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1 Samuel 1:6-8

Context
1:6 Her rival wife used to upset her and make her worry, 1  for the Lord had not enabled her to have children. 1:7 Peninnah 2  would behave this way year after year. Whenever Hannah 3  went up to the Lord’s house, Peninnah 4  would upset her so that she would weep and refuse to eat. 1:8 Finally her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and not eat? Why are you so sad? 5  Am I not better to you than ten 6  sons?”

1 tn Heb “and her rival wife grieved her, even [with] grief so as to worry her.”

2 tn The MT has a masculine form of the verb here יַעֲשֶׂה (yaaseh, “he used to do”); the subject in that case would presumably be Elkanah. But this leads to an abrupt change of subject in the following part of the verse, where the subject is the rival wife who caused Hannah anxiety. In light of v. 6 one expects the statement of v. 7 to refer to the ongoing actions of the rival wife: “she used to behave in this way year after year.” Some scholars have proposed retaining the masculine form but changing the vocalization of the verb so as to read a Niphal rather than a Qal (i.e., יֵעֲשֶׂה, yeaseh, “so it used to be done”). But the problem here is lack of precedent for such a use of the Niphal of this verb. It seems best in light of the context to understand the reference to be to Hannah’s rival Peninnah and to read here, with the Syriac Peshitta, a feminine form of the verb (“she used to do”). In the translation the referent (Peninnah) has been specified for clarity.

3 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Hannah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Peninnah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

5 tn Heb “why is your heart displeased?”

6 sn Like the number seven, the number ten is sometimes used in the OT as an ideal number (see, for example, Dan 1:20, Zech 8:23).



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