View 1st Samuel 1 in the note window.
The affliction of Hannah, ver. 1 - 8.
Her prayer to God, with Eli's blessing, ver. 9 - 18.
The birth and nursing of Samuel, ver. 19 - 23.
The presenting of him to God, ver. 24 - 28.
1: Ramathaim - zophim - Called Ramah, ver.(19).
Eparathite - That is, one of Bethlehem - judah, by his birth and
habitation, though by his original a Levite.
2: Two wives - As many had in those ages, tho' it was a transgression
of the original institution of marriage. And it is probable that he took
his second wife, namely, Peninnah, because Hannah was barren.
3: Yearly - At the three solemn feasts, when he, together with all
other males were obliged to go to worship God in the place appointed; and
at other times, when he as a Levite, was to go thither in his course.
To sacrifice - Not in his own person, which the Levites could not do,
but by the priests. Were there - Or, were the priests of the Lord
there, under their father Eli, who is generally conceived to have
been the high - priest, but being very old and infirm, his sons ministered in
his stead. This is the first time in scripture, that God is called the
Lord of hosts or Armies. Probably Samuel was the first who used
this title of God, for the comfort of Israel, at the time when their
armies were few and feeble, and those of their enemies many and mighty.
4: Portions - Out of the sacrifice of his peace - offerings, the
greatest part whereof fell to the offerer, and was eaten by him, and his
friends or guests, before the Lord. And out of this he gave them all
portions, as the master of the feast used to do to the guests.
5: Shut up her womb - Yet Elkanah did not withdraw his love from
her. To abate out just love to any relation, for the sake of any infirmity
which they cannot help, is to add affliction to the afflicted.
6: Her adversary - Peninnah: so her envy or jealousy made her
though so nearly related.
7: When she went - This circumstance is noted as the occasion of the
contention, because at such times they were forced to more society with
one another, by the way, and in their lodgings; whereas at home they had
distinct apartments, where they might be asunder; and then her husband's
extraordinary love and kindness was shewed to Hannah, whereby
Peninnah was the more exasperated; then also Hannah prayed earnestly
for a child, which hitherto she had done in vain; and this possibly she
reproached her with. Did not eat - Being overwhelmed with grief, and
therefore unfit to eat of the sacred food. Which they were not to eat in
8: Ten sons - Oughtest thou not to value my hearty love to thee, more
than the having of as many sons as Penninah hath? She would willingly
change conditions with thee.
9: A seat - Or, throne; for it is manifest it was raised higher
than ordinary, (1Sa 4:18). Here he might sit, either as the judge; or
rather as high - priest, to hear and answer such as came to him for advice,
and to inspect and direct the worship of God. Temple - That is, of the
tabernacle, which is frequently so called.
10: Bitterness - That is, oppressed with grief. Prayed unto the
Lord - They had newly offered their peace - offerings, to obtain the favour
of God, and in token of their communion with him, they had feasted upon the
sacrifice: and now it was proper to put up her prayer, in virtue of the
sacrifice. For the peace - offerings typified Christ's mediation, as well as
the sin - offerings: since by this not only atonement is made for sin, but an
answer to our prayers obtained.
11: Give him - That is, consecrate him to God's service in his temple.
No razor - That is, he shall be a perpetual Nazarite.
12: Continued - Heb. multiplied to pray. By which it appears
that she said much more than is here expressed. And the like you are
to judge of the prayers and sermons of other holy persons recorded in
scripture, which gives us only the sum and substance of them. This
consideration may help us much to understand some passages of the bible.
13: Drunken - Because of the multitude of her words, and those
motions of her face and body, which the vehemency of her passion, and the
fervency in prayer occasioned.
16: Count not, &c. - Thus when we are unjustly censured, we should
endeavour not only to clear ourselves, but to satisfy our brethren, by
giving them a just and true account of that which they misapprehended.
18: Find grace - That favourable opinion and gracious prayer which
thou hast expressed on my behalf, be pleased to continue towards me.
Sad - Her heart being cheared by the priest's comfortable words, and
especially by God's spirit setting them home upon her, and assuring her
that both his and her prayers should be heard, it quickly appeared in her
19: Remembered - Manifested his remembrance of her by the effect.
20: Samuel - That is, Asked of God.
21: His house - Hannah only and her child excepted.
His vow - By which it appears, though it was not expressed before,
that he heard and consented to her vow, and that he added a vow of
his own, if God answered his prayers.
22: Weaned - Not only from the breast, but also from the mother's
knee and care, and from childish food; 'till the child be something grown
up, and fit to do some service in the tabernacle: for it seems that as soon
as he was brought up he worshipped God, ver.(28), and presently after
ministered to Eli, (1Sa 2:11).
23: His word - His matter or thing; the business concerning the
child, what thou hast vowed concerning him, that be may grow up, and be
accepted and employed by God in his Service.
24: Three bullocks - One for a burnt - offering, the second for a
sin - offering, and the third for a peace offering; all these sorts being
expedient for this work and time. Flour - For the meal - offerings
belonging to the principal sacrifices, which to each bullock were three
tenth - deals, or three tenth parts of an ephah, and so nine parts of the
ephah were spent, and the tenth part was given to the priest.
Wine - For drink - offerings.
25: A bullock - The three bullocks mentioned ver.(24), the
singular number being put for the plural, which is frequent.
26: Soul liveth - As surely as thou livest. Which asseveration seems
necessary, because this was some years after it.
28: Lent him - But not with a purpose to require him again.
Whatever we give to God, may upon this account be said to be lent to
him, that tho' we may not recall it, yet he will certainly repay it, to our
unspeakable advantage. He worshipped - Not Eli, but young Samuel,
who is spoken of in this and the foregoing verse, and who was capable of
worshipping God in some sort, at least with external adoration.