According to this view, the word "Zophim" should be read Zophi, the gentilic "Zuphite." The sense of the phrase would therefore be either: (a) "There was a man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite," or (b) "There was a man from Zuphite Ramathaim." Identification of the site of Ramathaim-Zophim is usually linked to the modern Rentis (See Wikipedia Rantis), sixteen miles east of Joppa in western Ephraim.

And his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham ("whom Jehovah has exalted", 1Chr 6:27, 34), the son of Elihu ("He is my God", Eliel in 1Chr 6:34 & Eliab in 1Chr 6:27), the son of Tohu ("lowly", only here in OT), the son of Zuph ("honeycomb" 1Sa 9:5, 1Chr 6:35), an Ephraimite - Elkanah means "God has possessed", "God possesses," or "God has created"  There are several OT figures with the name Elkanah, most of them mentioned in 1 Chronicles. Zuph was a Kohathite Levite, ancestor of Elkanah and Samuel (see note below). This is a striking "pedigree" which goes back 4 generations, which "certainly indicates his importance in the plan of God." (Hoffner) Elkanah (and thus Samuel) are traced back to Kohah, son of Levi. 

David Guzik writes that "At this strategic time and place, God began His plan as He almost always does – with a person He will use. God can do His work by Himself, or by angels, or by any number of other means; but His normal method is to find a certain man and work through him." More to the point He would find a certain woman and work through her to bring about His sovereign plan. 

Hoffner comments that "The name Elkanah recalls Ge 14:18–24 (esp. Ge 14:22), where plays on the names of Elkanah and Eli can be found in the description of Yahweh as אֵ֣ל עֶלְיֹ֔ון קֹנֵ֖ה שָׁמַ֥יִם וָאָֽרֶץ (el elyown qoneh shamayim wa'arets) (“God Most High, Creator [קֹנֵ֖ה, qoneh] of heavens and earth”). This intertextual link suggests that Elkanah is important to the fulfillment of Yahweh’s covenant, with Abraham as a facilitator: As Melchizedek honored Abraham and Abraham’s God and thus received Yahweh’s reward in the tithe of the plunder given him by Abraham, so Elkanah will honor Hannah’s vow to Yahweh and will become the father of the great prophet Samuel. Through Elkanah is established the lineage of the prophet Samuel, who is the protagonist until David appears.


KOHATH; KOHATHITES - ko'-hath, ko'-hath-its (qehath, qohathi; Kaath): Second son of Levi, and ancestor of Moses and Aaron (Gen 46:11; Ex 6:16-20; Nu 3:17; 1 Ch 6:1, etc.). The Kohathites formed one of the three divisions of the tribe of Levi; the other two being the Gershonites and the Merarites (Nu 3:17 ff). The Kohathites consisted of four families, the Amramites, the Izharites, the Hebronites, and the Uzzielites (Nu 3:19,27, etc.). Their place in the wilderness was on the southern side of the tabernacle (Nu 3:29), and their number is given (from a month old) as 8,600 (Nu 3:28). Their special charge was "the ark, and the table, and the candlestick, and the altars, and the vessels of the sanctuary wherewith they minister, and the screen, and all the service thereof" (Nu 3:31; compare 7:9). After the conquest 23 cities were assigned them by lot (Josh 21:4,5 ff). In David's time and after, Heman, a Kohathite, and his family had a prominent place in the service of the music of the sanctuary (1 Ch 6:33 ff; 16:41 ff; 25:1 ff); David likewise divided the Levites into courses (the Kohathites, 1 Ch 23:12-20; 24:20-25). We read of the Kohathites in the reign of Jehoshaphat at Engedi (2 Ch 20:19), and in connection with the cleansing of the temple under Hezekiah (2 Ch 29:12,14). James Orr


POSB introduces this book noting that "society had become a cesspool, a pit of depravity and corruption, when Samuel was born. His day was a time when people had slipped into an immoral, lawless, abusive, violent, compromising, and permissive lifestyle. The depth of their moral decay was seen in cases such as gang rape, homosexuality, wife abuse, child abuse, murder, kidnapping, widespread polygamy, greed, injustice, idolatry, and civil war (see Judges 17-21). But in the midst of such an immoral and lawless society, there were a few persons who lived for God. Their lives demonstrated the light of God's Holy Word. They loved the Lord and obeyed Him, keeping His commandments. Such a person was Hannah, Samuel's mother. This chapter begins the story of Hannah and her son Samuel. This is: The Prayer of Hannah and the Birth of Samuel: A Lesson on Total Dedication, 1:1-28. (Preacher's Outline and Sermon Bible - Commentary – 1 Samuel)


Rod Mattoon - The book of First Samuel begins the five hundred year king period... 1095-586 B.C. In fact, in the Latin Vulgate edition it was entitled the book of 1 & 2 Kings and 1 & 2 Kings was labeled 3 & 4 Kings. In the Hebrew text it appears as one book... Samuel. The Septuagint, the Old Testament written in the Greek language, the book is divided in two as we find it in the King James Version.

First Samuel is a transition book where Israel goes from the rule of God, their invisible king who made them different and unique from the nations of the world, to the rule of man, a visible king, which made them like all the other nations. God's people go from a theocracy to a monarchy.

The period of the Judges ends with 1 Samuel, Samuel being the last of the judges and it begins with the first of the kings. First Samuel reveals man's choice for a king... Saul and Second Samuel reveals God's choice for a king... David. The events of this book cover a period of about 115 years.

Samuel—chapters 1-7

Saul—chapters 8-15

David—chapters 16-31

Chapters one through twenty-four are believed to be written by Samuel (1 Samuel 10:25). The remainder of the book was possibly finished by Nathan or Gad (1 Chronicles 29:29). First Samuel is about great beginnings but poor finishes. In the story about the turtle and the rabbit, we find the rabbit had a great beginning, but it was the turtle who won the race. The rabbit lied down and it lead to his downfall, breakdown, being down and out, and down in the mouth. The turtle was consistent and kept on going even when it looked like all was lost. The turtle did not give up, choke up, or let up. It kept on going forward to victory. God wants us to have the same attitude. He wants us to finish a great start! (Treasures from 1 Samuel - his commentaries are filled with illustrations)


QUESTION - Who was Elkanah in the Bible?

ANSWER - Elkanah is the name of a couple of men in the Bible (Exodus 6:24; 1 Chronicles 6:23). The better-known Elkanah was the father of the prophet Samuel (1 Samuel 1:1–8; 1 Chronicles 6:25–26). The name Elkanah means “God has created” or “God has taken possession.” The Bible describes this Elkanah as the son of Jeroham, from the tribe of Levi, living in the days of the judges (Judges 17:6).

Elkanah had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Peninnah had borne children to Elkanah, but Hannah was barren. Despite the fact that in those days a wife’s value was tied to her childbearing abilities, Elkanah loved Hannah and was grieved for her sadness. As in most polygamous marriages, there was rivalry between the two women. Peninnah taunted Hannah about her childlessness year after year until Hannah could take it no more.

Elkanah tried to help Hannah’s situation, but he could offer her no true relief from her sorrow. One year during their yearly pilgrimage to Shiloh to offer sacrifices to the Lord, Hannah went to the tabernacle and began to pray so earnestly that it caught the attention of Eli, the priest. She made a vow to the Lord saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head” (1 Samuel 1:11). She prayed so fervently, yet silently, that Eli thought she was drunk. She corrected him and explained her deep desire for a son, and the priest replied, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (verse 17).

Hannah and Elkanah did conceive, and she gave birth to a son she named Samuel, meaning “asked of the Lord.” The next year she told Elkanah that she would not be going to Shiloh with him until the boy was weaned and then she would keep her vow and present him to the Lord. Elkanah had faith in his wife’s devotion and allowed her to do as she thought best. Through these glimpses into the life of Hannah and Elkanah, we can deduce that he was a kind man, faithful to the Lord, and loving toward his wife (Ephesians 5:25; 1 Peter 3:7).

When the boy Samuel was weaned, Hannah and Elkanah traveled back to Shiloh to present their son to Eli the priest. The boy would live there, learning to minister before the Lord. Every year, his mother brought him a new robe, and each year Eli blessed Elkanah and Hannah, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.” The Lord did as Eli asked, and Elkanah and Hannah went on to have three more sons and two daughters.

Elkanah is mentioned again in the genealogies of the tribes listed in 1 Chronicles 6:25–34. His great-grandson, Hemen, grandson of Samuel, was one of the musicians who ministered in the tent of meeting before the temple was built. Because Elkanah, along with Hannah, was willing to offer this special son, Samuel, to the Lord, God blessed both the boy and his parents. Rather than force his own will on his wife, Elkanah was sensitive to her relationship with God and set his own desires aside in deference to her convictions.

Though we know little about Elkanah, his willingness to allow his little son to leave home and live at the house of the Lord demonstrated a deep trust in God. Elkanah’s devotion may have had an impact on Samuel’s own attitude toward his calling (1 Samuel 3:1–10). Elkanah must have been proud of his firstborn son as he watched Samuel grow up to become one of Israel’s major prophets. It was Samuel who crowned Saul the first king of Israel (1 Samuel 10:1) and later anointed a shepherd boy who would become Israel’s greatest king (1 Samuel 16:12–13).GotQuestions.org


1 Samuel 1:1-18 PUT ON HOLD

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.--Psalm 37:7

I'm sure you've had it happen to you. You call the appliance store and ask for the service department. "Can you hold?" a cheerful voice asks, and before you know it you're hearing music. Every so often a taped message assures you that your call will be answered. You wait and wait. You think, 'I could have driven over there and back by now!' You feel forgotten and that nobody cares.

Sometimes it seems that God has put us on hold. We pray and pray about a matter of extreme importance, but nothing happens. Nothing!

I'm sure that's how Hannah felt. She was asking God for a baby. Childlessness was a curse in her day. To make it worse, her husband's other wife ridiculed her mercilessly. Hannah wanted desperately to give her husband a child. She prayed out of deep pain and bitterness. Yet year after year she did not conceive.

How can we reconcile the apparent silence of God to our repeated prayers? Remember that God's wisdom surpasses our own. What we're asking for might harm us. We can't see the whole picture. Our timing is not God's timing.

When God puts you "on hold," don't grumble. You can entrust your most cherished longings and desires to Him, and then patiently wait for Him to answer. - D C Egner (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When we call out to You, O Lord,
And wait for answers to our prayer,
Give us the patience that we need
And help us sense Your love and care.
--Sper

When God puts You on hold, don't hang up!


1 Samuel 1:21-2:11
A Mother's Sacrifice

It's often difficult for parents to "let go" of their children, allowing them to be independent. Because of the strong emotional bond, this is especially true of mothers. They like to keep their children close as long as possible.

My wife and I have experienced this firsthand as our two older girls have moved on to life on their own (one is away at college; one is married). I know how difficult it is for my wife to see her little girls leave home. Of course, it's not easy for dad either!

Imagine letting go when your child is very small, as Hannah did with Samuel. For us today, that kind of sacrifice is inconceivable. Yet that's what Hannah and her husband Elkanah did.

This mother's sacrifice was remarkable as an example of complete trust in God. Notice what Hannah said after she dedicated her son to God's work: "My heart rejoices in the Lord" (1 Samuel 2:1). She didn't express bitterness or anger--just total release of her only child, knowing that God's work and will for him were best.

Releasing our children to the Lord and His will for their lives demands great faith. As our children grow up, we need to prayerfully entrust them to God's care. If we do, we'll experience the peace and joy of knowing that God loves them even more than we do. —Dave Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Our children belong to the Lord
From the time they are very small;
So let's dedicate them to Him,
And release them to His call.
--Fitzhugh

Children are in good hands when parents give them to the Lord.


Inner Turmoil

Sometimes I feel as if I’m in a bad relationship—with myself! Whenever Julie the writer starts a paragraph, Julie the editor interrupts. "No, no, no. Don’t say it that way. Why are you always so negative?" Or "What makes you think you have anything worthwhile to say?"

Before I’ve completed a single thought, my alter ego has torn it to shreds. This is a very debilitating ritual. It’s also common to the human condition.

Satan loves to distract us with criticism, and he tries to get us to use it on others as well as ourselves. We judge prematurely and try to correct others before we know what they’re saying. That’s what Eli the priest did when Hannah was crying out to God. He interrupted her prayer and accused her of being drunk (1 Samuel 1:12-14).

But God lets us pour out our hearts to Him in full honesty (Ps. 62:8). In fact, the Psalms indicate that it is when we are expressing our doubts and fears that God resolves them. Many Psalms that begin in despair end in praise (22; 42; 60; 69; 73).

When a battle is raging inside, pour out your soul before the Lord (1 Samuel 1:15). He can make sense out of what seems senseless. —Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

When turmoil seems to hold full sway
And be the ruler of the day,
I’ll open up my heart and find
That God with peace can ease my mind.
—Hess

Prayer does not make God see things as we see them;
it helps us see things as God sees them.

1 Samuel 1:2 He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.  

KJV  1 Samuel 1:2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

NET  1 Samuel 1:2 He had two wives; the name of the first was Hannah and the name of the second was Peninnah. Now Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:2 He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:2 He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:2 He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:2 and he hath two wives, the name of the one is Hannah, and the name of the second Peninnah, and Peninnah hath children, and Hannah hath no children.

  • two: Ge 4:19,23 29:23-29 Jdg 8:30 Mt 19:8 
  • but: Ge 16:1,2 25:21 29:31 Jdg 13:2 Lu 1:7 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

A "LITTLE" TOUCH
OF BIGAMY

He had two wives - Remember these are on the closing days of the Judges, when every man did what was right in his own eyes, so it is not surprising to see a man with two wives. Of course two wives is one more than in God's original plan for marriage. See discussion of polygamy/bigamy below

Warren Wiersbe - While God's perfect pattern for the family from the very beginning had been one husband and one wife, "because of the hardness of men's hearts" (Matt. 19:8), God permitted polygamy. See Deut. 21:15-17. (Borrow Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament )

The name of one was Hannah ("grace") and the name of the other Peninnah (? meaning - coral, jewel, pearl - She was anything but a "jewel!") - God uses a certain man, Elkanah, and now introduces a certain woman, Hannah in the unfolding of God's sovereign plan of redemption. Hannah means Grace which describes God's transforming power to live a supernatural life. Hannah must have felt like anything but the possessor of God's unmerited favor for she knew it was "the LORD had closed her womb." (1Sa 1:5). Here we see God even uses Peninnah, whose adversarial actions and words served in part to motivate Hannah to seek her LORD as her Helper, her Jehovah Ezer ("The LORD our Helper", cf "Eben-ezer," "Stone of Help" 1Sa 7:12+, cf "Here I raise my Ebenezer" in the famous hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, which could have been Hannah's theme song!). 

And Peninnah had children but Hannah had no children - This "but" (term of contrast) is one of those small hinges which opens a great door into a new era for the entire nation of Israel, for in the midst of the darkness of Judges comes God's choice woman, Hannah ("grace"), and His chosen prophet, Samuel ("asked of God"), who God uses to call nation back to the light of His truth -- all opened by this one three letter word "BUT!" The lesson of course is to prayerfully observe and interrogate this little "hinge conjunction" in ALL of the Scriptures (146 uses in 1 Samuel and some 4000 uses in the entire Bible, giving many opportunities to PAUSE and PONDER what this "hinge" word BUT is contrasting!). And so God's story in 1 Samuel all began with this clear contrast between one woman who had children and one woman who was childless. God's Spirit would use this "BUT" to open Hannah's heart who would prove herself to be wholly devoted to Jehovah, so devoted that she was not willing to hold anything from Him, including her future firstborn son, Samuel! 

THOUGHT - O, to be so wholly "sold out" to our Savior, so dead to self that we truly live out what we have so often prayed, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Father, by Thy Spirit, for Thy glory and through our Great High Priest, Christ Jesus, let it be so in our lives. Amen.


Hannah (02584)(Channah from chanan = to show favor) is a  proper noun designating Hannah, the mother of Samuel, wife of Elkanah (1Sa 1:2) who was so committed to Yahweh that she consecrated her firstborn to the Lord apparently as a Nazarite (1Sa 1:9-11, 21-22) keeping the vow that she made before his birth. It is fitting that Hannah named her gift to the LORD  Samuel, meaning "asked of God" (1Sa 1:20). Her response to God's benevolence ("remembering" her) was a powerful, worshipful song of praise and thanksgiving which at points was even prophetic in its tone and content (1Sa 2:1-11).

Channah - 13x in 11v - 1 Sam. 1:2; 1 Sam. 1:5; 1 Sam. 1:8; 1 Sam. 1:9; 1 Sam. 1:13; 1 Sam. 1:15; 1 Sam. 1:19; 1 Sam. 1:20; 1 Sam. 1:22; 1 Sam. 2:1; 1 Sam. 2:21


QUESTION - Who was Hannah in the Bible?

ANSWER - Hannah was one of two wives of a man named Elkanah who lived “in the hill country of Ephraim” near Shiloh. The other wife of Elkanah, Peninnah, had children, but Hannah had no child. Because of this, Hannah was very grieved. She desperately desired a child but could not conceive. To make matters worse, Peninnah taunted Hannah concerning her barrenness. Although Elkanah loved Hannah and was very kind to her (1 Samuel 1:5, 8), Peninnah’s unkindness on top of her natural grief was too much for Hannah to bear. Hannah cried out to God about her situation. She promised the Lord that if He would give her a son, she would dedicate him to God as a Nazirite (a man set apart to serve God; see Numbers 6:1-8).

While Hannah was earnestly and silently praying, Eli (the priest at the tabernacle) saw her and mistook her distress for drunkenness. He made an ill-advised comment to encourage her to give up drinking, and she corrected his mistake. “I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief,” she told him (1 Samuel 1:16). Hannah then explains her predicament, and Eli says, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” After that, Hannah felt better; she had received God’s promise.

The Lord answered Hannah’s prayer. She bore a son and named him Samuel, whose name means “Asked of God.” When the child was old enough, she kept her promise to the Lord, taking him to Eli and giving him to the Lord to serve in the tabernacle. There, Eli worshiped God along with Hannah. And then Hannah spoke a beautiful prayer, recorded in 1 Samuel 2:1-10.

In Hannah’s prayer, God is presented as the One who helps the weak. Hannah and Peninnah represent the weak and the strong in this world. The strong often mock the weak, but God hears and rescues the Hannahs of the world. Hannah’s prayer addresses the arrogance of the proud, contrasting their haughty words with God’s knowledge, which is vast and far beyond their understanding. “The bows of the mighty are broken,” she says, “but the feeble bind on strength” (verse 4). She begins her prayer with “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord.” Hannah recognized that her strength came from God and not from herself. She was not proud in her strength but rejoiced in God’s ability to make a weakling strong.

Hannah’s story gives us insight into God’s heart. God does not despise human desire. Hannah’s longing for a child was obviously placed in her heart by God Himself. Her husband tries to comfort her, saying in loving exasperation, “Am I not more to you than ten sons?” He does not understand why she cannot be content with what she has – namely, him! But Hannah’s desire for a son would not be quenched. She was mocked by Peninnah and rebuked by Eli, but heard by God. God did not chastise her for being discontent. We know that godly contentment is great gain (1 Timothy 6:6). But that does not mean that our human desires – even those that overwhelm us with sorrow when they are unmet – are sinful in God’s eyes. He understands our feelings. He knows that “a hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12). And He invites us to bring our requests to Him (Philippians 4:6).

Hannah’s story also teaches us that God can use human weakness to accomplish great things. Samuel, Hannah’s son, grew up to be a great man of God – the final judge and the prophet who anointed the first two kings of Israel. But why was Hannah’s story necessary? Why not just start with Samuel in the tabernacle or at the start of his judgeship? Why not simply let him be born to a God-fearing couple and send an angel to tell them to dedicate their son to God? In short, why involve Hannah’s grief? Because God is glorified in Hannah’s story. Her weakness, her trust in God as she turned to Him, the fervency of her desire, and her faithfulness in bringing Samuel to God as promised are all evidences of God working in Hannah’s life. Her tears were ordained to be part of the glorious story of what God was doing in Israel’s history.

Every person experiences desires that will not be quenched and circumstances that cause grief. Many times, we simply do not understand these things. But in the life of Hannah we see that God knows our story from beginning to end, that everything has a purpose, and that trust in Him is never misplaced. GotQuestions.org


QUESTION -  Why did God allow polygamy / bigamy in the Bible? See video

ANSWER - The question of polygamy is an interesting one in that most people today view polygamy as immoral while the Bible nowhere explicitly condemns it. The first instance of polygamy/bigamy in the Bible was that of Lamech in Genesis 4:19: “Lamech married two women.” Several prominent men in the Old Testament were polygamists. Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon, and others all had multiple wives. Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines (essentially wives of a lower status), according to 1 Kings 11:3. What are we to do with these instances of polygamy in the Old Testament? There are three questions that need to be answered: 1) Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament? 2) How does God view polygamy today? 3) Why did it change? 

1) Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament? The Bible does not specifically say why God allowed polygamy. As we speculate about God’s silence, there is at least one key factor to consider. Due to patriarchal societies, it was nearly impossible for an unmarried woman to provide for herself. Women were often uneducated and untrained. Women relied on their fathers, brothers, and husbands for provision and protection. Unmarried women were often subjected to prostitution and slavery.

So, it seems that God may have allowed polygamy to protect and provide for the women who could not find a husband otherwise. A man would take multiple wives and serve as the provider and protector of all of them. While definitely not ideal, living in a polygamist household was far better than the alternatives: prostitution, slavery, or starvation. In addition to the protection/provision factor, polygamy enabled a much faster expansion of humanity, fulfilling God’s command to “be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth” (Genesis 9:7). Men are capable of impregnating multiple women in the same time period, causing humanity to grow much faster than if each man was only producing one child each year.

2) How does God view polygamy today? Even while allowing polygamy, the Bible presents monogamy as the plan that conforms most closely to God’s ideal for marriage. The Bible says that God’s original intention was for one man to be married to only one woman: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife [not wives], and they will become one flesh [not fleshes]” (Genesis 2:24). While Genesis 2:24 is describing what marriage is, rather than how many people are involved, the consistent use of the singular should be noted. In Deuteronomy 17:14-20, God says that the kings were not supposed to multiply wives (or horses or gold). While this cannot be interpreted as a command that the kings must be monogamous, it can be understood as declaring that having multiple wives causes problems. This can be clearly seen in the life of Solomon (1 Kings 11:3-4).

In the New Testament, 1 Timothy 3:2, 12 and Titus 1:6 give “the husband of one wife” in a list of qualifications for spiritual leadership. There is some debate as to what specifically this qualification means. The phrase could literally be translated “a one-woman man.” Whether or not this phrase is referring exclusively to polygamy, in no sense can a polygamist be considered a “one-woman man.” While these qualifications are specifically for positions of spiritual leadership, they should apply equally to all Christians. Should not all Christians be “above reproach...temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money” (1 Timothy 3:2-4)? If we are called to be holy (1 Peter 1:16), and if these standards are holy for elders and deacons, then they are holy for all.

Ephesians 5:22-33 speaks of the relationship between husbands and wives. When referring to a husband (singular), it always also refers to a wife (singular). “For the husband is the head of the wife [singular] … He who loves his wife [singular] loves himself. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife [singular], and the two will become one flesh....Each one of you also must love his wife [singular] as he loves himself, and the wife [singular] must respect her husband [singular].” While a somewhat parallel passage, Colossians 3:18-19, refers to husbands and wives in the plural, it is clear that Paul is addressing all the husbands and wives among the Colossian believers, not stating that a husband might have multiple wives. In contrast, Ephesians 5:22-33 is specifically describing the marital relationship. If polygamy were allowable, the entire illustration of Christ’s relationship with His body (the church) and the husband-wife relationship falls apart.

3) Why did it change? It is not so much God’s disallowing something He previously allowed as it is God’s restoring marriage to His original plan. Even going back to Adam and Eve, polygamy was not God’s original intent. God seems to have allowed polygamy to solve a problem, but it is not the ideal. In most modern societies, there is absolutely no need for polygamy. In most cultures today, women are able to provide for and protect themselves—removing the only “positive” aspect of polygamy. Further, most modern nations outlaw polygamy. According to Romans 13:1-7, we are to obey the laws the government establishes. The only instance in which disobeying the law is permitted by Scripture is if the law contradicts God’s commands (Acts 5:29). Since God only allows for polygamy, and does not command it, a law prohibiting polygamy should be upheld.

Are there some instances in which the allowance for polygamy would still apply today? Perhaps, but it is unfathomable that there would be no other possible solution. Due to the “one flesh” aspect of marriage, the need for oneness and harmony in marriage, and the lack of any real need for polygamy, it is our firm belief that polygamy does not honor God and is not His design for marriage.GotQuestions.org


NAVE'S Topic - POLYGAMY

  1. Forbidden, Deut. 17:17; Lev. 18:18; Mal. 2:14, 15; Matt. 19:4, 5; Mark 10:2-8; 1 Tim. 3:2, 12; Tit. 1:6.
  2. Authorized, 2 Sam. 12:8.
  3. Tolerated, Ex. 21:10; 1 Sam. 1:2; 2 Chr. 24:3.
  4. Practiced, Job 27:15; by Lamech, Gen. 4:19; Abraham, Gen. 16; Esau, Gen. 26:34; 28:9; Jacob, Gen. 29:30; Ashur, 1 Chr. 4:5; Gideon, Judg. 8:30; Elkanah, 1 Sam. 1:2; David, 1 Sam. 25:39-44; 2 Sam. 3:2-5; 5:13; 1 Chr. 14:3.
  5. Solomon, 1 Kin. 11:1-8; Rehoboam, 2 Chr. 11:18-23; Abijah, 2 Chr. 13:21; Jehoram, 2 Chr. 21:14; Joash, 2 Chr. 24:3; Ahab, 2 Kin. 10:1; Jehoiachin, 2 Kin. 24:15; Belshazzar, Dan. 5:2; See 1 Chr. 2-8; Hosea, Hos. 3:1, 2.
  6. Mosaic law respecting the firstborn in, Deut. 21:15-17.
  7. Sought by women, Isa. 4:1.
  8. The evil effects of: Husband's favoritism in, Deut. 21:15-17; Jacob's, Gen. 29:30; 30:15; Elkanah's, 1 Sam. 1:5; Rehoboam's, 2 Chr. 11:21.
  9. Domestic inappropriateness, in Abraham's family, Gen. 16; 21:9-16; Jacob's, Gen. 29:30-34; 30:1-23; Elkanah's, 1 Sam. 1:4-7.
  10. Upon Solomon, 1 Kin. 11:4-8.

Related Resource:

1 Samuel 1:3 Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the LORD there.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.

NET  1 Samuel 1:3 Year after year this man would go up from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh. It was there that the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, served as the LORD's priests.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:3 This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of Hosts at Shiloh, where Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the LORD's priests.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:3 Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Heaven's Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the LORD at that time were the two sons of Eli-- Hophni and Phinehas.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:3 And that man hath gone up out of his city from time to time, to bow himself, and to sacrifice, before Jehovah of Hosts, in Shiloh, and there are two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests to Jehovah.

  • yearly: Hebrew = from year to year, Ex 23:14,17 Ex 34:23 De 16:16 Lu 2:41 
  • to worship: De 12:5-7,11-14 
  • Shiloh: 1Sa 1:9 Jos 18:1 Jdg 18:31 Ps 78:60 Jer 7:12-14 
  • And the: 1Sa 1:9 2:12-17,34 3:13 4:4,11,17,18 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Exodus 23:14 “Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me.

Exodus 23:17 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD. 

Deuteronomy 16:16“Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.

Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts in Shiloh - What does this teach about Elkanah? He impresses us as a godly man for he kept the annual sacrifices required by the Mosaic Law. And the text places "worship" before "sacrifice," implying his act of sacrifice was not hypocritical or sham, but a reflection of his adoration of Yahweh.

Three times a year every male Israelite was required to appear at the central sanctuary (at this time in Shiloh) at the feasts of Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost (Harvest Feast or Feast of Weeks) and Tabernacles (Booths, Feast of Ingathering)

To the LORD of hosts in Shiloh This first mention of LORD in Samuel - see study of Jehovah. This is also the first mention of the Name LORD of hosts. See study of Jehovah Sabaoth, LORD of hosts (of armies) and Jehovah Sabaoth: Pt2). See Shiloh on map, located north of Samuel's home town of Raman.

And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the LORD there - The writer is setting the stage for these two scoundrels who would soon "drop off the stage" so to speak. We will discuss it later, but it is interesting that Eli who seems to be (relatively) godly and Samuel sadly both had ungodly sons. Godly parents do not guarantee godly sons. 


Shiloh (07787) (shiloh) the place (see note on Shiloh the prophecy) The geographic name "Shiloh" denotes one of the most significant sites in the early history of the Israelites. It was the first permanent home for the Ark after the conquest (Josh. 18) and was where Joshua divided the land among the tribes. The site is positively identified as modern-day Shilo (Wikipedia article) (Seilun, the Arabic equivalent of Hebrew Shiloh, was an old Arab town close to the possible sites of Shiloh). The site was a sacred place for the Canaanites before the conquest by the Israelites, witnessed by archaeological discovery of a large collection of discarded offering vessels and remnants of offerings from the Canaanite era. The earliest public building, a storage facility doubtless for offerings, belonging unambiguously to the Israelites, was discovered at Shiloh. This helps make sense of architectural features mentioned in the accounts of the tabernacle at Shiloh, as the tabernacle complex consisted of permanent structures (see picture). Some argue that a temple existed there also. The summit of the site was stripped to bedrock, leaving no definitive answer to that question. Shiloh was the home of Samuel, whom Hannah dedicated to service to Yahweh for God's grace in answering her prayer for a child (1 Sam. 1). Samuel was apparently adopted into the Elide (or at least into a general Levitical) lineage, as he performed the duties of a priest later in life, duties reserved for Levites. The high priest Eli was told that his sons would not be the future high priests, given their abuses of the people and the sanctuary (2:12ff). It was at Shiloh that Eli heard of his sons' deaths at the hands of the Philistines as they seized the Ark of the Covenant (ch. 4). The news caused Eli's death. There is unmistakable evidence of the Philistine destruction of Shiloh, as archaeologists discovered a burned level (including carbonized wheat in a storage silo). The town was never again a religious center, as the Ark never returned. Jeremiah was born at Anathoth, the home of Abiathar (Jer. 1:1). He is the lone prophet to mention Shiloh. Jeremiah was confronted in Jerusalem with Zion theology, in which the inhabitants felt that the city was inviolable because of the presence of Yahweh in the Temple. Yahweh responded through the mouth of Jeremiah to the line of thought by inviting those proponents to "Go now to my place which was in Shiloh... and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel" (Jer. 7:12). There probably was nothing standing in the city that was from the temple complex. ((Complete Biblical Library))

Shiloh - 31v - Gen. 49:10 (prophecy); All the rest refer to the place - Jos. 18:1; Jos. 18:8; Jos. 18:9; Jos. 18:10; Jos. 19:51; Jos. 21:2; Jos. 22:9; Jos. 22:12; Jdg. 18:31; Jdg. 21:12; Jdg. 21:19; Jdg. 21:21; 1 Sam. 1:3; 1 Sam. 1:9; 1 Sam. 1:24; 1 Sam. 2:14; 1 Sam. 3:21; 1 Sam. 4:3; 1 Sam. 4:4; 1 Sam. 4:12; 1 Sam. 14:3; 1 Ki. 2:27; 1 Ki. 14:2; 1 Ki. 14:4; Ps. 78:60; Jer. 7:12; Jer. 7:14; Jer. 26:6; Jer. 26:9; Jer. 41:5

ISBE - Shiloh - (The most usual form is shiloh, but it appears 8 times as shilo, and 3 times as Shilow; Selo, Selom): A town in the lot of Ephraim where Israel assembled under Joshua at the close of the war of conquest (Joshua 18:1). Here territory was allotted to the seven tribes who had not yet received their portions. A commission was sent out to "describe the land into seven portions"; this having been done, the inheritances were assigned by lot. Here also were assigned to the Levites their cities in the territories of the various tribes (Joshua 18-21). From Shiloh Reuben and Gad departed for their homes East of the Jordan; and here the tribes gathered for war against these two, having misunderstood their building of the great altar in the Jordan valley (Joshua 22). From Judges 18:31 we learn that in the period of the Judges the house of God was in Shiloh; but when the sanctuary was moved thither from Gilgal there is no indication. The maids of Shiloh were captured by the Benjamites on the occasion of a feast, while dancing in the vineyards; this having been planned by the other tribes to provide the Benjamites with wives without involving themselves in responsibility (21:21;). While the house of the Lord remained here it was a place of pilgrimage (1 Samuel 1:3). To Shiloh Samuel was brought and consecrated to God's service (1 Samuel 1:24). The sanctuary was presided over by Eli and his wicked sons; and through Samuel the doom of their house was announced. The capture of the ark by the Philistines, the fall of Hophni and Phinehas, and the death of the aged priest and his daughter-in-law followed with startling rapidity (1 Samuel 3; 1 Samuel 4). The sanctuary in Shiloh is called a "temple" (1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:3) with doorpost and doors (1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 3:15). It was therefore a more durable structure than the old tent. See TABERNACLETEMPLE. It would appear to have been destroyed, probably by the Philistines; and we find the priests of Eli's house at Nob, where they were massacred at Saul's order (1 Samuel 22:11). The disaster that befell Shiloh, while we have no record of its actual occurrence, made a deep impression on the popular mind, so that the prophets could use it as an effective illustration (Psalm 78:60 Jeremiah 7:12:14; Jeremiah 26:6). Here the blind old prophet Ahijah was appealed to in vain by Jeroboam's wife on behalf of her son (1 Kings 14:2, 4), and it was still occupied in Jeremiah's time (Jeremiah 41:5).

The position of Shiloh is indicated in Judges 21:19, as "on the north of Beth-el, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Beth-el to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah." This is very explicit, and points definitely to Seilun, a ruined site on a hill at the Northeast of a little plain, about 9 miles North of Beitin (Bethel), and 3 miles Southeast of Khan el-Lubban (Lebonah), to the East of the highway to Shechem (Nablus). The path to Seilun leaves the main road at Sinjil, going eastward to Turmus `Aya, then northward across the plain. A deep valley runs to the North of the site, cutting it off from the adjoining hills, in the sides of which are rock-hewn tombs. A good spring rises higher up the valley. There are now no vineyards in the district; but indications of their ancient culture are found in the terraced slopes around.

The ruins on the hill are of comparatively modern buildings. At the foot of the hill is a mosque which is going quickly to ruin. A little distance to the Southeast is a building which seems to have been a synagogue. It is called by the natives Jami` el-`Arba`in, "mosque of the Forty." There are many cisterns.

Just over the crest of the hill to the North, on a terrace, there is cut in the rock a rough quadrangle 400 ft. by 80 ft. in dimensions. This may have been the site of "the house of the Lord" which was in Shiloh. W. Ewing


Note that Shiloh the place is to be distinguished from Shiloh, the Messianic Prophecy. For further discussion see What is the meaning of the term “Shiloh”? Is it a Messianic prophecy? | GotQuestions.org. ISBE - Shiloh adds SHILOH (1) - shi'-lo (shiloh): The prophecy in Gen 49:10, "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, .... until Shiloh come," etc., has been the subject of very diverse interpretations. the Revised Version margin gives as alternative renderings, " `Till he come to Shiloh having the obedience of the peoples' Or, according to the Syriac, `Till he come whose it is,' etc." (1) From the earliest times the passage has been regarded as Messianic, but the rendering in the text, which takes "Shiloh" as a proper name, bearing a meaning such as "peaceful" (compare Isa 9:6, "Prince of Peace"), labors under the difficulty that Shiloh is not found elsewhere as a personal name in the Old Testament, nor is it easy to extract from it the meaning desired. Further, the word was not personally applied to the Messiah in any of the ancient VSS, which rather assume a different reading (see below). Apart from a purely fanciful passage in the Talmud (compare Driver, Gen, 413), this application does not appear earlier than the version of Seb. Munster in the 16th century (1534). (2) The rendering, "till he come to Shiloh," where Shiloh is taken as the name of a place, not a person, is plausible, but is felt to yield no suitable sense in the context. It is, therefore, now also set aside by most recent scholars. (3) The 3rd rendering, which regards Shiloh as representing the Hebrew shelloh = shiloh for 'asher low, "whose (it is)," has in its favor the fact that this is evidently the reading presupposed in the Septuagint, the Peshitta, and the this is evidently the reading presupposed in the Septuagint, the Peshitta, and the Jewish Targums, and seems to be alluded to in Ezek 21:27, "until he come whose right it is." In this view the passage has still a Messianic reference, though critics argue that it must then be regarded as late in origin. Other interpretations need not detain us. 


QUESTION - Who was Eli in the Bible?

ANSWER - Eli in the Bible was a Jewish priest living in the days of the judges and serving God at the tabernacle in Shiloh, a city near the hill country of Ephraim (1 Samuel 1:1, 3). Eli is best remembered for his blessing on Samuel’s mother and for his part in Samuel’s first prophecy.

Eli had two wicked sons named Hophni and Phineas; they also served in the tabernacle but did not know the Lord (1 Samuel 2:12). They violated the Law by keeping and eating meat from the sacrifices that was not allocated to them. They also had sex with the women who served at the doorway to the tent of meeting (1 Samuel 2:22). The bad behavior of Eli’s sons was apparently widely known (1 Samuel 2:24), and the report came back to Eli. When he found out about these things, he rebuked his sons but failed to make them stop, allowing them to continue to profane the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:25).

Apparently, there was some lack of zeal on Eli’s part; some part of Eli’s heart was with his sons and not with the Lord. We know this because God sent a prophet to Eli to deliver a dire message concerning Eli’s household: “I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age. . . . What happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day” (1 Samuel 2:31, 34). This was a terrible curse, because the Levites depended on the priesthood for their living (1 Samuel 2:36). Eli’s family line would be supplanted by another, more faithful priest: “I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always” (1 Samuel 2:35).

The priest God raised up was a boy named Samuel, who was dedicated to the tabernacle by his mother, Hannah, a formerly barren woman who had prayed for a child. Hannah spoke her prayer in Eli’s presence, and he had blessed her: “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him” (1 Samuel 1:17). God answered Hannah’s prayer, and she had a son. After Samuel was weaned, she gave him to the Lord’s service (1 Samuel 1:24–28).

The young Samuel lived in the tabernacle, under the tutelage and care of Eli. Each year, Hannah brought Samuel a robe for him to wear in the house of the Lord (1 Samuel 2:19). Eli again blessed Hannah and her husband, asking God to give Hannah children to replace the one she had dedicated to the Lord (1 Samuel 2:20). Hannah eventually gave birth to three more sons and two daughters (verse 21).

Later, when Samuel was a little older and Eli’s eyes were so weak that he could barely see, the Lord Himself spoke to Samuel. In the middle of the night, the Lord “came and stood” in Samuel’s room (1 Samuel 3:10) and told the young boy to deliver to Eli the message that it was almost time for the prophesied judgment to fall upon his family (verses 11–14). Eli humbly accepted God’s decree, and Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord in Shiloh (1 Samuel 3:19–21).

A short time after that, the Philistines came against Israel to attack them. Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phineas, went to battle, and they brought with them the Ark of the Covenant thinking it would guarantee protection against their enemies. However, God was not with them, and Eli’s two sons were killed, along with about 30,000 foot soldiers of Israel. In addition, the Ark was captured by the Philistines. When Eli heard the bad news, he fell off of his seat, and his neck was broken “for he was old and heavy” (1 Samuel 4:3, 10, 17–18). Meanwhile, Eli’s pregnant daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, went into labor; she died during delivery, but not before she named her son “Ichabod, saying, ‘The Glory has departed from Israel’” (verse 21). Thus, Eli’s grandson, born on a day of death and defeat, was given a name meaning “No Glory.” Eli had been a priest in Israel and a judge for forty years. GotQuestions.org


QUESTION - Who were Hophni and Phinehas?

ANSWER - First Samuel offers much important information about the sins of Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas. The summary of their lifestyle is given in the introduction to these men in 1 Samuel 2:12: “Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD.”

Because Eli’s sons did not know or regard God, they acted in wicked ways. First, we are told that Eli’s sons took a three-pronged fork and ate whatever meat they brought out of the pot when sacrificing an animal. This was in contradiction with the law for priests, who were commanded to eat the breast and upper thigh of the animals (Leviticus 7:30–34). Second, Eli’s sons were sleeping with the women who were dedicated to the service of the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:22). This was against God’s law forbidding adultery (Exodus 20:14).

A “man of God” came to Eli and revealed the judgment that would come upon Eli’s sons for these actions. The sign that the judgment was divine was included: “What happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day” (1 Samuel 2:34).

Soon after this time, Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, took the Ark of the Covenant out to battle against the Philistines. The Israelites were defeated, and judgment befell Eli’s sons, as 1 Samuel 4:10–11 states: “The Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.”

Worse, when Eli heard the news, he fell backward from his seat, broke his neck, and died on the same day. The pregnant wife of Phinehas heard the news, and she went into labor and died while giving birth (1 Samuel 4:19–21). The son was named Ichabod, a name meaning “the glory has departed.”

While these judgments may seem harsh to today’s reader, the holiness of God’s priests was demanded in the Law of Moses, along with the judgments that come upon those who disregarded God’s ways. In fact, two of Aaron’s sons were struck dead for presenting unauthorized offerings in the early days of the tabernacle’s use (Leviticus 10:1–2). Eli’s sons would have been aware of what happened to Aaron’s sons, yet they directly disregarded the warning in pursuit of personal satisfaction.

In the aftermath of these judgments, Samuel became the spiritual leader of Israel, serving as judge, priest, and prophet and anointing both Saul and David as Israel’s first two kings. Even in these most difficult of times, God was at work to continue His plan to lead His people.GotQuestions.org

1 Samuel 1:4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters;

KJV  1 Samuel 1:4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

NET  1 Samuel 1:4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he used to give meat portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:4 Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:4 On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters;

YLT  1 Samuel 1:4 And the day cometh, and Elkanah sacrificeth, and he hath given to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions,

When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and her daughters - So Peninnah had at least 2 or more sons and 2 or more daughters which Hannah had none. 

1 Samuel 1:5 but to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but the LORD had closed her womb.

 KJV  1 Samuel 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

NET  1 Samuel 1:5 But he would give a double portion to Hannah, because he especially loved her. Now the LORD had not enabled her to have children.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:5 But he gave a double portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the LORD had kept her from conceiving.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:5 And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the LORD had given her no children.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:5 but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:5 and to Hannah he giveth a certain portion -- double, for he hath loved Hannah, and Jehovah hath shut her womb;

  • a double portion, The Hebrew "a portion for two persons, a double portion;"  Ge 43:34 45:22 
  • he loved: Ge 29:30,31 De 21:15 
  • shut up: Ge 20:18 30:2 

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD
IN CONCEPTION

But - Term of Contrast - What is writing contrasting? Remember that the "hinge" word "but" is a little word, but can open big doors of truth, so don't read over it without querying it with a "What is the contrast?" 

To Hannah he would give a double portion (Hebrew literally "two faces" - see NET note below), for he loved Hannah, but the LORD had closed her womb - NET = "But he would give a double portion to Hannah, because he especially loved her. Now the LORD had not enabled her to have children." The Septuagint has "Helkana loved Anna more than the other." Double portion was normally the way to distinguish the firstborn son who became the leader of the family. Elkanah clearly showed favor to Hannah. and clearly the other wife took notice (a good reason to just have ONE wife - that's enough for most men!) The NET version helps us understand it was not that he did not love Peninnah, but he "especially loved" Hannah. The hand of Jehovah had caused Hannah to be barren, but as we will see her obstacle became her opportunity to seek the Lord's favor. 

Let your obstacles
 become God's opportunity! 

THOUGHT - Isn't this the "silver lining" regarding our troubles and afflictions? They drive us (or should drive us) to our knees to beseech the Lord for His intervention. This is especially true in situations which humanly speaking seem hopeless (like a barren womb). Hannah gives us all a great example of what to do with our trials and afflictions. Take them to the Lord in prayer. 

Dale R Davis - Though it would not comfort Hannah, it helps us to remember that Hannah is not the first barren woman noted in Scripture. We remember Sarai/Sarah and how Genesis 11:30 (“Now Sarai continued barren; she had no child”) hangs like a dark cloud over the next ten chapters of Genesis. The mathematics of Genesis 25 (vv. 20–21, 26b) show that Rebekah had no children for the first twenty years of marriage, and Genesis 29:31–30:24 details the soap-opera turmoil swirling around the barrenness of Rachel. Yahweh raised up mighty Samson from the fruitless womb of Manoah’s wife (Judg. 13). And who would have guessed that old, childless Elizabeth would give birth to John the Baptist (Luke 1:5–25)? Barren women seem to be God’s instruments in raising up key figures in the history of redemption, whether the promised seed (Isaac), the father of Israel (Jacob), saviors or preservers of Israel (Joseph, Samson, Samuel), or the forerunner of the great King (John the Baptist). (The virgin conception and birth of Jesus should be added to this series. Though different in kind, it is similar in “difficulty.” Gabriel urged the improbability of Elizabeth’s pregnancy as an incentive for Mary’s faith (Luke 1:36) and alluded to Sarah’s case (Luke 1:37 reflects Gen. 18:14) for additional support. The virgin birth then is no mere dogma but also a sign that salvation is wholly God’s impossible deed!) Hannah, therefore, shares in a fellowship of barrenness. And it is frequently in this fellowship that new chapters in Yahweh’s history with his people begin—begin with nothing. God’s tendency is to make our total inability his starting point. Our hopelessness and our helplessness are no barrier to his work. Indeed our utter incapacity is often the prop he delights to use for his next act. This matter goes beyond the particular situations of biblical barren women. We are facing one of the principles of Yahweh’s modus operandi. When his people are without strength, without resources, without hope, without human gimmicks—then he loves to stretch forth his hand from heaven. Once we see where God often begins we will understand how we may be encouraged. (1 Samuel - Looking on the Heart - here is his Study of 1 Samuel 21-Part MP3 Series)

NET Note on double portion -  The exact sense of the Hebrew word אַפָּיִם (’appayim, “two faces”) is not certain here. It is most likely used with the preceding expression (“one portion of two faces”) to mean a portion double than normally received. Although evidence for this use of the word derives primarily from Aramaic rather than from Hebrew usage, it provides an understanding that fits the context here better than other suggestions for the word do. The meaning “double” is therefore adopted in the present translation. Other possibilities for the meaning of the word include the following: “heavily” (cf. Vulg., tristis) and “worthy” or “choice” (cf. KJV and Targum). Some scholars have followed the LXX here, emending the word to אֶפֶס (’efes) and translating it as “but” or “however.” This seems unnecessary. The translators of the LXX may simply have been struggling to make sense of the word rather than following a Hebrew text that was different from the MT here." Bob Utley adds "The Masoretic Text has "one portion" but with the added word "faces," which seems, in context, to imply a double share (Aramaic usage)."

NET Note on loved Hannah - Heb “for Hannah he loved.” Repetition of the proper name would seem redundant in contemporary English, so the pronoun (“her”) has been used here for clarity. The translation also adds the adverb “especially” to clarify the meaning of the text. Without this addition one might get the impression that only Hannah, not Peninnah, was loved by her husband. But the point of the text is that Hannah was his favorite.


QUESTION - What does it mean to receive a double portion?

ANSWER - Six times in the Bible, specific reference is made to a “double portion.” When someone receives a double portion, he gets a gift twice as much as that given to others.

The concept of the double portion is first mentioned in the Law of Moses: “But he shall acknowledge the firstborn . . . by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the firstfruits of his strength. The right of the firstborn is his” (Deuteronomy 21:17). A firstborn son was entitled to receive twice the inheritance of that of a father’s other sons, in addition to the right of succession.

Because Hannah could not have children, her husband tried to assuage her grief with an extra blessing. “But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her” (1 Samuel 1:5).

Near the end of Elijah’s time on earth, he offered his assistant Elisha a gift: “What can I do for you before I am taken from you?” Elisha answered, “Please let there be a double portion of your spirit on me” (2 Kings 2:9). Elisha’s request was to be considered the successor of Elijah and to be “doubly blessed” with power in the prophetic office. Throughout 2 Kings, the many miracles Elisha performed confirm that he had indeed been granted a double portion.

Isaiah 61:7 promises a double portion of joy and blessing upon Israel: “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.” The reign of the Messiah during the millennium will occasion everlasting joy. In a related passage, God restored to Job twice as much as he originally had before his time of testing: “And the LORD restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10). It could be said that Job received a “double portion.”

Not all double portions convey blessing, however. Revelation 18:6 speaks of judgment upon Babylon, stating, “Pay her back as she herself has paid back others, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double portion for her in the cup she mixed.” Here, the double portion indicates a heavy judgment. The idea behind the term is still that of a “great amount.”

Since the Mosaic Law stipulated a double portion for firstborn sons, the concept has been used throughout history to refer to God’s abundant blessing. Jesus Christ is called the “firstborn over all creation” (Colossians 1:15), a title that indicates His position as the Blessed One and rightful Heir of all things. GotQuestions.org

1 Samuel 1:6 Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.

NET  1 Samuel 1:6 Her rival wife used to upset her and make her worry, for the LORD had not enabled her to have children.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:6 Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the LORD had kept Hannah from conceiving.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:6 And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:6 So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:6 Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:6 and her adversity hath also provoked her greatly, so as to make her tremble, for Jehovah hath shut up her womb.

  • rival: Lev 18:18 Job 6:14 
  • provoke her: Heb. angered her
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

Related Passages:

Job 24:21 “He wrongs the barren woman And does no good for the widow. 

Her rival, however, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb - Hebrew = "and her rival wife grieved her, even [with] grief so as to worry her.” Note that phrase "her rival" indicating the two wives were anything but friends. And why might Peninnah be Hannah's rival? One factor was that "to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah." The provoker had given Elkanah children and must have been jealous of Elkanah's favors on a barren woman! The same one who closed her womb would demonstrate His power to open her womb. Sometimes Yahweh closes things ("doors") because He wants to guide us to greener pastures (cf Acts 16:6,7+)

Utleybut the Lord had closed her womb" The OT attributes all causality to YHWH. It was a way to assert His sovereignty (i.e., 2 Chr. 20:6; Eccl. 7:14; Isa. 14:24-27; 43:13; 45:7; 54:16; Jer. 18:11; Lam. 3:33-38; Amos 3:6). Several times in Genesis the Patriarchs had many barren women. This allowed God to demonstrate His power by "opening" their wombs. Sarai, Gen. 11:30; 16:1 Rebekah, Gen. 25:21 Leah, Gen. 29:31 Rachel, Gen. 30:1 Manoah's wife, Jdgs. 13:2,3 generic, Ps. 113:9

THOUGHT - You may be asking yourself - Why is Hannah suffering barrenness? Compare Hannah's "illness" to Jesus' teaching in John 9: When queried by His disciples regarding whether the blind man or his parents had sinned, (Jn 9: 3) 'Jesus answered, "It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him." 

What Jesus meant was that God had created a condition so that when He relieved it, new insights, new glory would break forth for His own name and people would understand more of His mercy, grace and power than they ever could have had the affliction not been present. God does not allow hindrances or difficult circumstances to torment us or to lead us into bitterness or resentment. We often turn our "barrenness" into bitterness. God gives "barrenness" to us in order that as we bring it back to Him in prayer, so that in turn He might lead us to a solution we never would have found otherwise, a greater answer than we ever could have dreamed of. That is what Hannah's story is revealing about the LORD of hosts. He gave her the problem in order that she might bring it to Him to find the solution He had providentially predetermined! Are you experiencing some type of "barrenness?" Then, imitate Hannah's patter and take to the LORD of Hosts in prayer! 


Rival (distress (trouble) (06869tsarah from tsar = literally a narrow, confining space, figuratively dire straits from which escape is difficult) is a noun which depicts tightness (figuratively trouble) and implies great strain or stress psychologically and spiritually (as in Ge 42:21). The root word deals with harassment and torment engendered by an enemy and thus speaks of adversity, affliction, tribulation, trouble. Tsarah is used to describe the cursing to Israel for disobedience (Dt 31:17, 21 = troubles).  The Lxx translates tsarah with thlipsis which literally means a pressing together and figuratively speaks of suffering brought on by outside circumstances. Thlipsis is a strong term which does not refer to minor inconveniences, but to real hardships. Medically thlipsis was used of the pulse (pressure). Thlipsis described the pressing together of grapes. It conveyed the idea of being squeezed or placed under pressure or crushed beneath a weight. When, according to the ancient law of England, those who willfully refused to plead guilty, had heavy weights placed on their breasts, and were pressed and crushed to death, this was literally thlipsis. Thlipsis thus refers not to mild discomfort but to great difficulty. That is the "fruit" these men will reap for rejecting God's gracious gesture of stretching out His hand (Pr 1:24).

Provoke  (03707kāas means to vex, to be angry or provoke to anger. Kaas is used in modern Hebrew in the sense of "to be angry, to rage." Kaas is a verb meaning to vex, agitate, stir up, provoke the heart to a "heated" condition which results in actions. To be angry, vexed, be incensed, to be in a state of strong displeasure, to provoke to anger. The causative sense of the verb occurs ost often and frequently signifies idolatry provoking God to anger (cf. 1 Kgs. 14:9; Ps. 106:29; Ezek. 8:17). The result of provocation may be expressed as ʾap̱, anger (639) (Deut. 9:18; 2 Kgs. 23:26; Jer. 7:20). In a noncausative sense, the verb means to be angry; people were warned not to become angry hastily (Eccl. 7:9); God says that after He punishes, He will not be angry (Ezek. 16:42). Three times it refers to the people’s anger directed toward righteousness (2 Chr. 16:10; Neh. 4:1[3:33]; Ps. 112:10).Vine says "kāʿas is found for the first time in the Old Testament in that book: "…To provoke him to anger" (Deut. 4:25). The word is characteristic also of the books of Jeremiah and Kings. A review of the uses of this verb shows that around 80 percent of them involve Yahweh's "being provoked to anger" by Israel's sin, especially its worship of other gods. One such example is in 2 Kings 23:19: "And all the houses also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which the kings of Israel had made to provoke the Lord to anger, Josiah took away…


The Midrash has this note on Peninnah - According to the midrash, Hannah was Elkanah's first wife; after they had been married for ten years, he also took Peninnah as a wife (Pesikta Rabbati 43). The midrash explains that Elkanah was compelled to marry Peninnah because of Hannah's barrenness, which explains his preference for Hannah, his first wife. Another tradition has the initiative to marry Peninnah coming from Hannah, thus comparing her to Sarah and Hagar, and Rachel and Leah, in which the beloved wife, who is barren, initiates the taking of an additional wife in order to produce offspring. The different midrashim highlight the difficulty Peninnah faced living in the shadow of another woman.[9]

A different midrash suggests that Peninnah's actions were in fact noble, and that Peninnah "mocked" the barren Hannah in order to further drive Hannah to pray even harder to God to give her children. She vexed Hannah at Shiloh, thereby causing her distraught rival wife to pray fervently. Thanks to Peninnah, Hannah's prayer was answered, and she gave birth to children.[10]

1 Samuel 1:7 It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

NET  1 Samuel 1:7 Peninnah would behave this way year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the LORD's house, Peninnah would upset her so that she would weep and refuse to eat.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:7 Whenever she went up to the LORD's house, her rival taunted her in this way every year. Hannah wept and would not eat.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:7 So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:7 Year after year it was the same-- Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:7 So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:7 And so he doth year by year, from the time of her going up into the house of Jehovah, so it provoketh her, and she weepeth, and doth not eat.

  • year: 1Sa 2:19 
  • when she: or, from the time that she, Heb. from her going up
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

ANNUAL ANIMOSITY AIMED AT
CHILDLESS HANNAH

It happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she would provoke her - Year after year indicates that this provocation by Peninnah was persistent. The house of the LORD is not the Temple later constructed by King Solomon. One has to wonder why Elkanah,  who obviously had concern for Hannah, did not tell Peninnah to "cease and desist?" 

So she wept and would not eat - Her provocation hit its target, Hannah's heart. And of course what fills our heart controls us, and Hannah's heart was filled with sadness and despair explaining her weeping and her poor appetite. 

1 Samuel 1:8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”  

KJV  1 Samuel 1:8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

NET  1 Samuel 1:8 Finally her husband Elkanah said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep and not eat? Why are you so sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?"

CSB  1 Samuel 1:8 "Hannah, why are you crying?" her husband Elkanah asked. "Why won't you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than 10 sons?"

ESV  1 Samuel 1:8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"

NIV  1 Samuel 1:8 Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"

NLT  1 Samuel 1:8 "Why are you crying, Hannah?" Elkanah would ask. "Why aren't you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me-- isn't that better than having ten sons?"

NRS  1 Samuel 1:8 Her husband Elkanah said to her, "Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?"

YLT  1 Samuel 1:8 And Elkanah her husband saith to her, 'Hannah, why weepest thou? and why dost thou not eat? and why is thy heart afflicted? am I not better to thee than ten sons?'

  • why do you weep: 2Sa 12:16,17 2Ki 8:12 Job 6:14 Joh 20:13,15 1Th 5:14 
  • am not: Ru 4:15 Ps 43:4 Isa 54:1,6 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

VERBAL ATTEMPTS TO
PLACATE A SAD HEART

Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat and why is your heart sad? (Heb “why is your heart displeased?”) One wonders if he had never heard his other wife's denigrating, painful jabs to Hannah's heart? At least he is paying attention to his wife, but as his next words show, he was not sensitive to her deepest needs, the God given urge or desire in woman to fulfill one of their greatest roles of bring offspring into the world, without which neither you dear reader nor I would be here!

Am I not better to you than ten sons?” - Elkanah cherished Hannah and showed his love with his words and actions (and a double portion) (cf Eph 4:29+) Ten speaks of an ideal number of something (cf Da 1:20, Zech 8:23). Sons were highly prized in this culture and generally esteemed of more value. Elkanah was trying to soothe Hannah's pain, but he was her husband and could not play the role of a son. 

THOUGHT - How often as a husband of over 50 years, I tried to console my wife over some issue, but actually failed to truly appreciate her deepest needs. We husbands need to the Spirit's filling, wisdom and power to be compassionate like Christ to His bride! Are you daily filled with His Spirit? If not you have only one other operative option, the fallen (sinful) flesh!


Utley on 10 sons from Symbolic Numbers in Scripture:

  1. Ten ‒ completeness
    1. use in Gospels
       (1) Matt. 20:24; 25:1,28
       (2) Mark 10:41
       (3) Luke 14:31; 15:8; 17:12,17; 19:13,16,17,24,25
    2. use in Revelation
       (1) Rev. 2:10, ten days of tribulation
       (2) Rev. 12:3; 17:3,7,12,16, ten horns
       (3) Rev. 13:1, ten crowns
    3. multiples of 10 in Revelation
       (1) 144,000 = 12x12x1000, cf. Rev. 7:4; 14:1,3
       (2) 1,000 = 10x10x10, cf. Rev. 20:2,3,6

Our Deepest Needs

Try asking a 15-year-old to enjoy "family time" with his parents on a Friday night. Ask him why he isn't happy to play board games with his little sister while his friends are all going to a school ballgame.

His frustration might be similar to what childless Hannah felt when her well-meaning husband asked, "Am I not better to you than ten sons?" (1 Samuel 1:8). It appears that he didn't understand her needs, that he didn't realize she was struggling with more than her inability to have a baby. That was reason enough to be upset, but I believe there was more.

Just as a 15-year old desires to be accepted by his friends, Hannah's deep need was to have God's approval. A childless woman in her culture felt dishonored by God, because she thought He was denying her a part in fulfilling His promise of the Messiah. Hannah was willing to give up her child to God's service if only she could know that He hadn't rejected her. Her prayer was finally answered, and her heart overflowed with joy (1Sa 2:1-10).

We can learn from this godly woman. Human relationships are important, but our critical need is to know that we have the approval of God. He alone can satisfy our deepest needs. —Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Christ's love and care cannot be spent—
My anxious heart can be content;
For though the world may cease to be,
God lives and loves and cares for me.
—Anon.

When we have nothing left but God, we'll find that God is enough.

1 Samuel 1:9 Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.

NET  1 Samuel 1:9 On one occasion in Shiloh, after they had finished eating and drinking, Hannah got up. (Now at the time Eli the priest was sitting in his chair by the doorpost of the LORD's temple.)

CSB  1 Samuel 1:9 Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's tabernacle.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's temple.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:9 Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:9 After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the LORD. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:9 And Hannah riseth after eating in Shiloh, and after drinking, and Eli the priest is sitting on the throne by the side-post of the temple of Jehovah.


Location of Shiloh north of Ramah

Then When is "then"? after "pleasant words" (Pr 16:24) from Elkanah. 

Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Elkanah's pleasant words had begun the healing process deep within Hannah's soul. Kind words from a husband can have a powerful effect!

EXCURSUS ON SHILOH - Shiloh was one of the most significant sites in the early history of the Israelites, because it was the first permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant after the conquest of Canaan (Joshua 18:1+) and was where Joshua divided the land among the tribes. Gilbrant adds that "the tabernacle complex consisted of permanent structures. Some argue that a temple existed there also. The summit of the site was stripped to bedrock, leaving no definitive answer to that question." Wikipedia says "At some point during its long stay at Shiloh, the portable tent seems to have been enclosed within a compound — a Greek "temenos"....What is certain is that during the prophetic ministry of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 7:12–15; 26:5–9, 41:5) over three hundred years later, Shiloh had been reduced to ruins. Jeremiah used the example of Shiloh to warn the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem what God would do to the "place where I caused my name to dwell", warning them that their holy city, Jerusalem, like Shiloh, could fall under divine judgment." Baker adds "At some point, the Lord deserted the Tabernacle site at Shiloh, perhaps when the Philistines captured the ark of God (1 Sam. 4:3-12). This event became a religious and moral lesson for Israel (Jer. 7:12-14). The Temple of Jeremiah's day would be destroyed as the tabernacle site at Shiloh was deserted (Jer. 26:6, 9), although the town continued to be inhabited (Jer. 41:5)." See multiple dictionary articles.

Shiloh - 30v - Jos. 18:1; Jos. 18:8; Jos. 18:9; Jos. 18:10; Jos. 19:51; Jos. 21:2; Jos. 22:9; Jos. 22:12; Jdg. 18:31; Jdg. 21:12; Jdg. 21:19; Jdg. 21:21; 1 Sam. 1:3; 1 Sam. 1:9; 1 Sam. 1:24; 1 Sam. 2:14; 1 Sam. 3:21; 1 Sam. 4:3; 1 Sam. 4:4; 1 Sam. 4:12; 1 Sam. 14:3; 1 Ki. 2:27; 1 Ki. 14:2; 1 Ki. 14:4; Ps. 78:60; Jer. 7:12; Jer. 7:14; Jer. 26:6; Jer. 26:9; Jer. 41:5

Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD - Although Eli was the priest, he was clearly very old (80's to early 90's, cf 1Sa 4:15), so was not functioning actively as the priest. That role had fallen to his two worthless sons. 

The temple (hekal) of the LORD - This in not Solomon's Temple. This verse is the first use of the masculine noun hekal which means temple or palace.  The exact nature of the Temple of the LORD at Shiloh is not clear. The fact that the Tabernacle in the wilderness is never called a hekal would suggest that this structure at Shiloh was not simply the Tabernacle/Tent but was something more substantial. 

Utley on Eli...sitting - This seat was positioned on the wall between the holy place and the tent of fellowship (cf. 1 Sa 4:13,18).

Temple (01964) (hekal apparently from yakol = to be able > idea of capacity but see Vine below). Hekal could refer to a king's  dwelling quaters, that is, his palace (1Ki 21:1, Isa 13:22). Hekal in 1Sa 1:9 refers to the dwelling place of God in Shiloh. Later Hekal is used of Solomon's Temple and the post-exilic Temple

Hekal - 70v - court(1), nave(14), palace(7), palaces(4), temple(53), temples(1). 1 Sam. 1:9; 1 Sam. 3:3; 2 Sam. 22:7; 1 Ki. 6:3; 1 Ki. 6:5; 1 Ki. 6:17; 1 Ki. 6:33; 1 Ki. 7:21; 1 Ki. 7:50; 1 Ki. 21:1; 2 Ki. 18:16; 2 Ki. 20:18; 2 Ki. 23:4; 2 Ki. 24:13; 2 Chr. 3:17; 2 Chr. 4:7; 2 Chr. 4:8; 2 Chr. 4:22; 2 Chr. 26:16; 2 Chr. 27:2; 2 Chr. 29:16; 2 Chr. 36:7; Ezr. 3:6; Ezr. 3:10; Ezr. 4:1; Neh. 6:10; Neh. 6:11; Ps. 5:7; Ps. 11:4; Ps. 18:6; Ps. 27:4; Ps. 29:9; Ps. 45:8; Ps. 45:15; Ps. 48:9; Ps. 65:4; Ps. 68:29; Ps. 79:1; Ps. 138:2; Ps. 144:12; Prov. 30:28; Isa. 6:1; Isa. 13:22; Isa. 39:7; Isa. 44:28; Isa. 66:6; Jer. 7:4; Jer. 24:1; Jer. 50:28; Jer. 51:11; Ezek. 8:16; Ezek. 41:1; Ezek. 41:4; Ezek. 41:15; Ezek. 41:20; Ezek. 41:21; Ezek. 41:23; Ezek. 41:25; Ezek. 42:8; Dan. 1:4; Hos. 8:14; Joel 3:5; Amos 8:3; Jon. 2:4; Jon. 2:7; Mic. 1:2; Nah. 2:6; Hab. 2:20; Hag. 2:15; Hag. 2:18; Zech. 6:12; Zech. 6:13; Zech. 6:14; Zech. 6:15; Zech. 8:9; Mal. 3:1

Vine on derivation of hekal - This word is indirectly derived from the Sumerian egal, "large house, palace," and more directly from the Akkadian ekallu, "large house." The influence of the Akkadian ekallu spread to the Northwest Semitic languages. In post-biblical Hebrew the meaning became limited to "temple." The Hekhal Shlomo ("Temple of Solomon") in modern Jerusalem signifies the building of Israel's chief rabbinate, in absence of the temple. The word occurs 78 times from First Samuel to Malachi, most frequently in Ezekiel.... Hêkāl with the meaning "temple" is generally clarified in the context by two markers that follow. The first marker is the addition "of the Lord": "And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the Lord, after the ordinance of David king of Israel" (Ezra 3:10). The second marker is a form of the word qōdesh, "holy": "O God, the heathen are come into thine inheritance; thy holy temple have they defiled; they have laid Jerusalem on heaps" (Psa. 79:1). Sometimes the definite article suffices to identify the "temple in Jerusalem": "In the year that King Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple" (Isa. 6:1), especially in a section dealing with the "temple" (Ezek. 41).The Old Testament also speaks about the heavenly hêkāl, the hêkāl of God. It is difficult to decide on a translation, whether "palace" or "temple." Most versions opt in favor of the "temple" idea: "Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple" (Mic. 1:2; cf. Psa. 5:7; Psa. 11:4; Hab. 2:20). "In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried to my God: and he did hear my voice out of his temple, and my cry did enter into his ears" (2 Sam. 22:7). However, since Scripture portrays the presence of the royal judgment throne in heaven, it is not altogether impossible that the original authors had a royal "palace" in mind. The imagery of the throne, the "palace," and judgment seems to lie behind Psa. 11:4-5. "The Lord is in his holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth." The Septuagint has the words naos ("temple") and oikos ("house; palace; dwelling; household"). (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old Testament and New Testament Words)

Gibrant has a lengthy discussion on hekal - This word had its origins in the Akkadian ekallu, meaning "palace" or "temple." It could also refer to large rooms in private houses. In other West Semitic languages cognate words have similar meanings: Ugaritic hkl "palace," "temple"; Aramaic hêkhal "palace"; Syriac haykhelaa "palace," "temple"; Arabic haikal "large building," "altar," "temple." It occurs in the OT in three senses: as a religious "temple," as a king's "palace" and as "heaven" (in the sense of God's temple or the palace of the Great King).

The first religious Temple in the OT is the Shiloh "temple." This sense may be seen in 1 Samuel. in the story of Hannah praying in the Temple for a child, and later, after the birth of Samuel, of his being entrusted to Eli's charge. It has been customary to refer to "the first Temple" and "the second Temple" as Solomon's Temple and Zerubbabel's Temple respectively. However, this is a bit misleading, as hêkāl also refers to two sanctuaries preceding Solomon's Temple. The Tabernacle in the wilderness is never referred to as a hêkāl, but the worship complex located in Shiloh in Eli's day is referred to by this term. The approximate date of these events would be 1090 B.C., ten years before the battle of Aphek (1 Sam. 4, ca. 1075 B.C.).

After Joshua's conquest, he first dwelt at Gilgal and then at Shiloh (Josh. 14:6; 18:1). Shiloh (about twenty miles north and slightly east of Jerusalem) appears to have been uninhabited in Canaanite times and thus suitable as a location for the Ark, due to its "uncontaminated" nature. Here the "Tent of meeting" was set up, and Shiloh became a center of Israelite worship (e.g., Jdg. 21:19ff), extending into the time of the Judges (cf. Jdg. 18:31). Archaeological excavations indicate that Shiloh was destroyed, probably by the Philistines, about 1050 B.C. Following its destruction, the Temple ruins at Shiloh remained even in Jeremiah's day as a constant reminder to Israel to continue in faithfulness and purity to Yahweh (Jer. 7:12, 14; 26:6; cf. Ps. 78:60).

The second religious hêkāl refers to the Tabernacle in Jerusalem during the time of David. A few references to hêkāl in Psalms 5:7; 27:4; 65:4; 138:2 refer to a Temple in Jerusalem in the days of David. It was David's desire to build a magnificent temple (2 Sam. 7:1f, 5; 1 Chr. 17), but this proposed Temple was described by David only as a "house" as opposed to a "tent" or "curtain." However, David was told that not he, but his son, would build such a house (vv. 4ff). But the word hêkāl does not occur anywhere in either 2 Sam. 7 or in 1 Chr. 17, because it had already been used to describe the tent David had set up in Jerusalem to house the Ark. In 1 Chr. 15:1, David had made a "place" for the Ark in Jerusalem and had pitched a "tent" to house it.

First Chronicles 15-16 describes the ceremony which accompanied the bringing up of the Ark to Jerusalem to this tent along with the purification by the priests and the dedication of this place of worship. It was truly a place worthy of the name hêkhāl, even though it was not necessarily a spacious palace. Long before Solomon had even thought about building a temple, David said of this tent, "I will come into thy house... I will worship toward thy holy temple [hêkhāl]" (Ps. 5:7). It was a place to reflect upon the beauty of the Lord and to make inquiry of Him (Ps. 27:4); it was a place for worship and praise (Ps. 138:2).

The third reference to a religious temple is to the Temple built during King Solomon's reign. Most occurrences of this term refer to the Temple built under Solomon. Solomon's Temple, commonly referred to as "the first Temple," remained as a center of Israelite worship until its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar's army in response to the wickedness of the Israelites (cf. 2 Chr. 36:7, 10, 14, 17-21; Ezek. 8:16). The construction and dedication of this magnificent Temple are described in 1 Ki. 6ff. At one point in Israel's history, King Hezekiah stripped the gold from the doors in order to pay tribute to the king of Assyria (2 Ki. 18:16). Prior to Josiah's reign, the worship of Baal seems to have become incorporated into this Temple (cf. Ps. 79:1), but in a remarkable revival, Josiah cleansed the Temple and had the vessels that had been made for Baal brought out of the Temple (2 Ki. 23:4).

A fourth reference to a religious temple is Zerubbabel's Temple. Following the Babylonian captivity, the Israelite exiles were allowed to return to their land. This took place under three initial waves of immigration permitted by the Persian rulers. The first wave came shortly after the Persian conquest of Babylon as a result of the edict of Cyrus (ca. 538 B.C.; cf. Ezra 1:1). The leader of this first wave of Jews was a certain Sheshbazzar, possibly the same as Zerubbabel. The second wave was some eighty years later as a result of the first of two decrees issued by Artaxerxes Longimanus (ca. 458 B.C.; cf. Ezra 7:7). This second wave was led by the priest Ezra. The third wave came later under Artaxerxes Longimanus (ca. 444 B.C.; cf. Neh. 2:1) and was led by Nehemiah. One of the chief goals of the returning exiles was the rebuilding of the Temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar's army (Ezra 3:6). The construction began shortly after the Jews' arrival in the land with the laying of the foundation, a feat which was met with mixed joy and weeping (Ezra 3:6-10); however further progress was halted both by opposition from without (Ezra 4:1-5) and by apathy and self-centeredness from within the Jewish community (Hag. 1:3-11). Construction was resumed in the second year of Darius in response to the urging of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (cf. Hag. 2:15-19; Zech. 8:9-14), and although external opposition arose again, the Temple was completed about four years later, in the sixth year of Darius (ca. 515 B.C.; cf. Ezra 6:15).

This Temple could have become a possible place of refuge for Nehemiah (Neh. 6:10f), but he refused to use it for this purpose. The intertestamental period saw this Temple defiled by Antiochus Epiphanes, then later cleansed and rededicated following the Maccabees' victory. It is this Temple which was later expanded and beautified by Herod the Great and was in existence during Jesus' ministry (cf. Mal. 3:1). This was the last Jewish Temple to stand in Jerusalem, having been destroyed by the Roman army led by Titus in A.D. 70 (cf. Luke 21:5-6). According to Josephus, Titus destroyed the Temple on the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av, the same date the Babylonians destroyed Solomon's Temple. The ninth of Av has been and continues to be a day of fasting and prayer for Jews throughout the world.

Amos, like other OT prophets, refers to eschatological times by using the significant phrase "in that day" (Amos 2:16; 8:3, 9, 13; 9:11). In Amos 8:3, he refers to horrifying events taking place in the hêkāl during eschatological times. Other OT references to the eschatological hêkāl speak in a positive light of a temple to be built by the Messiah (see below), but Amos refers to what may be an earlier Temple built before Messiah's return as the scene of great apostasy and rebellion. This Temple may be alluded to in Da 9:27 and in the NT in 2 Thess. 2:4 and Rev. 13:6.

The prophets Ezekiel and Zechariah both speak of a temple to be built in the future by the Messiah as the worship center of the future kingdom. Details of the architecture of this temple are related in Ezek. 41-42. The description there does not match the known description of any of the historical Temples of Israel. In Zech. 6:12-15, the prophet foretells the building of the hêkhāl by the Messiah whose name is "The Branch." An amillennial interpretation of this passage would refer this temple either to Christ's resurrection body or to the Church. But a literal understanding points to a literal temple to be built by the Messiah at his second coming. It is this future temple which David foresaw in Jerusalem as the place where gifts for the Lord would be received from the kings of the earth.

Two or three references to hêkāl in the OT are of temples of pagan deities. In 2 Chr. 36:7, Nebuchadnezzar may have carried the vessels from the house of the Lord either to his own palace or to a temple of one of his gods. Both Hos. 8:14 and Joel 3:5, however, refer to temples of pagan gods, the former referring to those having been built by the idolatrous Northern Kingdom of Israel, the latter to those built by the enemies of God's people.

Several OT uses of hêkāl refer to the palaces of kings. Ahab's palace is referred to in 1 Ki. 21:1. The palace of the king of Babylon is referred to a number of times (2 Ki. 20:18; 2 Chr. 36:7; Isa. 13:22; 39:7; Dan. 1:4; Nah. 2:6). In Ps. 45:9, 15, the psalmist writes, "All your robes are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; from palaces adorned with ivory the music of the strings makes you glad.... They are led in with joy and gladness; they enter the palace of the king."

In light of the messianic reference to this Psalm in Heb. 1:8, these are most likely references to the future palace of the messianic King. Twice a conceptual king's palace is in view (Ps. 144:12; Pr 30:28).

Hêkāl can also refer to heaven as God's "temple" or as the "palace" of the Great King. Second Samuel 22:7 could be a reference to the pre-Solomonic "temple" in Jerusalem, but most likely refers to heaven; Ps. 11:4, however, also written by David, refers to God's holy hêkhāl as being "in the heavens," and in Ps. 18:6 David's reference cannot be to a Jerusalem Temple, for the Psalm was written during his pre-Jerusalem days, while he was being persecuted by Saul. For other references to heaven as God's hêkhāl, see Ps. 29:9; Isa. 6:1; 66:6; Jon. 2:7; Mic. 1:2; Hab. 2:20. When referring to the temple of God, whether in heaven, Jerusalem, or elsewhere, several qualifiers are used to describe the temple. (Complete Biblical Library)


QUESTION - What is the meaning of the term “Shiloh”? Is it a Messianic prophecy?

ANSWER - The word Shiloh appears 33 times in the Old Testament and all but one usage refer to an area of Israel. The verse in which Shiloh is used as a Messianic prophecy is Genesis 49:10:

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a Lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come. And the obedience of the peoples to him” (NKJV).

This verse is part of Jacob’s blessing of his 12 sons in which he portrays the future history of each son and each of the 12 tribes of Israel.

The blessing on Judah and his tribe contains several elements. For one thing, his descendants would be strong and receive the praise of the other tribes of Israel (Ge 49:8-9). This was fulfilled in David, a strong and mighty warrior and king, and ultimately by the Messiah who came from the line of Judah. Verses 11 and 12 are somewhat obscure in that they contain poetic, hyperbolic language. Generally, this language describes prosperity so great that people will be able to tie a donkey to a choice vine and let it eat its fill because there is such abundance. This is likely a prophecy concerning the millennium. It will be a time of peace (Micah 4:2-4; Isaiah 32:17-18), joy (Isaiah 61:7, 10), comfort (Isaiah 40:1-2), and no poverty or sickness (Amos 9:13-15; Joel 2:28-29).

In Genesis 49:10, we find the reference to Shiloh and His future coming. This obscure word is variously interpreted to mean “the sent” (John 17:3), “the seed” (Isaiah 11:1), the “peaceable or prosperous one” (Ephesians 2:14), that is, the Messiah (Isaiah 11:10; Romans 15:12). Prior to Shiloh’s coming, the tribe of Judah would continue to maintain power and strength, signified by the scepter—the symbol of authority and rule of law. This first began in David, who was of the tribe of Judah, and continued to the Babylonian captivity, when another sort of government took place, described in the next part of the verse. A ‘lawgiver’ can be any ruler who has jurisdiction over others, and from the Babylonian captivity through the time of Christ, Israel was under the rule of other lawgivers.

When Shiloh—the Messiah—came, the scepter of rule over Israel departed from Judah and rested in the hand of the King of Kings, where it remains today, although many still reject Him. He is the Lawgiver at whose feet we now sit for teaching in truth and righteousness through His Word, the Bible. The “obedience of the peoples” was and still is offered to Him, replacing obedience to the law of Moses. From the beginning, there were great gatherings of people who heard Him preach and saw His miracles. Multitudes witnessed His death and His post-resurrection appearances. Multitudes more were converted to Christ, embraced His doctrines, professed His religion, and have lived in Him ever since. Here is the meaning of the “obedience of the peoples to him” (v. 10), which will continue until Shiloh comes again to rule and reign over all during the millennium. At that time, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father (Philippians 2:9-11). GotQuestions.org

1 Samuel 1:10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

NET  1 Samuel 1:10 She was very upset as she prayed to the LORD, and she was weeping uncontrollably.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:10 Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the LORD and wept with many tears.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:10 In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD, and wept bitterly.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:10 And she is bitter in soul, and prayeth unto Jehovah, and weepeth greatly,

  • greatly distressed : Heb. bitter of soul, Ru 1:20 2Sa 17:8 Job 7:11 9:18 10:1 Isa 38:15 54:6 La 3:15 
  • prayed: Ps 50:15 91:15 Lu 22:44 Heb 5:7 
  • wept : Ge 50:10 Jdg 21:2 2Sa 13:36 2Ki 20:3 Jer 13:17 22:10 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

PRAYERS FROM THE
PIT OF DESPOND

She, greatly distressed (mar - lit = bitter in soul) prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly (uncontrollably = NET, many tears = CSB) - Hannah's distress drove her to Yahweh. Her bitterness was because of years of barrenness and provocation from her enemy Peninnah. But Hannah made a crucial choice - instead of focusing on her bitterness, she accepted God's appointment to brokenness and ran in her extremity to the sufficiency of Jehovah Sabaoth a wonderful illustration of Php 4:6, 7+. The Septuagint translates "prayed" in 1Sa 1:10 with the same Greek word for "prayer" used in Phil 4:6-7 (proseuchomai) which is notable because this specific Greek word for prayer conveys the idea of a devotional and adoring focus on God and not the idea of making specific requests. So at the outset Hannah sought to have a personal encounter with God and so she focused on His character. She then supplicated or made a specific request of Jehovah Sabaoth.

THOUGHT - Where do you go when God allows (or sends) distress (brokenness, bitterness) in your life (He is in full control)? Distress can drive us to the Lord or away from the Lord (there is probably somewhat of middle ground, but if it does not drive us to the Lord, wherever we end up is not the best place as in the presence of the Lord's lovingkindness and all sufficient grace.)


Distressed (04751mar is an adjective most often used figuratively to express the emotional response to a destructive, heart-crushing situation. It is used in a literal sense - bitter grape clusters (Dt. 32:32); bitter water (Ex 15:23); food in general (Pr 27:7). Although an adjective, mar can function alone as the noun bitterness (Isa. 38:15, 17) or as an adverb, bitterly (Isa 33:7, Ezek 27:30, Zeph 1:14). Mar can describe results of continued fighting (2 Sa 2:26). Figuratively modifies Esau's cry (Ge 27:34; Esther 4:1; Ezek 27:30); bitterness of death (1 Sa 15:32); or to describe a person discontented (1 Sa 22:2); provoked (2 Sa 17:8); anguished (Ezek. 27:31); ruthless (Hab. 1:6). Naomi's name for herself (Ru 1:20). 

Victor Hamilton gives a good survey of the figurative uses - Some of these situations are: (1) in the case of a woman, barrenness and sterility, 1 Samuel 1:10; (2) an unfulfilled death-wish, Job 3:20; (3) family turmoil, Genesis 27:34; (4) the exploitation and deprivation of minority peoples, Esther 4:1; (5) personal suffering and hardship, Job 7:11; Job 10:1; Isaiah 38:15; (6) a hostile and precarious situation, Psalm 64:3 [H 4]; grief over the apostasy of believers, Jeremiah 2:19; (7) the Lord's judgment on unbelievers, Zeph. 1:14; (8) discontentment with lacklustre leadership, 1 Samuel 22:2; (9) the thought of death, 1 Samuel 15:32; (10) the crumbling of dreams and aspiration, Ezekiel 27:30, 31. (Online source of Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament)

Mar - 35v- bitter(15), bitter thing(1), bitterly(4), bitterness(11), discontented*(1), embittered(1), fierce(1), fierce*(2), great bitterness(1), greatly distressed(1). Gen. 27:34; Exod. 15:23; Num. 5:18; Num. 5:19; Num. 5:23; Num. 5:24; Num. 5:27; Jdg. 18:25; 1 Sam. 1:10; 1 Sam. 15:32; 1 Sam. 22:2; 2 Sam. 2:26; 2 Sam. 17:8; Est. 4:1; Job 3:20; Job 7:11; Job 10:1; Job 21:25; Ps. 64:3; Prov. 5:4; Prov. 27:7; Prov. 31:6; Eccl. 7:26; Isa. 5:20; Isa. 33:7; Isa. 38:15; Isa. 38:17; Jer. 2:19; Jer. 4:18; Ezek. 3:14; Ezek. 27:30; Ezek. 27:31; Amos 8:10; Hab. 1:6; Zeph. 1:14

Prayed (06419palal means "to pray, intervene." Palal is "the most common Hebrew word used to describe the general act of prayer (Jer. 29:7). It was often used to describe prayer offered in a time of distress, such as Hannah’s prayer for a son (1 Sam. 1:10, 12); Elisha’s prayer for the dead boy (2 Kgs. 4:33); Hezekiah’s prayer for protection and health (2 Kgs. 19:15; 20:2); and Jonah’s prayer from the fish (Jon. 2:1[2]). In some contexts, this word described a specific intercession of one person praying to the Lord for another, such as Abraham for Abimelech (Gen. 20:7, 17); Moses and Samuel for Israel (Num. 11:2; 21:7; 1 Sam. 7:5); the man of God for the king (1 Kgs. 13:6); or Ezra and Daniel for Israel’s sins (Ezra 10:1; Dan. 9:4, 20). This prayer of intercession could also be made to a false god (Isa. 44:17; 45:14). (Word Study OT)

Palal in 1-2 Samuel - 1 Sam. 1:10; 1 Sam. 1:12; 1 Sam. 1:26; 1 Sam. 1:27; 1 Sam. 2:1; 1 Sam. 2:25; 1 Sam. 7:5; 1 Sam. 8:6; 1 Sam. 12:19; 1 Sam. 12:23; 2 Sam. 7:27

Wept bitterly (01058bakah means to weep, bemoan, lament or wail, because of grief, pain, humiliation or even joy (Ge. 42:24; 43:30; Dt 21:13, Joel 1:5).

Bakah in 1-2 Samuel - 1 Sam. 1:7; 1 Sam. 1:8; 1 Sam. 1:10; 1 Sam. 11:4; 1 Sam. 11:5; 1 Sam. 20:41; 1 Sam. 24:16; 1 Sam. 30:4; 2 Sam. 1:12; 2 Sam. 1:24; 2 Sam. 3:16; 2 Sam. 3:32; 2 Sam. 3:34; 2 Sam. 12:21; 2 Sam. 12:22; 2 Sam. 13:36; 2 Sam. 15:23; 2 Sam. 15:30; 2 Sam. 18:33; 2 Sam. 19:1;

1 Samuel 1:11 She made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”  

KJV  1 Samuel 1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

NET  1 Samuel 1:11 She made a vow saying, "O LORD of hosts, if you will look with compassion on the suffering of your female servant, remembering me and not forgetting your servant, and give a male child to your servant, then I will dedicate him to the LORD all the days of his life. His hair will never be cut."

CSB  1 Samuel 1:11 Making a vow, she pleaded, "LORD of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your servant's affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son, I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut."

ESV  1 Samuel 1:11 And she vowed a vow and said, "O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head."

NIV  1 Samuel 1:11 And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."

NLT  1 Samuel 1:11 And she made this vow: "O LORD of Heaven's Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the LORD, his hair will never be cut. "

NRS  1 Samuel 1:11 She made this vow: "O LORD of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head."

YLT  1 Samuel 1:11 and voweth a vow, and saith, 'Jehovah of Hosts, if Thou dost certainly look on the affliction of Thy handmaid, and hast remembered me, and dost not forget Thy handmaid, and hast given to Thy handmaid seed of men -- then I have given him to Jehovah all days of his life, and a razor doth not go up upon his head.'

  • vow: Ge 28:20 Nu 21:2 30:3-8 Jdg 11:30 Ec 5:4 
  • look: Ge 29:32 Ex 4:31 2Sa 16:12 Ps 25:18 
  • remember: 1Sa 1:19 Ge 8:1 30:22 Ps 132:1,2 
  • there: Nu 6:5 Jdg 13:5 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - sermons and commentaries

HANNAH'S BINDING 
VOW TO YAHWEH

She made a vow (vowed a vow) and said, “O LORD of hosts - This is the first record of any person ever addressing Yahweh as Jehovah Sabaoth. Her great pain and need drove her to this great Name of God, "LORD of armies," as if she knew Who it was Who could win this battle! 

if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me and not forget Your maidservant If...then marks a conditional clause. See note below on whether she was "bargaining" with God. Look...remember...not forget refer here to looking favorably upon another, in this case with compassion. Have you ever asked God to "remember and not forget" you in your prayers? 1Sa 1:19 says "the LORD remembered her!" 

but will give Your maidservant a son - KJV = man child = Heb. seed of men. Did you observe the repetition of maidservant (Lxx -  doule the same word Mary used in Lk 1:38+) three times in 1Sa 1:11, a self-designation which emphasizes Hannah's humility and submission to a higher authority, in this case Jehovah. Hannah ran to the Strong Tower (Pr 18:10+) of the Name Jehovah Sabaoth crying out to Him a pattern encouraged in James 5:13+ "Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray (present imperative  see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises."

THOUGHT- Notice that prayer in times of suffering is not an optional exercise but according to James is a command. It should be our "first resort" not our "last resort". Pray [word study] again is the Gk verb that focuses first primarily on the character & attributes of God even before offering supplication - identical to the pattern seen in Php 4:6 and in Hannah's prayer. Prayer requires a conscious awareness & acceptance on our part of our human helplessness & a reliance upon God's resources. El Elyon the sovereign God had shut Hannah's womb but because He is also El Roi He saw her pain & mistreatment & as Jehovah Sabaoth He heard her cry to please "remember menot forget". 

I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”- All the days of his life indicates she took her hands off Samuel (so to speak) and totally relinquished her firstborn son into the trustworthy hands of Jehovah. What a picture of surrender and self-sacrifice Hannah presents! Little wonder her name means grace, because she depicts beautifully one with a grace saturated soul! It is notable that according to the Law, Samuel, as a descendent of Levi, was the Lord's property, from twenty-five years of age until fifty years, but her vow indicates that he would be consecrated to the Lord from infancy to his death, from the cradle to the grave, and that he should not only act as a Levite, but as a set apart Nazarite.

KJV Bible Commentary -  If she knew about the levitical retirement age of fifty, then she was extending her vow beyond that; at least the language shows complete surrender of the child for levitical service. See Numbers 3:11–13 on the substitution of the Levites for the first-born. Hannah vowed further that the child for which she was asking would be a Nazarite (see Num 6:1–4), thus making her vow even more intense and promising a more complete degree of separation from sin and special dedication to God for special service. Samson had been a Nazarite. 


Vow (05088neder from nadar = to vow) conveys the root idea of verbally consecrating (or dedicating to the service) of God. Neder is a noun describes the vow that was sworn or taken. "The word neder is related to the verb נָדַר (nādar, “to make a vow”). A neder in the OT is always a vow made to God, never between two human beings. The neder is either the result of the vow or the thing offered to fulfill a vow. It was a type of thank offering in return for God’s favor (Num 21:1–3), and it could either accompany or be a burnt offering (Lev 22:18; Psa 66:13) or a peace offering (Lev 7:16). Numbers 30:2 mentions not only a neder but also an oath (שְׁבוּעָה, šĕbûʿâ) and the obligation (אִסָּר, ʾissār) and is therefore instructive when considering how these terms differ. The vow (neder) was vowed (nādar) and sealed (שָׁבַע, šābaʿ) with an oath (šĕbûʿâ) of binding obligation (ʾissār)." (Lexham Theological Wordbook)


The LORD of hosts occurs 5 times in 1 Samuel (1Sa 1:3, 11, 1Sa 4:4, 1Sa 15:2, 1Sa 17:45) but two are especially significant as they are in the context of Israel's enemies. 1Sa 17:45 - David vs Goliath (Click) and 1Sa 4:4 - Israel vs the Philistines (Click)


Hard Sayings of the Bible -  1Sa 1:11  Was Hannah Right to Bargain with God?

Is the desperate prayer of Hannah for a son a legitimate way to approach God, or is it a bad example of trying to bargain with God?

Hannah’s prayer has no more the ill sense of bargaining with God than many of our prayers. While it is true that we can abuse the privilege that we have of direct access to the throne of God to make our requests known, it is God who will judge the propriety and motivation of each prayer, not any mortal.

What is surprising is to notice the same directness of access and the simplicity with which this woman, who is part of the fellowship of the many barren women in the Bible, makes her request known to God. There is no demanding or threatening here. Her prayer is not formal, contrived or ritualistic. It is as direct as any might wish it to be. If only God would look, if only he would remember her and if only he would give her a son, she vowed that she would not grow proud, forgetful or ungrateful; on the contrary, she would give this son (she never considered that it might be a girl) back to God.

God was not obligated to answer her. But the fact that he did indicates that he judged her motives to be right and her request appropriate.


QUESTION - What does the Bible say about keeping your vows / oaths?

ANSWER - There are about 30 biblical references to vows, most of which are from the Old Testament. The books of Leviticus and Numbers have several references to vows in relation to offerings and sacrifices. There were dire consequences for the Israelites who broke vows, especially vows to God.

The story of Jephthah illustrates the foolishness of making vows without understanding the consequences. Before leading the Israelites into battle against the Ammonites, Jephthah—described as a mighty man of valor—made a rash vow that he would give to the Lord whoever first came out of doors to meet him if he returned home as the victor. When the Lord granted him victory, the one who came out to meet him was his daughter. Jephthah remembered his vow and offered her to the Lord (Judges 11:29–40). Whether or not Jephthah should have kept this vow is dealt with in another article. What this account shows is the foolishness of rash vows.

Jesus taught concerning vows, “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.’ But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No ,’ ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one” (Matthew 5:33–37).

A little background information is helpful in understanding Jesus’ words here. The religious leaders of the day advocated keeping a vow if it was a public vow using God’s name; however, if the vow was made in the course of everyday conversation, referencing only “heaven” or “earth” or “Jerusalem,” it was not really binding. People had a loophole. They could lie or exaggerate in their conversations and lend themselves an air of credibility by saying, “I swear by heaven that this is true!” They could not be held to account because they did not specifically swear by God’s name and the vow was private. Jesus countered that idea. If you swear something, it had better be true, He says. In fact, all you need to say is “yes” or “no.” Your word should be good. There’s no need for overwrought expressions to bolster your case.

Psalm 15:4 describes a righteous person as one “who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind.” Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 5 supports this biblical principle. Oaths are binding, even when spoken frivolously or privately as part of everyday conversation. A promise is a promise, and there is no loophole in God’s eyes to allow a person to renege on an oath.

So, Jesus was not condemning all forms of promises, contracts, or agreements. Jesus was speaking of the kind of spontaneous vow made when a person says, “I cross my heart and hope to die” or “I swear on a stack of Bibles” or “I swear on my mother’s life.” Jesus warns against using those types of flippant oaths. His teaching in Matthew 5 is not meant to discourage careful, thought-out promises, such as wedding vows or a legal contract.

The principle here is clear for Christians: be careful about making vows, either to the Lord or to one another. The fact that we are prone to errors in judgment means that we may make vows foolishly or out of immaturity. Further, the informal vows we make (“I swear by all the angels in heaven!”) are completely unnecessary. Our word is our bond. GotQuestions.org


VOW [ISBE] - vou (neder; euche; 'iccar, found only in Nu 30:6,8,10 and translated horismos, by the Septuagint: A vow could be positive (nedher) and included all promises to perform certain things for, or bring certain offerings to, God, in return for certain benefits which were hoped for at His hand (Gen 28:20-22, Jacob; Lev 27:2,8; Nu 30; Jdg 11:30, Jephthah; 1 Sam 1:11, Hannah; 2 Sam 15:8, Absalom; Jon 1:16, vows of heathen); or negative ('iccar), and included promises by which a person bound himself or herself to abstain from certain things (Nu 30:3). Nowhere in the Old Testament do we find the making of vows regarded as a religious duty (Dt 23:22), but the fulfilling of a vow was considered as a sacred and binding duty (Dt 23:21-23; Jdg 11:35; Eccl 5:4; compare Ps 22:25; 66:13; 76:11; 116:18). A vow was as binding as an oath (see OATH) and therefore to be kept to the letter; and it was not to be lightly made (Prov 20:25). A father could veto a daughter's vow, and a husband a wife's. If a husband did not veto a wife's vow, and then caused her to break it, the sin was his and not hers (Nu 30, passim). It seems that vows were considered binding only when actually uttered (Dt 23:23). Persons, including one's self, animals, land and other possessions, could be vowed, but all these could be redeemed with money (see JEPHTHAH), which money was to be estimated by the priest, except in the case of a clean animal. In the case of land, houses and unclean animals a fifth part of the estimated value was to be added to make up the redemption money. In the case of land the sum was greater or smaller as the coming year of Jubilee was far off or near (Lev 27, passim). Nothing which was by nature holy could be made the object of a vow, e.g. firstlings, tithes, etc. (Lev 27:26,28,30); and, on the other hand, an abomination, e.g. the hire of a prostitute, could not be made the object of a vow (Dt 23:18). In Mal 1:14 the offering of what was of less value than what had been vowed is vigorously condemned.

In the New Testament Jesus refers to vows only to condemn the abuse of them (Mt 15:4-6; Mk 7:10-13; compare Talmud, Nedharim, and see CORBAN). In Acts 18:18 (compare Acts 21:23,24) Paul desires to show his Jewish brethren that he is willing to keep the forms of Jewish piety so long as they do not clash with his Christian conscience (compare 1 Cor 9:21). For the vow of the Nazirite, see NAZIRITE. Paul Levertoff


Related Resources:

1 Samuel 1:12 Now it came about, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli was watching her mouth.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.

NET  1 Samuel 1:12 As she continued praying to the LORD, Eli was watching her mouth.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:12 While she continued praying in the LORD's presence, Eli watched her lips.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:12 As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:12 And it hath been, when she multiplied praying before Jehovah, that Eli is watching her mouth,

  • continued praying: Lu 11:8-10 18:1 Eph 6:18 Col 4:2 1Th 5:17 Jas 5:16 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

Now it came about, as she continued praying before the LORD - The literal Hebrew is very descriptive of her prayers reading "multiplied praying." 

THOUGHT - O, that the Holy Spirit would so work in our hearts to "multiply" our prayers before Jehovah (cf 1Th 5:17+). Amen. (See  Does God answer prayers? | GotQuestions.org)

that Eli was watching her mouth.

1 Samuel 1:13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

NET  1 Samuel 1:13 Now Hannah was speaking from her heart. Although her lips were moving, her voice was inaudible. Eli therefore thought she was drunk.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:13 Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk

ESV  1 Samuel 1:13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk

NLT  1 Samuel 1:13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:13 Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:13 and Hannah, she is speaking to her heart, only her lips are moving, and her voice is not heard, and Eli reckoneth her to be drunken.

  • spake: Ge 24:42-45 Ne 2:4 Ps 25:1 Ro 8:26 
  • she had: Zec 9:15 Ac 2:13 1Co 13:7 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were moving, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought she was drunk.

KJV Bible Commentary -  Overindulgence in the use of wine at the worship feasts must have been quite common at this time, since Eli was so quick to jump to the conclusion that Hannah was drunk. The incident also shows that completely silent prayer was not yet common at this time. Hannah’s prayer was intense, completely spiritual, and inward; she was not merely performing an outward ceremony


QUESTION - What is the significance of Hannah’s prayer?

ANSWER - Hannah’s prayer is a remarkable passage of Scripture containing a song of praise with prophetic and messianic significance. Found in 1 Samuel 2:1–10, Hannah’s prayer eloquently celebrates the holiness and sovereignty of God and affirms the central tenets of Israel’s faith. Not only is Hannah’s prayer a testimony of God’s handiwork in her own life, but it is also a foreshadowing of His actions in the lives of the prophet Samuel, King David, and the nation of Israel.

Hannah, like several prominent women in the Bible, was barren and unable to conceive a child for a long time after marrying. In ancient Israel, children were considered a clear sign of God’s blessing (see Psalm 127:3). Infertility brought severe disgrace to a woman because in those days it meant she could not fulfill her God-given purpose of producing offspring for her family. Adding to Hannah’s misfortune was her family situation: her husband Elkanah had a second wife, Peninnah, who had given him many children. The rival wife mocked Hannah cruelly (1 Samuel 1:6–7). For years Hannah poured out her soul’s desire to the Lord in prayer, promising Him that, if she had a son, she would give the child back to God.

One day at the tabernacle in Shiloh, the high priest Eli overheard Hannah’s heartbroken petition and assured her that her prayer would be answered. True to the promise, Hannah gave birth to a son and named him Samuel. When the boy was old enough, she brought him to live with Eli to serve in the tabernacle of the Lord. After leaving behind her miracle child to be trained in the priesthood, Hannah prayed an extraordinary, poetic prayer under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Similar to many biblical prayers, Hannah’s prayer begins with praise for a specific act of God and then branches out into a more universal praise of God’s attributes and actions.

In 1 Samuel 2:1–2, Hannah’s prayer begins on a high note with personal expressions of pure joy and enthusiastic delight in the Lord and His salvation: “My heart rejoices in the LORD;

in the LORD my horn is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
for I delight in your deliverance.
‘There is no one holy like the LORD;
there is no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.’”

Hannah’s barrenness had caused her humiliation and shame, but God has delivered her from all that. Notice that Hannah’s rejoicing is in the Lord, not in Samuel; in other words, she praises the Giver as more important than the gift. “My horn is lifted up” is an expression that refers to the renewal of strength. Hannah declares that her strength, her worth, her dignity, and her rightful place as a fruitful wife have been restored. She has been delivered from her shame. Hannah acknowledges God’s greatness, uniqueness, steadfastness, and holiness.

In verses 3–5, Hannah’s prayer takes on a more public dimension, allowing others to consider her words and join in. Hannah cautions those who boast and exalt themselves because God knows their thoughts and sees their actions. He judges in all matters, including military action, overindulgence, poverty, starvation, and infertility:

“Do not keep talking so proudly
or let your mouth speak such arrogance,
for the Lord is a God who knows,
and by him deeds are weighed.
The bows of the warriors are broken,
but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Those who were full hire themselves out for food,
but those who were hungry are hungry no more.
She who was barren has borne seven children,
but she who has had many sons pines away.”

Verses 6–10 contain some of the most poetic and linguistically beautiful portions of Hannah’s prayer. Here we encounter a long list of contrasting actions that the Lord takes in dealing with humans:

“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
he humbles and he exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes
and has them inherit a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
on them he has set the world.
He will guard the feet of his faithful servants,
but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.
It is not by strength that one prevails;
those who oppose the Lord will be broken.
The Most High will thunder from heaven;
the Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

In all things, the Lord is sovereign. Exaltation, social position, and even life and death are under God’s control. God’s actions are not random. As Judge over the whole earth, God brings the worst actions against those who oppose Him, while His faithful ones receive the blessings of protection, strength, and exaltation.

Mary’s song in Luke 1:46–55+ draws close thematic parallels to Hannah’s prayer. Both women adopt the role of motherhood to align with the purposes of God, and both praise God for aiding His people in their desperate plight.

The final sentence of Hannah’s prayer is remarkable for several reasons: “The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed” (1 Samuel 2:10, ESV). When Hannah prayed this, Israel had no king; she lived in the time of the judges, so her prayer is prophetic, looking forward to the time when a king would rule the nation. Also, Hannah’s reference to God’s “anointed” is a clear messianic prophecy. The prediction that God would “exalt the horn”—increase the strength—of the anointed king was fulfilled, in part, in the reigns of David and Solomon. But the ultimate Anointed One, the Messiah, would be honored above all kings.GotQuestions.org

1 Samuel 1:14 Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you.”

KJV  1 Samuel 1:14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

NET  1 Samuel 1:14 So he said to her, "How often do you intend to get drunk? Put away your wine!"

CSB  1 Samuel 1:14 and scolded her, "How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!"

ESV  1 Samuel 1:14 And Eli said to her, "How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you."

NIV  1 Samuel 1:14 and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."

NLT  1 Samuel 1:14 "Must you come here drunk?" he demanded. "Throw away your wine!"

NRS  1 Samuel 1:14 So Eli said to her, "How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine."

YLT  1 Samuel 1:14 And Eli saith unto her, 'Until when are thou drunken? turn aside thy wine from thee.'

  • How long: Jos 22:12-20 Job 8:2 Ps 62:3 Pr 6:9 Mt 7:1-3 
  • put away: Job 11:14 22:23 Pr 4:24 Eph 4:25,31 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

Then Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Put away your wine from you - Eli is so convinced Hannah is drunk that he issues a command. It is notable that wine was part of the sacrifices (see 1Sa 1:24) but drunkenness was condemned. 

1 Samuel 1:15 But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

NET  1 Samuel 1:15 But Hannah replied, "That's not the way it is, my lord! I am under a great deal of stress. I have drunk neither wine nor beer. Rather, I have poured out my soul to the LORD.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:15 "No, my lord," Hannah replied. "I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven't had any wine or beer; I've been pouring out my heart before the LORD.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:15 But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:15 "Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:15 "Oh no, sir!" she replied. "I haven't been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:15 But Hannah answered, "No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:15 And Hannah answereth and saith, 'No, my lord, A woman sharply pained in spirit I am, and wine and strong drink I have not drunk, and I pour out my soul before Jehovah;

  • my Lord: Pr 15:1 25:15 
  • of a sorrowful spirit: Heb. hard of spirit
  • poured: Ps 42:4 62:8 142:2,3 143:6 La 2:19 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

But Hannah replied, “No, my lord, I am a woman oppressed (qasheh) in spirit - Hebrew = “I am a woman difficult of spirit.” The Lxx translates it "hard day," (skleros hemera) which is an interesting description = "I am a woman for whom this is a hard day". REB = "a heart-broken woman" NJB- "in great trouble"

I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD - Strong drink controls a person, and Hannah looked to Eli like a person who was under control of a substance (he had probably seen his worthless sons in this state!). While the text does not state it specifically, there is little doubt that she was submitted not to strong unholy spirits but to the strong Holy Spirit. As Paul taught in Ephesians 5:18+ what fills you controls you and Hannah was a Spirit possessed soul causing her to pour out her soul to Yahweh. As as aside, it is interesting that the Septuagint for "poured out" is ekcheo, the same verb used to describe the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17, 33+, Acts 10:45+, Titus 3:6+). 

THOUGHT - Note the characteristics of her prayer - "wept bitterly" (1Sa 1:10), "speaking in her heart" (1Sa 1:13), "poured out my soul (literally heart)" (empty soul of contents). What a graphic picture of God centered prayer birthed in the brokenness brought on by bitterness (which by the way she "poured out" in prayer!). Oh, for all the saints of God to pray with the passion of precious Hannah!


Oppressed (harsh, obstinate, stiff, stubborn) (07186qasheh means hard, harsh, cruel, severe, strong, violent, fierce. This term's basic function is to describe something as hard. The root qāshî apparently arose from an agricultural milieu. It emphasizes, first, the subjective effect exerted by an overly heavy yoke, which is hard to bear, and secondarily, the rebellious resistance of oxen to the yoke. Thus we see hard labor (Ex 1:14, Ex 6:9, 1 Ki 12:4, 2 Chr 10:4, Isa 14:3), Joseph's hard words (Ge 42:7, 30), Nabal was harsh (1 Sa 25:3), Israel was often described as stubborn or obstinate (Ex 32:9, 33:3, 33:5, 34:9, Dt 9:6, 13, Dt 31:27, Jdg 2:19), obstinate (Is 48:4, Ezek 3:7), oppressed ("hard") in spirit (Hannah in 1 Sa 1:15), hard or difficult legal question (Ex. 18:26), severe battle (2 Sa 2:17), wind (Isa. 27:8), vision (Isa. 21:2); difficult times (Job 30:25), a relentless sword (Isa. 27:1) and fierce jealousy (Song 8:6). 

The Septuagint translates qasheh in 1Sa 1:16 and in Exodus 6:9 with skleros meaning literally hard, dry, rough; figuratively in the NT  of words harsh, unpleasant, hard to take, intolerable.

1 Samuel 1:16 “Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.”

KJV  1 Samuel 1:16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.

NET  1 Samuel 1:16 Don't consider your servant a wicked woman, for until now I have spoken from my deep pain and anguish."

CSB  1 Samuel 1:16 Don't think of me as a wicked woman; I've been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment."

ESV  1 Samuel 1:16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation."

NIV  1 Samuel 1:16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."

NLT  1 Samuel 1:16 Don't think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow."

NRS  1 Samuel 1:16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time."

YLT  1 Samuel 1:16 put not thy handmaid before a daughter of worthlessness, for from the abundance of my meditation, and of my provocation, I have spoken hitherto.'

  • daughter: 1Sa 2:12 10:27 25:25 De 13:13 
  • out of: Job 6:2,3 10:1,2 Mt 12:34,35 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

Do not consider your maidservant as a worthless woman -  KJV = Daughter of Belial! Heb “daughter of worthlessness.” Lxx has "daughter of pestilence or plague (loimos)"! The irony is that it was not Hannah but Eli's own sons who were the "sons of Belial", the worthless ones (1Sa 2:12-17)!

For I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation - CSB = "I've been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment." I have spoken refers to her prayer. She was speaking with God. That's a great picture of prayer. 


Worthless (wicked, Belial)(01100beliyyaal from belî yaʿal: "not, without" and "to be of use, worth, or profit.") A worthless person, good for nothing to himself or others, and capable of nothing but mischief. Some feel that the word Belial can be traced to the false god Baal, and is also a term for yoke (they cast off the yoke of decency), and a term for entangling or injuring. The LXX renders it according to the context by the terms paranomos, anomia, and aphrōn, i.e. "lawless, lawlessness, witless."  By the NT time, Belial had become synonymous with Satan (cf. 2 Cor. 6:15+). There is one use we would all do well to ponder and in the power of the Spirit affirm or declare (or pray) to be true in our life from time to time...

I will set no worthless (beliyyaal) thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten (dabaq) its grip on me. (Psalm 101:3+) (MARK IT DOWN - WORTHLESS IMAGES CAN BE VERY "STICKY" IN YOUR MIND'S EYE! I AM SPEAKING ESPECIALLY TO YOU MEN AS YOU KNOW TO WHAT I AM REFERRING!)

Beliyyaal - 26v - base(1), destruction(1), rascally(1), scoundrels*(1), ungodliness(1), wicked(3), worthless(18), worthless one(1). Deut. 13:13; Deut. 15:9; Jdg. 19:22; Jdg. 20:13; 1 Sam. 1:16; 1 Sam. 2:12; 1 Sam. 10:27; 1 Sam. 25:17; 1 Sam. 25:25; 1 Sam. 30:22; 2 Sam. 16:7; 2 Sam. 20:1; 2 Sam. 22:5; 2 Sam. 23:6; 1 Ki. 21:10; 1 Ki. 21:13; 2 Chr. 13:7; Job 34:18; Ps. 18:4; Ps. 41:8; Ps. 101:3; Prov. 6:12; Prov. 16:27; Prov. 19:28; Nah. 1:11; Nah. 1:15

1 Samuel 1:17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.”

KJV  1 Samuel 1:17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

NET  1 Samuel 1:17 Eli replied, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request that you have asked of him."

CSB  1 Samuel 1:17 Eli responded, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the petition you've requested from Him."

ESV  1 Samuel 1:17 Then Eli answered, "Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him."

NIV  1 Samuel 1:17 Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."

NLT  1 Samuel 1:17 "In that case," Eli said, "go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him."

NRS  1 Samuel 1:17 Then Eli answered, "Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him."

YLT  1 Samuel 1:17 And Eli answereth and saith, 'Go in peace, and the God of Israel doth give thy petition which thou hast asked of Him.'

  • Go: 1Sa 25:35 29:7 Jdg 18:6 2Ki 5:19 Mk 5:34 Lu 7:50 8:48 
  • the God: 1Ch 4:10 Ps 20:3-5 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

ELI BLESSES
HANNAH

Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him - We have to credit Eli for accepting Hannah's reply and bestowing a blessing on her. Whether he knew what she was praying was not stated but it is doubtful. In the reply may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him indicates in a sense he offered a prayer to God for Hannah. 

1 Samuel 1:18 She said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

NET  1 Samuel 1:18 She said, "May I, your servant, find favor in your sight." So the woman went her way and got something to eat. Her face no longer looked sad.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:18 "May your servant find favor with you," she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:18 And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your eyes." Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:18 She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:18 "Oh, thank you, sir!" she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:18 And she said, "Let your servant find favor in your sight." Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:18 And she saith, 'Let thy handmaid find grace in thine eyes;' and the woman goeth on her way, and eateth, and her countenance hath not been sad for it any more.

  • Let thine: Ge 32:5 33:8,15 Ru 2:13 
  • went her: Ec 9:7 Joh 16:24 Ro 15:13 Php 4:6,7 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

She said, “Let your maidservant find favor (KJV - find grace) in your sight.”

So - A term of conclusion. This describes Hannah's response to Eli's blessing. 

The woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad - Hannah prayed, heard Eli's blessing and regained her appetite and her countenance! Is this not clear evidence that she had faith in God. She was not practicing "name it, claim it," but at this juncture was willing to rest in the truth that God had heard her and that His will was good, whatever the answer would prove to be. She sets a high standard for all of us to seek to emulate! 

THOUGHT - In 1 Samuel 1 Hannah was barren which had the potential to produce bitterness against God and man. Faced with impossible odds of having a child after years of infertility, in her brokenness she choose to cry out to the LORD of hosts and after a "face to face" encounter, her "dour" outlook was transformed into a radiant countenance. We find that despite the fact that Jehovah Sabaoth did not at that time grant her request for a son, nevertheless she came away a changed woman. In similar manner, sitting and pouring out one's soul in the presence of the LORD of heaven and earth (Coram Deo - Before the Face of God) can also transform our bleak, even potentially "bitterness producing" outlook brought on by our "barren" (desert-like, fruitless, empty, etc circumstances. So the first way to "run into the tower of Jehovah Sabaoth" (Pr 18:10+) is to cry out, seeking first the Greatness of the Giver rather than the gift, a principle echoed by our Lord Jesus (Mt 6:33+)

1 Samuel 1:19 Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.

NET  1 Samuel 1:19 They got up early the next morning and after worshiping the LORD, they returned to their home at Ramah. Elkanah had marital relations with his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to bow in worship before the LORD. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:19 The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the LORD once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the LORD remembered her plea,

NRS  1 Samuel 1:19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:19 And they rise early in the morning, and bow themselves before Jehovah, and turn back, and come in unto their house in Ramah, and Elkanah knoweth Hannah his wife, and Jehovah remembereth her;

  • they rose: 1Sa 9:26 Ps 5:3 55:17 119:147 Mk 1:35 
  • had relations with: Ge 4:1 
  • the LORD remembered her: 1Sa 1:11 Ge 8:1 21:1 30:22 Ps 25:7 136:23 Lu 23:42 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

Observe: Ramah on right map with Shiloh to the North
(Click to enlarge)

YAHWEH REMEMBERED
HANNAH

Then they arose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned again to their house in Ramah.

And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife - Heb “Elkanah knew his wife” where  Hebrew verb yada (Lxx = ginosko = speaks of knowing by experience)  speaks of intimate knowing (cf Ge 4:1+). The Hebrew is a euphemism for sexual relations.

and the LORD remembered her - Compare Noah in his "distress" (in flood) and then Ge 8:1 says "But God remembered Noah."  The Lord “remembered” Hannah in granting her request for a child.

When we come to the end of ourselves and find that all we have is God,
we come to realize that God is all that we need.

The Hebrew verb is often used in the OT for considering the needs or desires of people with favor and kindness. God remembers... Ps 78:39, Ps 98:3, Ps 105:8, Ps 105:42, Ps 106:45 - note especially God remembers His covenant. He is faithful to His Word.

Genesis 19:29  Thus it came about, when God destroyed the cities of the valley, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot lived.

Genesis 30:22 Then God remembered Rachel, and God gave heed to her and opened her womb.

Exodus 2:24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


WHAT Were THE effects OF HANNAH'S PERSONAL ENCOUNTER WITH the lord of SABAOTH?

(1) Hannah's anorexia ceased - (1 Sa 1:18)

(2) Hannah's countenance changed - (1 Sa 1:18 she "was no longer sad" ) Note that this change was not contingent upon having received an affirmative answer from God but was the result of her having been in the presence of God. When we come to the end of ourselves and find that all we have is God, we come to realize that God is all that we need.

(3) Hannah's "worshiped before the LORD" - (1Sa 1:19)

(4) God remembered Hannah - God has a good memory. Even though He is the Ancient of Days, He does not suffer from forgetfulness like this writer at age 77! What an awesome God we are privileged to worship and serve (worship before service).

THOUGHT - Faced with "barren" circumstances and prolonged provocation potentially productive of bitterness, are you willing to humble yourself as a servant or maidservant of the LORD, pouring out your heart to the LORD of hosts? Such an "uplook" might just give you an entirely new outlook (a new perspective) which will affect your innermost being and your outer countenance so that it is no longer "cast down" but lifted up, all to the glory of the LORD of hosts. See Vertical Vision Empowers Horizontal Living 

Annie Johnson Flint's poem gives us a fitting description of the LORD of hosts

He gives more grace when the burdens grow greater.
He sends more strength when the labors increase,
To added affliction He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed 'ere the day is half done;
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father's full giving is only begun.

His love has no limit, His grace has no measure.
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth and giveth and giveth again." PTL
(more of Annie's poems)


The Joy Of Waiting

Nine months can seem like forever for a mother-to-be. In the first trimester, hormonal changes sometimes cause lingering morning sickness. Emotions rise to the surface, prolonging afternoon blues. Then a changing appetite stretches out evening hours with late-night cravings for pizza, chocolate, and dill pickles.

During the next 3 months, Mom outgrows her clothes and spends long hours looking for a new wardrobe. The last trimester turns normal activity into a chore as the final watch begins.

Then, suddenly the endless waiting is over. Nine months become like yesterday's newspaper. They are gone. They become insignificant, a faint memory—overcome by joy. Ask the new mom if she regrets enduring her pregnancy. Never!

Hannah's wait began even more slowly. For years she was unable to have a child. She felt so unfulfilled, so dishonored (1 Samuel 1). But the Lord remembered her, and she conceived. Her joy was complete.

Hannah waited patiently and saw the Lord turn her sorrow into overflowing joy. Her song (2:1-10) is a reminder that disappointment and the most bitter distress can lead to fulfillment and delight. For those who wait on the Lord, long hours of enduring will one day give way to rejoicing. —Mart De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Let patience have her perfect work;
Let God refine your gold;
For in His time He'll show you why,
And blessings great unfold. ||
—Bosch

God's gift of joy is worth the wait

1 Samuel 1:20 It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the LORD.”  

KJV  1 Samuel 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.

NET  1 Samuel 1:20 After some time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, thinking, "I asked the LORD for him.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:20 After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, "I requested him from the LORD."

ESV  1 Samuel 1:20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, "I have asked for him from the LORD."

NIV  1 Samuel 1:20 So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."

NLT  1 Samuel 1:20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I asked the LORD for him."

NRS  1 Samuel 1:20 In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, "I have asked him of the LORD."

YLT  1 Samuel 1:20 and it cometh to pass, at the revolution of the days, that Hannah conceiveth, and beareth a son, and calleth his name Samuel, 'for, from Jehovah I have asked him.'

  • when the time was come about: Heb. in revolution of days, Samuel.  that is, Asked of God.  Because. Ge 4:25 5:29 16:11 29:32-35 30:6-21 41:51,52 Ex 2:10,22 Mt 1:21 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

Borrow Ryrie Study Bible

ESV Introduction with Timeline

BIRTH OF SAMUEL
CIRCA 1100-1085 B.C.

It came about in due time (Hebrew literally - "at the revolution of the days"), after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son - Hannah did not conceive by chance but by divine providence and sovereignty! 

and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of the LORD.”  

KJV Bible Commentary -  asked (Heb sha’al) does not come from the same linguistic root as Samuel, but because she “asked,” she was “heard by God,” which can be connected to the root “hear” (Heb shama˓) and the name Samuel. It seems logical, then, that she called him “Heard by God,” (meaning thereby, “God has heard my prayer, and has answered my request”) and gave the explanation that the choice was because she had asked him of the LORD. The other possible derivation from “name” (Heb shēm) with the meaning “Name of God,” fits well enough linguistically, but does not seem to fit the context too well, especially since the personal name Yahweh is not part of the name. Compare the same name in the active form “Ishmael,” meaning, “God hears,” if the first of the two possibilities is correct.

NET Note on named him “Because I have asked him of the LORD.”"Heb “because from the LORD I asked him.” The name “Samuel” sounds like the Hebrew verb translated “asked.” The explanation of the meaning of the name “Samuel” that is provided in v. 20 is not a strict etymology. It seems to suggest that the first part of the name is derived from the Hebrew root שׁאל (sh’l, “to ask”), but the consonants do not support this. Nor is it likely that the name comes from the root שׁמא (shm’, “to hear”), for the same reason. It more probably derives from שֶׁם (shem, “name”), so that “Samuel” means “name of God.” Verse 20 therefore does not set forth a linguistic explanation of the meaning of the name, but rather draws a parallel between similar sounds. This figure of speech is known as paronomasia.

In 1 Chronicles 6:33-38  we see Samuel's line traced back through the sons of Korah to Levi and finally to Jacob -

"These are those who served with their sons: From the sons of the Kohathites were Heman the singer, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel, 34 the son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliel, the son of Toah, 35the son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah, the son of Mahath, the son of Amasai, 36the son of Elkanah, the son of Joel, the son of Azariah, the son of Zephaniah, 37 the son of Tahath, the son of Assir, the son of Ebiasaph, the son of Korah (see below), 38 the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath (see Kohathites), the son of Levi, the son of Israel (JACOB)."


QUESTION -  Who were the sons of Korah in the Old Testament?

ANSWER - The story of the sons of Korah in the Old Testament is truly a tale of two fathers and two destinies. The story begins with the Israelites of Moses’ time as they journeyed through the wilderness just after leaving Egypt. In Numbers 3, God set aside the Levites, out of the tribes of Israel, for full time service to Him. They were ordained to take care of the tabernacle and all of its implements, as well as the Ark of the Covenant. Only the descendants of Aaron, however, were allowed to serve as priests.

The three sons of Levi were Gershon, Merari, and Kohath. The Gershonites were responsible for the care of the tabernacle and tent, its coverings, the curtain at the entrance to the tent of meeting, the curtains of the courtyard, the curtain at the entrance to the courtyard surrounding the tabernacle and altar, and the ropes—and everything related to their use. The Merarites were appointed to take care of the frames of the tabernacle, its crossbars, posts, bases, all its equipment, and everything related to their use, as well as the posts of the surrounding courtyard with their bases, tent pegs, and ropes. The Kohathites were responsible for the care of the sanctuary. They were responsible for the care of the ark, the table, the lamp stand, the altars, the articles of the sanctuary used in ministering, the curtain, and everything related to their use. They were under the direct supervision of Eleazar, son of Aaron.

Unlike the Gershonites and the Merarites, who were allowed to transport the items under their care on carts, the Kohathites had to carry their items, the holy things of the tabernacle, on their shoulders. They had the arduous burden of transporting these items from place to place as the camp moved, but they were not allowed to actually touch the items or they would die. The priests had to wrap the sacred objects in special coverings before they were transported (Numbers 4:15). Many of the Kohathites began to disdain this task and to covet the role of the priests.

Korah was the grandson of Kohath, and he began to run with another group of Reubenite malcontents, namely, Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On, son of Peleth. In pride, they roused a group of 250 men together to challenge the right of Moses and Aaron to the priesthood (Numbers 16). Moses summoned the rebellious men to stand before God and burn incense. God warned Moses to let the assembly know to get away from Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, their households, and the other rebels. Then a remarkable and terrifying event happened.

“Moses said, ‘This is how you will know that the LORD has sent me to do all these things and that it was not my idea: If these men die a natural death and suffer the fate of all mankind, then the LORD has not sent me. But if the LORD brings about something totally new, and the earth opens its mouth and swallows them, with everything that belongs to them, and they go down alive into the realm of the dead, then you will know that these men have treated the LORD with contempt.’ As soon as he finished saying all this, the ground under them split apart and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them and their households, and all those associated with Korah, together with their possessions. They went down alive into the realm of the dead, with everything they owned; the earth closed over them, and they perished and were gone from the community. At their cries, all the Israelites around them fled, shouting, ‘The earth is going to swallow us too!’ And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense” (Numbers 16:28–35).

Although this clearly marked the end of Korah, we discover that Korah’s sons, perhaps too young to understand their father’s uprising or maybe too cognizant of God’s authority to join in the revolt, were spared (Numbers 26:9–11). God judged those who turned against Him in active rebellion and purified His people, but He still had a purpose and plan for even the line of Korah. After seven successive generations, the prophet Samuel arose from the line of Korah, the genealogy of which is recorded in 1 Chronicles 6:31–38 and 1 Samuel 1:1, 20.

The Korahites became doorkeepers and custodians for the tabernacle (1 Chronicles 9:19–21; 1 Chronicles 2.) One group of Korahites (1 Chronicles 12:6) joined King David in various military exploits and won the reputation of being expert warriors. However, the most remarkable thing to note about the sons of Korah is that during the time of King David, they became the great leaders in choral and orchestral music in the tabernacle. Heman the Korahite had a place of great importance as a singer, along with Asaph (a Gershonite) and Ethan or Jeduthan (a Merarite). These individuals played an important role in the thanksgiving services and pageantry when the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem. David formed an elaborate organization for song, instrumental music, and prophesying through these men.

Of all of the psalms in the Bible, eleven are attributed to the sons of Korah. These beautiful psalms express a spirit of great gratitude and humility to an awesome, mighty God. They express a longing for God and deep devotion. These poetic songs include Psalms 42, 44—49, 84—85, and 87—88. Psalm 42:1 contains the beautiful line, “As the deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” Psalm 84:1 states, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O God.” Psalm 46:1–3 conveys the powerful message, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.”

One wonders if the poet who penned these lyrics was remembering his ignoble beginnings, his distant ancestor who perished in an earthquake for his pride and rebellion. Perhaps it was that reflection that prompted the following words of the same psalm: “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth’” (Psalm 46:10). For each of us, our own songs of renewed purpose and redemption should flow out of a heart of humility as we remember the fallen state from which He raised us and the redemption that we experience through His grace. This was certainly the case for the sons of Korah. GotQuestions.org


QUESTION -  What is the story of Hannah and Samuel?

ANSWER - The account of Hannah and Samuel is found in 1 Samuel 1 and 2. Hannah was one of two wives of a Jewish man named Elkanah. The other wife, Peninnah, had children, but Hannah was unable to have children.

The Bible’s account of Hannah starts before Samuel was born. One year, Hannah traveled to Shiloh where the tabernacle was. At the entrance of the tabernacle, she prayed for a child. She made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head” (1 Samuel 1:11).

The priest Eli saw Hannah praying intensely but silently and, thinking she was drunk, rebuked her. Once Hannah explained that she was praying, the priest blessed her and asked God to grant her request. She returned home and was able to conceive. Hannah bore a son and named him “Samuel,” which means “I have asked for him from the LORD” (1 Samuel 1:20).

Once Samuel was weaned (traditionally between the ages of 2 and 5), Hannah and Samuel travel to Shiloh, taking a sacrifice with them. After the sacrifice was offered, Hannah presents the young Samuel to Eli and says, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord” (1 Samuel 1:27–28). The chapter concludes with Samuel worshiping the Lord at the tabernacle.

In 1 Samuel 2, Hannah offers a prayer of thanksgiving to God and returns home. It is then revealed that Eli’s sons were wicked men who did evil in the tabernacle. In contrast, “Samuel was ministering before the Lord—a boy wearing a linen ephod” (1 Samuel 2:18). Hannah got to see Samuel at least once a year; when she and her husband went up to offer the annual sacrifice, Hannah would always take along a little robe for Samuel. And “Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, ‘May the Lord give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the Lord.’ Then they would go home” (1 Samuel 2:20).

Hannah’s story ends with an answer to Eli’s prayer. First Samuel 2:21 says, “The Lord was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.” Hannah’s oldest son, Samuel, would go on to become the spiritual leader of Israel. As the prophet and judge of the nation, Samuel would anoint the nation’s first two kings, Saul and David.

The story of Hannah and Samuel offers many important lessons for today. First, Hannah turned to God in prayer during her time of need. Second, she praised and thanked God when He did answer her prayer. Third, she kept her commitment to the Lord, even though it must have been difficult. Fourth, God blessed Hannah beyond what she had asked. In the end, Hannah was not only the mother of Samuel but of three other sons and two daughters. The story of Hannah and Samuel has often been an inspiration and encouragement to women struggling with infertility or who for some reason are unable to have children. Though God does not always answer in the same way, Hannah’s attitude of prayer and dependence on the Lord is a good example for us today.GotQuestions.org

1 Samuel 1:21 Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.

NET  1 Samuel 1:21 This man Elkanah went up with all his family to make the yearly sacrifice to the LORD and to keep his vow,

CSB  1 Samuel 1:21 When Elkanah and all his household went up to make the annual sacrifice and his vow offering to the LORD,

ESV  1 Samuel 1:21 The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:21 When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow,

NLT  1 Samuel 1:21 The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:21 The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:21 And the man Elkanah goeth up, and all his house, to sacrifice to Jehovah the sacrifice of the days, and his vow.

Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and pay his vow - Elkanah was a godly man in the tail end of the dark, difficult days of the Judges, a light in the midst of spiritual darkness. God always has a remnant, and be Elkanah's actions he appears to be part of the remnant. 

1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD and stay there forever.”

KJV  1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.

NET  1 Samuel 1:22 but Hannah did not go up with them. Instead she told her husband, "Once the boy is weaned, I will bring him and appear before the LORD, and he will remain there from then on."

CSB  1 Samuel 1:22 Hannah did not go and explained to her husband, "After the child is weaned, I'll take him to appear in the LORD's presence and to stay there permanently."

ESV  1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever."

NIV  1 Samuel 1:22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, "After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always."

NLT  1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, "Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the LORD permanently. "

NRS  1 Samuel 1:22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, "As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the LORD, and remain there forever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time."

YLT  1 Samuel 1:22 And Hannah hath not gone up, for she said to her husband, 'Till the youth is weaned -- then I have brought him in, and he hath appeared before the face of Jehovah, and dwelt there -- unto the age.'

  • then: De 16:16 Lu 2:22,41,42 
  • and there: 1Sa 1:11,28 2:11,18 3:1 Ps 23:6 27:4 
  • for ever: Ex 21:6 Lev 25:23 Jos 4:7 Ps 110:4 Isa 9:7 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “I will not go up until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD and stay there forever.”

1 Samuel 1:23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Remain until you have weaned him; only may the LORD confirm His word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.

NET  1 Samuel 1:23 So her husband Elkanah said to her, "Do what you think best. Stay until you have weaned him. May the LORD fulfill his promise." So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:23 Her husband Elkanah replied, "Do what you think is best, and stay here until you've weaned him. May the LORD confirm your word." So Hannah stayed there and nursed her son until she weaned him.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:23 Elkanah her husband said to her, "Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word." So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:23 "Do what seems best to you," Elkanah her husband told her. "Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word." So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:23 "Whatever you think is best," Elkanah agreed. "Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise." So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:23 Her husband Elkanah said to her, "Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only-- may the LORD establish his word." So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:23 And Elkanah her husband saith to her, 'Do that which is good in thine eyes; abide till thy weaning him; only, Jehovah establish His word;' and the woman abideth and suckleth her son till she hath weaned him,

  • Do what: Nu 30:7-11 
  • the Lord: 2Sa 7:25 Isa 44:26 
  • son suck: Ge 21:7,8 Ps 22:9 Mt 24:19 Lu 11:27 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you - Heb “what is good in your eyes.”

Remain until you have weaned him; only may the LORD confirm His word.” - Heb “establish his word.” NLT has "may the LORD help you keep your promise." NET Note says "This apparently refers to the promise inherent in Eli’s priestly blessing (see 1Sa 1:17)."

So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.

1 Samuel 1:24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

NET  1 Samuel 1:24 Once she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, an ephah of flour, and a container of wine. She brought him to the LORD's house at Shiloh, even though he was young.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull, half a bushel of flour, and a jar of wine. Though the boy was still young, she took him to the LORD's house at Shiloh.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. And the child was young.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:24 When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh; and the child was young.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:24 and she causeth him to go up with her when she hath weaned him, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and she bringeth him into the house of Jehovah at Shiloh, and the youth is but a youth.

  • A.M. 2839, B.C. 1165, An, Ex, Is, 326
  • she took: Nu 15:9,10 De 12:5,6,11 16:16 
  • three bullocks: The LXX., Syriac, and Arabic, read "a bullock of three years old;" which is probably correct, as we read (ver. 25) that they slew {eth happar,} "the bullock."
  • house: 1Sa 4:3,4 Jos 18:1 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young.

NET Note - The ephah was a standard dry measure in OT times; it was the equivalent of one-tenth of the OT measure known as a homer. The ephah was equal to approximately one-half to two-thirds of a bushel.

Related Resources:

1 Samuel 1:25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.

NET  1 Samuel 1:25 Once the bull had been slaughtered, they brought the boy to Eli.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:25 Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:25 When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli,

NLT  1 Samuel 1:25 After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:25 And they slaughter the bullock, and bring in the youth unto Eli,

GWN  1 Samuel 1:25 Then the parents butchered the bull and brought the child to Eli.

NKJ  1 Samuel 1:25 Then they slaughtered a bull, and brought the child to Eli.

Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli.

1 Samuel 1:26 She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

NET  1 Samuel 1:26 She said, "Just as surely as you are alive, my lord, I am the woman who previously stood here with you in order to pray to the LORD.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:26 "Please, my lord," she said, "as sure as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:26 And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:26 and she said to him, "As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:26 "Sir, do you remember me?" Hannah asked. "I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the LORD.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:26 And she said, "Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:26 and she saith, 'O, my lord, thy soul liveth! my lord, I am the woman who stood with thee in this place, to pray unto Jehovah;

  • as thy soul: 1Sa 17:55 20:3 Ge 42:15 2Sa 11:11 14:19 2Ki 2:2,4,6 4:30 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

She said, “Oh, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD

Wycliffe Bible Commentary (borrow) on stood beside you praying to the LORD - Prayer was offered (a) standing, as by Hannah and Abraham (Gen 18:22); (b) kneeling, as by Solomon (1 Ki 8:54), and Daniel (Dan 6:10); or (c) prostrate, as by Moses and Aaron (Num 16:22), and Jesus (Mt 26:39).
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

1 Samuel 1:27 “For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:

NET  1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this boy, and the LORD has given me the request that I asked of him.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this boy, and since the LORD gave me what I asked Him for,

ESV  1 Samuel 1:27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:27 I asked the LORD to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD has granted me the petition that I made to him.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:27 for this youth I prayed, and Jehovah doth give to me my petition which I asked of Him;

  • For this: 1Sa 1:11-13 Mt 7:7 
  • and the Lord: Ps 66:19 116:1-5 118:5 1Jn 5:15 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has given me my petition which I asked of Him.

1 Samuel 1:28 “So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.

KJV  1 Samuel 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

NET  1 Samuel 1:28 Now I dedicate him to the LORD. From this time on he is dedicated to the LORD." Then they worshiped the LORD there.

CSB  1 Samuel 1:28 I now give the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD." Then he bowed in worship to the LORD there.

ESV  1 Samuel 1:28 Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.

NIV  1 Samuel 1:28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.

NLT  1 Samuel 1:28 Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life." And they worshiped the LORD there.

NRS  1 Samuel 1:28 Therefore I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives, he is given to the LORD." She left him there for the LORD.

YLT  1 Samuel 1:28 and also I have caused him to be asked for Jehovah, all the days that he hath lived -- he is asked for Jehovah;' and he boweth himself there before Jehovah.

  • to the Lord: "I have lent him," is the {Hiphil} conjugation of {shual,} "he asked," (1Sa 1:27,) and refers to the name of Samuel.
  • he worshipped: Ge 24:26,48,52 2Ti 3:15 
  • 1 Samuel 1 Resources - multiple sermons and commentaries

So - Therefore (KJV, ESV, NRSV) is a term of conclusion. What is Hannah concluding? In context the answer to her prayer would be her present to her God Who answered the prayer. 

I have also dedicated (shaalhim to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.” - Marginal note has "lent him: or, returned him, whom I have obtained by petition." The verb for dedicated usually means to ask or inquire, but here means to give. The ESV has "Therefore I have lent him to the LORD," which is an interesting thought, which begs the question "Am I willing to lend my children to the LORD to use as He pleases?" What better life could a child have than to live a life useful to and used by Yahweh! The Septuagint uses the verb kichrao (not found in NT and only in Ps 112:5, Pr 13:11) which means to lend, which tends to substantiate the idea of Hannah "lending" Samuel to God. It follows that since her "lending" was lifelong, that this act was tantamount to her dedicating Samuel to the Lord. The English translation of the Septuagint underscores this thought reading "And I lend him to the Lord all his days that he lives, a loan to the Lord."  One pictures her placing him in the hands of Yahweh and taking her hands off of him. Have you ever given something to God, but kept hold of some of what you gave? Just wondering? 

And he worshiped (shachah) the LORD there - NRSV (and NAB) says "She left him there for the LORD." Note there is a significant difference in interpretation of this verse depending on which version you read. The NAS (KJV, CSB, NIV, ESV) reads "HE worshiped," which in context (the closest previous "he" is Samuel) would indicate Samuel worshiped. A few versions (NET, NLT) have "THEY" instead of "he" which might suggest Samuel's family.

The NET Note says the literal  'Hebrew "HE," apparently referring to Samuel (but cf. CEV "Elkanah") [ED: AND YET THE NET TRANSLATES IT "THEY" - GO FIGURE!]. A few medieval manuscripts and some ancient versions take the verb as plural (cf. TEV, NLT)." 


Dedicated (07592)(shaal) means ask, inquire, consult. Since prayer often includes asking or petition, shāʾal is sometimes used in the sense of "praying for" something: "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Ps. 122:6) In the idiomatic phrase, "to ask another of his welfare," it carries the sense of a greeting (cf. Ex 18:7; Jdg 18:15; 1Sa 10:4). Frequently, it is used to indicate someone's asking for God's direction or counsel (Josh. 9:14; Isa. 30:2). In Ps. 109:10 it is used to indicate a begging. 

Baker - A verb meaning to ask. One could ask another person or even God for something (1 Sam. 23:2; Ps. 122:6; 137:3; Eccl. 7:10). People sometimes sought information by asking Urim and Thummim (Num. 27:21), or an occult wooden object (Ezek. 21:21[26]; Hos. 4:12). Asking could be done as a begging request or a stern demand (1 Ki. 2:16; Job 38:3; Ps. 109:10; Mic. 7:3). The Hebrew expression of asking about someone's peace is similar to the English expression, "How are you?" (Gen. 43:27; Judg. 18:15; Jer. 15:5). Very rarely, the term could refer to borrowing or lending. But this is certainly not the meaning when the people of Israel asked goods from the Egyptians they plundered (Ex. 3:22; 22:14[13]; 1 Sam. 1:28; 2:20; 2 Ki. 4:3; 6:5). (The Complete Word Study Dictionary – Old Testament.)

Gilbrant - Occurring over 170 times in the OT, shāʾal means "to ask," "to inquire," "to request." Semitic cognates to shāʾal are attested in Akkadian, Ugaritic, Aramaic and Arabic. Shāʾal generally expresses the idea of someone asking for something from someone else. The preposition min occurs thirty-five times in association with shāʾal to express from where or from whom a request might be fulfilled. Items requested by one from another include water (Judg. 5:25), a share of war plunder (8:24), gold rings (v. 26), a king (1 Sam. 8:10), a son (1:20), a city (Josh. 19:50) or a military escort (Ezra 8:22). Also, in its OT usage, shāʾal can denote nonphysical entities such as asking for a favor (Exo. 22:14), information (Gen. 32:17), humility (1 Ki. 2:16, 20, 22), wisdom (3:5, 11), a spiritual anointing (2 Ki. 2:9) and for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps. 122:6).

Often, shāʾal is used of a person asking or not asking through the medium of prayer something from God. For example, Solomon asked for wisdom (1 Ki. 3:5, 11), David frequently inquired of the Lord (1 Sam. 23:2; 30:8; 2 Sam. 2:1; 5:19, 23; 1 Chr. 14:10, 14), but the leaders of Israel "asked not counsel at the mouth of the Lord" and were thus deceived by the Gibeonites (Josh. 9:14). Shāʾal is also used to express the asking of instructions from a wooden idol (Hos. 4:12), the dead (1 Chr. 10:13) or a pagan deity (Ezek. 21:21).

Finally, the name "Saul" is a passive participle form of this verb, making it clear that Saul was "the asked for one" to reign as king over Israel (Complete Biblical Library)

Shaal - 170x in 157v - ask(45), asked(41), asking(5), asks(5), beg(1), begged(1), begs(1), borrow(1), borrowed(1), borrows(1), consult(2), consulting(1), consults(1), dedicated(2), dedicated*(1), demand(1), demanded(1), desired(1), desires(1), earnestly asked(1), earnestly asked leave(1), greet*(5), greeted*(1), inquire(6), inquired(18), inquires(1), making(2), medium*(1), pray(1), questioned(2), questioned particularly(1), request(2), request*(1), requested(7), require(1), required(1), sought(1), surely ask(1). Gen. 24:47; Gen. 24:57; Gen. 26:7; Gen. 32:17; Gen. 32:29; Gen. 37:15; Gen. 38:21; Gen. 40:7; Gen. 43:7; Gen. 43:27; Gen. 44:19; Exod. 3:22; Exod. 11:2; Exod. 12:35; Exod. 12:36; Exod. 13:14; Exod. 18:7; Exod. 22:14; Num. 27:21; Deut. 4:32; Deut. 6:20; Deut. 10:12; Deut. 13:14; Deut. 14:26; Deut. 18:11; Deut. 18:16; Deut. 32:7; Jos. 4:6; Jos. 4:21; Jos. 9:14; Jos. 15:18; Jos. 19:50; Jdg. 1:1; Jdg. 1:14; Jdg. 4:20; Jdg. 5:25; Jdg. 8:14; Jdg. 8:24; Jdg. 8:26; Jdg. 13:6; Jdg. 13:18; Jdg. 18:5; Jdg. 18:15; Jdg. 20:18; Jdg. 20:23; Jdg. 20:27; 1 Sam. 1:17; 1 Sam. 1:20; 1 Sam. 1:27; 1 Sam. 1:28; 1 Sam. 2:20; 1 Sam. 8:10; 1 Sam. 10:4; 1 Sam. 10:22; 1 Sam. 12:13; 1 Sam. 12:17; 1 Sam. 12:19; 1 Sam. 14:37; 1 Sam. 17:22; 1 Sam. 17:56; 1 Sam. 19:22; 1 Sam. 20:6; 1 Sam. 20:28; 1 Sam. 22:10; 1 Sam. 22:13; 1 Sam. 22:15; 1 Sam. 23:2; 1 Sam. 23:4; 1 Sam. 25:5; 1 Sam. 25:8; 1 Sam. 28:6; 1 Sam. 28:16; 1 Sam. 30:8; 1 Sam. 30:21; 2 Sam. 2:1; 2 Sam. 3:13; 2 Sam. 5:19; 2 Sam. 5:23; 2 Sam. 8:10; 2 Sam. 11:7; 2 Sam. 12:20; 2 Sam. 14:18; 2 Sam. 16:23; 2 Sam. 20:18; 1 Ki. 2:16; 1 Ki. 2:20; 1 Ki. 2:22; 1 Ki. 3:5; 1 Ki. 3:10; 1 Ki. 3:11; 1 Ki. 3:13; 1 Ki. 10:13; 1 Ki. 19:4; 2 Ki. 2:9; 2 Ki. 2:10; 2 Ki. 4:3; 2 Ki. 4:28; 2 Ki. 6:5; 2 Ki. 8:6; 1 Chr. 4:10; 1 Chr. 10:13; 1 Chr. 14:10; 1 Chr. 14:14; 1 Chr. 18:10; 2 Chr. 1:7; 2 Chr. 1:11; 2 Chr. 9:12; 2 Chr. 11:23; Ezr. 8:22; Neh. 1:2; Neh. 13:6; Job 8:8; Job 12:7; Job 21:29; Job 31:30; Job 38:3; Job 40:7; Job 42:4; Ps. 2:8; Ps. 21:4; Ps. 27:4; Ps. 35:11; Ps. 40:6; Ps. 78:18; Ps. 105:40; Ps. 109:10; Ps. 122:6; Ps. 137:3; Prov. 20:4; Prov. 30:7; Eccl. 2:10; Eccl. 7:10; Isa. 7:11; Isa. 7:12; Isa. 30:2; Isa. 41:28; Isa. 45:11; Isa. 58:2; Isa. 65:1; Jer. 6:16; Jer. 15:5; Jer. 18:13; Jer. 23:33; Jer. 30:6; Jer. 36:17; Jer. 37:17; Jer. 38:14; Jer. 38:27; Jer. 48:19; Jer. 50:5; Lam. 4:4; Ezek. 21:21; Hos. 4:12; Jon. 4:8; Mic. 7:3; Hag. 2:11; Zech. 10:1

Worshiped (bow down, prostrate) (07812shachah means to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to crouch, to fall down, to humbly beseech, to do reverence, to worship. The idea is to assume a prostrate position as would in paying homage to royalty (Ge 43:28) or to God (Ge 24:26, Ps 95:6). Brown-Driver-Briggs' Definition - to bow down (Qal) to bow down; (Hiphil) to depress (fig); (Hithpael) to bow down, prostrate oneself, before superior in homage, before God in worship, before false gods, before angel.

In the first use in Genesis (which has most of the uses - 21v), when Abraham saw "three men (one of Whom was most likely the pre-incarnate Christ)… standing opposite him… he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed (shachah) himself to the earth (Ge 18:2, cp Lot bowing to the two angels - Ge 19:1) It is used to describe Joseph's brother's sheaves which "bowed down to my sheaf.” (Ge 37:7) When God told Abraham to sacrifice his son, he told his men to remain for they would go to "worship and return to you." (Ge 22:5) Joshua bowed down to the "Captain of the host of the LORD," (Joshua 5:14) almost assuredly a preincarnate appearance of Messiah. In Josh 23:7, 16 Joshua warned Israel NOT to bow down to the idols of the land, but in Jdg 2:12, 17, 19 that is exactly what they did!

The English word prostrate is defined as being stretched out with one's face on the ground in adoration or submission. It is not just that the person has fallen down but pictures them lying at length or with their body extended on the ground and so lying in a posture which is reflective of genuine humility and/or adoration.

Other uses of shachah in 1-2 Samuel - 1 Sam. 1:3; 1 Sam. 1:19; 1 Sam. 1:28; 1 Sam. 2:36; 1 Sam. 15:25; 1 Sam. 15:30; 1 Sam. 15:31; 1 Sam. 20:41; 1 Sam. 24:8; 1 Sam. 25:23; 1 Sam. 25:41; 1 Sam. 28:14; 2 Sam. 1:2; 2 Sam. 9:6; 2 Sam. 9:8; 2 Sam. 12:20; 2 Sam. 14:4; 2 Sam. 14:22; 2 Sam. 14:33; 2 Sam. 15:5; 2 Sam. 15:32; 2 Sam. 16:4; 2 Sam. 18:21; 2 Sam. 18:28; 2 Sam. 24:20


1 Samuel 1:28 "Who Gets Our Kids?"

"As long as he lives he shall be lent to the Lord." - 1 Samuel 1:28

When Hannah dedicated Samuel to God, she meant business. She didn't just take him to the temple for dedication; she left him there. She turned him over to Eli to bring him up in God's service.

As I listened to a preacher talk about Hannah's commitment, I began to wonder, Who gets our children today? Samuel was continually taught and instructed by Eli in God's temple. Who teaches our kids? Let's probe that question. Is it TV and movies? How many hours of instruction does the electronic mass media give them each day?

Is it school? Do we know what is going on in the classroom? Are there any philosophies we need to combat?

Is it peers? Do we realize that as our children grow older the stronger this influence becomes? Are we giving them a solid moral base so that wise decisions become natural during their teen years?

Is it the Lord? How much time and effort do we spend to make sure our children know that a relationship with the Lord is the basis for security, peace, and contentment?

We can't do what Hannah did. But we can turn them over to God through our instruction and example. Who gets our kids? God SHOULD. -- J D Branon (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Speak the truth to these your precious ones,
For guidance tell your daughters and your sons
Of One who loves them even more than you
And He will be their guide a lifetime through.
-- Anon.

If children are to find their way to God, parents must point the way.

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