1 Samuel 1:1-11

The Birth of Samuel

1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite[a] 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.
2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
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.
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.
5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.
6 Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.
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.
8 Her husband Elkanah 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?”
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s house.
10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly.
11 And 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 1:1-11 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL

\\OTHERWISE CALLED\\ \\THE FIRST BOOK OF KINGS\\

This book, in the Hebrew copies, is commonly called Samuel, or the Book of Samuel; in the Syriac version, the Book of Samuel the Prophet; and in the Arabic version, the Book of Samuel the Prophet, which is the First Book of the Kings; and the Septuagint version, the Book of the Kingdom: it has the name of Samuel, because it contains an history of his life and times; and the Jews say {a} it was written by him; and as it may well enough be thought to be, to the end of the twenty fourth chapter; and the rest might be written by Nathan and Gad, as may he gathered from 1Ch 29:29 as also the following book that bears his name; and both may be called the Books of Kings, because they give an account of the rise of the kings in Israel, and of the two first of them; though some think they were written by Jeremiah, as Abarbinel; and others ascribe them to Ezra: however, there is no doubt to be made of it that this book was written by divine inspiration, when we consider the series of its history, its connection and harmony with other parts of Scripture; the several things borrowed from it, or alluded to in the book of Psalms, particularly what is observed in Ps 113:7,8, seems to be taken out of 1Sa 2:8, and the sanction which the Lord gives to it, by referring to a fact in it, whereby he stopped the mouths of the Scribes and Pharisees cavilling at his disciples, Mt 12:3,4, compared with 1Sa 21:3-6, yea, even, as Huetius {b} observes, some Heathen writers have by their testimonies confirmed some passages in these books, which they seem to have been acquainted with, as Nicolaus of Damascus {c}, and Eupolemus {d}; it contains an history of the government of Eli, and of the birth of Samuel, and his education under him; of the succession of Samuel in it, and the resignation of it to Saul, when he was chosen king; of his administration of his office, and of things done in the time of it, both before and after his rejection, and of the persecution of David by Saul, and is concluded with his death.

{a} T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 14. 2. {b} Demonstrat. Evangel. Prop. 4. p. 199. {c} Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 7. c. 5. sect. 2. {d} Apud Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 9. c. 30.

\\INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 1\\

This chapter gives an account of the parents of Samuel, of the trouble his mother met with from her rival, and comfort from her husband, 1Sa 1:1-8, of her prayer to God for a son, and of her vow to him, should one be given her, 1Sa 1:9-11 of the notice Eli took of her, and of his censure on her, which he afterwards retracted, and comforted her, 1Sa 1:12-18 of her conception and the birth of her son, the nursing and weaning of him, 1Sa 1:19-23 and of the presentation of him to the Lord, with a sacrifice, 1Sa 1:24-28.

1 Samuel 1:1-11 In-Context

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.
2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
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.
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.
5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.
6 Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.
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.
8 Her husband Elkanah 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?”
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD’s house.
10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly.
11 And 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.”
12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.
13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk
14 and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.”
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.

Cross References 24

  • 1. S Joshua 18:25
  • 2. 1 Samuel 9:5
  • 3. Joshua 17:17-18
  • 4. Joshua 21:20-22
  • 5. 1 Chronicles 6:27,34
  • 6. S Genesis 4:19; Deuteronomy 21:15-17; Luke 2:36
  • 7. ver 21; Exodus 23:14; Exodus 34:23; 1 Samuel 2:19; 1 Samuel 20:6,29; Luke 2:41
  • 8. Deuteronomy 12:5-7
  • 9. S Joshua 18:1
  • 10. 1 Samuel 2:31; 1 Samuel 14:3
  • 11. Leviticus 7:15-18; Deuteronomy 12:17-18
  • 12. S Genesis 29:34
  • 13. S Genesis 37:3
  • 14. S Genesis 11:30; S Genesis 29:31; Genesis 16:1; Genesis 30:2
  • 15. S Genesis 16:4; Job 24:21
  • 16. 2 Samuel 12:17; Psalms 102:4
  • 17. S Ruth 4:15
  • 18. 1 Samuel 3:3
  • 19. Job 3:20; Job 7:11; Job 10:1; Job 21:25; Job 23:2; Job 27:2; Isaiah 38:15; Jeremiah 20:18
  • 20. S Judges 11:30
  • 21. S Genesis 17:1; Psalms 24:10; Psalms 46:7; Isaiah 1:9
  • 22. S Genesis 8:1; Genesis 28:20; Genesis 29:32
  • 23. S Judges 13:7
  • 24. Numbers 6:1-21; Judges 13:5; Luke 1:15

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. See Septuagint and 1 Chron. 6:26-27,33-35; or "from Ramathaim Zuphim" .