1 Samuel 2

Hannah’s Prayer

1 Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn[a] is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.
2 “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
3 “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.
4 “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 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.
6 “The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.
7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.
8 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.
9 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;
10 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.”
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

Eli’s Wicked Sons

12 Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD.
13 Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled
14 and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh.
15 But even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast; he won’t accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.”
16 If the person said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,” the servant would answer, “No, hand it over now; if you don’t, I’ll take it by force.”
17 This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD’s sight, for they[b] were treating the LORD’s offering with contempt.
18 But Samuel was ministering before the LORD—a boy wearing a linen ephod.
19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
20 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[c] the LORD.” Then they would go home.
21 And 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.
22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours.
24 No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD’s people is not good.
25 If one person sins against another, God[d] may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?” His sons, however, did not listen to their father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to death.
26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with people.

Prophecy Against the House of Eli

27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor’s family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?
28 I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor’s family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites.
29 Why do you[e] scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?’
30 “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.
31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age,
32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age.
33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
34 “ ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die on the same day.
35 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.
36 Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, “Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.” ’ ”

Images for 1 Samuel 2

1 Samuel 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Hannah's song of thanksgiving. (1-10) The wickedness of Eli's sons, Samuel's ministry. (11-26) The prophecy against Eli's family. (27-36)

Verses 1-10 Hannah's heart rejoiced, not in Samuel, but in the Lord. She looks beyond the gift, and praises the Giver. She rejoiced in the salvation of the Lord, and in expectation of His coming, who is the whole salvation of his people. The strong are soon weakened, and the weak are soon strengthened, when God pleases. Are we poor? God made us poor, which is a good reason why we should be content, and make up our minds to our condition. Are we rich? God made us rich, which is a good reason why we should be thankful, and serve him cheerfully, and do good with the abundance he gives us. He respects not man's wisdom or fancied excellences, but chooses those whom the world accounts foolish, teaching them to feel their guilt, and to value his free and precious salvation. This prophecy looks to the kingdom of Christ, that kingdom of grace, of which Hannah speaks, after having spoken largely of the kingdom of providence. And here is the first time that we meet with the name MESSIAH, or his Anointed. The subjects of Christ's kingdom will be safe, and the enemies of it will be ruined; for the Anointed, the Lord Christ, is able to save, and to destroy.

Verses 11-26 Samuel, being devoted to the Lord in a special manner, was from a child employed about the sanctuary in the services he was capable of. As he did this with a pious disposition of mind, it was called ministering unto the Lord. He received a blessing from the Lord. Those young people who serve God as well as they can, he will enable to improve, that they may serve him better. Eli shunned trouble and exertion. This led him to indulge his children, without using parental authority to restrain and correct them when young. He winked at the abuses in the service of the sanctuary till they became customs, and led to abominations; and his sons, who should have taught those that engaged in the service of the sanctuary what was good, solicited them to wickedness. Their offence was committed even in offering the sacrifices for sins, which typified the atonement of the Saviour! Sins against the remedy, the atonement itself, are most dangerous, they tread under foot the blood of the covenant. Eli's reproof was far too mild and gentle. In general, none are more abandoned than the degenerate children of godly persons, when they break through restraints.

Verses 27-36 Those who allow their children in any evil way, and do not use their authority to restrain and punish them, in effect honour them more than God. Let Eli's example excite parents earnestly to strive against the beginnings of wickedness, and to train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In the midst of the sentence against the house of Eli, mercy is promised to Israel. God's work shall never fall to the ground for want of hands to carry it on. Christ is that merciful and faithful High Priest, whom God raised up when the Levitical priesthood was thrown off, who in all things did his Father's mind, and for whom God will build a sure house, build it on a rock, so that hell cannot prevail against it.

Cross References 76

  • 1. Luke 1:46-55
  • 2. Psalms 13:5">Ps Psalms 13:5; Psalms 33:21; Zechariah 10:7; Psalms 9:14; Psalms 13:5
  • 3. Psalms 18:2; Psalms 89:17,24; Psalms 92:10; Psalms 148:14; Isaiah 12:2-3
  • 4. Psalms 6:8
  • 5. S Numbers 10:35; Psalms 6:10
  • 6. S Exodus 15:11; S Leviticus 11:44; Leviticus 19:2
  • 7. S Exodus 8:10; Isaiah 40:25; Isaiah 46:5
  • 8. S Genesis 49:24; S Exodus 33:22; Deuteronomy 32:37; Deuteronomy 32:30-31; 2 Samuel 22:2,32; 2 Samuel 23:3; Psalms 31:3; Psalms 71:3
  • 9. Psalms 17:10; Psalms 31:18; Psalms 73:8; Psalms 75:4; Psalms 94:4; Proverbs 8:13
  • 10. S Joshua 22:22
  • 11. 1 Samuel 16:7; 1 Kings 8:39; 1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 6:30; Proverbs 15:11; Jeremiah 11:20; Jeremiah 17:10
  • 12. Proverbs 16:2; Proverbs 24:11-12
  • 13. 2 Samuel 1:27; Psalms 37:15; Psalms 46:9; Psalms 76:3
  • 14. Job 17:9; Isaiah 40:31; Isaiah 41:1; Isaiah 52:1; Isaiah 57:10
  • 15. Luke 1:53
  • 16. Psalms 113:9; Isaiah 54:1; Jeremiah 15:9
  • 17. Deuteronomy 32:39
  • 18. Isaiah 26:19; Ezekiel 37:3,12
  • 19. S Deuteronomy 8:18
  • 20. Job 5:11; Job 40:12; Psalms 75:7; Isaiah 2:12; Isaiah 13:11; Isaiah 22:19; Daniel 4:37
  • 21. Psalms 113:7-8
  • 22. James 2:5
  • 23. 1 Kings 16:2
  • 24. Psalms 72:12; Psalms 107:41; Psalms 145:14; Psalms 146:8; S Matthew 23:12
  • 25. 2 Samuel 7:8; Job 36:7; Isaiah 22:23; Ezekiel 21:26
  • 26. Job 15:7; Job 38:4; Psalms 104:5; Proverbs 8:29; Isaiah 40:12; Jeremiah 10:12
  • 27. Psalms 91:12; Psalms 121:3; Proverbs 3:26
  • 28. Proverbs 2:8
  • 29. Job 10:22; Isaiah 5:30; Isaiah 8:22; Isaiah 59:9; Isaiah 60:2; Jeremiah 13:16; Amos 5:18,20; Zephaniah 1:14-15; Matthew 8:12
  • 30. 1 Samuel 17:47; Psalms 33:16-17; Zechariah 4:6
  • 31. S Exodus 15:6; Psalms 2:9
  • 32. S Exodus 19:16; 1 Samuel 7:10; 1 Samuel 12:17; 2 Samuel 22:14; Job 37:4,5; Job 38:1; Psalms 18:13; Psalms 29:3; Isaiah 66:6
  • 33. Psalms 96:13; Psalms 98:9; Matthew 25:31-32
  • 34. Psalms 18:1; Psalms 21:1; Psalms 59:16
  • 35. S Deuteronomy 33:17; Psalms 89:24; S Luke 1:69
  • 36. S Joshua 18:25
  • 37. ver 18; S Numbers 16:9; 1 Samuel 3:1
  • 38. Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 9:6
  • 39. Deuteronomy 18:3
  • 40. Leviticus 7:35-36; Leviticus 7:29-34
  • 41. Lev 3:3,14-16; Leviticus 7:29-34
  • 42. ver 22,29; S Numbers 14:11; Jeremiah 7:21; Ezekiel 22:26; Malachi 2:7-9
  • 43. S ver 11; 1 Samuel 3:1
  • 44. ver 28; 1 Samuel 22:18; 1 Samuel 23:9; 2 Samuel 6:14; 1 Chronicles 15:27
  • 45. S 1 Samuel 1:3
  • 46. S 1 Samuel 1:27; 1Sa 1:11,27-28; Luke 2:34
  • 47. Genesis 21:1
  • 48. ver 26; S Judges 13:24; 1 Samuel 3:19; Luke 1:80; Luke 2:40
  • 49. S ver 17
  • 50. S Exodus 38:8
  • 51. Exodus 4:21; Numbers 15:30; Joshua 11:20
  • 52. S Exodus 32:10; S Numbers 11:2; Deuteronomy 1:17; 1 Samuel 3:14; 1 Kings 13:6; Job 9:33; Psalms 106:30; Isaiah 1:18; Isaiah 22:14; Jeremiah 15:1; Hebrews 10:26
  • 53. ver 21; S Judges 13:24; Luke 2:52
  • 54. Proverbs 3:4
  • 55. S Deuteronomy 33:1; S Judges 13:6; Exodus 4:14-16; 1 Kings 13:1
  • 56. S Exodus 28:1
  • 57. S Exodus 30:7
  • 58. 1 Samuel 22:18; 1 Samuel 23:6,9; 1 Samuel 30:7; Leviticus 8:7-8
  • 59. Leviticus 7:35-36
  • 60. ver 12-17
  • 61. S Deuteronomy 12:5; Matthew 10:37
  • 62. S Exodus 29:9
  • 63. Psalms 50:23; Psalms 91:15; Proverbs 8:17
  • 64. Isaiah 53:3; Nahum 3:6; Malachi 2:9
  • 65. Jeremiah 18:10
  • 66. 1 Samuel 4:11-18; 1 Samuel 22:16; 1 Samuel 22:16-20
  • 67. 1 Samuel 4:3; 1 Samuel 22:17-20; Jeremiah 7:12,14
  • 68. 1 Kings 2:26-27; Zechariah 8:4
  • 69. Jeremiah 29:32; Malachi 2:12
  • 70. S Deuteronomy 13:2
  • 71. 1 Samuel 4:11
  • 72. 1 Kings 13:3
  • 73. 1 Samuel 12:3; 2 Samuel 8:17; 2 Samuel 20:25; 1 Kings 1:8,32; 1 Kings 2:35; 1 Kings 4:4; 1 Chronicles 16:39; 1 Chronicles 29:22; Ezekiel 44:15-16
  • 74. 1 Samuel 9:16; 1 Samuel 10:1; 1 Samuel 16:13; 2 Samuel 2:4; 2 Samuel 12:7; 2 Samuel 23:1; 1 Kings 1:34; Psalms 89:20; 2 Samuel 7:11,27; 1 Kings 11:38
  • 75. Ezekiel 44:10-14
  • 76. 1 Samuel 3:12; 1 Kings 2:27

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. "Horn" here symbolizes strength; also in verse 10.
  • [b]. Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text "people"
  • [c]. Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text "and asked from"
  • [d]. Or "the judges"
  • [e]. The Hebrew is plural.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter the song of Hannah is recorded, 1Sa 2:1-10, and an account is given of the return of Elkanah and Hannah to their own home, and of the care she took yearly to provide a coat for Samuel, and of her being blessed with many other children, and of the growth and ministry of Samuel before the Lord, 1Sa 2:11,18-21,26, and of the wickedness of the sons of Eli, 1Sa 2:12-17, and of Eli's too gentle treatment of them when he reproved them for it, 1Sa 2:22-25 and of a sharp message sent him from the Lord on that account, threatening destruction to his house, of which the death of his two sons would be a sign, 1Sa 2:27-36.

1 Samuel 2 Commentaries

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