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1 Samuel 2:5-8

Context

2:5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food,

but the hungry no longer lack.

Even 1  the barren woman gives birth to seven, 2 

but the one with many children withers away. 3 

2:6 The Lord both kills and gives life;

he brings down to the grave 4  and raises up.

2:7 The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy;

he humbles and he exalts.

2:8 He lifts the weak 5  from the dust;

he raises 6  the poor from the ash heap

to seat them with princes

and to bestow on them an honored position. 7 

The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord,

and he has placed the world on them.

1 tc Against BHS but with the MT, the preposition (עַד, ’ad) should be taken with what follows rather than with what precedes. For this sense of the preposition see Job 25:5.

2 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.

3 tn Or “languishes.”

4 tn Heb “Sheol”; NAB “the nether world”; CEV “the world of the dead.”

5 tn Or “lowly”; Heb “insignificant.”

6 tn The imperfect verbal form, which is parallel to the participle in the preceding line, is best understood here as indicating what typically happens.

7 tn Heb “a seat of honor.”



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