1 Samuel 2

Hannah's Triumphant Prayer

1 Hannah prayed: My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is lifted up by the Lord.[a] My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.
2 There is no one holy like the Lord. There is no one besides You! And there is no rock like our God.[b]
3 Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant [words] come out of your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by Him.
4 The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength.
5 Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving [hunger] no more. The barren woman gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away.
6 The Lord brings death and gives life;[c] He sends [some] to Sheol, and He raises [others] up.
7 The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth; He humbles and He exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the garbage pile. He seats them with noblemen and gives them a throne of honor.[d] For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's; He has set the world on them.
9 He guards the steps[e] of His faithful ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness, for a man does not prevail by [his own] strength.
10 Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered;[f][g] He will thunder in the heavens against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to His king; He will lift up the horn of His anointed.
11 Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy served the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.

Eli's Family Judged

12 Eli's sons were wicked men;[h] they had no regard for the Lord
13 or for the priests' share [of the sacrifices] from the people.[i] When any man offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork while the meat was boiling
14 and plunge it into the container or kettle or caldron or cooking pot. The priest would claim for himself whatever the meat fork brought up. This is the way they treated all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh.
15 Even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest [some] meat to roast, because he won't accept boiled meat from you-only raw."
16 If that man said to him, "The fat must be burned first; then you can take whatever you want for yourself,"[j] the servant would reply, "No, I insist that you hand it over right now. If you don't, I'll take it by force!"
17 So the servants' sin was very severe in the presence of the Lord, because they treated the Lord's offering with contempt.
18 The boy Samuel served in the Lord's presence and wore a linen ephod.[k]
19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.
20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife: "May the Lord give you children by this woman in place of the one she[l] has given to the Lord."[m] Then they would go home.
21 The Lord paid attention to Hannah's [need], and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
22 Now Eli was very old. He heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.[n]
23 He said to them, "Why are you doing these things? I have heard about your evil actions from all these people.
24 No, my sons, the report I hear from the Lord's people is not good.
25 If a man sins against another man, God can intercede for him, but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?"[o] But they would not listen to their father, since the Lord intended to kill them.[p]
26 By contrast, the boy Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.[q]
27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the Lord says: 'Didn't I reveal Myself to your ancestral house when it was in Egypt and belonged to Pharaoh's palace?
28 I selected your house[r] from the tribes of Israel to be priests, to offer sacrifices on My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in My presence.[s] I also gave your house all the Israelite fire offerings.
29 Why, then, do all of you despise My sacrifices and offerings that I require at the place of worship?[t] You have honored your sons more than Me, by making yourselves fat with the best part of all of the offerings of My people Israel.'
30 "Therefore, the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'Although I said your family and your ancestral house would walk before Me forever,[u] the Lord now says, "No longer!" I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disgraced.[v]
31 " 'Look, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestral family, so that none in your family will reach old age.
32 You will see distress [in the] place of worship, in spite of all that is good in Israel, and no one in your family will ever again reach old age.
33 Any man from your [family] I do not cut off from My altar will bring grief[w] and sadness to you. All your descendants will die violently.[x][y]
34 This will be the sign that will come to you concerning your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: both of them will die on the same day.[z]
35 " 'Then I will raise up a faithful priest[aa] for Myself. He will do whatever is in My heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will walk before My anointed one for all time.
36 Anyone who is left in your family will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread. He will say: Please appoint me to some priestly office so I can have a piece of bread 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.

Footnotes 27

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 2

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