Search Tools

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:
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.
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.
And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
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.
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?
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.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
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.
And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.
Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
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.
Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
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.
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.
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.
And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.
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.
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.
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.
And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
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.
For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:
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.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

Introduction to I Samuel

The two books of Samuel were originally one book in the ancient Hebrew Canon, but became two in the Greek Septuagint translation of the Old Testament. Samuel may be considered the last of the judges (I Samuel 7:15). When he attempted to appoint his two sons as judges to succeed himself (I Samuel 8:3), they proved unworthy, and the people demanded a king. The book of I Samuel is thus especially significant in describing Israel’s transition from a theocracy to a monarchy.

In addition to being a judge, Samuel was also a priest (I Samuel 7:9; 13:11-14) and prophet (I Samuel 3:20). He was probably the founder of the so-called “school of the prophets,” which proved so important in Judah and Israel for centuries to come (I Samuel 19:20). He was never king of Israel, but did have the privilege of being used by God to anoint as king first Saul, then David.

Samuel possibly wrote the first twenty-four chapters of the book himself, but he could not have written more than this, as the events of I Samuel 25–31 occurred after his death (I Samuel 25:1). It is possible that the prophets Nathan and Gad, who were probably trained by Samuel, wrote these later chapters, as well as all of II Samuel (note I Chronicles 29:29). The final author or editor is unknown, however, and it may be that whoever it was simply used the earlier records of Samuel, Nathan and Gad in compiling his own account under divine inspiration. Even I Samuel could not have been put in its final form until at least the days of Rehoboam, for the kingdom had already been divided by the time this was done (note I Samuel 27:6).

Just as Moses had placed his books of the law in the Ark of the Covenant to be preserved there (Deuteronomy 31:24-26, so probably did Joshua (Joshua 24:26) and also Samuel (I Samuel 10:25). Accounts were kept of the events in the life of David (I Chronicles 27:24), and it is at least possible that these were kept by Nathan and/or Gad, both of whom outlived David.

In any case, there is every reason to believe that we have actual eye-witness accounts of the events described in both I Samuel and II Samuel. This was an extremely important period in the economy of Israel, marking both the great revival under Samuel after the dark period of the later judges, especially Eli. The period also contains the transition of the united kingdom under David and Solomon, the time of Israel’s pinnacle of greatness in all its history to date.

1:1 name was Elkanah. Elkanah (his name meaning “God created”) was an Ephraimite geographically but also a Levite genetically (I Chronicles 6:27,28). See note on I Chronicles 6:28.

1:3 LORD of hosts. This the first of almost 240 references in the Bible to God as the “LORD of hosts” (Hebrew Jehovah Sabaoth). He is also called “the God of hosts” (e.g., Psalm 80:7, for example) about ten times, and “LORD God of hosts” some twenty-five times (e.g., II Samuel 5:10, for example). This unique name, used most often in the prophetical books, stresses the “innumerable” (Hebrews 12:22) company of angels under the command of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ is the “captain of the host of the LORD” (Joshua 5:14) and could easily have called on “twelve legions of angels” (Matthew 26:53) to save Himself from the cross, had He been so minded. The name “Lord of Sabaoth” is used only once in the New Testament (James 5:4).

1:11 no razor. This commitment indicates that she would dedicate her son to be a Nazarite (Numbers 6:5). The commitment on her part was not for a distinct period as was usually the case, but lifelong.

1:20 his name Samuel. The name Samuel is believed to mean “name of God.”

1:28 lent to the LORD. The connotation of “lent,” as used by Hannah, implies a life-long and unconditional loan.

About the New Defender's Study Bible