1 Samuel 2

Listen to 1 Samuel 2
1 Then Hannah prayed: “My heart rejoices in the LORD ! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.
2 No one is holy like the LORD ! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
3 “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions.
4 The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong.
5 Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away.
6 The LORD gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up.
7 The LORD makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up.
8 He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD ’s, and he has set the world in order.
9 “He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone.
10 Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the LORD judges throughout the earth. He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one.”
11 Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the LORD by assisting Eli the priest.
12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD
13 or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli’s sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling,
14 the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli’s sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way.
15 Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal’s fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.
16 The man offering the sacrifice might reply, “Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.” Then the servant would demand, “No, give it to me now, or I’ll take it by force.”
17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD ’s sight, for they treated the LORD ’s offerings with contempt.
18 But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the LORD . He wore a linen garment like that of a priest.
19 Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice.
20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD . ”
21 And the LORD blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD .
22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
23 Eli said to them, “I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning?
24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the LORD ’s people are not good.
25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede?” But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the LORD was already planning to put them to death.
26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.
27 One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the LORD : “I revealed myself to your ancestors when they were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt.
28 I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests.
29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!
30 “Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.
31 The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age.
32 You will watch with envy as I pour out prosperity on the people of Israel. But no members of your family will ever live out their days.
33 The few not cut off from serving at my altar will survive, but only so their eyes can go blind and their hearts break, and their children will die a violent death.
34 And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day!
35 “Then I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire. I will establish his family, and they will be priests to my anointed kings forever.
36 Then all of your surviving family will bow before him, begging for money and food. ‘Please,’ they will say, ‘give us jobs among the priests so we will have enough 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 12

  • [a]. Hebrew has exalted my horn.
  • [b]. Hebrew to Sheol.
  • [c]. Hebrew he exalts the horn.
  • [d]. Hebrew He wore a linen ephod.
  • [e]. As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version; Masoretic Text reads this one he requested of the .
  • [f]. Hebrew Tent of Meeting. Some manuscripts lack this entire sentence.
  • [g]. Or the judges.
  • [h]. As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Did I reveal myself.
  • [i]. Hebrew your father.
  • [j]. Hebrew an ephod.
  • [k]. Hebrew that your house and your father’s house.
  • [l]. As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version, which read die by the sword; Masoretic Text reads die like mortals.

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