1 Samuel 2Tweetthis!
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn 2 is exalted high because of the Lord.
I loudly denounce 3 my enemies,
for I am happy that you delivered me. 4
There is no one other than you!
There is no rock 6 like our God!
letting proud talk come out of your mouth!
For the Lord is a God who knows;
he 8 evaluates what people do.
2:4 The bows of warriors are shattered,
but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
2:5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food,
but the hungry no longer lack.
but the one with many children withers away. 11
2:6 The Lord both kills and gives life;
he brings down to the grave 12 and raises up.
2:7 The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy;
he humbles and he exalts.
he raises 14 the poor from the ash heap
to seat them with princes
and to bestow on them an honored position. 15
The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord,
and he has placed the world on them.
but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness,
for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.
he thunders against them from 20 the heavens.
The Lord executes judgment to the ends of the earth.
He will strengthen 21 his king
2:12 The sons of Eli were wicked men. 25 They did not recognize the Lord’s authority. 26 2:13 Now the priests would always treat the people in the following way: 27 Whenever anyone was making a sacrifice, while the meat was boiling, the priest’s attendant would come with a three-pronged fork 28 in his hand. 2:14 He would jab it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or pot, and everything that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they used to do to all the Israelites 29 when they came there to Shiloh.
2:15 Even before they burned the fat, the priest’s attendant would come and say to the person who was making the sacrifice, “Hand over some meat for the priest to roast! He won’t take boiled meat from you, but only raw.” 30 2:16 If the individual said to him, “First let the fat be burned away, and then take for yourself whatever you wish,” he would say, “No! 31 Hand it over right now! If you don’t, I will take it forcibly!”
2:18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord. The boy was dressed in a linen ephod. 2:19 His mother used to make him a small robe and bring it up to him at regular intervals when she would go up with her husband to make the annual sacrifice. 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, “May the Lord raise up for you descendants 33 from this woman to replace the one that she 34 dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would go to their 35 home. 2:21 So the Lord graciously attended to Hannah, and she was able to conceive and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up at the Lord’s sanctuary. 36
2:22 Now Eli was very old when he heard about everything that his sons used to do to all the people of Israel 37 and how they used to have sex with 38 the women who were stationed at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 2:23 He said to them, “Why do you behave in this way? For I hear about these evil things from all these 39 people. 2:24 This ought not to be, 40 my sons! For the report that I hear circulating among the Lord’s people is not good. 2:25 If a man sins against a man, one may appeal to God on his behalf. But if a man sins against the Lord, who then will intercede for him?” But Eli’s sons 41 would not listen to their father, for the Lord had decided 42 to kill them.
2:26 Now the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the Lord and with people.
2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Did I not plainly 43 reveal myself to your ancestor’s 44 house when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh? 2:28 I chose your ancestor 45 from all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifice on my altar, to burn incense, and to bear the ephod before me. I gave to your ancestor’s house all the fire offerings made by the Israelites. 2:29 Why are you 46 scorning my sacrifice and my offering that I commanded for my dwelling place? 47 You have honored your sons more than you have me by having made yourselves fat from the best parts of all the offerings of my people Israel.’
2:30 Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I really did say 48 that your house and your ancestor’s house would serve 49 me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May it never be! 50 For I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed! 2:31 In fact, days are coming when I will remove your strength 51 and the strength 52 of your father’s house. There will not be an old man in your house! 2:32 You will see trouble in my dwelling place! 53 Israel will experience blessings, 54 but there will not be an old man in your 55 house for all time. 56 2:33 Any one of you that I do not cut off from my altar, I will cause your 57 eyes to fail 58 and will cause you grief. 59 All of those born to your family 60 will die in the prime of life. 61 2:34 This will be a confirming sign for you that will be fulfilled through your two sons, 62 Hophni and Phinehas: in a single day they both will die! 2:35 Then I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what is in my heart and soul. I will build for him a secure dynasty 63 and he will serve my chosen one for all time. 64 2:36 Everyone who remains in your house will come to bow before him for a little money 65 and for a scrap of bread. Each will say, ‘Assign me to a priestly task so I can eat a scrap of bread.’”
1 tn Heb “prayed and said.” This is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation.
2 sn Horns of animals have always functioned as both offensive and defensive weapons for them. As a figure of speech the horn is therefore often used in the Bible as a symbol of human strength (see also in v. 10). The allusion in v. 1 to the horn being lifted high suggests a picture of an animal elevating its head in a display of strength or virility.
3 tn Heb “my mouth opens wide against.”
4 tn Heb “for I rejoice in your deliverance.”
5 sn In this context God’s holiness refers primarily to his sovereignty and incomparability. He is unique and distinct from all other so-called gods.
6 tn The LXX has “and there is none righteous like our God.” The Hebrew term translated “rock” refers to a rocky cliff where one can seek refuge from enemies. Here the metaphor depicts God as a protector of his people. Cf. TEV “no protector like our God”; CEV “We’re safer with you than on a high mountain.”
7 tn Heb “proudly, proudly.” If MT is original, the repetition of the word is for emphasis, stressing the arrogance of those addressed. However, a few medieval Hebrew manuscripts and some other textual witnesses do not reflect the repetition, suggesting that the Hebrew text may be dittographic.
8 tc The MT (Qere) reads “and by him actions are weighed.” The translation assumes that reading of the Qere וְלוֹ (vÿlo, “and by him”), which is supported by many medieval Hebrew
10 sn The number seven is used here in an ideal sense. Elsewhere in the OT having seven children is evidence of fertility as a result of God’s blessing on the family. See, for example, Jer 15:9, Ruth 4:15.
11 tn Or “languishes.”
12 tn Heb “Sheol”; NAB “the nether world”; CEV “the world of the dead.”
13 tn Or “lowly”; Heb “insignificant.”
14 tn The imperfect verbal form, which is parallel to the participle in the preceding line, is best understood here as indicating what typically happens.
15 tn Heb “a seat of honor.”
16 tn Heb “guards the feet of.” The expression means that God watches over and protects the godly in all of their activities and movements. The imperfect verbal forms in v. 9 are understood as indicating what is typically true. Another option is to translate them with the future tense. See v. 10b.
17 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew
19 tc The present translation follows the Qere, many medieval Hebrew manuscripts, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Vulgate in reading the plural (“his adversaries,” similarly many other English versions) rather than the singular (“his adversary”) of the Kethib.
20 tn The Hebrew preposition here has the sense of “from within.”
21 tn The imperfect verbal forms in this and the next line are understood as indicating what is anticipated and translated with the future tense, because at the time of Hannah’s prayer Israel did not yet have a king.
22 tn Heb “the horn,” here a metaphor for power or strength. Cf. NCV “make his appointed king strong”; NLT “increases the might of his anointed one.”
sn The anointed one is the anticipated king of Israel, as the preceding line makes clear.
24 tn Heb “with [or “before”] the face of.”
25 tn Heb “sons of worthlessness.”
26 tn Heb “they did not know the
27 tn Heb “the habit of the priests with the people [was this].”
28 sn The Hebrew word occurs only twice in the OT, here and again in v. 14. Its exact meaning is not entirely clear, although from the context it appears to be a sacrificial tool used for retrieving things from boiling water.
29 tn Heb “to all Israel.”
30 tn Heb “living.”
31 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew
32 tc Heb “the men,” which is absent from one medieval Hebrew
33 tn Heb “seed.”
34 tn The MT has a masculine verb here, but in light of the context the reference must be to Hannah. It is possible that the text of the MT is incorrect here (cf. the ancient versions), in which case the text should be changed to read either a passive participle or better, the third feminine singular of the verb. If the MT is correct here, perhaps the masculine is to be understood in a nonspecific and impersonal way, allowing for a feminine antecedent. In any case, the syntax of the MT is unusual here.
35 tn Heb “his.”
36 tn Heb “with the
37 tn Heb “to all Israel.”
38 tn Heb “lie with.”
39 tc For “these” the LXX has “of the Lord” (κυρίου, kuriou), perhaps through the influence of the final phrase of v. 24 (“the people of the
40 tn Heb “no.”
41 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Eli’s sons) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
42 tn Heb “desired.”
43 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.
45 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Eli’s ancestor, i.e., Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
46 tc The MT has a plural “you” here, but the LXX and a Qumran
47 tn Heb “which I commanded, dwelling place.” The noun is functioning as an adverbial accusative in relation to the verb. Since God’s dwelling place/sanctuary is in view, the pronoun “my” is supplied in the translation.
48 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.
49 tn Heb “walk about before.”
50 tn Heb “may it be far removed from me.”
51 tn Heb “chop off your arm.” The arm here symbolizes strength and activity.
52 tn Heb “arm.”
54 tn Heb “in all which he does good with Israel.”
55 tc The LXX and a Qumran manuscript have the first person pronoun “my” here.
56 tn Heb “all the days.”
57 tc The LXX, a Qumran
58 tn Heb “to cause your eyes to fail.” Elsewhere this verb, when used of eyes, refers to bloodshot eyes resulting from weeping, prolonged staring, or illness (see Lev 26:16; Pss 69:3; 119:82; Lam 2:11; 4:17).
59 tn Heb “and to cause your soul grief.”
60 tn Heb “and all the increase of your house.”
61 tc The text is difficult. The MT literally says “they will die [as] men.” Apparently the meaning is that they will be cut off in the prime of their life without reaching old age. The LXX and a Qumran
62 tn Heb “and this to you [is] the sign which will come to both of your sons.”
63 tn Heb “house.”
64 tn Heb “and he will walk about before my anointed one all the days.”
65 tn Heb “a piece of silver” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).