1Samuel 2


1Samuel 2:1–11

Part I: The Psalm of Hannah

1Samuel 2:12–36

Part II: Eli’s Sons and Eli’s Son


The first and second halves of 1Sam. 2 are so different, they should have been given their own chapter. However, I do not like to split things up, so all of the exegesis on these will be found in this one document. I will have the entire outline and all of the charts, maps and short doctrines listed at the very beginning; however, I will repeat these for the second half and have links throughout so that you can easily access the second half of this chapter exclusively.


Outline of Chapter 2:


Part I: The Psalm of Hannah

 

       vv.    1–10      Hannah’s Prayer

       v.      11        Elkanah and Hannah Return to Ramah

Part II: Eli’s Sons and Eli’s Son

 

       vv.   12–17      Eli’s Sons Disrespect the Offerings to God

       vv.   18–21      Hannah’s Continued Relationship with Her Son Samuel

       vv.   22–26      Eli Confronts His Sons Over Their Sins

       vv.   27–36      A Prophet of God Comes and Speaks to Eli


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:


       vv.   1–10        Hannah’s Psalm and It’s Parallels:

       v.      1b                 Luke 1:46b–48a

       v.      2                   2Sam. 22:32

       v.      2                   2Sam. 22:47b–50

       v.      5a                 Luke 1:53

       v.      6                   2Sam. 22:5–7

       vv.   7–8                 Luke 1:50–53

       v.      9a                 2Sam. 22:19b–21, 28

       v.     10a–b             2Sam. 22:38–39 Luke 1:51b 2Sam. 22:14

       v.     10d                 Luke 1:69–70

 

       v.      3           The Less Literal Translations of 1Sam. 2:3a

       v.      8           God and the Reversal of Fortune for Certain Men

       v.      8           The Less Literal Translations of 1Sam. 2:8

       v.     10           A Comparison of the Greek Texts

       v.     10           Jehovah Destroys His Enemies in the Time of Samuel

       v.     10           How Does Israel Contend with God in 1Samuel?

       v.     11           Hannah’s Psalm and Mary’s Song

       v.     12           Adam Clarke on Child-Rearing

       v.     15           1Sam. 2:12–15 as per the New Living Testament

       v.     17           Eli’s Sons are Responsible for these Offertory Customs

       v.     17           The Purpose of the Meat Offerings

       v.     19           The Defining Factors of a Cult

       v.     23           Why Didn’t Eli Remove his Sons from the Priesthood?

       v.     27           Modern-Day Kooks

       v.     30           The Hithpael Stem of a Verb

       v.     30           What is God Saying to Eli?

       v.     32           The 3 Faces of 1Sam. 2:32a

       v.     32           1Sam. 2:31–32 (revised)

       v.     33           The Fulfillment of 1Samuel 2:33

       v.     35           The Fulfillment of 1Samuel 2:35

       v.     36           1Samuel 2:31–36 and its Fulfillment

       v.     36           A Summary of the Offenses of Eli’s House, God’s Sentence and Fulfillment

       v.     36           The Characteristics of a Prophet of God

       v.     36           The Parallels Between Samuel and Christ Jesus


Psalms Alluded To

 

Psalm 2

 


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

Jewish Messiah

Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament

The Doctrine of Horns

The Priest’s Clothing

Doctrine of Belial

Ancient Jewish Cooking Vessels

Ephod

 

Familial Relationships and the Plan of God

The Chart of Kings, Priests and Prophets


In looking back at this, you may realize that you have never seen so many charts, doctrines, and doctrinal references. I should warn you up front that this is going to be probably the most difficult chapter in all of the book of Samuel (at least 1Samuel). There are a plethora problems with respect to the correct text and then the proper interpretation of the text. So, be forewarned.


I ntroduction: 1Sam. 2 is enough chapter for two chapters at minimum. For the first ten verses, we have a song composed by Hannah. It is an unusual thing to be found in the midst of narrative; however, this was a song obviously inspired by God the Holy Spirit, and therefore belongs in His Word. Furthermore, this is a continuation of the previous chapter. Hannah has brought Samuel to Eli to serve God and in the first half of this chapter, we hear her prayer to God. These first 11 verses are such a different topic than the latter portion, that I will break this chapter into two parts. However, I will keep the outline and the charts at the beginning here and keep both portions as one document (although I will repeat portions of the outline and charts in part two of this chapter). Since we are used to examining God’s Word chapter by chapter, I will keep this together as one chapter, although it should be broken down into two or three sections, with part I remaining with 1Sam. 1.


The introduction to the second part of this chapter will be found at the beginning of Part II.


Part I                                                                                                                                            Hannah’s Psalm


Part II                                                                                                                             Eli’s Sons and Eli’s Son


Secondly, we examine the degeneracy of Eli’s sons. Now here is an unusual situation. Eli would appear, at least to those who attend services at the Tent of God, to be somewhat of a crappy parent. His kids, although they served God (or appeared to) were corrupt and they corrupted the worship of Jehovah God. By contrast, we then examine the childhood of Samuel, who appears to be made of much different stuff. Finally, Eli has to take a stand against his own children and then end of the chapter is Eli rebuking his two sons.


The first part of this chapter that we will study is Hannah’s prayer, or Hannah’s psalm. What you would expect is for Hannah to dwell on her thankfulness to God for allowing her this son and a prayer for several more to follow. You would expect her to pray on behalf of little Samuel, for his future. However, this psalm is nothing like one would expect. Hannah is taken by the Spirit of God and she will praise God’s knowledge and His actions, completely apart from her own circumstance. She will comment on how there is often a reversal of fortune (vv. 4–5, 8), which is one of the few portions of this psalm which speaks to Hannah’s situation directly. Specifically, she praises God for His knowledge and His actions (vv. 1–3); she speaks of His opposition to his enemies (v. 4) and the reversal of fortune which occurs in His plan (v. 5). In vv. 6–7, God’s great power is again referenced, with His reversal of fortune mentioned again in v. 8. In v. 9, we have God’s constant vigilance in our lives (and the lives of the wicked), and v. 10 ends with a promise from God to shatter His enemies and to exalt His own. At the end of v. 10, we have a promise concerning His King and His Anointed, given in a time of Israel’s history where there was no king.


Then, in v. 11, Elkanah and Hannah will simply return to their home, leaving Samuel behind at the House of God.

 

Barnes: The song of Hannah is a prophetic Psalm. It is poetry, and it is prophecy. It takes its place by the side of the songs of Miriam, Deborah, and the Virgin Mary, as well as those of Moses, David, Hezekiah, and other Psalmists and Prophets whose inspired odes have been preserve in the Bible. The peculiar feature which these songs have in common is, that springing from, and in their first conception relating to, incidents in the lives of the individuals who composed them, they branch out into magnificent descriptions of the Kingdom and glory of Christ...of which those incidents were providentially designed to be these types. The perception of this is essential to the understanding of Hannah’s song. Footnote


What ties this chapter together is that it begins with this prophetic prayer or psalm of Hannah’s and then is completed when a prophet of God speaks to Eli, also giving great prophecies. The prophecies at the end by the man of God will be, however, much more specific. Each prophecy will culminate in information concerning our Lord.


Chapter Outline Part I

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part I

Chapter Outline Part II

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part II


Hannah’s Prayer


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so prayed Hannah and so she said:

1Samuel

2:1a

Then Hannah prayed and said:

Then Hannah prayed to God, saying,...


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And Anna prayed, and said:... [This is the end of 1Sam. 1:28 in the Latin].

Masoretic Text                       And so prayed Hannah and so she said:...

Peshitta                                 And Hannah prayed and said,...

Septuagint                             And she said,... [This is the end of 1Sam. 1:28 in the Greek].

 

Significant differences:          That Hannah prays is not mentioned in the Greek.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

BBE                                       And Hannah, in prayer before the Lord, said,...

CEV                                       Hannah prayed:...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Hannah prayed out loud,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

HNV                                       Channah prayed, and said:...

Young’s Updated LT             And Hannah prays, and says:...


What is the gist of this verse? Hannah is about to make an inspired prayer, and this time it will be audible.


1Samuel 2:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

pâlal (ל ַל ָ) [pronounced paw-LAHL]

to pray, to intercede, to make intercession for, to ask for a favorable determination

3rd person feminine singular, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #6419 BDB #813

Channâh (הָ-ח) [pronounced khahn-NAW]

grace with a feminine (ah) ending; it is transliterated Hannah

feminine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2584 BDB #336

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MARH]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person feminine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55


Translation: Then Hannah prayed and said:... Hannah is still apparently at the Tent of God with Eli and v. 11 of this chapter indicates that she is with her husband, Elkanah. She has given her son over to him and now she prays to God as somewhat of a dedication to His faithfulness. Unlike much of what we study, there is no reason even to refer to the other translations here. What you see is what you get. Like the rest of Samuel, this is a simple phrase.

 

I would like to, however, draw attention to the first verb, however, which is the 3rd person feminine singular, Hithpael imperfect of pâlal (ל ַל ָ) [pronounced paw-LAHL], which means, in the Hithpael, to pray, to intercede, to make intercession for, to ask for a favorable determination. Paul tells us in Philip. 4:6: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. Hannah is about to leave her only son with Eli the High Priest, and is certainly going through a cacophony of emotions, so what she does is pray—and it is a magnificent and incredible prayer. And what she prays about is interesting—she is concerned about her only son; she may be concerned about having other children—but her prayer deals with the character and power of God. Although the saying is corny—I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know Who holds my future—it is still apropos. You might be expecting some prophecy with regard to Samuel or words respecting his future. That is not Hannah’s prayer. The bulk of this psalm praises Jehovah, the God of Israel and His greatness. Hannah does not remind God of her vow or how she has kept her vow or what she expects in return. Instead, she recognizes God’s perfect character and His omnipotence.


In the New Testament, in Luke 1:46–55, Mary is in her 3rd trimester, carrying the baby Jesus and she is visiting Elizabeth, a relative of hers (perhaps her aunt?). Elizabeth is carrying John the Baptizer. At some point in their visit (from the book of Luke, it appears as though this occurred when they first met), Mary gives a prayer to God, or a psalm, and this is called the Magnificat [pronounced mag-NIF-e-KAT]. The psalm we are about to exegete, the psalm, or prayer, of Hannah, is called the Magnificat of the Old Testament. We will compare the two side-by-side once we complete the exegesis of Hannah’s prayer.


After the birth of John the Baptizer, his father Zacharias will be filled with the Holy Spirit and also speak a psalm, which is a prophesy of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are also several similarities between his prophetic psalm and the psalm of Hannah.


David, at the end of the book of Samuel (2Sam. 22–23), will also write a psalm (actually, two of them), and there are some similarities between his and Hannah’s psalms as well. These two particular psalms essentially frame the book of Samuel. We have a short introduction which leads to the Psalm of Hannah (1Sam. 1); and after the great psalms of David, we have essentially an addendum to the book of Samuel.


We will of course make mention of these other psalms as we run into similar passages. However, bear in mind, Hannah spoke her prayer first; and all of these psalms were inspired by God the Holy Spirit. The NIV Study Bible comments: [the psalms of Hannah and David] highlight the ways of God that the narrative relates—they contain the theology of the book in the form of praise. Hannah speaks prophetically at a time when Israel is about to enter an important new period of her history with the establishment of kingship through her son, Samuel. Footnote


One of the things which I found interesting is that, in digging through the Hebrew vocabulary for this chapter, I have dealt with a great many words which I have not seen before, even after going through the Pentateuch, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, several psalms, the first half of Job and 1Chronicles 1–8. With this poem, we will introduce a few dozen new words into our Hebrew vocabulary. Now, we should expect this, as we have a new speaker, who is definitely not the author of the book of Samuel. As we have seen, the author of the book of Samuel, thus far, is a fairly simple person, whose vocabulary and writing skills are limited; Hannah, on the other hand, will reveal her great poetic mind and marvelous vocabulary.


Has rejoiced my heart in Yehowah

is exalted my horn in Yehowah [or, in my God].

Has Opened wide my mouth against my enemies

because I have rejoiced in Your salvation.

1Samuel

2:1b

My heart has rejoiced in Yehowah;

my horn [or, my strength] has been lifted up in Yehowah.

My mouth has opened wide against my enemies

for I have rejoiced in Your deliverance.

My thinking and emotions have rejoiced in Jehovah;

my strength has been lifted up in Him.

I yawn at my enemies because I have rejoiced in Your deliverance.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         My heart hath rejoiced in the Lord, and my horn is exalted in my God: my mouth is enlarged over my enemies: because I have joyed in thy salvation.

Masoretic Text                       Has rejoiced my heart in Yehowah

is exalted my horn in Yehowah.

Has Opened wide my mouth against my enemies

because I have rejoiced in Your salvation.

Peshitta                                 My heart is magnified in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God; my mouth utters words against my enemies; because You have caused me to rejoice in Your salvation.

Septuagint                             My heart is established in the Lord, my horn is exalted in my God; my mouth is enlarged over my enemies, I have rejoiced in Your salvation.

 

Significant differences:          The first verb in the Latin and Hebrew is rejoiced; in the Syriac it is magnified; and in the Greek, it is established.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

BBE                                       My heart is glad in the Lord, my horn is lifted up in the Lord: my mouth is open wide over my haters; because my joy is in your salvation.

CEV                                       You make me strong and happy, LORD. You rescued me. Now I can be glad and laugh at my enemies.

The Message                         I'm bursting with God-news! I'm walking on air. I'm laughing at my rivals. I'm dancing my salvation.

NLT                                “My heart rejoices in the Lord!

Oh, how the Lord has blessed me!

Now I have an answer for my enemies,

as I delight in your deliverance.

REB                                       ‘My heart exults in the Lord,

in the Lord I now hold my head high;

I gloat over my enemies;

I rejoice because you have saved me.

TEV                                       “The Lord has filled my heart with joy;

how happy I am because of what he has done!

I laugh at my enemies;

how joyful I am because God has helped me!


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         “My heart finds joy in the LORD. My head is lifted to the LORD. My mouth mocks my enemies. I rejoice because you saved me.

JPS (Tanakh)                        My heart exults in the Lord;

I have triumphed [lit., my horn is high] through the Lord.

I gloat [lit., my mouth is wide] over my enemies;

I rejoice in Your deliverance.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       “My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.

NRSV                                    “My heart exults in the Lord;

my strength is exalted in my God.

My mouth derides my enemies,

because I rejoice in my victory.

Young’s Updated LT             “My heart has exulted in Jehovah, My horn has been high in Jehovah, My mouth has been large over my enemies, For I have rejoiced in Thy salvation.


What is the gist of this verse? Hannah feels exalted and invigorated. She rejoices in the deliverance of Jehovah.


You will note from the beginning of this psalm, Hannah is enamored of the Giver and His character rather than with the gift. Her psalm exalts the person and the character of God, rather than the gift that God has given her.

Now, you will note from the beginning of this psalm, Hannah is enamored of the Giver and His character rather than with the gift. Her psalm exalts the person and the character of God, rather than the gift that God has given her. The next time that you pray for something, imagine what you would say if you got what you prayed for. Would it be, “Geez, thanks—a million times, thanks. This is just what I wanted! I will treasure this gift and I will be using it all the time!” This is not Hannah’s verbal response. She thanks the Giver for His person and character. Your parents might be rich and they might be poor. What they give you in terms of material things is inconsequential. What they give you by way of love, time and discipline—these are gifts which last a lifetime and these are the gifts which reflect the character of your parents. When you thank God, make certain that you thank Him for the character and devotion of your parents. These things are far greater than any material gift that they will ever give you.


1Samuel 2:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳âlats (ץ-לָע) [pronounced ģah-LAWTS]

to rejoice, to be joyful, to show [exhibit or feel] a triumphant [and lively] joy

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #5970 BDB #763

lêb (בֵל) [pronounced layby]

heart, inner man, mind, will, thinking

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong's #3820 BDB #524

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: My heart has rejoiced in Yehowah;... The perfect tense in v. 2b refers to a completed action. This does not mean that Hannah is not still happy; however, given what we studied in chapter 1, her act of rejoicing (which is looked upon as a whole) began when Eli, the High Priest, asked that God grant her request and culminated when she bore Samuel.


1Samuel 2:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

rûwm (םר) [pronounced room]

to lift up, to rise, to arise, to raise up, to grow; to be exalted, to become high, to become powerful; to be high an lofty; to be remote, to be in the far distance

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7311 BDB #926

qeren (ן∵ר∵ק) [pronounced KEH-ren]

horn

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #7161 BDB #901

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

In two early printed editions as well as in the Septuagint and the Latin Vulgate, this ends with in my God. Footnote


Translation: ...my horn [or, my strength] has been lifted up in Yehowah. Second line begins with the verb to exalt, to raise, to lift up and even to offer up. What is raised up is the feminine singular noun horn. We covered the Doctrine of Horns back in Lev. 4:18; however, what seems to be the gist of its meaning is that a person’s horn refers to their strength. The origin of this connotation is that the horn refers to the ox, a powerful animal, whose power, in part, is in his horn. Horn can also refer to arrogant pride (Psalm 75:4–5) and to political and military power as well (Psalm 75:10 89:17 Daniel 8:20–21). Footnote Affixed to qeren (horn) is the personal pronominal suffix my and this is followed by in Jehovah, giving us: my horn [or, my strength] has been lifted up in Jehovah. When a person’s horn is lifted up, it means that they have been delivered by God from a status of disgrace to a position of honor and strength. Footnote If you will recall Hannah in the previous chapter, she felt as if she was in a place of disgrace, as she could not bear children for her husband.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown offer a different interpretation here: Allusion is here made to a peculiarity in the dress of Eastern women about Lebanon, which seems to have obtained anciently among the Israelite women, that of wearing a tin or silver horn on the forehead, on which their veil is suspended. Wives, who have no children, wear it projecting in an oblique direction, while those who become mothers forthwith raise it a few inches higher, inclining towards the perpendicular, and by this slight but observable change in their headdress, make known, wherever they go, the maternal character which they now bear. Footnote I don’t know if this is true or not, but it is interesting nevertheless.


There are many parallels between the psalm of Hannah and the psalm of Mary; they begin almost identically:

1Sam. 2:1b

Luke 1:46b–48a

“My heart has rejoiced in Yehowah;

my horn [or, my strength] has been lifted up in Yehowah.”

 “My soul exalts the Lord,

and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,

for He has had regard for the humble state of His female slave.”


Return to the Parallels of Hannah’s Psalm

Return to the Chart Index


1Samuel 2:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

râchab (ב-חָר) [pronounced raw-SHAHBV]

to become large, to grow, to be wide

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #7337 BDB #931

peh (ה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

âyab (בַי ָא) [pronounced aw-YABV]

enemy, the one being at enmity with you; enmity, hostility

Qal active participle with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #340 BDB #33


Translation: My mouth has opened wide against my enemies... The third line also begins with a verb: the Qal perfect of to become large, to grow, to be wide. What becomes large is my mouth, which is followed by the preposition ׳al (upon, beyond, against, which is followed by the masculine plural, with a Qal active participle of to be an enemy, which means to be at enmity, to be hostile. As a participle, it can be reasonably rendered enemy, but it is more literally, the one being at enmity with you.


Our third line is, therefore: My mouth opens wide against my enemies. If I opened my mouth wide before my enemies, they might put a live insect in it. I suppose that the sense which is conveyed is that she holds her enemies in derision? My first guess is that she yawns at her enemies. However, what is probably the case is, her open mouth means that she is going to speak against the enemies. As Clarke writes: My faculty of speech is incited, stirred up, to express God’s disapprobation against my adversaries. Footnote This psalm is Hannah opening her mouth against these enemies.


Now, who is the enemy that we are speaking about? We would first assume that it is Peninnah, the other wife. However, because of the plural, we actually have wider application than that. Hannah uses the word enemies in the plural. This is actually a very important point of interpretation here which will help to explain the subsequent verses. Vv. 2–3 are spoken specifically to the enemies of God. The remainder of the psalm can be taken that way, but v. 3 introduces the 2nd person masculine plural, which has to refer to some group of persons—this verse indicates that group refers to the enemies of Hannah, who would reasonably be those who do not hold to the omnipotence and holiness of God (and are therefore, the enemies of God). Hannah speaks to these enemies—however, realize Hannah speaks this prayer through the power of the Holy Spirit, and it is the Holy Spirit Who speaks to His enemies through this prayer as well. All of my enemies will be ashamed and greatly dismayed; they will turn back; they will suddenly be disgraced (Psalm 6:10).


1Samuel 2:1e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

sâmach (חַמָ) [pronounced saw-MAHKH]

to rejoice, to be glad, to be joyful, to be merry

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #8055 BDB #970

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

yeshûw׳âh (הָעשי) [pronounced yeshoo-ĢAW]

deliverance, salvation

feminine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #3444 BDB #447


Translation: ...for I have rejoiced in Your deliverance. The fourth line explains why the other lines are true. We begin with the explanatory use of the preposition kîy followed by the verb to rejoice, to be glad. This is followed by the bêyth preposition followed by the noun deliverance, salvation. With yeshûw׳âh we have the 2nd person masculine singular suffix. This gives us: For I have rejoiced in Your deliverance [or, salvation]. Hannah begins to speak out against her enemy Peninnah because God has delivered her from childlessness. What Peninnah has to say is no longer important because Hannah knows that God has delivered her from barrenness. Furthermore, as a believer, Hannah can speak out against all of her enemies and all of the enemies of God. God has taken care of that. These enemies here are the enemies of Israel as well, and, in this book, those enemies may reasonably be seen as the Philistines.


This particular line, For I have rejoiced in your salvation [or, deliverance], is found throughout Scripture. Psalm 9:13–14: Be gracious to me, O Jehovah, Behold my affliction from those who hate me, those who lift me up from the gates of death, that I may tell of all Your praises, that in the gates of the daughters of Zion, I may rejoice in Your salvation [or, deliverance]. Psalm 13:5: But I have trust in Your grace; my heart will rejoice in Your salvation. Psalm 35:9: And my soul will rejoice in Jehovah; it will exult in His salvation. Finally, concerning God’s deliverance of man, we have Isa. 12:2: Observe, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for Jehovah God is my strength and song—He also has become my salvation.


Throughout this psalm, we will find parallels between it and 2Sam. 22 and the Magnificat.

1Sam. 2:1c

2Sam. 22:47b–50

“My mouth has opened wide against my enemies

for I have rejoiced in Your deliverance.”

 “The God who executes vengeance for me

and brings down peoples under me,

Who also brings me out from my enemies;

You even lift me above those who rise up against me,

You rescue me from the violent man;

therefore, I gives thanks to You, O Jehovah, among the nations, and I will sing praises to Your name.”


Return to the Parallels of Hannah’s Psalm

Return to the Chart Index


As J. Vernon McGee points out, there are three stages or three tenses of salvation. The past tense is that we believed in Jesus Christ (or, Jehovah Elohim in the Old Testament) and God saves us or cleanses and justifies us. “A point of doctrine: he who hears My word and believes Him Who sent Me, has eternal life and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24). The present tense is God’s function in our lives today—he delivers us in a variety of situations from a multitude of sins and from both seen and unseen enemies. It is this daily deliverance which Hannah is speaking of. The future tense of salvation is God’s deliverance of us from spiritual death. This is done based upon our faith in Him at some point in our previous lives (i.e., past salvation). Those who have not believed in Him face eternity in separation from God; those who have believed in Him spend eternity with God, eternally separated from our old sin natures. Beloved, now we are children of God and it has not yet appeared what we will be. We know that, when He appears, that we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is (I John 3:2). Footnote


Before, Hannah could barely eat; she prayed quietly from her the bitterness of soul to God. In this psalm, we have a completely different attitude. Her mouth is opened wide against all enemies; her own power is exalted; and she is rejoicing in her own soul as she speaks this psalm.


‘None holy like Yehowah;

none besides You;

and no rock like our Elohim.

1Samuel

2:2

‘There is no holy one like Yehowah,

for there is no one [righteous] besides You;

and there is no rock like our Elohim.

‘No one is set apart like Jehovah;

because there is no one except for You;

and there is no rock like our God.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         There is none holy as the Lord is:

for there is no other beside Thee,

and there is none strong like our God.

Masoretic Text                       ‘None holy like Yehowah;

none besides You;

and no rock like our Elohim.

Peshitta                                 There is none holy like the Lord;

for there is none besides You;

and there is none powerful like our God.

Septuagint                             For there is none holy as the Lord,

and there is none righteous as our God;

there is none holy besides You.

 

Significant differences:          In the LXX, we have the addition of the word righteous, which would be one distinguishing characteristic of God; the other versions essentially allow for a number of distinguishing characteristics. In the 3rd line, only the MT says there is no rock like our Elohim. The Latin and Peshitta may do some interpreting, using the words strong and powerful. The LXX seems to essentially repeat the 1st line. The Dead Sea Scrolls are in agreement (what can be read from them) with the LXX (only a few letters are unreadable or missing in the Dead Sea Scrolls). This would suggest that the LXX might be the better text. Still, most translations follow the Hebrew text.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

BBE                                       No other is holy as the Lord, for there is no other God but you: there is no Rock like our God.

CEV                                       No other god is like you. We”re safer with you than on a high mountain. [I included this rendering, not because it provides some new insight, but because it illustrates how far afield the CEV occasionally goes from the original text].

The Message                         Nothing and no one is holy like GOD, no rock mountain like our God.

REB                                       There is one but you,

none so holy as the Lord,

none so righteous as our God.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God”s Word                         There is no one holy like the LORD.

There is no one but you, O LORD.

There is no Rock like our God.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

WEB                                      There is none holy as Yahweh; For there is none besides you, Neither is there any rock like our God.

Young’s Updated LT             There is none holy like Jehovah, For there is none save You, And there is no rock like our God.


What is the gist of this verse? God’s uniqueness is exalted here.


As you read this and the next verse, bear in mind that this is Hannah speaking by means of God the Holy Spirit, directly to her enemies, which are, given the means of her inspiration, the enemies of God. Therefore, I have included single quotes on the next two verses (which could really be extended throughout this entire psalm). On this verse, the single quotes do little to advance our understanding of what is being said. However, when going into the next verse, this will all make sense.


1Samuel 2:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

êyn (ןי̤א) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; there is no [none, no one, not]

particle of negation; substantive of negation

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

qâdôwsh (שדָק) [pronounced kaw-DOWSE]

sacred, holy, set apart, sacrosanct

masculine singular adjective/noun

Strong's #6918 BDB #872

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

as, like, according to; about, approximately

preposition of comparison or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ‘There is no holy one like Yehowah,... We begin with the Hebrew construct which means in the condition of being not = without. We often supply a verb for this substantive and render it there is no. This is followed by the adjective sacred, holy, set apart, sacrosanct. When this adjective stands by itself, it functions like a substantive. It should be rendered holy one, set-apart one, sacred one, consecrated one, one set apart to God. Although here, in Job 15:15, it refers to God’s angels, it also can refer to believers (Deut. 33:3 Psalm 106:16). This is followed by like Yehowah, giving us: There is no holy one like Yehowah. God is unique among all other things. He is in a class by Himself. He is not simply a national god; He is not one member of this huge pantheon of gods—there is no one holy like Jehovah.


We have several names applied to God; one of the most common is Elohim, which is plural (the -im ending is an indication that a word is in the plural in the Hebrew). This title is applied both to God individually and to God the Trinity, as well as to heathen gods. However, we have a proper name for God in the Old Testament—Yehowah, or Jehovah, or Yahweh; and, although this name is applied to the various individual members of the Trinity (although primarily to the Second Person of the Trinity), it is never applied to any god outside of the Trinity. My point in this is, Islam has a god they call Allah; he is not the God; Hinduism has a veritable pantheon of gods—none of them are the God; the nations which surrounded Israel all worshipped various gods—none of them were the God. There was One God then, and there is One God now—Scripture has consistently taught us that from the very beginning. One God in purpose, in character, in unity; three in person—and this is taught from the very beginning in Gen. 1 to the very end in Rev. 22:17–21.


1Samuel 2:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

êyn (ןי̤א) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; there is no [none, no one, not]

particle of negation; substantive of negation

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

biletîy (י .ל̣) pronounced bille-TEE]

without, besides, except

preposition/adverb with the 2nd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1115 BDB #116

Biletîy actually has several applications: ➊ an adverb of negation (not); ➋ as a preposition/adverb which means without, besides except; ➌ as a conjunction which means besides that, unless that, unless.


Translation: ...for there is no one [righteous] besides You;... This continues the thought of the previous verse. God’s uniqueness is recognized by Hannah in this psalm.


1Samuel 2:2b from the Greek Septuagint

Greek/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

Strong’s Number

kaí (Καί) [pronounced ]

and, even, also

conjunction

Strong’s #2532

ouk (οὐκ) [pronounced ook]

no, not, nothing, none, no one

negation

Strong’s #3756

eimi (εἰμί) [pronounced eye-ME]

to be, is, was, will be; am; to exist; to stay; to occur, to take place; to be present [available]

3rd person singular, present active indicative

Strong’s #1510

dikaios (δίκαιος, αία, ον) [pronounced DIH-kai-oss]

righteous, just, upright; perfect righteousness; law-abiding, faultless, guiltless, innocent; approved by [or acceptable to] God

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #1342

hôs (ὡς) [pronounced hohç]

like, as, even as

comparative particle

Strong’s #5613

the

definite article for a masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3588

theos (θεός) [pronounced theh-OSS]

God, [the true] God; divine being; god, goddess, divinity

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #3588

ἡμν

us, of us, from us, our

1st person plural pronoun, genitive/ablative case

Strong’s #1473


Translation: ...and no one is righteous like our God,... This is probably the more accurate reading, as it is found this way in the Dead Sea Scrolls. On the other hand, it would not seem too out of line for a scribe to insert, accidentally or to fill out the phrase, the word righteous. In any case, there is no one like God and there is no one righteous like God.


Given the many men and women who authored portions of the Word of God, you would expect many theological differences. After all, in the Protestant branch of the Church in the United States, there are those of a liberal bend who even hold that in whom you believe is not as important as that you believe. We do not have those theological differences in Scripture. Here, Hannah speaks, “There is no holy being like Jehovah, for there is no one besides You.” 400 years previous, Moses wrote: “Who is like You among the gods, O Jehovah? Who is like You, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). And later Moses wrote, “And there rock is not like our Rock; even our enemies themselves can discern this.” (Deut. 32:31). Two centuries later, Isaiah quoted God, Who said, “I am Jehovah, and there is no other; besides Me, there is no God. I will gird you, though you have not known Me; that men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am Jehovah, and there is no other.” (Isa. 45:5–6). And Isa. 40:18: To whom then will you liken God? or what likeness will you compare to him? (see Jer. 10:6 as well). And, over a thousand years later, Peter cries out to the men of Jerusalem: “And there is no salvation in anyone else; for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12). During the time that Scripture was written, during those 3000 or so years, the religions of man took many forms and followed many paths, including corrupted views of the Truth. Even in the United States, over the past 400 years, we can examine the Protestant branch of Christianity and see that, despite its foundation in the Truth of God’s Word, it is, in many ways, a reflection of the society around it and that many of our church traditions, practices and beliefs stem as much from society as they do from the Word. However, what Scripture teaches us concerning the character and person of God (as well as the person and character of man) is unwavering—from generation to generation, the message of God’s Word remains the same, regardless of the author or the society of its time period.


As I write these things, carefully, even ponderously examining the Word of God, focusing sometimes on each word, each phrase, every nuance and connection that I can find; I have no idea what will become of this examination. I began exegeting God’s Word nearly 7 years ago, having no idea then and no idea now what will be the end. However, what I do know is, there is nothing more important to us in these times than the correct understanding of the Word of God. And so I press on, writing for two or more hours every single day, knowing that God has a purpose and God has a plan. I know that I am a part of that plan and I know that the exegetical study of His Word is a part of His plan for my life. What I have observed in this life on a daily basis is believers—men and women of faith—committing unspeakable acts; saying and doing things that make you wonder, how can they have any connection to the plan and will of God? I’ve seen believers sue other believers, their only motivation being greed. I have seen believers continually malign and gossip about other believers. I have seen believers who, on the one hand, list God is number one on their scale of values, and then live in sin apart from marriage, apart from even a common-law marriage. Our behavior as believers is an embarrassment to the Christian faith. You don’t believe that Satan takes your actions to God on a daily basis, saying, “Look at what Charlie Brown is doing today. And you are exempting him from the Lake of Fire?” Everything around you is set there to take you from the plan of God. Everything around you is carefully placed in order to neutralize your place in God’s plan. Satan was unable to keep us from believing in the Son of God; however, what he is able to do is to consistently remove us from our path. God has a plan for our lives, and Satan and his demonic forces are able to cause us to veer from this path. What returns us to our walk with God is His Word. We grow in His Word and we are correctly guided by His Word. So, what would you expect? You would expect Satan to do everything in his power to keep the Word of God out of the Church and away from the pulpit. Every now and again, I listen to Christian radio—how often do I hear a careful exegetical study of His Word? Rarely. How often do I even hear His Word read? Rarely. Now, I hear many different pastors speaking and teaching, but most of them at best spend 5 minutes on God’s Word and 50 minutes on other things. I’ve heard many different radio programs on Christian radio, but barely a handful have anything to do with God’s Word and Christianity. This is what we should expect. It is the devil’s world and he will do everything in his power to obscure the Word of God and to neutralize God’s people.


1Samuel 2:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

êyn (ןי̤א) [pronounced ān]

nothing, not, [is] not; not present, not ready; expresses non-existence, absence or non-possession; there is no [none, no one, not]

particle of negation; substantive of negation

Strong’s #369 BDB #34

tsûwr (רצ) [pronounced tzoor]

rock, cliff

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6697 BDB #849

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

as, like, according to; about, approximately

preposition of comparison or approximation

No Strong’s # BDB #453

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods or God; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun with the 1st person plural suffix

Strong's #430 BDB #43


Translation: ...and there is no rock like our Elohim. Rock gives us the idea of never changing and stability. Note that the word in the Greek is righteous; however, few of the translators which I checked chose the Greek alternative (the exception is the REB). You will also note the change of person. In the first part v. 2, Jehovah is spoken of in the 3rd person; in the second part of the verse, He is spoken of in the 2nd person singular; and in the third part, we are back to the 3rd person again. V. 1 was similar in the first two lines, Hannah speaks of God in the 3rd person, but then, in the fourth line, says Your salvation, which brings him into the 2nd person. The point in mentioning this, is that we cannot depend upon person alone to identify of whom or to whom we are speaking.


You will recall that I said that the book of Samuel is framed by this psalm and David’s Psalm; observe the parallel:

1Sam. 2:2

2Sam. 22:32

‘There is no holy one like Yehowah,

for there is no one besides You;

and there is no rock like our Elohim.’

“For who is God, beside Yehowah?

And who is the Rock, besides our Elohim?”


Return to the Parallels of Hannah’s Psalm

Return to the Chart Index


Although we have studied several psalms, few of them had been written prior to the writing of this Psalm (I believe that Moses’ psalms and Deborah’s psalm are the only pre-Hannah psalms). Hannah, in many ways, set some precedents with her psalm. At the end of this verse, she refers to the Rock, Who is Christ Jesus, Jehovah Elohim. Jacob used a similar word in Gen. 49:24, referring to the strength of Joseph: His arms are made strong from the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel).” Jacob, in this blessing, refers both to Joseph and to Jesus, of Whom Joseph is a type.


A few hundred years later, Moses wrote a psalm (called the Song of Moses by several translators) which is placed at the end of Deuteronomy, and it is here where God the Son is first called the Rock. The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just. He is a God of faithfulness and without injustice—He is righteous and upright (Deut. 32:4; see also vv. 18, 30, 31). I should also quote Psalm 18:2: Yahweh is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower. And Psalm 18:31: For who is God, except Yahweh? Who is a rock, besides our God. In this verse, Hannah continues the tradition of the Jacob and Moses by referring to our Lord as the Rock. David will later continue this tradition, referring to Jehovah Elohim as the Rock in 2Sam. 22:3, 32, 47 23:3. Then, we find similar references throughout the psalms, including Psalms 18, 19, 28, 31, 61, 62, 71, 73, 78, 89, 92, 94, 95, 144. In fact, the only references to Jesus Christ as the Rock are found in Poetry (see also Isa. 2:10 26:4 30:29 and Habak. 1:12). What actually occurs is this metamorphous concerning God’s Rock. At first, references to God as the Rock of Israel emphasize the stability, strength and protection which we are assured of in God. However, as Scripture progresses, the Rock tends to take on a decidedly Messianic connotation. This is not a change, per se, except in our perception. God has always been our strength and protection and stability; God has always been fully manifested in the person of His Son; His Son has always been our Savior and Messiah. We put it altogether today, recognizing that Jesus is God, Jesus is Messiah, Jesus is the Rock of Ages; however, throughout the Old Testament, this was a gradual, progressive revelation. Today, we know that our Lord is our Rock, as He tells us in Matt. 16:18: “Upon this Rock, I will build My Church.”  Footnote

 

I want you to notice the focus of this psalm—it is not about Samuel. As Matthew Henry writes: What great things she says of God. She takes little notice of the particular mercy she was now rejoicing in, does not commend Samuel for the prettiest child, the most toward and sensible for his age that she ever saw, as fond parents are too apt to do. No, she overlooks the gift, and praises the giver; whereas most forget the giver and fasten only on the gift. Every stream should lead us to the fountain; and the favours we receive from God should raise our admiration of the infinite perfections there are in God. Footnote


‘You [all] will not multiply; you [all] will [not] talk high high;

will come bold [impudent words] from your [plural] mouth

for a God of knowledges is Yehowah

and not measured are actions [or, and to Him, measured are actions].’

1Samuel

2:3

‘You will not multiply [your] arrogance; you will [not] proclaim arrogance

[or, Stop speaking with such (unrestrained) arrogance].

Unrestrained [or, arrogant] [speech] comes forth from your mouths

for a God of [all] knowledge [is] Yehowah

and, with respect to Him, actions are measured [or, (evil) actions are not measured].’

‘Stop speaking with such arrogance

as your mouths spew forth unrestrained speech,

for Jehovah is a God of knowledge

and all actions are measured by Him.’


It appears as though this verse could be difficult. However, there are two points of interpretation which help us to grasp what is here. We suddenly find the author speaking to these seemingly unnamed 2nd person masculine plural persons. These are the enemies of Hannah who are, by inspiration of the co-author of this Psalm, God the Holy Spirit, enemies of God. Secondly, in the Hebrew, we find a negative in the final line, which makes little or no sense. Let’s begin with what others have done:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         Do not multiply to speak lofty things, boasting:

let old matters depart from your mouth:

for the Lord is a God of all knowledge,

and to Him are thoughts prepared.

Masoretic Text                       ‘You [all] will not multiply; you [all] will [not] talk high high;

will come bold [impudent words] from your mouth

for a God of knowledges is Yehowah

and not measured are actions [or, and to Him, measured are actions].’

Peshitta                                 Talk no more so exceeding proudly;

Let not arrogance come out of your mouths;

for the Lord is a God of knowledge,

and no devices can stand before Him.

Septuagint                             Boast not, and utter not high things;

let not high–sounding words come out of your mouth,

for the Lord is a God of knowledge,

and God prepares His own designs.

 

Significant differences:          I believe the differences in the first line are simply of interpretation—the LXX translators of this portion were attempting to given the gist of what they found in the Hebrew text. Again, in the second line, I think the difference is a matter of interpretation; however, the Latin makes little sense: old matters? The Syriac is in line with the Hebrew. As for the final line—every translation seemed to go its own way. Based on these ancient translations alone, we can tell there are going to be problems.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

BBE                                       Say no more words of pride; let not uncontrolled sayings come out of your mouths: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, by him acts are judged.

CEV                                       I can tell those proud people, "Stop your boasting! Nothing is hidden from the LORD, and he judges what we do.".

The Message                         Don't dare talk pretentiously—not a word of boasting, ever! For GOD knows what's going on. He takes the measure of everything that happens.

REB                                       ‘Cease your proud boasting, let no word of arrogance pass your lips, for the Lord is a God who knows; he governs what mortals do.

TEV                                       Stop your loud boasting; silence your proud words. For the Lord is a God who knows and he judges all that people do.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         "Do not boast or let arrogance come out of your mouth because the LORD is a God of knowledge, and he weighs our actions.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Talk no more with lofty pride, Let no arrogance cross your lips! For the Lord is an all-knowing God, By Him actions are measured.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible   Do not multiply words so loftily—loftily,

Nor let arrogance proceed from your mouth,— for <a God of knowledge> is Yahweh,

And <for himself> are great doings made firm.

HCSB                                    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.

WEB                                      Talk no more so exceeding proudly;

Don't let arrogance come out of your mouth;

For Yahweh is a God of knowledge,

By him actions are weighed.

Young’s Updated LT             You multiply not—you speak haughtily—

The old saying goes out from your mouth, For a God of knowledge is Jehovah,

And by Him actions are weighed.


What is the gist of this verse? This is difficult to summarize, because the translation is difficult. It seems to say that we should not be arrogant or express our arrogance because Jehovah is a God of knowledge and He therefore knows all about us—He has weighed our actions. He knows we have no reason to be arrogant.


1Samuel 2:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

al (ל-א) [pronounced al]

not; nothing; none

adverb of negation; conjunction of prohibiting, dehorting, deprecating, desire that something not be done

Strong’s #408 BDB #39.

râbâh (הָבָר) [pronounced rawb-VAWH]

to make [do] much; to multiply, to increase; to give much; to lay much; to have much; to make great

2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #7235 BDB #915

dâbar (רַבָד) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

gâbôhah (-ֹבָג) [pronounced gawb-VOH-ah]

high, exalted; proud, arrogant; powerful

feminine singular adjective construct

#1362, #1364 BDB #147

gâbôhah (-ֹבָג) [pronounced gawb-VOH-ah]

high, exalted; proud, arrogant; powerful

feminine singular adjective construct

#1362, #1364 BDB #147

 

Translation: ‘You will not multiply [your] arrogance; you will [not] proclaim arrogance [or, Stop speaking with such (unrestrained) arrogance]. We begin this verse with the negative al (ל-א) [pronounced al], which is only used with the imperfect and not the imperative. Then we have the 2nd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect of to become much, to become many, to multiply, to increase in population and in whatever else. In the Hiphil, it means to cause to become many, to make much, to multiply, to increase, to enlarge, to cause to greatly increase. Then we have the 2nd person masculine plural, Piel imperfect of to talk. This is followed by a doubling of the feminine singular adjective high, exalted, proud, arrogant.


There is another consideration, and I do not know how valid it is. The two verbs in the forms that they are in, apart from the vowel points, could be mistaken for one another—that is, two of their letters are commonly mis-written in Scripture for two other letters—indicating that it is possible that we should have a repetition of the verb as well. Although I doubt this, I mention it, as you would not notice it in the English. Now, as for giving this some kind of understandable and literal translation, forget about it. Literally, what we have is: You [all] will not multiply; you [all] will [not] talk high high. It might be taken as two separate sentences smooshed together with one negative which applies to them both, giving us: You will not multiply [your] height [pride]; you will [not] talk proudly. There was a lot of cheating going on with that translation. First of all, high is almost always found in connection with mountains and very rarely do we find it meaning proud or prideful. However, we do have some exceptions (Psalm 138:6 Isa. 5:15). These two exceptions allow us to view this word more metaphorically than we would otherwise. Because of the meter of the psalm, and because of the similarity of thought, these are placed together as one sentence, although we could reasonably separate them into two.


Here are some of the less literal renderings of the first portion of this verse:

The Less Literal Translations of 1Sam. 2:3a

NAB                                       “Speak boastfully no longer,...

NJB                                        Do not keep talking so proudly,...

NLT                                Stop acting so proud and haughty!

REB                                       ‘Cease our proud boasting...’

TEV                                       Stop your loud boasting.


Chapter Outline Part I

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part I

Chapter Outline Part II

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part II


What appears to be the case is that the negative plus the verb râbâh means stop [whatever]; so an even more likely rendering would be: “You [all] stop continuing to speak [with] great arrogance.” This makes a great deal of sense in the English and does not do much damage to the Hebrew. This is a common theme of Scripture as well (see Psalm 94:4 Prov. 8:13 Isa. 37:23 Dan. 4:30–31, 37 Mal. 3:13 Jude 1:15–16)


The psalm is a prayer which is said to God in the Tent of God, and in the first half of this verse, notes that we cannot approach God in pride or in the swelling of our self worth. God is not impressed by our personal greatness or our personal morality on any level. It is nothing to Him. Anything in our life that can be truly classified as great came from Him. So we have no reason to boast before Him; we have nothing which commends us to Him. McGee: Sometimes we hear people ask, “Why didn’t God hear my prayer?” To be quite frank, why should He? What claim do you have on Him? If you have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour, you have a wonderful claim on God, and you can come to Him in the name of Jesus Christ. As His children we have His right and claim. Footnote That we have nothing to bring to God or nothing that we can offer Him is a common theme in Scripture. Our salvation is not by works, but by His grace (Eph. 2:8–9).


1Samuel 2:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâtsâ (אָצָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to go out, to come out, to come forth; to rise; to flow, to gush up [out]

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

׳âthâq (קָתָע) [pronounced ģaw-THAWK]

forward, arrogant [of speech]; bold, impudent, at least, according to BDB

masculine singular adjective

Strong’s #6277 BDB #801

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

peh (ה) [pronounced peh]

mouth [of man, animal; as an organ of speech]; opening, orifice [of a river, well, etc.]; edge; extremity, end

masculine singular noun with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6310 BDB #804


Translation: Unrestrained [or, arrogant] [speech] comes forth from your mouths... The second line begins with to go out, to come out, to come forth. This is followed by the masculine singular adjective forward, arrogant [of speech], at least, according to (BDB definitions) or bold, impudent, impudently (Gesenius definitions). It is actually a relative rare word in Scripture, being found only in 1Sam. 2:3 Psalm 31:19 75:6 94:4.* Its verbal cognate means to move, to proceed, to advance, to move forward. This word generally refers to speech or words which move straight ahead, which proceed with very little thought or restraint; the Arabic equivalent appears to mean unrestrained. After this, we have from your mouth, which gives us: Unrestrained [speech] comes forth from your mouth. Your is plural. In the English, we would say, Unrestrained [speech] comes from your mouths. The plural suffix with the singular noun just isn’t what we do in English.


I should add that, in the English, we would have switched v. 3a and v. 3b around. In our way of thinking, we would say, “Unrestrained arrogance comes out of your mouth; you need to stop speaking with arrogance.” The Hebrew writing style is often the opposite of our thinking process. We might get the idea more readily if we think of it in this way: Stop continually speaking in great arrogance [because] you put no restraints upon that which comes out of your mouths.


One parallel verse comes from Psalm 94, which is an imprecatory psalm, the kind of psalm that most pastors ignore, but should not. We all have enemies, whether we want them or not. We have individual enemies, we have criminals who are our enemies, and there are some foreign peoples who are our enemies. We are not able to simply lash out at our enemies—particularly, our personal ones. However, God gives us an out—Him. God allows us to come to Him in prayer and He will deal with our enemies. Psalm 94 deals primarily with the enemies of Israel, and the psalmist writes: How long will the wicked, O Jehovah, how long will the wicked jubilate? They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly. All who do wickedness vaunt themselves (Psalm 94:3–4). Another parallel passage is Psalm 31:18: Let the lying lips be dumb, [those lying lips] which speak arrogantly against the righteous with pride and contempt. Psalm 75:4–5: I said to the boastful, “Do not boast.” And to the wicked, “Do not lift up the horn. Do not lift up your horn on high. Do not speak with insolent pride.” See also Psalm 73:8 94:4 Mal. 3:13 Jude 15.


We can, of course, simply apply the first half of this verse to Peninnah; however, what follows in the next verse indicates that there is a more universal application than that.


1Samuel 2:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

Êl (ל ֵא) [pronounced ALE]

God, god, mighty one, strong, hero

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #410 BDB #42

dê׳âh (הָע̤) [pronounced day-ĢAW]

knowledge, knowing

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #1844 BDB #395

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...for a God of [all] knowledge [is] Yehowah... Knowledge is a rare word, showing up for the first time in Scripture right here (actually, it is found in Job 36:4 prior to this). Thieme identifies this noun with omniscience. Scofield appears to agree, as Scofield ties this passage to 1Sam. 16:7 where God looks at the heart of a man, rather than on the outside. We find allusions to God’s knowledge, be it foreknowledge or omniscience, throughout Scripture: “Then hear in heaven, Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men.” (1Kings 8:39). “As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for Jehovah searches all hearts and He understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” (I Chron. 28:9). O Jehovah, You have searched me and You have known me; You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thoughts from afar. You scrutinize my path and my sleeping and You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, observe, O Jehovah, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before and You have lain Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too incredible to me—it is too high—I cannot attain it (Psalm 139:1–6). See also 1Kings 8:39 2Chron. 6:30 Psalm 44:21, 94:7-10, 147:5 Prov. 15:11 Jer. 11:20 17:10 Heb. 4:12 Rev. 2:23.


Now, how does this relate to the previous part of this verse? God first tells us (through Hannah) to stop speaking with great arrogance because we are unrestrained in what we say; and then He tells us that He is a God of knowledge. What is the deal? How are these two thoughts related? God is omniscient. He knows that you have nothing to brag about; God knows you have nothing to be arrogant about.


Application: We have no reason to be arrogant and we have no reason to speak from our arrogance, because God knows us inside and out. He is a God of knowledge. By the way, speaking arrogantly does not mean that you stand tall and speak dogmatically. Arrogance means you either disregard God’s Words (which can make you sound very humble, when you say, this could be true, or that could be true) or you stand on your own authority.


Example: Let me give you an example of extreme arrogance. I was recently exchanging views with some people online, and they present this picture of Jesus which is completely and totally different from the Jesus in Scripture. That is arrogance. They make up things about Who Jesus is, and, at the same time, reject clear Scripture which tells us Who He is. They wanted to present Jesus as a great moral teacher. That is arrogance. Jesus cannot be seen as a great moral teacher. There is nothing in Scripture which would allow for that.


1Samuel 2:3d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

tâkan (ן-כָ) [pronounced taw-KAHN]

to be made even, to be leveled; to be weighed; to be regulated; to be measured

3rd person plural, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #8505 BDB #1067

׳ălîylâh (הָלי̣לֱע) [pronounced al-ee-LAW]

actions, deeds, evil or bad deeds [actions, works]; wanton acts

feminine plural noun with a 3rd person

Strong’s #5949 BDB #760

Since this word is used of God in Psalm 9:11, we may want to go with a more neutral connotation.


Translation: ...and, with respect to Him, actions are measured [or, (evil) actions are not measured].’ The final line is very difficult. This verse begins with the wâw conjunction, the negative and the 3rd person plural, Niphal perfect of to regulate, to measure, to estimate. What is measured, regulated or estimated is the feminine plural noun wantonness, [evil] deeds, actions. It is a difficult word to determine a meaning for. It is used to refer to actions of God in Psalm 9:11; so I will go with the more neutral rendering actions. Now, this verb and noun are not found at all in the books of Samuel; they are found in this verse only, and several times in Ezekiel. Some of the words are found in various other passages of poetry. The point is, this vocabulary, apart from it being poetry and not prose, is not the vocabulary of this chapter of Samuel. It is as though another author is writing this portion, which, in fact, is what is happening. This is no great revelation; it just confirms what we would expect. A different writer will have a different vocabulary and a different writing style.


And actions are not measured. I must admit that this final line makes little or no sense to me in the Hebrew. It is the negative which is the problem here, which is lô (אֹל) [pronounced low], and it means not, no. This generally negates the word immediately following it. The Massorah Footnote suggests that this is one of the passages where אֹל stands for ל (which means, to Him). Now, I don’t know if the suggestion is that this was an error in transmission or whether this was a reasonable substitution—I simply got this notion out of Keil and Delitzsch, Footnote which is where I go when a passage is giving me a tough time. What that would give us is: to Him rather than a negative. To Him [or, with respect to Him], actions are weighed. I am not aware of any translation, including the very literal Young’s Translation, which renders this as a negative. Rotherham footnotes this line, but does not give the alternate version of what is found in the Massoretic text. However, Rotherham tells us that this is how it should be read (without the negative) and says that it is both written and read in this way in one early printed edition and in the Aramaic. Owen tells us that it is a negative, but does not translate it as a negative.


Now, how does this all fit together? God tells us to stop speaking arrogantly, to not let this arrogance proceed from our mouths because God knows all about us—He knows that we are not the great person that we think we are; God has weighed our actions; He knows what we have done.


A parallel passage to this final line is Prov. 24:12, which ties this back to God’s omniscience. If you say, “see, we did not know this,” does He not consider Who weighs the hearts And does He not know Who keeps your soul? And will He not render to a man according to his works? God is able to weigh or to measure all that a man is because God is able to observe all that a man is, on the inside and the outside. See also Prov. 16:2.

 

Hannah has made four observations about God’s character so far, which Matthew Henry sums up: (1.) His unspotted purity. This is that attribute which is most praised in the upper world, by those that always behold his face (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8). When Israel triumphed over the Egyptians God was praised as glorious in holiness (Ex. 15:11). So here, in Hannah's triumph, There is none holy as the Lord. It is the rectitude of his nature, his infinite agreement with himself, and the equity of his government and judgment in all the administrations of both. At the remembrance of this we ought to give thanks. (2.) His almighty power: Neither is there any rock (or any strength, for so the word is sometimes rendered) like our God. Hannah had experienced a mighty support by staying herself upon him, and therefore speaks as she had found. (3.) His unsearchable wisdom: The Lord, the Judge of all, is a God of knowledge; he clearly and perfectly sees into the character of every person and the merits of every cause, and he gives knowledge and understanding to those that seek them of him. (4.) His unerring justice: By him actions are weighed. His own are so, in his eternal counsels; the actions of the children of men are so, in the balances of his judgment, so that he will render to every man according to his work, and is not mistaken in what any man is or does. Footnote


Bows of soldiers [are] shattered [and dismayed] ones;

and exhausted ones gird on strength.

1Samuel

2:4

The bows of [enemy] soldiers are shattered [and dismayed];

those who are exhausted put on [God’s] strength.

The bows of enemy soldiers have been destroyed,

yet those who are exhausted are armed with God’s strength.


Although this could continue the quotation of above, that is not absolutely necessary. Furthermore, we leave the 2nd person plural, which leaves that particular train of thought.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Bows of soldiers [are] shattered [and dismayed] ones;

and exhausted ones gird on strength.

Peshitta                                 The bows of the might men are broken, and they that are weak are girded with strength.

Septuagint                             The bow of the mighty has waxed feeble, and the weak have girded themselves with strength.

 

Significant differences:          This sounds as though the Greek translators made a thought-for-thought translation again (which is common for the book of Samuel).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

BBE                                       The bows of the men of war are broken, and the feeble are clothed with strength.

CEV                                       Our LORD, you break the bows of warriors, but you give strength to everyone who stumbles.

The Message                         The weapons of the strong are smashed to pieces, while the weak are infused with fresh strength.

NLT                                Those who were mighty are mighty no more; and those who were weak are now strong.

REB                                       Strong men stand in mute dismay, but those who faltered put on new strength.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumble are armed with strength.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The bows of the mighty are broken, And the faltering are girded with strength.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

HCSB                                    The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength.

Young's Updated LT              Bows of the mighty are broken, And the stumbling have girded on strength.


What is the gist of this verse? The weapons of the strong are destroyed; those who were weak are strengthened.


1Samuel 2:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

qesheth (ת∵ש∵ק) [pronounced KEH-sheth]

bow; bowman, archer; strength, power; rainbow

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #7198 BDB #905

gibbôwr (ר  ̣) [pronounced gib-BOAR]

strong men, mighty men, soldiers

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1368 BDB #150

chath (ת-ח) [pronounced khahth]

broken, shattered; fearful, dismayed, confounded

masculine singular adjective (also a noun)

Strong’s #2844 BDB #369


Translation: The bows of [enemy] soldiers are shattered [and dismayed];... This verse begins with bows of soldiers (or, strong, mighty men). Then we have the masculine plural adjective shattered, dismayed, confounded. This means that Hannah is clearly not talking about her personal rival, Peninnah.


The idea here is that God’s strength is so great, that those who oppose him have no chance. This comes from a verb which has these same two meanings and both are apropos. God’s strength shatters the weapons of His enemies; however, further, those who oppose Him are dismayed. A phrase like the bows of the mighty is a metonym, and it actually stands for the soldiers themselves. In other words, we are not speaking of some force which comes along and literally breaks into pieces the bows of the enemy archers; it is the enemy soldiers themselves who are destroyed in battle. The adjective is a perfect choice here, as it carries with it the two meanings. Footnote The bows of the soldiers are broken; and the soldiers themselves are dismayed and confounded. It is marvelous poetry, allowing for both a literal reading on the one hand, and a metonymic Footnote reading on the other.


1Samuel 2:4

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kashal (לַשָ) [pronounced kaw-SHAHL]

to have stumbled [staggered, teetered]; metaphorically to be made wretched

masculine plural, Niphal participle

Strong’s #3782 BDB #505

The idea here is, not soldiers who are feeble, but those who are on the verge of total exhaustion; they are caused to stumble, stagger or teeter because of being battle weary.

ârar (ר-זָא) [pronounced aw-ZAHR]

to bind around, to put on something [around you], to gird, to encompass, to equip; to surround

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #247 BDB #25

chayil (ל̣יַח) [pronounced CHAH-yil]

army, strength, valour, power, might; efficiency; and that which is gotten through strength—wealth, substance

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2428 BDB #298


Translation: ...those who are exhausted put on [God’s] strength. The second line begins with the conjunction and the masculine plural, Niphal participle of a ver which means to stumble, stagger, teeter. This sort of construction allows for this word to act like a noun and describes those who are on the verge of total exhaustion.


This is followed by the 3rd person plural, Qal perfect of to gird, to encompass, to equip. What the weakened and exhausted are equipped with is the masculine singular noun strength, valour, power, might. This gives us: ...those who are exhausted put on [God’s] strength. Isa. 40:31 gives us an excellent parallel passage: Yet those who wait for Jehovah will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles; they will run and not get tired; they will walk and not become weary. Isa. 57:10: “You were tired out by the length of your road, but you did not say, ‘It is hopeless.’ You found renewed strength—therefore, you did not faint.”


In war, God functions in two areas—He gives us strength in order to fight, and He takes from our opposition: For you have clothed me with strength for battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me (Psalm 18:39). We have specific examples given in the Hall of Faith of Heb. 11, vv. 32–34: And what more will I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power o fire, escaped the edge of the sword. From weakness, they were made strong; they became mighty in war and put foreign armies to flight. See also 2Sam. 1:27 Psalm 76:3.


Psalm 37:15, 17 provide us with a parallel passage to this entire verse: Their sword will enter their own heart, and their bows will be broken. For the arms of the wicked will be shattered, but Jehovah sustains the righteous.


Although some have tried to tie this to specific groups of Israel’s enemies, there just isn’t enough information here to single out any group. I think this is more of a general statement and one which would have had to apply from the standpoint of history, rather than the near future, as the near future for Israel was going to be rather bumpy and Israel was not going to immediately vanquish all of her enemies. Footnote


Those satiated in the bread have been hired out;

and hungry ones have ceased.

Unto a barren [woman], she has given birth [to] seven

and a woman of sons is forlorn.

1Samuel

2:5

Those [previously] sated with food have been hired out

and [those who are] hungry have ceased.

A barren woman has given birth to seven

but a woman with sons languishes.

Those who were previously taken care of with respect their daily needs have had to hire themselves out to afford a meal;

yet those who were formerly hungry have ceased to be hungry.

A previously barren woman, on the one hand, suddenly gives birth to seven

but a woman with many sons languishes.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         They that were full before, have hired out themselves for bread:

and the hungry are filled,

so that the barren hath borne many:

and she that had many children is weakened.

Masoretic Text                       Those satiated in the bread have been hired out;

and hungry ones have ceased.

Unto a barren [woman], she has given birth [to] seven

and a woman of sons is forlorn.

Peshitta                                 Those who were full have hired out themselves for bread;

and those who were hungry have food left over;

the barren has given birth and is satisfied,

and she who has many children is lonely.

Septuagint                             They that were full of bread are brought low;

and the hungry have forsaken the land;

for the barren has born seven,

and she that abounded in children has waxed feeble.

 

Significant differences:          The text of the Latin, Hebrew and Syriac seems to make more sense than that which we find in the Greek. Everything has been turned around. Those who were wealthy are now hiring themselves out to be able to eat and those who were hungry are now filled (or they cease working). The second half of this verse is pretty much identical, except in the Greek when the woman who had a lot of children has become feeble; the other texts make more sense.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

BBE                                       Those who were full are offering themselves as servants for bread; those who were in need are at rest; truly, she who had no children has become the mother of seven; and she who had a family is wasted with sorrow.

CEV                                       People who once had plenty to eat must now hire themselves out for only a piece of bread. But you give the hungry more than enough to eat. A woman did not have a child, and you gave her seven, but a woman who had many was left with none.

The Message                         The well-fed are out begging in the streets for crusts, while the hungry are getting second helpings. The barren woman has a houseful of children, while the mother of many is bereft.

NJB                                        The full fed are hiring themselves out for bread

but the hungry need labour no more;

the barren woman bears sevenfold

but the mother of many is left desolate.

REB                                       Those who had plenty sell themselves for a crust,

and the hungry grow strong again.

The barren woman bears seven children,

and the mother of many sons is left to languish.

TEV                                       The people who once were well fed now ire themselves out to get food, but the hungry are hungry no more. The childless wife has borne seven children, but the mother of many is left with none.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Those who were well-fed hire themselves out for a piece of bread, but those who were hungry hunger no more. Even the woman who was childless gives birth to seven children, but the mother of many children grieves all alone.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Men once sated must hire out for bread,

Men once hungry hunger no more.

While the barren woman bears seven,

The mother of many is forlorn.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

Updated Emphasized Bible   ║The sated║ have for bread taken hire,

But ║the famished║ have left off their toil,—

So that ║the barren║ hath given birth unto seven,

While ║she that hath many sons║ languishes.

HNV                                       Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread. Those who were hungry have ceased [to hunger]. Yes, the barren has borne seven. She who has many children languishes.

Young’s Updated LT             The satiated for bread hired themselves,

And the hungry have ceased.

While the barren has borne seven,

And she abounding with sons has languished.


What is the gist of this verse? Everything has been turned around. Those who were wealthy are now hiring themselves out to be able to eat and those who were hungry are now filled (or they cease working). Women who were barren, suddenly have an abundance of children and those who had man sons are now languishing without support from these sons.


The previous verse began a set of transpositions. The strong in battle became neutralized; the formerly weak were given God’s strength. One might even assert that the theme of this psalm is a reversal of fortune at the hands of God, which is very much in keeping with Hannah’s own personal experience.


In this verse, we have a similar reversal—those who have had all of their physical needs met without work have suddenly had to go to work; those who worked, yet remained hungry because they could not make enough to support themselves—they no longer have to work. Women who were once barren, suddenly found themselves having children; a woman who was seemingly fertile inexplicably stopped having children.


1Samuel 2:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

sâbêa׳ ( ַעֵבָ) [pronounced saw-bVAY-ahģ]

those fill with, those who are satiated

masculine plural adjective

Strong’s #7649 BDB #960

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

lechem (םחל) [pronounced LEH-khem]

literally means bread; used more generally for food

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #3899 BDB #536

sâkar (ר-כָ) [pronounced saw-KAHR]

to hire; to recompense; to bribe

3rd person plural, Niphal perfect, pausal form

Strong’s #7936 BDB #968


Translation: Those [previously] sated with food have been hired out... We begin with the masculine plural adjective those fill with, those who are satiated. This is followed by in the bread or by means of the bread. Then we have the 3rd person plural, Niphal perfect of to be hired out, to have been hired, to be recompensed. This gives us: Those [formerly] satiated with food have been hired. The idea here is that there are a group of those who have been prosperous, they have enough money and food and they have been the ones to do the hiring. Now they find themselves being hired out as they do not have enough to get by.


1Samuel 2:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

râ׳êb (ב̤ע ָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAYBV]

those who are hungry, the hungry ones, the ravenous, the starving, the hungry

masculine plural adjective

Strong’s #7457 BDB #944

châdal (לַדָח) [pronounced khaw-DAHL]

to cease and desist, to leave off, to cease, to leave, to forsake

3rd person plural, Qal perfect, pausal form

Strong’s #2308 BDB #292


Translation: ...and [those who are] hungry have ceased. The parallel line begins with the wâw conjunction and the masculine plural adjective those who are hungry, the hungry ones, the ravenous, the starving, the hungry. This is followed by the 3rd person plural, Qal perfect of to cease and desist, to leave off, to cease, to leave, to forsake. This is a word given many different renderings in the KJV: ceased, left, forbear, were unoccupied, leave, forsake, left off, have failed (and these are all Qal renderings). Gesenius renders this to leave off, to cease, to desist; as well as to forsake, to leave. The parallelism would imply that they have ceased being hungry. The starving ones have ceased [starving]. The pausal form of this verb means that this is the end of this line.


The key to this half of the verse is one’s relationship to God. Certainly, there are men who are rich beyond imagination—they have worked hard for a long time; they have been involved in some shady business practices; their decisions are generally based strictly upon income. However, apart from a relationship with God, this will all be for naught. Have you ever accumulated wealth or several material items in your dreams and when you wake up, it’s all gone? This is what death will be like for the unsaved rich man. This poor man cried out and Jehovah heard him and delivered him out of all his troubles. The angel of Jehovah encamps around those who fear Him and He rescues them. Taste and see that Jehovah is good—how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Fear Jehovah, you His saints, for to those who fear Him, there is no want. The young lions do lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek Jehovah will not be in want of any good thing (Psalm 34:6–10). Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. Your gold and your silver have rusted, and their rust will be a witness against you and will consume your flesh like fire. It is in the last days that you have stored up your treasure (James 5:1–3).


Again, we find a parallel in the Magnificat:

1Sam. 2:5a

Luke 1:53

‘Those once sated with food have been hired out

and [those who are] hungry have ceased.’

“He has filled the hungry with good things;

and He sent the rich away empty-handed.”


Return to the Parallels of Hannah’s Psalm

Return to the Chart Index


I want you to understand what Hannah is saying. The tables have been turned and God did it. We may think that there is a particular pecking order in life and we will find out that we had it backwards. There are celebrities and sports stars and the rich whose talent, beauty and wealth will, for all eternity, mean nothing. In the hierarchy of eternity, they will be on the bottom if they have not believed in the Messiah Jesus. They will burn in hell forever. The less-attractive, the uncoordinated, those who struggled to make ends meet—if they have believed in Jesus Christ, their faith at a bare minimum places them face to face with the Messiah. Had they any works done while filled with God the Holy Spirit, then they can only go up from eternal happiness and blessing. Hannah had the feeling of this pecking order in the Elkanah household. Her co-wife, Peninnah, apparently provoked her in jealousy (1Sam. 1:6); so this is not simply sour grapes that we are speaking of here. Not only will her position in the household of Elkanah change, but so will her position in all of Israel. She will bear a child whose life is inextricably linked to kingdom Israel. On Samuel’s shoulders, by his guidance, Israel will go from being a nation without a king, ruled locally by various judges, to a world power ruled by kings. Notice how things changed for Hannah and Peninnah. The only reason Peninnah is mentioned at all in 1Sam. 1 is because she is the co-wife with Hannah. Remove that relationship and Peninnah would not even be a footnote in Israel’s history. The point of this is that God, in His matchless grace, turned their social positions completely around. Whereas Peninnah would have thought that she would be long remembered for bearing all these children and for these children bearing her name, so to speak, for hundreds of years; Hannah has one child and we recall him, and therefore his mother, for millenniums.


The same will be true of Israel and her enemies. At the time, the enemies of Israel loomed large over Israel, and they would continue to do so for some time into the future. However, now, 3000 years later, we only recall the names of those other nations because they are a footnote in the history of Israel.


1Samuel 2:5c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳ad (דַע) [pronounced ģahd]

as far as, even to, up to, until

preposition

Strong’s #5704 BDB #723

׳âqâr (ר ָקָע) [pronounced ģaw-KAWR]

barren, sterile

feminine singular, adjective

Strong’s #6135 BDB #785

yâlad (דַלָי) [pronounced yaw-LAHD]

to give birth, to bear, to be born, to bear, to bring forth, to beget

3rd person feminine singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3205 BDB #408

shibe׳âh (הָעב̣ש) [pronounced shibve-ĢAW]

seven

numeral feminine numeral

Strong's #7651 BDB #987


Translation: A barren woman has given birth to seven... Then we have the preposition as far as, even to, up to, until. Then we have the feminine singular adjective barren, which refers specifically to Hannah. She was the barren one, and here the word is used as a substantive. This is followed by the feminine singular, Qal perfect of the verb to bear, to be born, to bear, to bring forth, to beget. Then we have the feminine singular numeral seven. In this case, it refers to bearing seven children, the number seven bearing with it the connotation of perfection or completion (see Ruth 4:15, for instance). We are not necessarily speaking of a woman bearing literally seven children; the idea is that she has borne a complete and almost ideal, family. As far as the barren one, she bears seven [children]. We find a parallel to this portion of the verse in Psalm 113:9a: He makes the barren woman to dwell [in a state of blessing] in the house as a joyful mother of children. Hannah is not speaking necessarily of herself directly in this verse. As mentioned, the number seven is associated with God’s complete will and blessing, so it is metaphorical in nature rather than specific. Hannah will have 6 children in all (see v. 21). This is not a mistaken prophecy but a general statement of God’s perfect blessing upon His faithful but barren ones. Six is the number of man, so a blessing from God would not be expressed in terms of 6 of anything (on the other hand, we do have the 6 worst sins in the book of Proverbs).


1Samuel 2:5d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rabbâh (הָַר) [pronounced rahb-BAW]

many, much, great (in the sense of large or significant, not acclaimed)

feminine singular adjective construct

Strong's #7227 BDB #912

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

âmal (ל-מָא) [pronounced aw-MAHL]

to be weak, to languish; to droop; to be sad; [a land] having been laid waste to

3rd person feminine singular, Pual perfect; pausal form

Strong’s #535 BDB #51


Translation: ...but a woman with sons languishes. Our contrasting line begins with the wâw conjunction and the feminine singular adjective construct many, much, great. This is followed by the masculine plural noun sons. Then we have our verb, the 3rd person feminine singular, Pual perfect to be weak, to languish. The Pual is the passive of the Piel (intensive) stem. And [one] many of sons has been made to languish. This is a state brought on by something beyond that person’s control. God turns a lot of what we see and perceive upside down. In the next verse, Hannah will state the power and authority of God, and then after that, give more examples of the changes which God makes. We find a parallel to this spoken by the Lord is Isa. 54:1: “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed in labor, for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says Jehovah. When Israel is in a state of war while under judgment, a woman with many sons is no better off than one without. “I will bereave them of children; I will destroy My people; they did not change their mind about their ways...She who bore seven sons pines away—her breathing is labored. Her sun has set while it was yet day; she has been shamed and humiliated. So I will give over their survivors to the sword before their enemies,” declares Jehovah (Jer. 15:7b, 9). The idea in the ancient world, and less so today, is that a mother could depend upon her sons for sustenance when she became old. In fact, the general life cycle would be taking her sons into the most successful period of their lives as she simultaneously would reach a point of greatest need.


We have a few additional parallel passages. There is a parallel in the Magnificat, which was already noted above. Our Lord spoke the most well-known parallel passage: “But many who are first will be last; and the last, first.” (Mark 10:31). Our Lord spoke of this in the context of divine reward for our work here on this earth; however, God’s overruling will is a constant in this life, and Hannah has simply given us a few examples.

 

Matthew Henry comments on this verse: Riches are not to men of understanding, nor favour to men of skill (Eccles. 9:11), nor is it always men's own fault that they become poor, but (1Sam. 2:7) the Lord makes some poor and makes others rich; the impoverishing of one is the enriching of another, and it is God's doing. To some he gives power to get wealth, from others he takes away power to keep the wealth they have. Are we poor? God made us poor, which is a good reason why we should be content, and reconcile ourselves to our condition. Are we rich? God made us rich, which is a good reason why we should be thankful, and serve him cheerfully in the abundance of good things he gives us. It may be understood of the same person; those that were rich God makes poor, and after awhile makes rich again, as Job; he gave, he takes away, and then gives again. Let not the rich be proud and secure, for God can soon make them poor; let not the poor despond and despair, for God can in due time enrich them again. Footnote


Yehowah executing and making alive;

Causing to bring down to Sheol and so causing to ascend.

1Samuel

2:6

Yehowah kills and He brings to life;

He brings down to Sheol then He brings up.

Jehovah kills and He brings to life;

He takes man down to the grave and into the underworld; and then He brings them up again.


Throughout, Hannah has been speaking of God’s sovereignty, and therefore, His ability to reverse fortunes. In this verse, she speaks of his absolute sovereignty over even life and death. This verse concentrates on God’s authority over all things:


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Yehowah executing and making alive;

Causing to bring down to Sheol and so causing to ascend.

Septuagint                             The Lord kills and makes alive;

he brings down to the grave, and brings up.

 

Significant differences:          None (finally!).


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       You take away life, and you give life. You send people down to the world of the dead and bring them back up again.

NLT                                The Lord brings both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up.

REB                                       ‘The Lord metes out both death and life; he sends down to Sheol, he can bring the dead up again.

TEV                                       The Lord kills and restores to life; he sends people to the world of the dead and brings them back again.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

BBE                                       The Lord is the giver of death and life: sending men down to the underworld and lifting them up.

God’s Word                         "The LORD kills, and he gives life. He makes people go down to the grave, and he raises them up again.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The Lord deals death and gives life, Casts down into Sheol and raises up.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

HCSB                                    The LORD brings death and gives life; He sends some to Sheol, and He raises others up.

Young's Updated LT              Jehovah puts to death, and keeps alive, He brings down to Sheol, and brings up.


What is the gist of this verse? Jehovah has the power over life and death; He can take men down to Sheol (the place of the dead) and bring men up from Sheol.


1Samuel 2:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to kill, to cause to die, to put to death, to execute

Hiphil participle

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

châyâh (הָיָח) [pronounced khaw-YAW]

to cause to live, to make alive; to keep alive; to call back to life; to restore life

Piel participle

Strong's #2421 & #2425 BDB #310


Translation: Yehowah kills and He brings to life;... First of all, there are a bunch of participles in this verse (4 of them), which grabs our attention. Luckily, in this verse, what we have is fairly straightforward. We begin this verse and the next with Yehowah. The verb is the Hiphil participle of to kill, to destroy, to put to death, to execute. Now, you might be thinking, doesn’t the Bible say, “Thou shalt not kill”? Don’t be such an idiot! God has all of the facts and He can remove anyone from this life at any time by any means. Furthermore, undiscerning one, the words are different. In the Decalogue, it actually reads: You will not murder. It is a different verb altogether. They are not even cognates—in fact, they do not have any letters in common, even vowels. I recall going to a liberal Baptist church in Berkeley one Sunday morning and having the Bible teacher turn to the Ten Commandments and totally go off on this commandment saying, “And there are no exceptions. The Bible says Do not kill and that’s it.” He was so wrong, I could barely contain myself—however, at that time, I was a lot less argumentative, so I just let it go. Throughout the Mosaic Law, there are numerous occasions where God prescribes execution for a litany of offenses—in fact, for offenses which we might consider to be not so offensive as to warrant execution. However, we are not God, and we do not realize how destructive these offenses can be. In any case, God has the power and the authority to execute anyone; He has the power and authority to remove us from this life.


Then we have the wâw conjunction followed by the Piel participle of to live, to have life, to revive, to recover health, to be healed, to be refreshed. In the Piel, this verb means ➊ to cause to live, to make alive; ➋ to keep alive; ➌ to call back to life; to restore life. Strong's #2421 & 2425 BDB #310. This gives us: Yehowah kills and he causes life. As Job put it: “Jehovah has given and Jehovah has taken away. Blessed be the name of Jehovah.” (Job 1:21b).

 

McGee: Only God has the power to give life, and only He has the right to take it away. Until you ane I have the power to give life, we have no right to take life away. So far, only God has that power. Believe me, God will take the...[responsibility] for the deaths of Ananias and Sapphire in Acts 5. He does not apologize for the fact that He intends to judge the wicked...God does not apologize for what He does. Why? Because this is His universe; we are His creatures; He is running the universe His way. McGee continues: Not long ago I talked to a young university student who had received Christ as Saviour but who was still unwilling to accept many things. I said to him, “If you do not like the way God has worked out His plan of salvation, and you don’t like the things He is doing, you can go off somewhere and make your own universe, set up your own rules, and run it your own way. But as long as you are in God’s universe, you are going to have to do things His way.”  Footnote


We certainly have a number of parallel passages throughout Scripture on this, which is a further testament to God’s sovereignty. “See now that I, I am He and there is no god besides Me—I put to death and I give life. I have wounded and I heal and there is no one who can deliver from My hand.” (Deut. 32:39). “Do not be afraid—I am the First and the Last and the Living One and I was dead; and behold, I am alive forevermore and I have the keys of death and of Hades.” (Rev. 1:17b–18). See also 2Kings 5:7.


1Samuel 2:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yârad (ד ַר ָי) [pronounced yaw-RAHD]

to cause to go down, to cause to come down, to bring down, to lead down

Hiphil participle

Strong’s #3381 BDB #432

Sheôl (לֹא ׃ש or לא ׃ש) [pronounced Sheol]

Hades, hell; underworld, grave; [properly] a hollowed out place; transliterated Sheol;

proper singular feminine noun

Strong’s #7585 BDB #982

Sheol is the underworld, for the unseen world of souls which have passed away and it is a reference to the underworld for both believers and unbelievers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

Hiphil participle

Strong's #5927 BDB #748


Translation: ...He brings down to Sheol then He brings up. In the second line, we have the Hiphil participle of to cause to go down, to cause to come down, to bring down. It is often used of going from a higher elevation to a lower elevation, which is what is in view here. This is followed by the proper noun Sheol, Footnote followed by the wâw consecutive and the 3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect of to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up. This gives us: Causing to bring down [to] Sheol and so He brings up.


Now, we might simply breeze by this second half, but what Hannah says here is remarkable. We do not simply having God cause some men to be brought down and others to be brought up; the implication with the change of the verb forms (to the Hiphil imperfect) and the wâw consecutive is that, we could be speaking of the same person or persons being brought down to Sheol and then back up again. My thinking is that this is brand new to Scripture. We haven’t had something like this before mentioned. We certainly know that God is capable of bringing one down to Sheol; we also know that God is able to make one raise up—that is, improve their life in this life and even to bring them up to Himself; however, the idea here is that God brings someone down to Sheol and then it appears as though He is bringing him back up again from Sheol. What we would expect is another participle which follows a wâw conjunction along with maybe even a destination, e.g., heaven. However, Hannah tells us that God brings down to Sheol and then He brings that same one up again. This is unexpected, but it is progressive revelation provided by the co-author of this psalm, God the Holy Spirit. It is not odd that God chose Hannah to say this—her son, Samuel, will be brought back up from the dead at the end of 1Samuel.


Our Lord will be brought down to Sheol after He is crucified and then God will bring Him back up again. The Old Testament saints have been brought down into Sheol (into a compartment called Abraham’s bosom) and they will be brought up again when God resurrects them. This great truth is brought to us by a woman who wrote this psalm inspired by the Holy Spirit.


The psalmist also speaks of God’s eventual redemption of the body of the believer: As the pregnant woman approaches giving birth, she writhes and cries out in her labor pains—thus we were before You, O Jehovah. We were pregnant , we writhed in labor, we have birth, as it were, but to wind. We could not accomplish deliverance for the earth nor were inhabitants of the world born. Your dead will live. Their corpses will rise. You who lie in the dust, awake and shout for joy, for your dew is as the dew of the dawn and the earth will give birth to the departed spirits (Isa. 26:17–19). And He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones lives?” And I answered, “O Jehovah Elohim, You know.” Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel...Behold, I will open your graves and I will cause you to come up out of your graves, My people, and I will return you to the land of Israel.” (Ezek. 37:3, 11–12). Resurrection is not a major topic in the Old Testament, although it is found there. It does not assume the prominence of this topic in the New Testament. In fact, one religious body of unbelievers during the time of Jesus, the Sadducees, did not believe in the resurrection. However, the simple fact that is mentioned tells us that there were those who believed in the Old Testament and believed in the resurrection. My point in all of this is that the resurrection is taught in the Old Testament, albeit briefly; and in this psalm of Hannah, we find a clear mention of God taking one down to Sheol and then bringing him back up again, which is bodily resurrection.


I should add that resurrection was a part of the psyche of the Old Testament believers, going all the way back to the Patriarch Joseph. Even though he assumed a great position of authority in Egypt and could have enjoyed a tremendous Egyptian memorial at his death, he chose to remain in an above ground, moveable casket, so that when Israel was removed from Egypt to the Land of Promise, the bones of Joseph could be taken with them. Not only was this a testimony of Joseph’s faith in God’s promises to Israel concerning the Land of Promise, but he was also making a statement that his bones should be in the Land of Promise so that when God raised him from the dead, he would be raised up in the Land of Promise. This showed remarkable faith, understanding and foresight on the part of Joseph, who stands out as one of the great believers of the book of Genesis. My point in all of this is that believers back to the time of Joseph had some understanding of the final resurrection. However, this is the first time that this has been clearly presented in Scripture.


One of the marvelous doctrines of Scripture is that it is God-breathed. That is, although there were many human authors (the number of which is generally under-reported), there is one Divine Author, and He provides the consistency of doctrine. The two major theological branches in the time of our Lord could not agree upon the existence of the resurrection; but the Bible has no problem here. It consistently teaches that we will be raised up on the last day. And, although such an issue was apparently one of great debate accompanied by great emotion in the time of the incarnation, this is not a debatable issue in Scripture. That is, of all the many writers of Scripture, we don’t have any two of them disagreeing about the resurrection. If this were a book written simply by men, such a topic would certainly be presented in two ways by two different factions; however, since the Bible is God-breathed, there are no disagreements with regard to the resurrection (or, with regards to anything else, for that matter).


So out of seemingly nowhere comes this barren woman, looked down upon by her co-wife. She prays to God and God gives her a son; and then she writes this marvelous psalm which states unequivocally that God would raise the dead. Furthermore, Eli, the High Priest, recognizes that she is inspired by the Holy Spirit, and he preserves her psalm until it is placed into Scripture (it is officially acknowledged as Scripture by its inclusion in this narrative).


What we have throughout Scripture is testimony to God’s sovereignty in the matters of life and death. We have the raising of Lazarus from the dead by Jesus in John 11:41–44 (compare John 5:21). We have the raising of a lad from the dead by Elisha in 2Kings 4:32–35. And we also have Elijah raising the widow’s son from the dead in 1Kings 17:20–24. These are instances of God’s power witnessed to give credence to His complete sovereignty over life and death.

Why is it Hannah to come up with this break through? Why does she speak of God resurrecting from the dead?


Why is it Hannah to come up with this break through? Why does she speak of God resurrecting from the dead? Her son, Samuel, is a shadow of Jesus Christ (see The Parallels between Samuel and Jesus Christ at the end of this chapter). What will Jesus Christ do that will set Him apart from all mankind, and confirm that His death for our sins is propitious? He will rise from the dead. God the Father will bring Jesus from the dead. So, it is only apropos that Hannah, whose son will also be raised from the dead (1Sam. 28) to speak of the resurrection. Do you see how incredible the inspiration of Scripture is? Do you see the hand of God the Holy Spirit? Hannah certainly recognizes God’s power here, but she does not know that the Son of God will be raised up from Sheol; she does not know that her own son will die and be raised up from Sheol. Yet, God the Holy Spirit inspires her to write this.


Now, we would not expect a parallel to this verse in the Magnificat, but we do find a similar passage in 2Samuel:

1Sam. 2:6

2Sam. 22:5–7

Yehowah kills and He brings to life;

He brings down to Sheol then He brings up.

“For the waves of death encompassed me;

the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me;

the cords of Sheol surrounded me;

the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress, I called up Jehovah;

yes, I called to my God

and from His temple, He heard my voice

and my cry for help came to His ears.”


Return to the Parallels of Hannah’s Psalm

Return to the Chart Index


Yehowah causing to dispossess and making rich;

bringing low and exalting.

1Samuel

2:7

Yehowah causes to dispossess and He makes rich;

he causes them to be brought low yet brings [others] up.

Jehovah causes the dispossession of some, and others He makes rich;

He brings down some people and He exalts others.


Now, when explaining the second line in the previous verse, you may have thought I had a screw loose and was making too much of the Hebrew. You were wrong. In this verse, we have the construction that we would have expected in the previous verse. First, the other translations:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       Yehowah causing to dispossess and making rich;

bringing low and exalting.

Septuagint                             The Lord makes poor and He makes rich;

He brings low, and He lifts up.

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Our LORD, you are the one who makes us rich or poor. You put some in high positions and bring disgrace on others.

The Message                         GOD brings poverty and GOD brings wealth; he lowers, he also lifts up.

REB                                       Poverty and riches both come from the Lord; he brings low and he raises up.

TEV                                       He makes some men poor and others rich; he humbles some and makes others great.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

BBE                                       The Lord gives wealth and takes a man's goods from him: crushing men down and again lifting them up...

God’s Word                         The LORD causes poverty and grants wealth. He humbles people; he also promotes them.

JPS (Tanakh)                        The makes poor and makes rich; He casts down, He also lifts high.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

HNV                                       The LORD makes poor, and makes rich.

He brings low, he also lifts up.

Young’s Updated LT             Jehovah dispossesses, and He makes rich,

He makes low, yea, He makes high.


What is the gist of this verse? It is Jehovah God who makes some rich and some poor; He takes some people down and brings others up.


1Samuel 2:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

yârash (שַרָי) [pronounced yaw-RASH]

to give the possession of anything to anyone; to occupy; to expel one from their possession; to dispossess, to reduce to poverty; to blot out, to destroy

Hiphil participle

Strong’s #3423 BDB #439

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳âshar (ר -שָע) [pronounced ģaw-SHAHR]

to make rich, to cause one to be rich

Hiphil participle

Strong’s #6238 BDB #799


Translation: Yehowah causes to dispossess and He makes rich;... What we would have expected in the previous verse, we find here: two participles held together by a wâw conjunction in the first line, followed by two participles held together by a wâw conjunction in the second line. We begin with Yehowah followed by the Hiphil participle of to cause to possess, to cause to inherit, to cause to dispossess. So, in the Hebrew, it does not mean Yehowah causing to be made poor but Yehowah causing to disinherit. We then have the wâw conjunction followed by Hiphil participle of to make rich, to cause one to be rich. This gives us: Yehowah causing to dispossess and causing to be rich. The idea, when God causes one person to inherit or to possess, another is caused to lose that which they had.


That God has sovereignty over matters financial is also found elsewhere in Scripture. “Otherwise, you might say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ But you will recall Jehovah your God, for it is He Who is giving you power to make wealth that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers as this day.” (Deut. 8:17–18).


1Samuel 2:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

shâphêl (ל̤פָש) [pronounced shaw-FAIL]

to depress, to [be] cast down, to be brought low, to be made low

Hiphil participle

Strong’s #8213 BDB #1050

aph (ף ַא) [pronounced ahf]

in fact, furthermore, also, yea, even, indeed

conjunction

Strong’s #637 BDB #64

rûwm (םר) [pronounced room]

to raise, to lift up, to make high; to build a house; to bring up children; to put in safety; to raise up, to exalt [in victory or with praise]

Polel participle

Strong's #7311 BDB #926


Translation: ...he causes them to be brought low yet brings [others] up. In the second line, we continue with the participles: the first is the Hiphil participle of to be brought low, to be made low. Then we have the conjunction in fact, furthermore, also, yea, even, indeed. I like the rendering of JPS and the NASB in Psalm 44:9 (yet). The final verb is the Polel participle to raise, to lift up, to make high; to build a house; to bring up children; to put in safety; to raise up, to exalt [in victory or with praise]. This gives us: ...causing to bring low yet lifting up. Or, as we find in Psalm 75:7: But God is the Judge; He puts one down and exalts another. Psalm 113:7–8: He raises up the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy out of the dunghill, in order to make him sit with nobles, with the nobles of his people. James 4:10: Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord and He will exalt you.

 

McGee comments: This verse brings up a question that many of us have: “Why are some people rich and some people poor?” I cannot understand why God has permitted some folks to be wealthy and others to be needy. I think I could distribute the wealth a little bit better than He has done it...But, you know, He did not leave that to me. That is His business and He will be able to explain it some day. Footnote


Personally, I have had a small amount of wealth and I have lived almost from day-to-day. Now, I have never been too poor to eat or to afford shelter, but I have been poor enough so that I could barely afford the necessities. Both states have their own set of problems. If you are thinking, yeah, well I want the set of problems associated with being rich, then you don’t have a clue. Some of the biggest and most stressful problems that I have dealt with in my life have had to do with having a small amount of wealth (and let me emphasize the word small). As soon as you gain a little wealth, you will be the victim of people’s jealousy, pettiness and greed. Some people will make it their life’s work to separate you from the few assets that you have. Our present-day court system which allows suits for almost any conceivable reason and is one arena in which wealth is legally stolen from one person and given to another.

 

Clarke explains it by: For many cannot bear affluence, and if God should continue to trust them with riches, they would be their ruin. Footnote I recall watching a television show about a mother and son who had come into a great deal of wealth for them—$100,000—and, in one year, it was gone. They did not invest it, they did not deal with the money wisely, they simply spent it until it was gone. I hate to break the news to you, cupcake, but God is simply not going to give you all the money you want to go have a shopping spree at the mall.


My point is, don’t think that if you gain some amount of wealth, acquired in any way, that your life will become simplified and your problems fewer. It doesn’t work that way. In fact, for most people, they think if they only made an additional ___ dollars a month or just had an additional ___ dollars in the bank, that their lives would be so much improved. Sorry, it doesn’t work that way either. If that is your way of thinking, then you will never become wealthy enough. You will never make enough money. Now, can I explain the vastness between the most wealthy and the poorest? Not completely. I personally know that what made me turn to God were a series of circumstances that brought me to a very low point in my life; had I not reached that point, I don’t know that I would have believed in Jesus Christ. At the time, I certainly did not think that life was fair; however, in retrospect, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. So, some inequities point us in a spiritual direction. Many people, had they the lives they think they should have—with the wealth, family, children, recognition and/or power that they think that they should have—their spiritual lives would inversely shrink.


Now, for those who remain unconvinced and you somehow believe that God ought to be filling your coffers with more than what your coffers hold right now—this will all be evened out in the end. For Jehovah of the armies will have a day of reckoning against everyone who is proud and arrogant and against everyone who is lifted up that he may be abased (Isa. 2:12). “I will thus punish the world for its evil and the wicked fo their iniquity. I will also put an end to the arrogance of the proud and abase the haughtiness of the ruthless tyrants” (Isa. 13:11). And to the evil rich: “And I will depose you from your office and I will pull you down from your station.” (Isa. 22:19). And for the righteous: And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will no longer be death; there will no longer be mourning or crying or pain. The first things have passed away.” (Rev. 21:5). However, the best close to this verse is Job 1:21: And he said, I came naked out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return there. Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away. Blessed be the name of Jehovah.


Raising up from dust the poor;

from an dung heap He lifts destitute—

to cause them to sit with princes;

and a seat of honor of honor He causes them to inherit

because to Yehowah pillars of earth

and so He has set upon them a world.

1Samuel

2:8

He raises the poor from the dust;

He lifts up the destitute out of a shit pile

to cause them to sit with princes [and the liberal rich];

and He causes them to inherit a seat of great honor.

Because the pillars of the earth [belong] to Yehowah,

He places the world upon them.

He raises up the poor from the dust

and lifts the destitute from a pile of filth

causing them to sit with princes;

He further causes them to inherit a seat of great honor.

Because the foundations of the earth [the Laws of Physics] belong to Jehovah,

He is able to place the world upon them.


We continue with the same theme as the previous two verses. Let’s see what others have done with this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         He raises up the needy from the dust,

and lifts up the poor from the dunghill:

that he may sit with princes,

and hold the throne of glory.

For the poles of the earth are the Lord's,

and upon them He has set the world.

Masoretic Text                       Raising up from dust the poor;

from an dung heap He lifts destitute—

to cause them to sit with princes;

and a seat of honor of honor He causes them to inherit

because to Yehowah pillars of earth

and so He has set upon them a world.

Peshitta                                 He raises up the poor out of the dust

and lifts the needy from the dung hill,

to set them with the princes

and to make them inherit the throne of glory;

for the depths of the earth are protected by the Lord,

and He has set the world upon them.

Septuagint                             He lifts up the poor from the earth

and raises them needy from the dunghill

to seat him with the princes of the people,

and causing them to inherit the throne of glory.

 

Significant differences:          The final line is missing from the LXX and the second to the final line differs somewhat from the Hebrew. The 5th lines of the Peshitta and the Masoretic text are different. The Latin and Hebrew both appear to be in synch.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       You lift the poor and homeless out of the garbage dump and give them places of honor in royal palaces. You set the world on foundations, and they belong to you.

NAB                                       He raises the needy from the dust; from the ash heap he lifts up the poor, To seat them with nobles and make a glorious throne their heritage. He gives to the vower his vow, and blesses the sleep of the just. “For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and he has set the world upon them.

NJB                                He raises the poor from the dust, he lifts the needy from the dunghill to give them a place with princes, to assign them a seat of honour; for to Yahweh belong the pillars of the earth, on these he has poised the world.

NLT                                He lifts the poor from the dust— yes, from a pile of ashes! He treats them like princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the death is the Lord’s, and he has set the world in order.

TEV                                       He lifts the poor from the dust and raises the needy from their misery. He makes them companions of princes and puts them in places of honor. The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord; on them he has built the world.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He raises the poor from the dust. He lifts the needy from the trash heap in order to make them sit with nobles and even to make them inherit a glorious throne. "The pillars of the earth are the LORD'S. He has set the world on them.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He raises the poor from the dust, Lifts up the needy from the dunghill, Setting them with nobles, Granting them seats of honor, For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s; He has set the world upon them.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     He raises the poor from the dust; He lifts up the needy from the dunghill, to cause them to sit with nobles; yea, He causes them to inherit a throne of honor; for to Jehovah are the pillars of the earth; and He sets the habitable world on them.

NASB                                     “He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the world on them.

Young's Updated LT              He raises from the dust the poor. From a dunghill He lifts up the needy To cause them to sit with nobles, Yea, a throne of honour He causes them to inherit, For to Jehovah are the fixtures of earth, And He sets on them the habitable world.


What is the gist of this verse? God can take those who are the poorest of the poor, and sit them with nobles, giving them a throne of honor.


1Samuel 2:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to cause to raise up, to cause to stand, to establish, to fulfill, to cause to stand; to uphold, to perform [a testimony, a vow, a commandment, a promise]

Hiphil participle

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

׳âphâr (ר ָפ ָע) [pronounced ģaw-FAWR]

dry earth, dust

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #6083 BDB #779

dal (לַ) [pronounced dahl]

frail, helpless, weak, low, poor, needy

masculine singular noun/adjective

Strong’s #1800 (and #1803) BDB #195


Translation: He raises the poor from the dust;... This is a particularly long verse but it all belongs together. In the first line, we have the Hiphil participle of to raise up again, the min preposition (from, off of, from off) and the masculine singular noun dry earth, dust. Who is raised from the dust is the weak, low, think, poor, frail, needy, helpless. Raising up the poor from the dust... The key is a reversal of fortune.


1Samuel 2:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ashepôth (תֹש-א) [pronounced ash-POHTH]

dung-heap, refuse heap, shit pile

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #830 BDB #1046

rûwm (םר) [pronounced room]

to raise, to lift up [something], to make high; to elevate, to exalt; to erect, to build a house; to take away; to offer sacrifices

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #7311 BDB #926

ebeyôn (ןי׃בא) [pronounced ebve-YOHN]

destitute, in want, needy, poor, bankrupt

masculine singular noun/adjective

Strong’s #34 BDB #2


Translation: ...He lifts up the destitute out of a shit pile... In the second line, we have the min preposition again followed by the masculine singular noun dung-heap, refuse heap, shit pile. It does not mean ash-heap. According to Gordon, beggars sit upon these dung heaps by day and some sleep there by night. Footnote The main verb is the 3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect of to raise, to lift. The object of the verb is the masculine singular adjective (which acts as a noun) in want, needy, poor, destitute, bankrupt. He lifts up [or causes to lift up] the destitute out from the dung heap. As James tells us: Listen, my beloved brothers: didn’t God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him? (James 2:5).


1Samuel 2:8c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâshab (בַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

to cause to remain [stay, inhabit, sit, dwell]; to cause [a woman] to live [with someone]; to cause [a land] to be inhabited

Hiphil infinitive construct

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

׳îm (ם ̣ע) [pronounced ģeem]

with, at, by, near

preposition of nearness and vicinity

Strong’s #5973 BDB #767

nâdîyb (בי ̣דָנ) [pronounced naw-DEEBV]

a noble [person], a noble race [or station]; a prince; an aristocrat

masculine plural noun (also used as an adjective)

Strong's #5081 BDB #622

Nâdîyb means ➊ voluntary, willing, spontaneous, ready (Ex. 35:5, 22 2Chron. 28:21 Psalm 51:14); ➋ giving spontaneously and liberally (Prov. 19:6); ➌ generous, noble (which, in the Oriental mind, is closely connected to the concepts of giving and liberality, and is a reference to character) (Isa. 32:5, 8 Prov. 17:7); ➍ nobility of race or station and therefore, often translated prince(s) (Job 34:18 Psalm 107:40 113:8). Therefore, these men are placed with the liberal rich and the princes of their periphery.


Translation: ...to cause them to sit with princes [and the liberal rich];... The next two lines tells us what happens to the poor and the destitute after they have been lifted out of their dejected state. We have the lâmed preposition along with the Hiphil infinitive construct of to sit. Then we have the preposition with followed by the masculine plural of nobles, princes, aristocrats. Translation: To cause to sit with the liberal rich [and princes]. We have a parallel passage in Psalm 113:7–8: He raises the poor from the dust and lifts up the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes—with the princes of His people.


1Samuel 2:8d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kiççê (א ֵ̣) [pronounced kis-SAY]

throne, seat of honor; seat of judgment

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #3678 BDB #490

kâbôwd (דבָ) [pronounced kawb-VODE]

glory, abundance, honor

masculine singular adjective that can act like a substantive

Strong's #3519 BDB #458

Owen calls it a masculine singular adjective; Zodhiates and BDB as a masculine singular noun (the noun and adjective are spelled identically). As the latter half of a construct, it acts the same way.

nâchal (ל ַחָנ) [pronounced naw-KHAHL]

to give (as a possession), to cause to inherit; to distribute

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #5157 BDB #635


Translation: ...and He causes them to inherit a seat of great honor. Then we have the wâw conjunction and the masculine singular construct throne, seat of honor; but it can also mean a seat of judgment. We found this word used back in 1Sam. 1:9 for the seat where Eli sat. This is further modified by the adjective glory, abundance, or honor. Then we have our main verb, to give as a possession, to cause to inherit. This gives us: He has caused them to inherit a seat of honor of honor; or, better, He has caused them to inherit a seat of great honor. This is a typical antithesis of Hebrew poetry—we have first the dust and the dunghill, designating pretty much the lowest a person could go—and this is contrasted with the seat of honor; the seat of princes, which is on the other end of the spectrum.


God has taken men of the most humble means and brings them to great positions of power. We have so many examples of that in modern history—Abraham Lincoln comes quickly to mind as a man of modest means who rose to the highest office of the land. God has done the same with men throughout history.

God and the Reversal of Fortune for Certain Men

Person

His Reversal of Fortune

Job

God allowed, for a time, for a very rich and famous believer, Job, to lose all of his wealth, his family, his personal health, and we spend most of the book of Job with Job sitting in ashes scraping his sores with sharp pottery and being berated by his three friends. However, after the spiritual points are made, God elevates Job to even greater prosperity and health (Job 42:8–10).

Joseph

Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery and ended up in Egypt as a slave. Because of his great integrity combined with his intelligence and organizational skills, he was taken out of the slave market and eventually made the second or third highest man in Egypt (this rather abbreviates an incredible story—Gen. 37–41).

Moses

Moses was the heir apparent to the throne of Egypt, despite the fact that he was a Jew not related to the throne but raised by the queen. After killing an Egyptian in a dispute, Moses made a run for it and lost all of his wealth and potential power. God later spoke to Moses and put him in charge of the Israelites who lived in Egypt and he led them out of Egypt. In some way, Moses gained back a great deal of authority; however, he did not receive the same luxury and wealth that he had learned in the Egyptian palace.

David

David is another example of a young man who was simply a sheepherder, thought even by his own family to be the least of his family. God observed his great personal integrity and elevated him to the highest office of his land (2Sam. 7:8).

Daniel

 Daniel, the prophet, is another example of a man who was brought to the lowest place imaginable in his own life—he had been removed from his land of birth, Israel, and taken as a slave into Babylon—and then he was elevated to a place of rulership and power in Babylon (Daniel 2:46–48).

These men are but a handful of those whose fortunes were changed by God.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines

 

Clarke gives us three examples of this: The story of Cincinnatus is well known; so is that of the patriarch Joseph; but there is one not less in point, that of Roushen Akhter, who was brought out of a dungeon, and exalted to the throne of Hindustan. Footnote Of course I know Joseph, but I don’t know the other two. However, I did see the other night a Barbara Walter’s special where she interviews some movie stars and there are several mentioned—Jim Carrey, Whoopie Goldberg, and Ophrah Winfrey all come to mind, although there were several more in this special—who had very humble beginnings—in fact, their early lives are the epitome in the United States of living on a dung heap (people of other countries, of course, have much more difficult lives).


That God takes people and places them where He chooses is found in Gen. 41:14,40 1Sam. 15:17 2Sam. 7:8 Job. 36:6–7 Ecc. 4:14 Dan. 2:48 6:3 James 2:5 Rev. 1:6 3:21 5:10,


You may have noted that, in the NAB, we have a bonus line: He gives to the vower his vow, and blesses the sleep of the just. I don’t know where that came from and no other translator has it, and the NAB translators saw no reason to footnote and justify their insertion. My guess was originally that this is from the Latin (the NAB is an approved translation for the Catholic Church), but I can’t even find it in the Latin. Furthermore, if you examine the tenor of the surrounding lines, these bonus lines are completely out of place.


1Samuel 2:8e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

mâtsûwq (קצָמ) [pronounced maw-TZOOK]

molten support, pillar, peak

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4690 BDB #848

We only find this word in 1Sam. 2:8 and 14:5 (you won’t find it in the English). In 1Sam. 14:5, it is used figuratively for an abrupt, high rock, which is like a column. The closest word to this means distress (Strong’s #4689).

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular noun

Strong's #776 BDB #75


Translation: Because the pillars of the earth [belong] to Yehowah,... Then we have the conjunction kîy, which means because, for, that. Then we have the preposition to (or for, with respect to) followed by the proper noun Yehowah. Then we have the masculine plural construct of molten support, pillar. Gesenius concurs, translating this word column. We only find this word in 1Sam. 2:8 and 14:5 (you won’t figure out which English word this is, by the way). In 1Sam. 14:5, it is used figuratively for an abrupt, high rock, which is like a column. The closest word to this means distress (Strong’s #4689).

The pillars of the earth here are the laws of physics, including gravity, centrifugal force, relativity and the laws of motion.


The noun this is affixed to is the feminine singular noun earth (all or a portion), land. This gives us: ...because to Yehowah [are] the pillars of the earth. It appears as though we have a figurative use of the word pillars as the support of the earth. In all reality, we know that He hangs the earth upon nothing (Job 26:7). Therefore, we should discuss these pillars: First of all, these pillars are also mentioned in Job 9:6: “Who shakes the earth out of its place, and its pillars tremble.” They are mentioned as well in Psalm 75:3: “The earth and all who dwell in it totter. It is I who have firmly set its pillars.” What these pillars are, are simply the Laws of Physics, which is, in itself, a misnomer, because those with doctorates in Physics did not originate these laws nor do they enforce them—God originated the Laws of Physics and He enforces them. Here’s the deal: God designed gravity, centrifugal force, relativity and the laws of motion—and then He placed His physical universe within the confines of these laws. Footnote These laws are the pillars or the foundation of the physical universe.

 

Keil and Delitzsch take a slightly different position here: The words pillars of the earth, mâtsûwq erets  ר א קצָמ) [pronounced maw-TZOOK EH-rets], Mr. Parkhurst translates and defends thus: “The compressors of the earth; i.e., the columns of the celestial fluid which compress or keep its parts together.” This is all imaginary; we do not know this compressing celestial fluid; but there is one that answers the same end, which we do know, i.e., the Air, the columns of which press upon the earth in all directions; above, below, around, with a weight of fifteen pounds to every square inch; so that a column of air of the height of the atmosphere, which on the surface of the globe measures one square inch, is known by the most accurate and indubitable experiments to weigh fifteen pounds. Now as a square foot contains one hundred and forty-four square inches, each foot must be compressed with a weight of incumbent atmospheric air equal to two thousand one hundred and sixty pounds. And as the earth is known to contain a surface of five thousand five hundred and seventy-five billions of square feet; hence, allowing two thousand one hundred and sixty pounds to each square foot, the whole surface of the globe must sustain a pressure of atmospheric air equal to twelve trillions and forty-one thousand billions of pounds; or six thousand and twenty-one billions of tons. This pressure, independently of what is called gravity, is sufficient to keep all the parts of the earth together, and perhaps to counteract all the influence of centrifugal force. But adding to this all the influence of gravity or attraction, by which every particle of matter tends to the center, these compressors of the earth are sufficient to poise, balance, and preserve the whole terraqueous globe. These pillars or compressors are an astonishing provision made by the wisdom of God for the necessities of the globe. Without this, water could not rise in fountains, nor the sap in vegetables. Without this, there could be no respiration for man or beast, and no circulation of the blood in any animal. In short, both vegetable and animal life depend, under God, on these pillars or compressors of the earth; and were it not for this compressing power, the air contained in the vessels of all plants and animals would by its elasticity expand and instantly rupture all those vessels, and cause the destruction of all animal and vegetable life: but God in his wisdom has so balanced these two forces, that, while they appear to counteract and balance each other, they serve, by mutual dilations and compressions, to promote the circulation of the sap in vegetables, and the blood in animals. Footnote


1Samuel 2:8f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, then

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shîyth (תי ̣ש) [pronounced sheeth]

 to put, to set, place; to appoint; to arrange, to set in order; to found; to station

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #7896 BDB #1011

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

têbêl (ל̤ב̤) [pronounced tayb-VAYL]

the fertile and inhabited earth, the habitable globe, world

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #8398 BDB #385

This word is often used in poetry in connection to the creation of the entire earth.


Translation: ...He places the world upon them. Then we have the wâw consecutive followed by the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect (it has been awhile since we have had a Qal stem) of to set, to place. Then we have the preposition upon with a masculine plural suffix, followed by the feminine singular noun the fertile and inhabited earth, the habitable globe, world. This gives us: ...and so He places upon them the world. An interesting aspect of this line is the imperfect tense. We would expect, even with the language of accommodation, for God to have placed the world upon these pillars (or, whatever) in the beginning. That is, we would expect a perfect tense right here. However, what we have is an imperfect tense, indicating an ongoing action. Pillars provide stability for a portion of a building which would otherwise be unstable (an overhang, for instance). Also, the pillars and overhang provide an additional stability for the entire structure. My thinking is that this stability refers to gravity, which is what provides us with some modicum of stability in this world, along with the other laws of physics alluded to previously. In fact, it is this, along with the orbits of the planets and stars (also a function of gravity and centrifugal force) which provide the stability for our universe (or, if you will, the pillars of our universe). That the term pillars does not have to have a precise literal sense is found in Rev. 3:12, where those who overcome will be made pillars of the Temple of God.


Taking both parts fo this verse together, we may further extrapolate this concept to the basic laws of physics as they affect motion and gravity. His Son...holds up all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1b, 3b). He established the earth upon its foundations so that it would not totter forever (Psalm 104:5). This is the imperfect tense, the ongoing, continual tense. God continues to hold things together; God continues to enforce the physical laws of the universe.


We find several passages in Scripture which deal with the beginnings of the universe. Job 38:4–6: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Speak out, if you have understanding. Who set its measurements, since you [seem to] know? Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone?” Prov. 8:29b–30a: When He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I [knowledge] was with Him, a master workman; and I was His daily delight. Isa. 40:12–15a: Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and marked off the heavens by the span and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance and the hills in a pair of scales? Who has measured the Spirit of Jehovah or as His counselor has caused him to learn? With whom did He consult and who gave Him understanding? And who taught Him in the path of justice and taught Him knowledge and informed Him of the way of understanding? Listen, the nations are like a drop from a bucket and are regarded as a spec of dust on the scales. Jer. 10:12: It is He Who made the earth by His power, and Who established the world by His wisdom; and by His understanding, He has stretched out the heavens.


Now, the NIV Study Bible disagrees and thinks that I am making too much out of this particular verse. The pillars of the earth is simply the support beneath of mother earth (i.e., the land upon which man lives). Now, we still have the same Laws of Physics at work, but we might be looking at simply their application to the earth itself rather than this passage applying to the entire universe. Footnote


One of the problems with examining Scripture as I do is, we get so caught up in examining one tree that we lose complete sight of the forest. Why are we talking about God being the Originator of the laws of physics? How does that fit into this psalm? God’s control is the key—there are time when he shatters the bows of the mighty; there are times that He makes the poor rich and times when He impoverishes the rich; not only does God take man down to the grave, but He brings men up from the grave. Do you remember the kîy conjunction? God is able to do all of these things because He set into motion the laws of physics for this earth. If His power extends to the very foundations of this earth, then His authority extends to being over all things upon the earth.


We may find it helpful to see how others have translated this verse:

The Less Literal Translations of 1Sam. 2:8

God’s Word™

The New Living Translation

He raises the poor from the dust.

He lifts the needy from the trash heap

in order to make them sit with nobles

and even to make them inherit a glorious throne.

 

“The pillars of the earth are the Lord’s

He has set the world on them.”

He lifts the poor from the dust—

yes, from a pile of ashes!

He treats them like princes,

placing them in seats of honor.

 

“For all the earth is the Lord’s,

and he has set the world in order.”

The Complete Jewish Bible

The New Jerusalem Bible

He raises the poor from the dust.

lifts up the needy from the trash pile

he gives them a place with leaders

and assigns them a place with leaders

 

“For the earth’s pillars belong to Adonai;

on them he has placed the world.”

He raises the poor from the dust,

he lifts the needy from the dunghill

to give them a place with princes,

to assign them a seat of honor;

For to Yahweh belong the pillars of the earth,

on these he has poised the world


Chapter Outline Part I

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Chapter Outline Part II

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part II


Because to some translators, the middle of v. 8 begins a new paragraph, they begin the middle of the verse with an extra hard return and quotation marks. However, I don’t see this as beginning a new thought, but continuing what has gone before. God raises the poor from the dust and lifts up men from the dunghill because He is over all the earth and because He established the laws of the universe. His sovereignty over man’s place in the earth proceeds from His sovereignty over the earth as its Creator and Sustainer.


There are certainly parallels with the previous two verses and the Magnificat:

1Sam. 2:7–8

Luke 1:50–53

Yehowah causes to dispossess and He makes rich;

he causes them to be brought low yet brings [others] up.

He raises the poor from the dust;

He lifts up the destitute out of a shit pile

to cause them to sit with princes [and the liberal rich];

and He causes them to inherit a seat of great honor.

Because the pillars of the earth [belong] to Yehowah,

He places the world upon them.

“His mercy is upon generation after generation towards those who fear Him.

He has done mighty deeds with His arm;

He has scattered the proud of heart.’

He has brought down rulers from their thrones

and He has exalted those who were humble.

He has filled the hungry with good things

and He has sent away the rich empty-handed.”


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Feet of His gracious ones He guards

and corrupt ones in the darkness are made silent

for not in strength will prevail a man.

1Samuel

2:9

He guards the feet of His gracious ones

but the corrupt are made silent in the darkness.

[He grants the request of the one who prays

and He blesses the years of the righteous,]

for a man will not prevail by [his own] strength.

God guards the steps of His gracious saints

but he makes the malevolent stand silent in darkness.

God will grant the requests of those who pray

and He will bless the life of the righteous one;

however, no man will prevail by his own strength.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Dead Sea Scrolls                   [He guards] the path [or, feet] of [his faithful ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness]. He grants the [request of the one who prays]. He blesses the [years of the righteous]. In the case of request and years, the first letter can be red in the Hebrew.

Masoretic Text                       Feet of His gracious ones He guards

and corrupt ones in the darkness are made silent

for not in strength will prevail a man.

Septuagint                             ...granting his petition to him that prays;

and He blesses the years of the righteous,

for by strength cannot man prevail. [I had to double-check to make certain I copied and pasted the correct verse].

Ancient texts combined:        He guards the feet [or, the path] of His faithful [or, gracious] ones;

and those who are corrupt [and] in darkness are made silent.

He grants the request of the one who prays

and He blesses the years of the righteous,

for a man will not prevail by [his own] strength. Given that the Dead Sea Scrolls have bits and pieces of both the text from the Hebrew and the Greek, my guess is that this verse was originally longer, so I have put the versions together here.

 

Significant differences:          The first couple lines are completely different. The Latin and Syriac are both in agreement with the Hebrew text (which is to be expected as they are from the same manuscript line). The Dead Sea Scrolls appear to be somewhere between the MT and the LXX, which suggests perhaps that this was once a longer verse incorporating both the Greek and Hebrew.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       You protect your loyal people, but everyone who is evil will die in darkness. We cannot win a victory by our own strength.

The Message                         He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step, but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark. No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle!

TEV                                       He protects the lives of his faithful people, but the wicked disappear in darkness; a man does not triumph by his own strength.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

BBE                                       He will keep the feet of his holy ones, but the evil-doers will come to their end in the dark night, for by strength no man will overcome.

God’s Word                         He safeguards the steps of his faithful ones, but wicked people are silenced in darkness because humans cannot succeed by their own strength.

JPS (Tanakh)                        He guards the steps of His faithful, But the wicked perish in darkness— For not by strength shall man prevail.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

HCSB                                    He guards the steps of His faithful ones, but the wicked are silenced in darkness, for a man does not prevail by his own strength.

Owen's Translation                The feet of His faithful ones, He will guard;

but the wicked in darkness shall be cut off;

for not by might shall a man prevail.

Young's Updated LT              The feet of His saints He keeps, And the wicked in darkness are silent, For not by power does man become mighty.


What is the gist of this verse? God takes care of those who are His (He guards the feet of believers). He also will shut up the wicked in darkness as man and answers the prayers of His own. God blesses the life of the righteous one (those who believe in Him) and man does not gain a position of power and wealth on his own.


1Samuel 2:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

regel (ל ג ר) [pronounced REH-gel]

foot, feet

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #7272 BDB #919

châçîyd (די .סָח) [pronounced khaw-SEED]

gracious ones; saints, believers

masculine plural adjective with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #2623 BDB #339

shâmar (ר ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAR]

to keep, to guard, to protect, to watch, to preserve

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #8104 BDB #1036


Translation: He guards the feet of His gracious ones... We begin with the feminine plural construct of feet followed by the masculine plural adjective kind, pious, gracious. When used as a substantive, it is often rendered saints. However, we must bear in mind that it noun cognate is cheçed, which means grace, mercy, benevolence. Therefore, although saints is not a bad rendering, gracious ones is more accurate. Footnote This refers to more than believers; this refers to believers with doctrine. Then we have the main verb, which is the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect of to guard, to keep, to watch over. He guards over [or, He keeps] the feet of His gracious ones. Part of what we miss in this passage is how apropos it is to Israel during that time period. Man generally traveled by foot over rocky hills and precarious mountains. There were no roads as we think of them; there was no bus. A misstep could result in injury or death. Footnote God’s guarding over our every step here has much more to it than what first meets the eye.


To explain how this relates to what has come before, God sets into motion the pillars of the earth and He keeps these pillars in place (these pillars being various laws of physics). Just as He does this, He also watches over the steps of believers.


Psalm 37:23–24 parallels this passage: The steps of a man are established by Jehovah and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be utterly cast down because Jehovah is the One who holds his hand. Psalm 91:11–12: For He will give His angels charge concerning you to guard you in all your ways. They will bear you up in heir hands so that you do not strike your foot against a stone. Psalm 94:18: If I should say, “My foot has slipped,” Your graciousness, O Jehovah, will hold me up. Psalm 121:3: He will not allow your foot to sip, He Who keeps you will not slumber. Prov. 2:8: He guards the paths of justice and He preserves the way of His Godly ones. Even Peter makes a similar remark in I Peter 1:5: ...who [referring to believers] are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. If you happen to be in a place of serious testing and you doubt your faith or you doubt where God has put you and why, then you need to read and reread these verses, which indicate that God is watching over our every step. These are guarantees to us of God’s close involvement in our lives.


1Samuel 2:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

reshâ׳îym (מי.עָשר) [pronounced re-shaw-ĢEEM]

malevolent ones, lawless ones, criminals, the corrupt; wicked, wicked ones

masculine plural adjective (here, it acts like a noun)

Strong’s #7563 BDB #957

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

chôsheke (שֹח) [pronounced KHOH-sheke]

darkness, obscurity, extraordinary [extreme] darkness

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #2822 BDB #365

The idea of extreme darkness can be found in is use in Ex. 10:21 14:20; it can refer to a secret place or a hiding place in Job 12:22 34:22 Psalm 39:11–12 Isa. 45:3; and it can refer to a place of distress (Job 15:22, 23, 30 Isa. 5:3 9:1 29:18); dread (Job 2:4 3:4 Amos 5:18, 20 Zeph. 1:15); mourning (Isa. 47:5), perplexity or confusion (Job 5:14 12:25 19:8 Psalm 35:6); ignorance (Job 37:19 Eccl. 2:14); evil or sin (Isa. 5:20 Prov. 2:13); and obscurity (Eccl. 6:4). These meanings and passages were taken directly out of BDB.

dâmam (םַמָ) [pronounced daw-MAHM

to be cut off, to perish [used of men]; to be laid waste, to be silenced, to be made still

3rd person masculine singular, Niphal imperfect, pausal form

Strong's #1826 BDB #198


Translation: ...but the corrupt are made silent in the darkness,... Then we have the wâw conjunction followed by the contrasting adjective, the masculine plural malevolent ones, lawless ones, criminals, the corrupt. Then we have in the darkness [obscurity, extraordinary darkness]. Then we they have been made to be quiet; they have been silenced. There is a similar verb to this, which means to be cut off; and this verb also can mean to be cut off (according to Gesenius). Translation: and the corrupt will be silenced in the darkness. We have one parallel passage in Matt. 8:12, when Jesus speaks of the unbelieving Jews: “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place, there will be a weeping and a gnashing of teeth.” The Targum also understands this verse to refer to spending eternity in hell. Footnote


A portion of this verse is barely paralleled in 2Samuel.

1Sam. 2:9a

2Sam. 22:19b–21, 28

He guards the feet of His gracious ones

but the corrupt are made silent in the darkness,

He grants the request of the one who prays and He blesses the years of the righteous,

for a man will not prevail by [his own] strength.

“But Jehovah was my support

He also brought me forth into a broad place;

He rescued me because He delighted in me.

Jehovah has rewarded me according to my righteousness

according to the cleanness of my hands He has recompensed me...

And You save the afflicted people

but Your eyes are on the haughty, whom You abase.”


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From whence the Septuagint got its rendering here is hard to say. Maybe it was simply lost in the Hebrew as unreadable text. However, at this point, we may want to insert the lines: He grants the request of the one who prays and He blesses the years of the righteous,... We do not know for certain which is the accurate text, but my guess is that these two lines were lost from the Hebrew. This does fit in with the experience of Hannah, as her prayer was answered by God and that her life (and her husband’s life) would be blessed for years by her children. If you read the text together, 9c does not seem to follow 9a and b. There does not appear to be a connection. If we insert this text, it does appear to better connect these thoughts. Furthermore, the excessive length of this verse with the added text is in keeping with vv. 8 and 10.


Like much of 1Samuel, this is a difficult call. I would not bet the house on the insertion of these verses, although I might lay out a twenty. Still, removing these two lines do not do excessive damage to the text; and inserting them seems to better pull everything together. The lessons of this insertion are found elsewhere in Scripture, so that being lost in most English translations does not really affect or diminish any fundamental doctrines of Scripture.


1Samuel 2:9c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

kîy (י̣) [pronounced kee]

for, that, because; when, at that time, which, what time

conjunction; preposition

Strong's #3588 BDB #471

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

kôach ( ַחֹכ) [pronounced KOE-ahkh]; also spelled kôwach ( ַח) [pronounced KOE-ahkh]

strength, power, ability

masculine singular substantive

Strong’s #3581 BDB #470

gâbar (ר-בָ) [pronounced gawb-VAHR]

to be strong, to be mighty, to exhibit greater strength than, to be stronger than, to prevail over

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1396 BDB #149

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35


Translation: ...for a man will not prevail by [his own] strength. The conjunction kîy is then found (for, because, that), followed by a negative, the bêyth preposition and the masculine singular noun strength, power, ability. Then we have our main verb for the third line—the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect to be strong, to be mighty, to exhibit greater strength than, to be stronger than, to prevail over. This is followed by a man, which can be rendered more indefinitely as one (not the number 1, but a reference to one person). For not by strength will a man prevail. The fact that man is not completely in control of his own destiny is one of the great truths of the Bible: The king is not delivered by a mighty army and a warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength (Psalm 33:16–17). Hannah prevailed in her situation because of God’s grace—there was nothing in her own power which caused her to have a child.


Yehowah—His contenders break into pieces;

against him in the heavens He will thunder.

Yehowah will [correctly] evaluate ends of earth

and He will give strength to His king

and He will cause to exalt a horn of His anointed.”

1Samuel

2:10

Those contending with Yehowah are broken into pieces;

He thunders against him in [or, by means of] the heavens.

Yehowah judges the ends of the earth

and He gives strength to His king and He exalts the horn of His Anointed One [or, His Messiah, His Christ].”

Those who contend with Jehovah are broken into pieces—

He thunders at them from the heavens above.

Yehowah judges unto the ends of the earth.

He gives strength and power to His king and He lifts up this power of His Messiah.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         The adversaries of the Lord shall fear him:

and upon them shall he thunder in the heavens:

The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth,

and he shall give empire to his king,

and shall exalt the horn of his Christ.

Masoretic Text                       Yehowah—those contending [with] Him break into pieces;

against them in the heavens He will thunder.

Yehowah will [correctly] evaluate ends of earth

and He will give strength to His king

and He will cause to exalt a horn of His anointed.”

Peshitta                                 The Lord will defeat his adversaries;

out of heaven, he will thunder against them.

The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;

and He will give strength to His King

and exalt the horn of His Anointed.

The Septuagint                      The Lord will weaken his adversary; the Lord [is] holy.

Do not let the wise man boast in his wisdom

nor let the mighty man boast in his strength,

and do not let the rich man boast in his wealth;

but let him that boasts boast in this, to understand and know the Lord,

and that the Lord executes judgment an justice in the midst of the earth.

The Lord has gone up to the heavens and He has thundered;

He will judge the extremities of the earth,

and He gives strength to our kings,

and He will exalt the horn of His Christ.

 

Significant differences:          As with the previous verse, there is an abundance of bonus material in the Septuagint, which is essentially the same as what we find in Jer. 9:23–24: Thus says Yahweh, Don't let the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, don't let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he has understanding, and knows me, that I am Yahweh who exercises loving kindness, justice, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, says Yahweh. Footnote

 

Apart from some differences in the first line, the Hebrew, Syriac and Latin are identical. In the Greek, the second to the last line has our kings rather than His King. Even though the sentiment found in the Septuagint is accurate (it has to be; it is found in Jeremiah), I just don’t believe that it belongs there. Possibly it was added as sort of a footnote or a Scriptural reference (possibly in the Hebrew manuscript the Greek was based upon)?


This text does not match Jer. 9:23–24 in the Greek, although I have not personally exegeted it.

A Comparison of the Greek Texts

1Sam. 2:10b

Jeremiah 9:23–24

10bmh {<3361> ADV} kaucasyw {<2744> V–PMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} fronimov {<5429> A–NSM} en {<1722> PREP} th {<3588> T–DSF} fronhsei {<5428> N–DSF} autou {<846> D–GSM} kai {<2532> CONJ} mh {<3361> ADV} kaucasyw {<2744> V–PMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} dunatov {<1415> A–NSM} en {<1722> PREP} th {<3588> T–DSF} dunamei {<1411> N–DSF} autou {<846> D–GSM} kai {<2532> CONJ} mh {<3361> ADV} kaucasyw {<2744> V–PMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} plousiov {<4145> A–NSM} en {<1722> PREP} tw {<3588> T–DSM} ploutw {<4149> N–DSM} autou {<846> D–GSM} all {<235> CONJ} h {<3588> CONJ} en {<1722> PREP} toutw {<5129> D–DSM} kaucasyw {<2744> V–PMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} kaucwmenov {<2744> V–PMPRS} suniein {<4920> V–PAR} kai {<2532> CONJ} ginwskein {<1097> V–PAR} ton {<3588> T–ASM} kurion {<2962> N–ASM}

23mh {<3361> ADV} kaucasyw {<2744> V–AMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} sofov {<4680> A–NSM} en {<1722> PREP} th {<3588> T–DSF} sofia {<4678> N–DSF} autou {<846> D–GSM} kai {<2532> CONJ} mh {<3361> ADV} kaucasyw {<2744> V–AMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} iscurov {<2478> A–NSM} en {<1722> PREP} th {<3588> T–DSF} iscui {<2479> N–DSF} autou {<846> D–GSM} kai {<2532> CONJ} mh {<3361> ADV} kaucasyw {<2744> V–AMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} plousiov {<4145> A–NSM} en {<1722> PREP} tw {<3588> T–DSM} ploutw {<4149> N–DSM} autou {<846> D–GSM}

24all {<235> CONJ} h {<3588> CONJ} en {<1722> PREP} toutw {<5129> D–DSM} kaucasyw {<2744> V–AMM–3S} o {<3588> T–NSM} kaucwmenov {<2744> V–PMPRS} suniein {<4920> V–PAR} kai {<2532> CONJ} ginwskein {<1097> V–PAR} oti {<3754> CONJ} egw {<1473> P–NS} eimi {<1510> V–PAI–1S} kuriov {<2962> N–NSM} poiwn {<4160> V–PAPRS} eleov {<1656> N–ASN} kai {<2532> CONJ} krima {<2917> N–ASN} kai {<2532> CONJ} dikaiosunhn {<1343> N–ASF} epi {<1909> PREP} thv {<3588> T–GSF} ghv {<1093> N–GSF} oti {<3754> CONJ} en {<1722> PREP} toutoiv {<5125> D–DPM} to {<3588> T–NSN} yelhma {<2307> N–NSN} mou {<3450> P–GS} legei {<3004> V–PAI–3S} kuriov {<2962> N–NSM}

Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, nor let the mighty man boast in his strength, and let not the rich man boast in his wealth; but let him that boasts boast in this, to understand and know the Lord, and to execute judgement and justice in the midst of the earth.

Thus says the Lord, “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, and let not the strong man boast in his strength, and let not the rich man boast in his wealth; but let him that boasts boast in this, the understanding and knowing that I am the Lord that exercises mercy, and judgment, and righteousness, upon the earth; for in these things is my pleasure,” says the Lord.

As you can see, even from a precursory glance and not knowing Greek, that the texts as significantly different.

These texts were taken from the Online Bible Edition 2.0 from 1Sam. 2:10 and Jer. 9:23–24. The English text was updated from the older sounding English.


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Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Our LORD, those who attack you will be broken in pieces when you fight back with thunder from heaven. You will judge the whole earth and give power and strength to your chosen king.

The Message                         GOD's enemies will be blasted out of the sky, crashed in a heap and burned. GOD will set things right all over the earth, he'll give strength to his king, he'll set his anointed on top of the world!.

TEV                                       The Lord’s enemies will be destroyed; he will thunder against them from heaven. The Lord will judge the whole world; he will give power to his king, he will make his chosen king victorious.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

BBE                                       Those who make war against the Lord will be broken; against them he will send his thunder from heaven: the Lord will be judge of the ends of the earth, he will give strength to his king, lifting up the horn of him on whom the holy oil has been put.

God’s Word™                         “Those who oppose the Lord are broken into pieces. He thunders at them from the heavens. The Lord judges the ends of the earth. He gives strength to his King and lifts the head of his Messiah.”

JPS (Tanakh)                        The foes of the Lord shall be shattered; He will thunder against them in the heavens. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to His king, and triumph to His anointed one.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

The Amplified Bible                The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; against them will He thunder in Heaven. The Lord will judge [all peoples] to the ends of the earth; and He will give strength to His king, and exalt the power of His anointed—His Christ.

HCSB                                    Those who oppose the LORD will be shattered; 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.

WEB                                      Those who strive with Yahweh shall be broken to pieces; Against them will he thunder in the sky: Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth; He will give strength to his king, Exalt the horn of his anointed.

Young's Updated LT              ‘Jehovah—broken down are His adversaries, Against them in the heavens He thunders; Jehovah judged the ends of earth, And gives strength to His king, And exalts the horn of His anointed.’


What is the gist of this verse? Those who oppose God will be broken into pieces. Jehovah judges the entire earth, giving authority to his King (Jesus Christ) and exalting the power of His Messiah (Jesus Christ).


As you no doubt notice from perusing the translations that the Septuagint has this whole other thing going on. And, you may be surprised that you recognize what we find in the Septuagint. What happened here, I really don’t know; however, it appears as though this was taken right out of Jeremiah, which reads: Thus says Yehowah, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, and let not a rich man boast of his riches; but let him who boasts, boast of this, that he understand and knows Me, that I am Yehowah Who exercises grace, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares Yehowah (Jer. 9:23–24). First of all, this is not identical to the passage in Jeremiah, and it is my understanding that many of the words are different. Footnote A small portion of this is quoted I Cor. 1:31 and II Cor. 10:17. I don’t really know what happened here. I checked through several translations, and none which I found honored the Septuagint’s expanded version of this verse. I don’t know if somehow this portion was removed from the Hebrew Scriptures or whether the translators of the Septuagint just felt as though they needed this in here. This portion of 1Samuel 2 is not found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (not the portion in question, but the entire verse). For this reason, it would make sense for this to be an insertion by a translator (and, although I understand his enthusiasm for the sentiments; you simply don’t insert additional information, accurate or no, into Scripture). And, of course, the Hebrew which the translators worked from could have had this insertion as well. Like many texts in the past, it is very difficult to make a call; the context just does not seem to call for this insertion; and since it is found in Jeremiah, we don’t really need it here.


More important than the analysis of the text is, despite the great differences in the text, there is no damage to Scripture to remove this portion from the LXX and no damage to leave it in. It in now way affects the overall meaning, and there are no doctrines which are lost or found based upon keeping or removing the questionable lines. End of textual criticism; on to the text.


1Samuel 2:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

châthath (ת ַת ָח) [pronounced khaw-THAHTH]

to break; to be broken, to be broken down [with fear], to be confounded

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2865 BDB #369

rîyb (בי.ר) [pronounced reebv]

those contending [or, striving], disputers; ones conducting a case or suit [against someone], those making a complaint [against someone]; fault finders

masculine plural, Hiphil participle with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #7378 BDB #936

According to Rotherham, this is written in the singular, but read in the plural Footnote ; Owen has this written as a plural, but followed by a question mark. We have a masculine singular suffix coming up, so it would be reasonable that this was changed by a scribe (knowingly or unconsciously) so that they matched up. Recall that one of the rules of textual criticism is, we take the least likely reading.


Translation: Those contending with Yehowah are broken into pieces;... In any case, we will proceed with the Hebrew text for this final verse of Hannah’s Psalm. We do have some problems with this text to begin with. The verse begins with the proper noun Yehowah followed by the 3rd person masculine plural (see note above), Qal imperfect of dismay, discourage and, on occasion, broken in pieces and even to be afraid. The Qal does have a passive meaning, which is equivalent to the Niphal. Then we have the masculine plural, Hiphil participle of to debate, to contend, to dispute. This word appears to have legal connotations, which is apropos, as God is the Judge of the world. This word properly means to toss, to grapple; except, apparently, it is with words that one grapples (notable exception: Ex. 21:18). This word is translated to strive (Gen. 26:22 Job 33:13), to plead (Psalm 35:1 Jer. 50:34), to contend (Neh. 13:11 Micah 6:1), to debate (Prov. 25:9 Isa. 27:8), to chide (Ex. 17:2 Judges 8:1). This also has a legal meaning, which would be apropos in Job: to conduct a case or suit against someone; to make a complaint against one; and, in the abstract, to find fault with someone. According to Gesenius, the Hiphil meanings are the same and that the Hiphil is only found in the participle. After masculine plural, Owen has a question mark, although I don’t know why. With the masculine singular suffix, this would be rendered those striving [with] Him, those disputing Him. The translation is rather difficult. We would like to see something like: Yehowah breaks into pieces those contending [with] Him; however, the problem is that the verb is the masculine plural. According to Keil and Delitzsch, Yehowah is presented as an absolute at the beginning of the sentence, and should therefore be rendered As for Yehowah, those contending [with] Him are broken into pieces. It is possible that Yehowah is placed at the beginning of this verse to identify the Him suffix of Hiphil participle.


As we go further into this chapter, we will find out that sometimes Israel prevailed against the Philistines and sometimes the Philistines prevailed. How does this relate to Scripture? Doesn’t 1Sam. 2:10 tell us that God will shatter those who contend with Him? This is true, but bear in mind that Israel is clearly out of step with God throughout this book.

How Does Israel Contend with God in 1Samuel?

1.    They haul the Ark of God into battle against the Philistines, seeing it as a good luck charm. They do not consult the priests, the ephod, or anything which might guide them spiritually. 1Sam. 4

2.    When Israel gets the Ark back, they treat it lightly, as an object of curiosity. 1Sam. 6:19–21

3.    Israel demands a king from Samuel, even though he warns them that this is not God’s preference. 1Sam. 8

4.    Several cities give up (or are willing to give up) information about David to Saul, despite the fact that David even delivers some of them. This is despite the fact that David has an honorable reputation with respect to his service to Israel known even to the Philistines. 1Sam. 23 29

5.    When on the run from Saul, David even trusts a Moabite king over his own people Israel, when it comes to providing protection for his parents. 1Sam. 22:3

In other words, we cannot look at the wars between Israel and the Philistines and simply say that Israel is good and the Philistines are bad, and therefore Israel should prevail each and every time in order to fulfill 1Sam. 2:10. We even have previous Scriptural evidence that God left heathen in the land in order to test Israel (Judges 2:21–23).


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This appears to refer to the angelic conflict. However, this is just as easily applied to unbelievers as well. All those of His creation who rebel against Him are broken into pieces.


That God will break the nations which form against Him is a truth of Scripture: Your right hand, O Jehovah, is majestic in power; You right hand, O Jehovah, shatters the enemy (Ex. 15;6). You will break them [the other nations] with a rod of iron; You will shatter them like earthenware (Psalm 2:9). This verse is said by way of warning to the other nations: Now therefore, O kings, show some discernment; take warning, judges of the earth. Worship Jehovah with reverence and rejoice with trembling. Do homage to [or, take instruction from] the Son, so that He does not become angry and you perish in the way; for His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him! (Psalm 2:10–12).


With regards to nations and individuals who oppose Him, there will be a final accounting, and God will break them into pieces, so to speak.


1Samuel 2:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

This 3rd person masculine singular suffix is why, perhaps, we find the possible masculine singular in v. 10a.

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, through; at, by, near, on, upon; with, before, against; by means of; among; within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

shâmayîm (ם̣י ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAH-yim]

heavens, skies

masculine dual noun with the definite article

Strong’s #8064 BDB #1029

râgam (ם-ע ָר) [pronounced raw-ĢAHM]

to thunder, to roar from heaven; to provoke to anger, to cause to be angered

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #7481 BDB #947


Translation: ...He thunders against him in the heavens. In the second line, we begin with against them in the [two] heavens followed by the 3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect of to thunder, to roar from heaven. You may recognize this verb, as we had it back in 1Sam. 1:6 (surprisingly enough, you won’t find it if you have a NASB). Second line: Against him, in [or, by means of] the heavens He thunders. It is Jehovah Who is in the heavens. Now, although it is unusual to go from the plural to the singular (from those contending with Jehovah to one that Jehovah thunders against), it is not necessarily something outside the realm of literature.


We have several parallel passages to this throughout Scripture: Jehovah also thundered in the heavens and the Most High uttered His voice: hailstones and coals of fire. And He sent out His arrows and scattered them and lightning flashes in abundance and He routed them (Psalm 18:13–14). “He thunders with His majestic voice; and He does not restrain when His voice is heard; God thunders with His voice wondrously, doing great things which we cannot comprehend.” (Job 37:4–5; see also 1Sam. 7:10 12:17).


A portion of this verse is paralleled in both Luke and in 2Samuel.

1Sam. 2:10a

2Sam. 22:38–39 Luke 1:51b

As for Yehowah—those contending with Him are broken into pieces.

“I pursued my enemies and destroyed them

and I did not turn back until they were consumed.

Further, I have devoured them and shattered them, so that they did not rise

and they fell under my feet.”

“He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart.”

1Sam. 2:10b

2Sam. 22:14

He thunders against him in the heavens.

“Jehovah thundered from heaven

and the Most High uttered His voice.”


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Another interpretation of this would be that, the one contending against God is Satan, and that we have a reference to Satan here (which means, we would accept the alternate understanding of the masculine singular Hiphil participle in v. 10a). The biggest problem is, this just does not seem to fit with the context.


1Samuel 2:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

dîyn (ןי ̣) [pronounced deen]

to judge, to correctly evaluate, to evaluate, to condemn, to vindicate; to defend [the right of anyone]; to rule, to regulate; to contend with

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1777 BDB #192

Although this is pretty consistently rendered as judge, I would prefer to go with correctly evaluate in the light of passages such as 1Sam. 2:10 Palm 54:1 Jer. 30:13. Judgement tends to carry with it a negative connotation, and this word seems to carry with it an honest evaluation, a correct determination of the situation at hand. Depending upon the outcome of the judgment, some translators render this vindicate, which puts the translator in the shoes of a commentator. That is to say, both judge and vindicate are correct renderings, but then a translator has to choose when to use one over the other. Correctly evaluate does not require that choice. Zodhiates gives this verb a much wider application, and says that it could mean to rule, to regulate, to sway, to judge, to defend, to punish, to litigate, to content with, to plead. In general, according to Zodhiates, dîyn means to govern, to rule over (whether judicially, legislatively or executively). Interestingly enough, this verb and its masculine noun cognate are not found in the book of Judges (although Zodhiates tells us that this word is identical in meaning to the verb and noun found in the book of Judges).

epheç (ספא) [pronounced EH-fes]

ends, extremities, extremity, extreme limits; ceasing; soles [extremities] of feet in dual

masculine plural substantive construct

Strong’s #657 BDB #67

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land

feminine singular noun, pausal form

Strong's #776 BDB #75

 

Translation: Yehowah judges the ends of the earth... In the next line, we begin with Yehowah and the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect of dîyn (ןי ̣) [pronounced deen], which means to judge, to correctly evaluate, to evaluate. Zodhiates gives this verb a much wider application, and says that it could mean to rule, to regulate, to sway, to judge, to defend, to punish, to litigate, to content with, to plead. In general, according to Zodhiates, dîyn means to govern, to rule over (whether judicially, legislatively or executively). Interestingly enough, this verb and its masculine noun cognate are not found in the book of Judges (although Zodhiates tells us that this word is identical in meaning to the verb and noun found in the book of Judges). Then we have the masculine plural construct of ceasing, end, extremity. This is affixed to earth (or, land). Yehowah judges the ends of the earth. Jehovah God is never portrayed as a local god. He is always the God Who created heavens and earth. We are guaranteed that God will, at some point in time in the future, pronounce and carry out judgment upon this earth, which judgment will extend over all nations and peoples. Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice...before Jehovah, for He is coming. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in His faithfulness (Psalm 96:11a, 13; see also Psalm 98:9). “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne and all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Matt. 25:31–32).


Again, this all appears to be closely related to the angelic conflict. However, God will judge all of His creation at some point in time.


There is a reasonable argument that could be made for the fulfilment of this first portion of v. 10. Since Hannah is dedicating her son to the Tabernacle of God, then we would expect the short-term fulfilment to occur during the ministry of Samuel, her son.

Jehovah Destroys His Enemies in the Time of Samuel

Psalm of Hannah

Fulfillment

Those contending with Yehowah are broken into pieces;

And the men of Israel went out from Mizpah and pursued the Philistines, and struck them as far as below Beth-car (1Sam. 7:11).

He thunders against him in [or, by means of] the heavens.

And it happened as Samuel made a whole burnt offering to go up, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel. And Jehovah thundered with a great noise on that day, on the Philistines, and troubled them. And they were stricken before Israel (1Sam. 7:10).

Yehowah judges the ends of the earth

And the Philistines were subdued and did not yet again come into the border of Israel. And the hand of Jehovah was on the Philistines all the days of Samuel. And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even to Gath. And Israel delivered their border out of the hand of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites (1Sam. 7:13–14).

The Philistines are simply enemies of God as they are enemies of the Jews. Therefore,


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1Samuel 2:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

nâthan (ן ַתָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHN]

to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5414 BDB #678

׳ôz (זֹע) [pronounced ģohz]

strength, might; firmness, defense, refuge, protection; splendor, majesty, glory praise

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5797 BDB #738

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

meleke ( ל מ) [pronounced MEH-lek]

king, ruler, prince

masculine singular noun with the definite article with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4428 BDB #572

The Greek text has our kings instead.


Translation: ...and He gives strength to His king... The fourth line begins with the wâw conjunction followed by 3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect of to give, to grant, to place, to put, to set. If this word should have been translated given or even granted, then it should be followed by the lâmed prefixed preposition (to, for), which is what we have here. What He gives is the masculine singular noun strength, might. Then we have the lâmed preposition, the 3rd person masculine singular suffix, both attached to the masculine singular noun king, prince. And He gives strength to His king. Ultimately, this is a reference to Jesus Christ, as there was no king over Israel at that time. However, like many prophetic passages of Scripture, this refers both to Israel’s future kings as well as to her future King—the emphasis clearly being on the latter. The Messianic nature of this psalm cannot be minimized. I take refuge in my God—my Rock; He is my shield and the horn [or, strength] of my salvation; He is my stronghold (Psalm 18:2b; see also Psalm 21:1). But, as for me, I will sing of Your strength; moreover, I will joyfully sing of Your grace in the morning, for You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress (Psalm 59:16). A declaration of Jehovah to my Lord: “Sit at My right hand, until I place Your enemies as Your footstool” (Psalm 110:1). Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” (Matt. 28:18).


1Samuel 2:10e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

rûwm (םר) [pronounced room]

to raise, to lift up [something], to make high; to elevate, to exalt; to erect, to build a house; to take away; to offer sacrifices

3rd person masculine singular, Hiphil imperfect apocopated

Strong's #7311 BDB #926

qeren (ן∵ר∵ק) [pronounced KEH-ren]

horn

feminine singular construct

Strong’s #7161 BDB #901

Mâshîyach (-חי.שָמ) [pronounced maw-SHEE-ahkh]

anointed, anointed one, transliterated Messiah

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #4899 BDB #603

In the Septuagint, the Greek word is christos (χριστός) [pronounced krees-TOSS], which means anointed one, Messiah, Christ. The transliteration, quite obviously, is Christ. We do not find this word until Lev. 4:3, 5, 16 (and in these passages, it refers to a priest). This is the first time we find this word used by itself, not attached to an Aaronic priest.

In the Targum, this reads he shall multiply the kingdom of the Messiah. Footnote

Several early, sometimes paraphrased translations of the Old Testament into Aramaic are known as the Targums. Targum means interpreter, translator in the Aramaic and the word is found in the Accadian in the El-Amarna tablets (circa 1400-1350 b.c.). Some suggest that the earliest Targum of the Old Testament (or portions of it) was done in Neh. 8 (circa 430 b.c.), where the Law was translated into Aramaic for the people of Israel who spoke that language primarily (this is a reasonable understanding from Neh. 8:8). The Targum of Onkelos, insofar as we know, is one of the earliest targums to be written down. This was originally done in Palestine, but carried into Babylonia 2nd and 3rd centuries a.d. We have copies of this targum even today. It became customary to read from the Torah in the synagogue, and then for someone to interpret and/or explain the text in Aramaic. Although this is said to have been done from memory, we really do not know if there was an Aramaic text at this time or not. Footnote

 

Translation: ...and He exalts the horn of His Anointed One [or, His Messiah, His Christ].” The fifth and final line of Hannah’s psalm continues with the wâw conjunction and the 3rd person masculine singular, apocopated, Hiphil imperfect of to lift up, to elevate, to exalt, to take away, to offer sacrifices. This is followed by the feminine singular construct of horn. This word often refers to one’s strength. Recall that horn refers to the strength of something. Then we have the masculine singular noun Mâshîyach (-חי.שָמ) [pronounced maw--SHEE-ahkh], which means anointed. Although this word is found several times in Leviticus 4 and 6, we mostly find this word in Samuel and in the Psalms. If you examine the pronunciation, you may recognize that this is the basis for the word Messiah, which is its transliteration (we find this word so transliterated in Daniel 9:25–26). The 3rd person masculine singular suffix is affixed to this, giving us: ...and He exalts the horn of His Anointed. In the Septuagint, the Greek word is christos (χριστός) [pronounced krees-TOSS], which means anointed one, Messiah, Christ. The transliteration, quite obviously, is Christ. Furthermore, this is the first time in Scripture that we have this word where it refers to the Messiah to come (in Leviticus, it simply referred to the priest as being anointed—Lev. 4:3, 5 6:22). Strong’s #5547. The point in all of this is that Hannah has spoken a psalm of incredible depth and meaning.


One of the great themes of the Old Testament is God’s King and His Anointed, the Messiah, the Christ. The people of Israel looked forward to being led by such a King and this expectation is born out by His mention throughout Scripture. Hannah, in her prayer, only in part looks forward to the two kings who would be anointed by her son, Samuel. Primarily the focus of her prayer is to the King Who Is to Come, the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of Man. And My faithfulness and My grace will be with Him and in My name His horn will be exalted (Psalm 89:24).


Hannah was chosen to be the first person in Jewish history to speak of the Messiah because her son would be a shadow of Jesus to come. There are a large number of parallels between Samuel and Jesus, which is why God the Holy Spirit allows her this privilege.


Jesus Christ is the King, to Whom God has given authority; and Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the One Whose authority and strength is exalted by God the Father. Matt. 1:16: And Jacob fathered Joseph, the husband to be of Mary, of whom Jesus was born, who is called Christ. Matt. 2:4: And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. Matt. 16:16: And Simon Peter answered and said, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. John 1:20: [John the Baptizer tells his disciples]: And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, I am not the Christ. John 1:41: [Peter is speaking] He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, We have found the Messiah (which is, being translated, the Christ).” John 20:31: But these are written so that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life in His name.


Interestingly enough, this is paralleled in the New Testament by Zacharias, the father of John the Baptizer:

1Sam. 2:10d

Luke 1:69–70

“...and He gives strength to His king and He exalts the horn of His Anointed One [or, His Messiah, His Christ].”

“And He has raised up a horn of salvation for us

in the house of David, His servant—

As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from old.”


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The NIV Study Bible sums up this portion of 1Sam. 2:10 with: A king (coming from the tribe of Judah) is first prophesied by Jacob (Gen. 49:10); kingship is further anticipated in the oracles of Balaam in Num. 24:7, 17. Also Deut. 17:14–20 looks forward to the time when the Lord will place a king of his choice over his people after they enter the promised land. 1,2 Samuel shows how this expectation of the theocratic king is realized in the person of David. Hannah’s prophetic anticipation of a king at the time of the dedication of her son Samuel, who was to be God’s agent for establishing kingship in Israel, is entirely appropriate. Footnote


This psalm-prayer of Hannah is one of the great psalms of Scripture, speaking not only of the kings to be anointed by Samuel her son, but this psalm presents with great confidence the Messiah to come. The Old Testament is filled with prophecies concerning the Messiah and it may be worth our while to examine one of those at this time. So let’s examine Psalm 2 before we continue with our exegesis of this chapter (this is a good breaking point in this chapter, anyway).


Let us next examine the Doctrine of the Jewish Messiah and Jesus is the Messiah of the Old Testament (testimonies from the gospels to this effect).


To sum up where we are now: we have just finished examining the Psalm (or prayer) of Hannah, a portion of 1Sam. 2 which really should be its own chapter or affixed to 1Sam. 1. This prayer, although it accompanied the dedication of her son, Samuel, to the ministry, was more Messianic in nature, pointing toward the coming King of God, Who would rule over the ends of the earth. In the final verse of this section, we have the return of Elkanah and his wife Hannah to their home, while their very young son Samuel remained at the tent of God, dedicated to the priesthood (I grimace to use the phrase full-time Christian service). Footnote


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Elkanah and Hannah Return to Ramah


And so went Elkanah the Ramah-ward unto his home and the youth has been ministering [to] Yehowah [in] faces of Eli the priest.

1Samuel

2:11

Then Elkanah went to Ramah, his home while the boy was ministering [to] Yehowah in the presence of Eli the priest.

Then Elkanah and his wife returned to their home in Ramah; however, the boy remained and ministered to Jehovah in the presence of the High Priest, Eli.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                         And Elcana went to Ramatha, to his house: but the child ministered in the sight of the Lord before the face of Heli the priest.

Masoretic Text                       And so went Elkanah the Ramah-ward unto his home and the youth has been ministering [to] Yehowah [in] faces of Eli the priest.

Peshitta                                 And Hilkannah and his wife Hannah returned to Ramtha to his house. And the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest.

The Septuagint                      And she left him there before the Lord, and departed to Armathaim; and the child ministered in the presence of the Lord before Heli the priest.

 

Significant differences:          In the LXX, Hannah returns to Ramah; and in the MT, it is Elkanah returned to Ramah, his home. In the LXX, Hannah leaves her child there, which is inferred by but not explicitly stated in the Hebrew text. Of course, the Septuagint text makes the most sense, which is why some might gravitate towards it; however, one of our rules of textual criticism is to choose the least likely text when it comes to context and meaning. That is, it makes more sense that someone would later change the text to increase the sense of the passage rather than the other way around. However, in this as in many other disputed passages, it is impossible to choose either rendering and to be dogmatic about it.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Elkanah and Hannah went back home to Ramah, but the boy Samuel stayed to help Eli serve the LORD.

The Message                         Elkanah went home to Ramah. The boy stayed and served GOD in the company of Eli the priest.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

BBE                                       Then Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child became the servant of the Lord under the direction of Eli the priest.

God’s Word™                         Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. But the boy [Samuel] served the Lord under the priest Eli.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Then Elkanah [and Hannah] went home to Ramah; and the boy entered the service of the under the priest Eli.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

HCSB                                    Elkana went to Ramah to his house. The child did minister to the LORD before `Eli the Kohen.

Young's Updated LT              And Elkanah went to Ramath, unto his house, and the youth has been serving Jehovah, in the presence of Eli the priest;...


What is the gist of this verse? Elkanah and Hannah return home, and the child remains behind with Eli.


1Samuel 2:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

Eleqânâh (הָנָקל∵א) [pronounced ele-kaw-NAW]

God has created or God has taken possession of; it is transliterated Elkanah

Masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #511 BDB #46

Râmâth (ת ָמָר) [pronounced raw-MAWTH]

height, high place; transliterated Ramah

feminine noun used primarily as a proper noun; with the definite article and directional hê

Strong’s #7413 BDB #928

Also spelled Râmâh (הָמָר) [pronounced raw-MAW].

׳al (ל ַע) [pronounced ģahl ]

upon, beyond, on, against, above, over, by, beside

preposition of proximity

Strong’s #5920, #5921 BDB #752

When not showing a physical relationship between two things, ׳al can take on a whole host of new meanings: on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, besides, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by on to, towards, to, against, in the matter of, concerning, as regards to. It is one of the most versatile prepositions in Scripture. This word often follows particular verbs. In the English, we have helping verbs; in the Hebrew, there are helping prepositions.

bayith (ת̣י ַ) [pronounced BAH-yith]

house, household, habitation as well as inward

masculine singular construct with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong's #1004 BDB #108

In the Greek, this reads And she left him there before the Lord, and departed to Armathaim;...


Translation: Then Elkanah went to Ramah, his home... As is obvious in comparing the texts, there is a difference between the Septuagint and the Massoretic text here. In the Massoretic text, Hannah, who had been praying her psalm, is not mentioned in v. 11, but her husband, Elkanah, is. He is said to return to his home in Ramah. In the Greek, Elkanah is not mentioned and we have the feminine singular used with the first two verbs. We will spend our time with the Hebrew text.


We begin with the wâw consecutive followed by the proper noun Elkanah, followed by the definite article and the proper noun Ramah (actually, Ramath with a directional affixed to it). This literally means Ramah-ward; i.e., in the direction of Ramah. We could render this to Ramah or toward Ramah without losing its literal meaning. Footnote Then we have unto his house, which gives us: So Elkanah went to Ramah, to his house. If the Hebrew text is taken to be accurate here, it simply means that Hannah and Elkanah presented their son together as a family unit to the High Priest Eli. Hannah’s words were recorded; if Elkanah had anything to say, it was not. Apparently, there have been some who interpreted this as Elkanah returned to his home, but his wives remained there in Shiloh. The fact that he went to worship with all his house (1Sam. 1:21) makes it more likely that he would return home with all his house. Secondly, Hannah’s much to do about giving her son over to the Lord to be raised would make little sense if she remained with him. Finally, Hannah will return yearly with a new robe for her son Samuel, as we will se in 1Sam. 2:19, so such a supposition reads far too much into the Hebrew text.


1Samuel 2:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

na׳ar (ר-ע-נ) [pronounced NAH-ģahr]

boy, youth, young man, personal attendant

masculine singular noun with a definite article

Strong’s #5288 & #5289 BDB #654

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

shârath (ת ַר ָש) [pronounced shaw-RAHTH]

to serve, to minister

Piel participle

Strong’s #8334 BDB #1058

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...while the boy was ministering [to] Yehowah... The wâw conjunction begins the second line, along with the definite article and the masculine singular noun boy, youth, young man, personal attendant. Then we have the 3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect of to be followed by the Piel participle of to serve, to minister. The Piel participle means ministering.

 

Barnes tells us that this word is used three ways in Scripture: (1) to refer to the service or ministration of both priests and Levites rendered to the Lord (Ex. 28:35, 43); (2) of the ministrations of the Levites as rendered to the priests, to aid them in their Divine service (Num. 3:6); and (3) of any service or ministration in particular rendered to a man of God, such as Joshua’s service to Moses (Num. 11:28). Footnote


As a youth, Samuel would have been taught to write and to read; and he would have been brought up in the Law. As Samuel grew to be a boy, he was given certain duties to take care of. On the various worship feasts, there would be a gathering of Israel to Shiloh, and whenever you have the gathering of people, there are things which must be taken care of. Other exegetes suggest that he played a musical instrument, lit candles, etc.; all of which would be reasonable service for a young boy. As he grew older, his responsibilities would have increased. However, there is no indication that he immediately supplanted Eli’s sons and their involvement with the animal sacrifices, which, as we will find, will be entirely self-serving on their part.

 

Matthew Henry tells us: What is lent to the Lord will certainly be repaid with interest, to our unspeakable advantage, and oftentimes in kind. Hannah resigns one child to God, and is recompensed with five; for Eli's blessing took effect (1Sam. 2:21): She bore three sons and two daughters. There is nothing lost by lending to God or losing for him; it shall be repaid a hundred-fold (Matt. 19:29). Footnote


1Samuel 2:11c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Pânîym preceded by the generally untranslated êth means before, in presence of.

׳Êlîy (י.ל̤ע) [pronounced ģay-LEE]

transliterated Eli

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5941 BDB #750

kôhên (ן ֵהֹ) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #3548 BDB #463


Translation: ...in the presence of Eli the priest. We then have the untranslated notation of a direct object followed by the proper noun Yehowah, followed by the untranslated word indicating a direct object again, followed by faces of Eli the priest. This gives us: And the youth has been ministering to God in the presence of Eli the priest.


Chapter Outline Part I

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part I

Chapter Outline Part II

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part II

One of the remarkable parallels in Scripture is that between Hannah’s Psalm, which was in part dedication of Samuel to service to God and Mary’s Song, also inspired by God the Holy Spirit. We have compared individual portions of the two; here, we will place them side-by-side.

Hannah’s Psalm

Mary’s Song

Then Hannah prayed and said,

And Mary said,

“My heart has rejoiced in Yehowah;

my horn [or, my strength] has been lifted up in Yehowah.

My mouth has opened wide against my enemies

for I have rejoiced in Your deliverance.

There is no holy one like Yehowah,

for there is no one besides You;

and there is no rock like our Elohim.

You will not multiply [your] height [pride]; you will [not] talk proudly

[or, Stop speaking with such arrogance].

Unrestrained [speech] comes forth from your mouths

for a God of knowledge [is] Yehowah

and, with respect to Him, actions are measured.

 The bows of [enemy] soldiers are shattered [and dismayed];

those who are exhausted put on [God’s] strength. Those [previously] sated with food have been hired out

and [those who are] hungry have ceased.

A barren woman has given birth to seven

but a woman with sons languishes.

Yehowah kills and he brings to life;

He brings down to Sheol then He brings up. Yehowah causes to dispossess and He makes rich;

he causes them to be brought low yet brings [them] up.

He raises the poor from the dust;

He lifts up the destitute out of a shit pile

to cause them to sit with princes [and the liberal rich];

and He causes them to inherit a seat of great honor.

Because the pillars of the earth [belong] to Yehowah,

He places the world upon them.

He guards the feet of His gracious ones

but the corrupt are made silent in the darkness,

for a man will not prevail by [his own] strength. Those contending with Yehowah are broken into pieces;

He thunders against them in the heavens.

Yehowah judges the ends of the earth

and He gives strength to His king and He exalts the horn of His Anointed One, His Christ.”

“My soul exalts the Lord,

and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior

for He has regard for the humble state of His servant;

for behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed.

For the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is His name.

And his mercy is upon generation after generation towards those who fear him.

He has done mighty deeds with His arm;

He has scattered the proud in thoughts of their heart.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones,

and He has exalted those who were grace-oriented.

He has filled the hungry with good things

and sent away the rich empty-handed.

He has given help to Israel His servant,

in remembrances of His mercy as He spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and his descendants forever.”

Then Elkanah went to Ramah, his home while the boy was ministering [to] Yehowah in the presence of Eli the priest (1Sam. 2:1–11).

And Mary stayed with her about three months and then returned to her home. (Luke 1:46–56 Psalm 103:17 Psalm 132:11).

The parallels between these two passages are remarkable. In each case, we have two spiritual women who fully apprehend their place in history, and the tremendous role in history which will be played by their sons. As to the content of their psalms, it might be best to simply place that side-by-side

My heart has rejoiced in Yehowah;

My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior

my horn [or, my strength] has been lifted up in Yehowah.

My mouth has opened wide against my enemies

for I have rejoiced in Your deliverance.

For the Mighty One has done great things for me,

and holy is His name.

 The bows of [enemy] soldiers are shattered [and dismayed];

Those contending with Yehowah are broken into pieces;

He thunders against them in the heavens.

He has scattered the proud in thoughts of their heart.

He has brought down rulers from their thrones,

those who are exhausted put on [God’s] strength. Those [previously] sated with food have been hired out

and [those who are] hungry have ceased.

Yehowah causes to dispossess and He makes rich;

He raises the poor from the dust;

He lifts up the destitute out of a shit pile.

and He has exalted those who were grace-oriented.

He has filled the hungry with good things

and sent away the rich empty-handed.

and He gives strength to His king and He exalts the horn of His Anointed One, His Christ.

in remembrances of His mercy as He spoke to our fathers,

to Abraham and his descendants forever.

Probably what is most fascinating about the differences between these two psalms is that, if anything, Hannah’s is far more Messianic, even though she speaks a millennium previous to the Incarnation of our Lord.


Return to Chapter Outline Part I

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part I

Return to Chapter Outline Part II

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part II


At this point, we begin the second half of this chapter, which could have just as easily been designated 1Sam. 3.



1Samuel 2b


1Samuel 2:1–11

Part I: The Psalm of Hannah

1Samuel 2:12–36

Part II: Eli’s Sons and Eli’s Son


Outline of Chapter 2, Part II:

       vv.   12–17      Eli’s Sons Disrespect the Offerings to God

       vv.   18–21      Hannah’s Continued Relationship with Her Son Samuel

       vv.   22–26      Eli Confronts His Sons Over Their Sins

       vv.   27–36      A Prophet of God Comes and Speaks to Eli



Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines of Chapter 2, Part II:

 

       v.     12           Adam Clarke on Child-Rearing

       v.     15           1Sam. 2:12–15 as per the New Living Testament

       v.     17           Eli’s Sons are Responsible for these Offertory Customs

       v.     17           The Purpose of the Meat Offerings

       v.     19           The Defining Factors of a Cult

       v.     23           Why Didn’t Eli Remove his Sons from the Priesthood?

       v.     27           Modern-Day Kooks

       v.     30           The Hithpael Stem of a Verb

       v.     30           What is God Saying to Eli?

       v.     32           The 3 Faces of 1Sam. 2:32a

       v.     32           1Sam. 2:31–32 (revised)

       v.     33           The Fulfillment of 1Samuel 2:33

       v.     35           The Fulfillment of 1Samuel 2:35

       v.     36           1Samuel 2:31–36 and its Fulfillment

       v.     36           A Summary of the Offenses of Eli’s House, God’s Sentence and Fulfillment

       v.     36           The Characteristics of a Prophet of God

       v.     36           The Parallels Between Samuel and Christ Jesus


I ntroduction: This portion of the second half of 1Sam. 2 is a new topic and scenario. Hannah and Elkanah are mentioned only briefly (vv. 19–21) and only in connection with Samuel. In this second part of 1Sam. 2, we will contrast the natural sons of Eli and his supernatural son, if you will. His natural sons were raised under him in close proximity to the Tent of God. We do not know anything about Eli’s wife, whether she was still alive or what; however, either she or some Levitical women would have raised the sons and Eli would have certainly had some contact with his boys as well. However, they took upon themselves characteristics which were very un-Eli-like. In fact, as ministers of God, they sucked. They were not even believers. Therefore, their only interest in the ministry was how could it be beneficial to them personally.


Robert Gordon makes an interesting comment at this point. He takes the book of 1Samuel as a whole, and does not break them down by chapter, but by section, the first section being 1:1–2:10. The second section, 2:11–4:1a tells of the decline of Shiloh, which decline illustrates Hannah’s point, “He brings down, He also exalts.” (1Sam. 2:7b). God will bring down the line of Eli—particularly his sons, Hophni and Phinehas; and He will exalt Samuel. To emphasize these contrasting fortunes, the narrator inserts brief progress reports on the boy Samuel (2:11b, 18, 21b, 26; 3:1; 3:19–4:1a) in what is otherwise an account of the last days of the Elide priesthood. Footnote Hannah spoke, in her psalm, about a reversal of fortune, and this is what we will find here: Eli’s line will be cut off with his sons and Samuel, a child seemingly from out of nowhere, will be exalted.


This portion of 1Sam. 2 can be easily broken down into four parts: (1) We first begin with the sins of Eli’s sons and the fact that they were not even believers. (2) We have a very short paragraph on Samuel as a youth growing up before Eli (and mention is made of his mother Hannah as well). (3) More of the sins of Eli’s sons are revealed, and Eli rebukes his own sons. (4) Finally, a man of God comes to Eli (not to his sons), and speaks to Eli the message from God. This prophet then rebukes Eli’s sons and promises that they would both die on the same day. Finally, in the prophet’s last words, it becomes clear that these events are setting up a series of analogous events which would take place in the future. Briefly, the analogies are these: the authority of God will pass from the priesthood to the prophets sometime in the near future. Samuel will be the last great priest to God. God will reject His sons (Israel) because most of them have become unbelievers. In fact, unbelieving Israel will be destroyed. From them will arise a single man who will deliver Israel, both as a nation and spiritually—that man, the Lord Jesus Christ (Samuel is a type of our Lord).


Throughout Scripture, the nature and reality of God’s Son is continually taught through analogy. The birth of Isaac spoke of our Lord; Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac spoke of our Lord. Moses was a type of Christ, and his two natures modeled the two natures of our Lord—recall that Moses was born of a peasant family, destined for death; he was taken in by royalty and raised by royalty—neatly foreshadowing the human and the divine (royal) natures of our Lord. Joshua was a type of Christ, as was at least one of the judges. And now we have Samuel. And with Samuel, we have the handoff of the spiritual responsibility and authority of the priests to the prophets, just as when comes our Lord, will be the handoff of spiritual responsibility and authority of Israel to the Church. And, so that we would realize that many of the Old Testament incidents would teach by analogy those things to come, in a similar fashion, our Lord would teach primarily by analogy, laying down situations and relationships which were analogous to the truth that He was teaching. If God taught great truths and foreshadowed great events by what occurred in the Old Testament, then we would expect that God in the Flesh would teach in a similar fashion, which is what we found. Jesus Christ often taught by parables, so that the audience was able to understand the parable itself as it was taught, but often did not grasp the meaning or the application of the parable until later.


Now, back to this prophet: historically, this chapter contains the first prophet of God, indicating that there would be some sort of a handoff from the authority and ministry of the priests to the authority and ministry of the prophets. Samuel, whose office was that of a priest and a prophet, would further advance the idea of such a handoff, as he was an interim figure, operating in both offices. This has often been God’ method. When He changes His program from one dispensation to another, or when He changes some of His administrative duties in the middle of a dispensation, then God would have a period of time which was an interim period. When we went from Israel as a nation and a people as custodians and disseminators of the Word of God to handing off these responsibilities to the Church, it did not happen overnight. Israel was still a nation when the Holy Spirit was given to the Church. As Paul further defined that which was the Church, Israel still existed as a nation and the Church itself was made up of many Jewish believers. However, over a period of nearly 40 years, during which the Church was established and, finally, Israel was destroyed as a nation, the Church supplanted the nation Israel (which had been derelict in its duties toward God). What we had was many decades during which Israel did less and less with respect to her God-given purpose until all things spiritual in connection to Israel had become completely corrupt. Therefore, Jesus’ greatest enemies were not the Gentile (Roman) unbelievers, but the religious arm of the nation Israel. Those who took Jesus to the Romans and demanded crucifixion were priests by birth and by function. We have a parallel situation here in 1Samuel. The priesthood had become corrupt, with Eli functioning as he should, but his sons behave with great indifference to their duties. The sudden appearance of this unnamed prophet indicates that God would have other ways of communicating His Word and His Will to man.


That being said, let us return to narrative:


Chapter Outline Part I

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part I

Chapter Outline Part II

Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines Part II


Eli’s Sons Disrespect the Offerings to God

For the next 8 verses, we will compare and contrast Eli’s sons and Samuel. In vv. 12–17, the sons of Eli will be presented as unbelievers who despised the offering of God. In vv. 18–19, we will see that Samuel, although young, will be growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.


And sons of Eli sons of Belial—

they did not know Yehowah.

1Samuel

2:12

Now the sons of Eli [were] worthless sons [lit., sons of Belial]

they did not know Yehowah.

Now the sons of Eli were worthless—they did not even know Jehovah God.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And sons of Eli sons of Belial—they did not know Yehowah.

Septuagint                             And the sons of Heli the priest [were] evil sons, not knowing the Lord.

 

Significant differences:          None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Eli's sons were priests, but they were dishonest and refused to obey the LORD.

The Message                         Eli's own sons were a bad lot. They didn't know GOD and could not have cared less.

TEV                                       The sons of Eli were scoundrels. They paid no attention to the Lord...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word™                         Eli’s sons [Hophni and Phinehas,] were good-for-nothing priests; they had no faith in the Lord.

JPS (Tanakh)                        Now Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they paid no heed to the .


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

HCSB                                    Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD.

Young's Literal Translation    ...and the sons of Eli are sons of worthlessness, they have not known Jehovah.


What is the gist of this verse? Eli’s sons are unbelievers and were evil besides.


1Samuel 2:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

׳Êlîy (י.ל̤ע) [pronounced ģay-LEE]

transliterated Eli

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #5941 BDB #750

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Belîyyaal (ל ַעַ̣ל ׃) [pronounced belee-YAH-ģahl]

without value, worthless, ruin, good-for-nothing, unprofitable, useless, without fruit; wickedness, vileness; destruction; wicked or ungodly [men]; transliterated Belial

masculine singular noun; pausal form

Strong’s #1100 BDB #116

 

Translation: Now the sons of Eli [were] worthless sons [lit., sons of Belial]—... We begin with the wâw conjunction followed by sons of Eli followed by sons of Belial. We have had this and similar phrases throughout Scripture, so it is time to examine the Doctrine of Belial. That is, just who is this guy Belial? Is Scripture saying that these sons of Eli are really sons of Satan? For those who do not check this reference out, belîyyaal (ל ַע ַ  ̣ל  ׃) [pronounced beleey-YAH-ģahl], means without value, without worth, worthless. Paul contrasts Christ and Belial in 2Cor. 6:15. In general, we would assume that this would be another way of saying that someone is an unbeliever (which will be clear in this context).


1Samuel 2:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâda׳ (עַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...they did not know Yehowah. In the second line, we have the negative and the 3rd person plural, Qal perfect of to know. Then we have the untranslated notation of a direct object followed by the proper noun Yehowah. They did not know Yehowah. Being sons of Belial is another way of saying these men are unbelievers.


This gives you an idea of the sorry state of the priesthood. Eli’s sons were next in line to assume his place and they were not even believers. Therefore, you would expect that they would use their office to their own advantage.

 

Gill backs off from calling them unbelievers, but he does say: They denied him in works, they had no love to him, nor fear of him, and departed from his ways and worship, as much as if they were entirely ignorant of him; so the Targum [says],"they did not know to fear before the Lord,''or serve him; or, as Kimchi [writes],"they did not know the way of the Lord.''  Footnote

 

Clarke comments about Eli’s sons: These men were the principal cause of all the ungodliness of Israel. Their most execrable conduct, described 1Sam. 2:13-17, caused the people to abhor the Lord’s offering. An impious priesthood is the grand cause of the transgressions and ruin of any nation; witness France, Germany, Spain, Ac., from 1792 to 1814. Footnote


We find a great number of Scriptures related to not knowing God: 1Sam. 3:7 tells us that, when God first spoke to Samuel, that He did not know God. In Judges 2:10, a generation arises which does not know God. In Jer. 2:8, all of those connected with the ministry of Jehovah God did not know Him. When Jesus taught, men approached him all of the time and criticized Jesus and His teaching. We have this situation in John 8:52–59, where Jesus explains that He knows God and they do not. Jesus warns his disciples that they would be persecuted by men who do not know Him (John 16:3). Jesus, before He was seized and taken to be crucified, prayed to God “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son may also glorify You, as You gave to Him authority over all flesh, so that to all which You gave to Him, He may give to them everlasting life. And this is everlasting life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.” (John 17:1–3). However, one of the most remarkable passages of Scripture is Rom. 1:21–32: For though they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became nonsense, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual intercourse for what is unnatural. The males in the same way also left natural sexual intercourse with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty for their perversion. And because they did not think it worthwhile to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong. They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, disputes, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. Although they know full well God's just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.

 

McGee, in his own folksy way, reminds us at this point that just because Samuel is being brought up in the Tabernacle, that does not mean that he is in a safe and secure environment. There are many folk who send a son to a Christian school and feel very comfortable about it. I don’t want you to misunderstand what I am saying—I thank God for Christian schools. The problem is that since the boy is in a good place, they quit praying for him. That boy may be in the most dangerous place imaginable. Other parents feel secure in the fact that their son is in a fine church. My friend, that’s where the devil goes—to those wonderful places! Remember that the devil was in the Upper Room where Christ celebrate the Last Supper with His disciples. That room was the most dangerous place in Jerusalem that night because the devil was present. We need to remember that the boy who goes to a good church or a good school still needs prayer. He may be in a dangerous place. Footnote


May I add to what McGee says here: you cannot haul your child to church and put him in a Christian school and believe that you have done all that can. If you have done this, you have bypassed your most important function as a parent—facilitating the spiritual growth of the child. Now, you cannot force any child to be a Christian—that is a choice he will have to make early on for himself—but you need to personally teach him about Who and What God is and make the gospel clear to him from a very early age. If and when the child believes in Jesus Christ, then you teach the child how to grow spiritually.

 

I was a teacher for many years, and I noticed over the years a difference in the attitude of the parents. More and more was put upon the school. When I began to teach, many parents supplemented my teaching with their own tutoring; or they had made an environment conducive for learning at their home (a parent often helps their child one on one through much of their primary grades, gradually backing off and allowing the child to learn on their own). However, near the end of my career, parents increasingly expect all of the learning to take place at school, some expecting little or no homework. I have called homes of children who were in high school, and the process of getting the person who answered the phone to take a message was a great exercise in patience. Many times, it would take 5 minutes for the person who answered the phone to find a piece of paper and a pencil—and this would be in a home of several children, all of whom supposedly do homework. In other words, many parents did little to encourage their children in the realm of education, seeing that many of them lacked even the most fundamental tools at home to work (I cannot tell you how many homes I have been in where there are no books and no magazines, although there were always VCR tapes and/or DVD’s). In many cases, instead of working with their child so that he could be successful, some parents even attacked the teacher (not just me, but many of my colleagues), if their child was not doing well. One often cites the fact that private schools do a much better job of teaching than do public schools, and with half the money, but the difference is often parental involvement.


Although it may seem weird to have two men functioning as priests who do not know God, but this is not really that unusual. We have whole churches filled with unbelievers. There are perhaps thousands of pastors throughout the United States who will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire because their full and complete faith has never been placed with Christ Jesus. They have always harbored in themselves the notion that their goodness and their service counts for something in the realm of salvation, wherein, in fact, these things do not play any part in our salvation. God’s work in His Son Jesus is the complete foundation for our salvation—there is nothing that we can add to His death and judgment on the cross. His receiving the value of our punishment upon Himself is the only reason that we have any sort of relationship with God. Now, so that you don’t freak out on me: works certainly play a part in the life of a believer. However, the fact that we believe is what places us into Christ. Our works are a result of our faith (although not necessarily an ipso facto result). Our works play a part in our eternal rewards; but no part whatsoever in our eternal salvation.


Satan attacks believers and unbelievers in several ways. When he attacks the institutions of God, he does whatever he can to fill these institutions with unbelievers or with ineffective believers. In the book of Judges, we find that there were times when most or all of Israel were unbelievers (Judges 2:10). In the future from Jeremiah, most of Israel would not believe in our Lord either: “Your dwelling is in the midst of deceit; through deceit, they refuse to know Me,” declares Jehovah. (Jer. 9:6). However, Israel began with a nation of believers, and, during the Millennium, all Israel will believe again. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Jehovah. “I will put My Law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God and they will be My people. And they will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know Jehovah,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Jehovah, “for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.” (Jer. 31:33–34).


We’ve wandered a little astray of our subject, which is the degeneracy of Eli’s sons. Adam Clarke makes some comments on the raising of children. He does assume that Eli did a crappy job raising his children, which may be true; however, they might of been lousy souls to begin with.

Adam Clarke on Child-Rearing

In this chapter we read again of the fearful consequences of a neglected religious education. Eli’s sons were wicked: their father knew the Lord; but he neither taught his children, nor restrained them by his parental authority. I have already had occasion to remark, that were a proper line of conduct pursued in the education of children, how few profligate sons and daughters, and how few broken-hearted parents should we find! The neglect of early religious education, connected with a wholesome and affectionate restraint, is the ruin of millions. Many parents, to excuse their indolence and most criminal neglect, say, “We cannot give our children grace.” What do they mean by this? That God, not themselves, is the author of the irregularities and viciousness of their children. They may shudder at this imputation: but when they reflect that they have not given them right precepts, have not brought them under firm and affectionate restraint; have not showed them, by their own spirit, temper, and conduct, how they should be regulated in theirs; when either the worship of God has not been established in their houses, or they have permitted their children, on the most trifling pretenses, to absent themselves from it; when all these things are considered, they will find that, speaking after the manner of men, it would have been a very extraordinary miracle indeed if the children had been found preferring a path in which they did not see their parents conscientiously tread. Let those parents who continue to excuse themselves by saying, “We cannot give grace to our children,” lay their hand on their conscience, and say whether they ever knew an instance where God withheld his grace, while they were, in humble subserviency to him, performing their duty. The real state of the case is this: parents cannot do God’s work, and God will not do theirs; but if they use the means, and train up the child in the way he should go, God will not withhold his blessing.

It is not parental fondness, nor parental authority, taken separately, that can produce this beneficial effect. A father may be as fond of his offspring as Eli, and his children be sons of Belial; he may be as authoritative as the grand Turk, and his children despise and plot rebellion against him. But let parental authority be tempered with fatherly affection; and let the rein of discipline be steadily held by this powerful but affectionate hand; and there shall the pleasure of God prosper; there will he give his blessing, even life for evermore. Many fine families have been spoiled, and many ruined, by the separate exercise of these two principles. Parental affection, when alone, infallibly degenerates into foolish fondness; and parental authority frequently degenerates into brutal tyranny when standing by itself. The first sort of parents will be loved without being respected; the second sort will be dreaded, without either respect or esteem. In the first case obedience is not exacted, and is therefore felt to be unnecessary, as offenses of great magnitude pass without punishment or reprehension: in the second case, rigid exaction renders obedience almost impossible; and the smallest delinquency is often punished with the extreme of torture, which, hardening the mind, renders duty a matter of perfect indifference.

Parents, lay these things to heart: remember Eli and his sons; remember the dismal end of both! Teach your children to fear God, use wholesome discipline, be determined, begin in time, mingle severity and mercy together in all your conduct, and earnestly pray to God to second your godly discipline with the power and grace of his Spirit.

Education is generally defined that series of means by which the human understanding is gradually enlightened, and the dispositions of the heart are corrected, formed, and brought forth, between early infancy and the period when a young person is considered as qualified to take a part in active life. Whole nations have been corrupted, enfeebled, and destroyed, through the want of proper education: through this multitudes of families have degenerated; and a countless number of individuals have come to an untimely end. Parents who neglect this, neglect the present and eternal interests of their offspring.*

* This text has been taken from Adam Clarke, Commentary on the Bible; from e-Sword, 1Sam. 3:21.


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The manifestation of the degeneracy of Eli’s sons will be covered in the next couple of verses.


And a custom of the priests with the people: any man sacrificing a sacrifice and would come a servant of the priest while a smoldering of the flesh and a fork, three of the prongs in his hand,...

1Samuel

2:13

Now the custom of the priests with the people [was as follows]: [while] any man offering a sacrifice, the priest’s young man would come while smoldering the flesh with [lit., and] a three-pronged fork in his hand,...

This was the custom of the priests with the people:

At any time during the offering of a sacrifice by any man, the priest’s servant would venture over while the meat was simmering, and he would be holding a three-pronged fork in his hand,...


With this verse, we begin a description of what a priest did in general and how the sons of Eli deviated from the required format of sacrificing to God. Here is how others translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic text                And a custom of the priests with the people: any man sacrificing a sacrifice and would come a servant of the priest while a smoldering of the flesh and a fork, three of the prongs in his hand,...

Septuagint                             And the priest’s claim from everyone of the people that sacrificed: the servant of the priest came when the flesh was in seething, and a flesh-hook of three teeth [would be] in his hand;...

 

Significant differences:          No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       So, while people were boiling the meat from their sacrifices, these priests would send over a servant with a large, three-pronged fork.

NJB                                Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being cooked;...

TEV                                       ...or to the regulations concerning what the priests could demand from the people. Instead, when a man was offering his sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork. While the meat was still cooking,...


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

BBE                                       And the priests' way with the people was this: when any man made an offering, the priest's servant came while the flesh was being cooked, having in his hand a meat-hook with three teeth;...

God’s Word                         Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were good-for-nothing priests; they had no faith in the LORD.

JPS (Tanakh)                        This is how the priests used to deal with the people: When anyone brought a sacrifice, the priest’s boy would come along with a three-pronged fork while the meat was boiling,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

HNV                                       The custom of the Kohanim with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the Kohen's servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand;...

Young's Updated LT              And the custom of the priests with the people was: any man sacrificing a sacrifice—then has the servant of the priest come in when the flesh is boiling, and the hook of three teeth in his hand,...


What is the gist of this verse? The sons of Eli had a custom to approach those with a sacrifice; they would carry a large, three pronged fork (think the size used at a barbeque).


When I view a passage like this, I often wonder to myself, prior to the exegesis, is why is this here? That is, later on in this passage, we will find that the sons of Eli had sex with the Levitical women who served the Tent of God (1Sam. 2:22), Footnote and we understand fully how wrong that is, and how they would be despised by God for that infraction—however, this stuff about them taking part of the sacrifice and when they take it and what they do with it—that is a more curious charge of sinfulness. And, note, that is what gets all the page-time—not the incidents of sexual misconduct, which is simply thrown in there as an addendum, as in, oh, yeah, they did this too. Sometimes I am able to explain this to where I am confident of the explanation, and sometimes not. We’ll see. However, rarely in a passage like this do I walk into it with a complete understanding of why is it here. We begin to approach this understanding with the exegesis:


1Samuel 2:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

mîshepâţ (ט ָ  ׃ש  ̣מ) [pronounced mishe-PAWT]

judgement, justice, a verdict rendered by a judge, a judicial decision, a judicial sentence, a verdict, the judgement of the court

masculine singular construct

Strong's #4941 BDB #1048

Gesenius organizes the meanings as follows: (1) judgement; (a) the act of judging; (b) the place of judgment; (c) a forensic cause, the setting forth of a cause, to appeal a judgment; (d) the sentence of a judge; (e) the fault or crime one is judged for; (2) a right, that which is just, lawful according to law; (a) a law, a statute; a body of laws; (b) that which is lawfully due a person, a privilege, a legal privilege, the right of redemption, the right of primogeniture; (c) a manner, a custom; (d) a fashion, a kind, a plan. We could possibly add the meanings for the plural: laws, responsibilities, privileges. From the standpoint of the one under judgment, mîshepâţ could mean appeal.

kôhên (ן ֵהֹ) [pronounced koh-HANE]

priest

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #3548 BDB #463

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object)

Strong's #854 BDB #85

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

zâbach (חַבָז) [pronounced zawb-VAHKH]

to slaughter [usually an animal for sacrifice]

Qal active participle

Strong’s #2076 BDB #256

zebach (ח ַב ז) [pronounced ZEHB-vakh]

slaughtered animal [used in a sacrificial offering], slaughter, sacrifice, slaughtering, sacrificial animal

masculine singular construct

Strong's #2077 BDB #257

 

Translation: Now the custom of the priests with the people [was as follows]: [while] any man offering a sacrifice,... After the wâw conjunction, we have the masculine singular construct of mishepâţ (ט ָ  ׃ש  ̣מ) [pronounced mish-PAWT], which usually means judgement, a verdict rendered by a judge, a judicial decision, a verdict. However, it can also mean manner, custom, fashion. This is followed by the priests, which refers to Eli’s sons. Then we have the preposition êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth], which simply means with, among. This can be a little tricky as this same word is often untranslated designation of a direct object. The key to this word is close association with, close proximity to beyond simple geographical proximity. The Aramaic, Septuagint and Syriac codices have from rather than with. What follows is what they expected from the people. Then we have the people, giving us: And the custom of the priests with the people [was as follows]: What we will be looking at is what had become the custom of the priesthood by the time that Eli and his sons came on the scene. This is not what the Law proscribes; this is what the priests customarily did.


Throughout the next several verses, I am going to present two possible scenarios related to these customs which come about. It is possible that these customs came about over a long period of time, extending back to the administrations of previous judges. It is also possible that these customs came about over a short period of time—say over a decade or so. Although I will approach each verse from either view, these customs were probably initiated by Eli’s sons, as the blame for them falls squarely upon their shoulders (Eli will be blamed for the behavior of his sons, not for participating himself in these customs).


The next line begins every man, all men, any man, followed by the Qal active participle of to slaughter [usually an animal for sacrifice]. This is followed by its noun cognate, giving us: Any man sacrificing a sacrifice... So Eli’s sons approached anyone who had come to the Tabernacle to offer up a sacrifice.


1Samuel 2:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though