1 Samuel 1 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

<< Ruth 4 | 1 Samuel 1 | 1 Samuel 2 >>
(Read all of 1 Samuel 1)
1:1 Now there was a certain man of a Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name [was] Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

The Argument - As God had ordained in (Deuteronomy 17:14), that when the Israelites entered the land of Canaan, he would appoint a king for them: so here in the first book of Samuel the state of the people under their first king Saul is declared. Not content with the order that God had temporarily appointed for the government of his Church, they demanded a king, so that they might be as other nations. As well they thought they would be better off, not because they could serve God better by it, but because they would be under the safeguard of him who represented Jesus Christ the true deliverer. Therefore God gave them a tyrant and a hypocrite to rule over them, so that they might learn that a king is not sufficient to defend them, unless God by his power preserves and keeps them. Therefore he punishes the ingratitude of his people, and sends them continual wars both at home and abroad. Also, because Saul, whom God had given to the honour of a king out of nothing, did not acknowledge God's mercy to him, but rather disobeyed the word of God and was not zealous of his glory, he was removed from his estate by God, and David the true figure of Messiah was placed in his stead. His patience, modesty, constancy, persecution by open enemies, feigned friends, and deceitful flatterers, is left to the Church and to every member of it, as a pattern and example of their state and calling.

(a) There were two Ramatus, so that in this city in mount Ephraim were Zophim, that is, the learned men and prophets.

1:3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in b Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, [were] there.

(b) For the ark was there at that time.

1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy c portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

(c) Some read, a portion with a hearty cheer.

1:8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? [am] not I better to thee than ten d sons?

(d) Let this comfort you, that I love you no less than if you had many children.

1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the e temple of the LORD.

(e) That is of the house where the ark was.

1:18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find f grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more [sad].

(f) That is, pray to the Lord for me.

1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD g remembered her.

(g) According to her petition.

1:21 And the man h Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.

(h) This Elkanah was a Levite, (
1 Chronicles 6:27), and as some write once a year they were accustomed to appear before the Lord with their families.

1:23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his i word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.

(i) Because her prayer took effect, therefore it was called the Lord's promise.

1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, [as] thy k soul liveth, my lord, I [am] the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

(k) That is, most certainly.

1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he l worshipped the LORD there.

(l) Meaning, Eli gave thanks to God for her.