Hannah's song of thanksgiving, ver. 1 - 10.
Elkanah leaves Samuel to minister before the Lord, ver. 11.
The wickedness of Eli's sons, ver. 12 - 17.
A farther account of Samuel and his parents, ver. 18 - 21.
Eli's too mild reproof of his sons, ver. 22 - 25.
Samuel's growth, ver. 26.
God's dreadful message to Eli, ver. 27 - 36.
1: Prayed - That is, praised God; which is a part of prayer.
Rejoiceth - Or, leapeth for joy: for the words note not only inward
joy, but also the outward demonstrations of it. In the Lord - As the
author of my joy, that he hath heard my prayer, and accepted my son for his
service. Horn - My strength and glory (which are often signified by an
horn,) are advanced and manifested to my vindication, and the confusion of
mine enemies. Mouth enlarged - That is, opened wide to pour forth
abundant praises to God, and to give a full answer to all the reproaches of
mine adversaries. Enemies - So she manifests her prudence and modesty, in
not naming Peninnah, but only her enemies in the general.
Salvation - Because the matter of my joy is no trivial thing, but that
strange and glorious salvation or deliverance which thou hast given me from
my oppressing care and grief, and from the insolencies and reproaches of
2: None holy - None so perfectly, unchangeably and constantly holy.
None beside - Not only none is so holy as thou art, but in truth there
is none holy besides thee; namely, entirely, or independently, but only
by participation from thee. Any rock - Thou only art a sure defence and
refuge to all that flee to thee.
3: Talk no more - Thou Peninnah, boast no more of thy numerous
off - spring, and speak no more insolently and scornfully of me. She speaks
of her in the plural number, because she would not expose her name to
censure. Of knowledge - He knoweth thy heart, and all that pride, and
envy, and contempt of me, which thy own conscience knows; and all thy
perverse carriage towards me. Actions - That is, he trieth all mens
thoughts and actions, (for the Hebrew word signifies both) as a just
judge, to give to every one according to their works.
4: Bows - The strength of which they boasted. Stumbled - Or,
were weak, or feeble, in body and spirit.
5: Hired themselves out for bread - It is the same thing which is
expressed both in divers metaphors in the foregoing, and following verses.
Ceased - That is, ceased to be hungry. Seven - That is, many, as
seven is often used. She speaks in the prophetick style, the past time,
for the future; for though she had actually born but one, yet she had a
confident persuasion that she should have more, which was grounded either
upon some particular assurance from God; or rather upon the prayer or
prediction of Eli. She - That is, Peninnah. Feeble - Either
because she was now past child - bearing: or, because divers of her children,
which were her strength and her glory, were dead, as the Hebrew doctors
6: Killeth - The same person whom he first killeth, or bringeth nigh
unto death, he afterwards raiseth to life. Me, who was almost consumed with
grief, he hath revived. The name of death both in sacred scripture, and
profane writers, is often given to great Calamities.
8: From the dunghill - From the most sordid place, and mean estate.
Inherit - Not only possess it themselves, but transmit it to their
posterity. Throne - That is, a glorious throne or kingdom.
Pillars - The foundations of the earth, which God created, and upholds,
and wherewith he sustains the earth, and all its inhabitants, as a house
is supported with pillars; and therefore it is not strange if he disposeth
of persons and things therein as he pleaseth.
9: Feet - That is, the steps or paths, their counsels and actions;
he will keep; that is, both uphold, that they may not fall into ruin;
and direct and preserve from wandering, and from those fatal errors that
wicked men daily run into. Silent - Shall be put to silence: they who
used to open their mouths wide against heaven, and against the saints,
shall be so confounded with the unexpected disappointment of all their
hopes, and with God's glorious appearance and operations for his people,
that they shall have their mouths quite stopped. Darkness - Both inward,
in their own minds, not knowing what to say or do; and outward, in a stat
e of deep distress. Prevail - Namely, against God, or against his saints,
as the wicked were confident they should do, because of their great power,
and wealth, and numbers.
10: Exalt - Increase, or advance the strength.
Of his anointed - Of his king. This may respect Christ, the singular
anointed one of God, and the special king of his people. In this sense
also, the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth: David's victories
and dominions reached far. But God will give to the Son of David, the
uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. And he will give
strength unto his king, for the accomplishing his great undertaking,
and exalt the horn, of the power and honour of his anointed, till he
hath put all his enemies under his feet.
11: Minster - In some way agreeable to his tender years, as in
singing, or playing upon instruments of musick, or lighting the lamps.
Before Eli the priest - That is, under the inspection, and by the
direction of Eli.
12: Knew not - They did not honour, love, or serve God.
13: Boiling - As the Lord's part of the peace - offerings was burnt
upon the altar, so the priest's and offerer's parts were to be boiled.
14: Took - Not contented with the breast and shoulder which were
allotted them by God, they took also part of the offerer's share; besides
which they snatched their part before it was heaved and waved; contrary to(Le 7:34).
15: The fat - And the other parts to be burnt with it. So this was
all additional injury; for they took such parts as they best liked whilst
it was raw.
17: Abhorred - But we know the validity and efficacy of the
sacraments does not depend on the goodness of those that administer them.
It was therefore folly and sin in the people, to think the worse of God's
institutions. But it was the much greater sin of the priests, that gave
them occasion so to do.
18: Ministered - That is, performed his ministration carefully and
faithfully. Before the Lord - In God's tabernacle. Ephod - A garment
used in God's service, and allowed not only to the inferior priests and
Levites but also to eminent persons of the people, and therefore to
Samuel, who, though no Levite, was a Nazarite, from his birth.
21: Grew - Not only in age and stature; but especially in wisdom and
goodness. Before the Lord - Not only before men, who might he deceived,
but in the presence and judgment of the all - seeing God.
22: Very old - And therefore unfit either to manage his office
himself, or to make a diligent inspection into the carriage of his sons,
which gave them opportunity for their wickedness. To Israel - Whom they
injured in their offerings, and alienated from the service of God.
The door - The place where all the people both men and women waited when
they came up to the service of God, because the altar on which their
sacrifices was offered, was by the door.
23: He said, &c. - Eli's sin was not only that he reproved them
too gently, but that he contented himself with a verbal rebuke, and did not
restrain them, and inflict those punishments upon them which such high
crimes deserved by God's law, and which he as judge and high - priest ought
to have done, without respect of persons.
25: The judge - If only man be wronged, man can right it, and
reconcile the persons. Against the Lord - As you have done wilfully and
presumptuously. Who shall, &c. - The offence is of so high a nature,
that few or none will dare to intercede for him, but will leave him to the
just judgment of God. The words may be rendered, Who shall judge for
him? Who shall interpose as umpire, between God and him? Who shall
compound that difference? None can or dare do it, and therefore he must be
left to the dreadful, but righteous judgment of God. They had now sinned
away their day of grace. They had long hardened their hearts. And God at
length gave them up to a reprobate mind, and determined to destroy them,(2Ch 25:16).
27: Man of God - That is, a prophet sent from God.
29: Kick ye - Using them irreverently, and profanely; both by abusing
them to your own luxury, and by causing the people to abhor them.
He chargeth Eli with his sons faults. Honourest thy sons - Permitting
them to dishonour and injure me, by taking my part to themselves; chusing
rather to offend me by thy connivance at their sin, than to displease them
by severe rebukes, and just punishments. Fat - To pamper yourselves.
This you did not out of necessity, but out of mere luxury. Chiefest - Not
contented with those parts which I had allotted you, you invaded those
choice parts which I reserved for myself.
30: I said - Where, or when did God say this? To Eli himself, or
to his father, when the priesthood was translated from Eleazar's to
Ithamar's family. Walk - That is, minister unto me as high - priest.
Walking is often put for discharging ones office; before me; may
signify that he was the high - priest, whose sole prerogative it was to
minister before God, or before the ark, in the most holy place.
For ever - As long as the Mosaical law and worship lasts.
Far from me - To fulfil my promise, which I hereby retract.
31: Arm - That is, I will take away thy strength, or all that in
which thou placest thy confidence, either,
the ark, which is called God's strength, (Ps 78:61), and was
Eli's strength, who therefore was not able to bear the very
tidings of the loss of it. Or,
his priestly dignity or employment, whence he had all his honour and
substance. Or rather,
his children, to whom the words following here, and in the succeeding
verses, seem to confine it.
Father's house - That is, thy children's children, and all thy family
which was in great measure accomplished, (1Sa 22:16), &c.
32: Shalt see, &c - The words may be rendered; thou shalt see, in
thy own person, the affliction, or calamity of my habitation;
that is, either of the land of Israel, wherein I dwell; or of the
sanctuary, called the habitation by way of eminency, whose greatest
glory the ark was, (1Sa 4:21,22), and consequently, whose greatest
calamity the loss of the ark was; for, or instead of all that good
wherewith God would have blessed Israel, having raised up a young
prophet Samuel, and thereby given good grounds of hope that he intended
to bless Israel, if thou and thy sons had not hindered it by your sins.
So this clause of the threatning concerns Eli's person, as the following
concerns his posterity. And this best agrees with the most proper
signification of that phrase, Thou shalt see.
33: Of thine - That is, of thy posterity. Shalt grieve - Shall be
so forlorn and miserable, that if thou wast alive to see it, it would grieve
thee at the heart, and thou wouldst consume thine eyes with weeping for
their calamities. Increase - That is, thy children. Flower - About
the thirtieth year of their age, when they were to be admitted to the full
administration of their office.
35: Raise a priest - Of another line, as it necessarily implied by
the total removal of that office from Eli's line. The person designed
is Zadok, one eminent for his faithfulness to God, and to the king, who,
when Abiather, the last of Eli's line, was deposed by Solomon,
was made high - priest in his stead. Build, &c - That is, give him a
numerous posterity, and confirm that sure covenant of an everlasting
priesthood made to Phinehas, of Eleazar's line, (Nu 25:13),
and interrupted for a little while by Eli, of the line of Ithamar,
unto him and his children for ever. Anointed - Before Jesus Christ, who
is the main scope and design, not only of the New, but of the Old
Testament, which in all its types and ceremonies represented him; and
particularly, the high - priest was an eminent type of Christ, and represented
his person, and acted in his name and stead, and did mediately, what
John Baptist did immediately, go before the face of the Lord Christ;
and when Christ came, that office and officer was to cease. The high - priest
is seldom or never said to walk or minister before the kings of
Israel or Judah, but constantly before the Lord, and
consequently, before Christ, who, as he was God blessed for ever,(Ro 9:5), was present with, and the builder and governor of the ancient
church of Israel, and therefore the high - priest is most properly said to
walk before him.