1 Samuel 2

Listen to 1 Samuel 2

Hannah's Prayer

1 And Hannah prayed and said, 1"My heart exults in the LORD; 2my strength[a] is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because 3I rejoice in your salvation.
2 4"There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is 5no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
4 6The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. 7The barren has borne seven, 8but she who has many children is forlorn.
6 9The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 10The LORD makes poor and makes rich; 11he brings low and he exalts.
8 12He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap 13to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. 14For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world.
9 15"He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 16The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; 17against them he will thunder in heaven. 18The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king 19and exalt the power[b] of his anointed."
11 Then Elkanah went home 20to Ramah. 21And the boy ministered to the LORD in the presence of Eli the priest.

Eli's Worthless Sons

12 Now the sons of Eli were 22worthless men. 23They did not know the LORD.
13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant[c] would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,
14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
15 Moreover, 24before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw."
16 And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force."
17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great 25in the sight of the LORD, 26for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
18 27Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy 28clothed with a linen ephod.
19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year 29when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the LORD give you children by this woman 30for the petition she asked of the LORD." So then they would return to their home.
21 31Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. 32And the young man Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.

Eli Rebukes His Sons

22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who 33were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
23 And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.
25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, 34for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death.
26 Now the young man Samuel 35continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man.

The Lord Rejects Eli's Household

27 And there came 36a man of God to Eli and said to him, "Thus the LORD has said, 37'Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh?
28 38Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, 39to wear an ephod before me? 40I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.
29 Why then do you 41scorn[d] my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?'
30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 42'I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,'43but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
31 Behold, 44the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.
32 Then 45in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, 46and there shall not be an old man in your house forever.
33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his[e] eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants[f] of your house shall die by the sword of men.[g]
34 47And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die 48on the same day.
35 49And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. 50And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before 51my anointed forever.
36 And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, "Please put me in one of the priests' places, that I may eat a morsel of bread."'"

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 51

  • 1. For ver. 1-10, see Luke 1:46-53
  • 2. ver. 10; Psalms 75:10; Psalms 89:17, 24; Psalms 92:10; Psalms 112:9; Psalms 148:14
  • 3. Psalms 9:14; Psalms 13:5; Psalms 20:5; Psalms 35:9
  • 4. Exodus 15:11; Psalms 86:8; Psalms 89:6, 8
  • 5. Deuteronomy 32:30, 31
  • 6. Psalms 37:15; Psalms 46:9; Psalms 76:3
  • 7. Psalms 113:9; Isaiah 54:1
  • 8. Jeremiah 15:9
  • 9. Deuteronomy 32:39
  • 10. [Job 1:21]
  • 11. Job 5:11; Psalms 75:7
  • 12. Psalms 113:7, 8; [Daniel 4:17; Luke 1:52]
  • 13. Job 36:7
  • 14. [Job 38:4-6; Psalms 24:2; Psalms 102:25; Psalms 104:5]
  • 15. Psalms 121:3; Proverbs 3:26; [Psalms 91:11]
  • 16. Psalms 2:9
  • 17. 1 Samuel 7:10; Psalms 18:13; [2 Samuel 22:14]
  • 18. Psalms 96:10, 13; Psalms 98:9
  • 19. ver. 1; [Psalms 89:24]
  • 20. 1 Samuel 1:19
  • 21. ver. 18; 1 Samuel 3:1
  • 22. See 1 Samuel 1:16
  • 23. Judges 2:10
  • 24. Leviticus 3:5, 16; Leviticus 7:23, 25, 31
  • 25. [Genesis 6:11]
  • 26. [Malachi 2:8]
  • 27. ver. 11; 1 Samuel 3:1
  • 28. Exodus 28:4; 2 Samuel 6:14; 1 Chronicles 15:27
  • 29. 1 Samuel 1:3
  • 30. 1 Samuel 1:28
  • 31. Genesis 21:1
  • 32. ver. 26; 1 Samuel 3:19; [Judges 13:24; Luke 1:80; Luke 2:40]
  • 33. Exodus 38:8
  • 34. [Joshua 11:20]
  • 35. Luke 2:52
  • 36. 1 Kings 13:1
  • 37. [Ex. 3 - 12]
  • 38. Exodus 28:1; Numbers 18:1, 7
  • 39. [1 Samuel 14:3; 1 Samuel 22:18]
  • 40. Leviticus 2:3, 10; Leviticus 6:16; Leviticus 7:7, 8, 34; Leviticus 10:14, 15; Numbers 5:9, 10; See Numbers 18:8-19
  • 41. Deuteronomy 32:15
  • 42. Exodus 27:21; Exodus 29:9
  • 43. [Jeremiah 18:9, 10]
  • 44. 1 Kings 2:27; [1 Samuel 4:11, 18, 20; 1 Samuel 22:18, 19]
  • 45. 1 Samuel 4:11; [Judges 18:30]; See Psalms 78:59-64
  • 46. [Zechariah 8:4]
  • 47. 1 Kings 13:3
  • 48. 1 Samuel 4:11
  • 49. 1 Kings 2:35; 1 Chronicles 29:22
  • 50. 1 Samuel 25:28; 1 Kings 11:38; [2 Samuel 7:11, 27]
  • 51. 2 Samuel 22:51; Psalms 18:50; [Psalms 89:20]

Footnotes 7

  • [a]. Hebrew horn
  • [b]. Hebrew horn
  • [c]. Hebrew young man; also verse 15
  • [d]. Septuagint; Hebrew kick at
  • [e]. Septuagint; Hebrew your; twice in this verse
  • [f]. Hebrew increase
  • [g]. Septuagint; Hebrew die as men

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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.