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1 Samuel 1:19-28

Context

1:19 They got up early the next morning and after worshiping the Lord, they returned to their home at Ramah. Elkanah had marital relations with 1  his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered 2  her. 1:20 After some time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, thinking, “I asked the Lord for him. 3 

Hannah Dedicates Samuel to the Lord

1:21 This man Elkanah went up with all his family to make the yearly sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow, 1:22 but Hannah did not go up with them. 4  Instead she told her husband, “Once the boy is weaned, I will bring him and appear before the Lord, and he will remain there from then on.”

1:23 So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what you think best. 5  Stay until you have weaned him. May the Lord fulfill his promise.” 6 

So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. 1:24 Once she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, an ephah 7  of flour, and a container 8  of wine. She brought him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh, even though he was young. 9  1:25 Once the bull had been slaughtered, they brought the boy to Eli. 1:26 She said, “Just as surely as you are alive, my lord, I am the woman who previously stood here with you in order to pray to the Lord. 1:27 I prayed for this boy, and the Lord has given me the request that I asked of him. 1:28 Now I dedicate him to the Lord. From this time on he is dedicated to the Lord.” Then they 10  worshiped the Lord there.

1 tn Heb “Elkanah knew his wife.” The Hebrew expression is a euphemism for sexual relations.

2 sn The Lord “remembered” her in the sense of granting her earlier request for a child. The Hebrew verb is often used in the OT for considering the needs or desires of people with favor and kindness.

3 tn Heb “because from the Lord I asked him.” The name “Samuel” sounds like the Hebrew verb translated “asked.” The explanation of the meaning of the name “Samuel” that is provided in v. 20 is not a strict etymology. It seems to suggest that the first part of the name is derived from the Hebrew root שׁאל (shl, “to ask”), but the consonants do not support this. Nor is it likely that the name comes from the root שׁמא (shm’, “to hear”), for the same reason. It more probably derives from שֶׁם (shem, “name”), so that “Samuel” means “name of God.” Verse 20 therefore does not set forth a linguistic explanation of the meaning of the name, but rather draws a parallel between similar sounds. This figure of speech is known as paronomasia.

4 tn The disjunctive clause is contrastive here. The words “with them” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

5 tn Heb “what is good in your eyes.”

6 tn Heb “establish his word.” This apparently refers to the promise inherent in Eli’s priestly blessing (see v. 17).

7 sn The ephah was a standard dry measure in OT times; it was the equivalent of one-tenth of the OT measure known as a homer. The ephah was equal to approximately one-half to two-thirds of a bushel.

8 tn The Hebrew term translated “container” may denote either a clay storage jar (cf. CEV “a clay jar full of wine”) or a leather container (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV “a skin of wine”; NCV “a leather bag filled with (full of TEV) wine.”

9 tc Heb “and the boy was a boy.” If the MT is correct the meaning apparently is that the boy was quite young at the time of these events. On the other hand, some scholars have suspected a textual problem, emending the text to read either “and the boy was with them” (so LXX) or “and the boy was with her” (a conjectural emendation). In spite of the difficulty it seems best to stay with the MT here.

10 tn Heb “he,” apparently referring to Samuel (but cf. CEV “Elkanah”). A few medieval manuscripts and some ancient versions take the verb as plural (cf. TEV, NLT).



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