Hannah’s prayer of praise. Eli’s wicked sons. The LORD rewards Hannah. The dooming of the house of Eli.
VERSE 1. Hannah prayed, and said: “My heart exults in the LORD! My horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth is enlarged over my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.
I rejoice in your salvation. Hannah’s primary joy was not from getting what she wanted. Rather, Hannah rejoices over the salvation God gave her.
VERSE 2. There is no one as holy as the LORD, for there is no one besides you, nor is there any rock like our God.
VERSE 3. “Don’t keep talking so exceedingly proudly. Don’t let arrogance come out of your mouth, for the LORD is a God of knowledge. By him actions are weighed.
VERSE 4. The bows of the mighty men are broken. Those who stumbled are armed with strength.
VERSE 5. Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread. Those who were hungry are satisfied. Yes, the barren has borne seven. She who has many children languishes.
Sheol. Sheol is the place of the dead.
VERSE 7. The LORD makes poor and makes rich. He brings low, he also lifts up.
VERSE 8. He raises up the poor out of the dust. He lifts up the needy from the dunghill to make them sit with princes and inherit the throne of glory. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s. He has set the world on them.
VERSE 9. He will keep the feet of his holy ones, but the wicked will be put to silence in darkness; for no man will prevail by strength.
no man shall prevail by strength. This reminds us of the words of the prophet Zechariah:
Zechariah 4:6. Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, “This is the LORD’s word to Zerubbabel, saying, ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD of Hosts.”
VERSE 10. Those who strive with the LORD shall be broken to pieces. He will thunder against them in the sky. “The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. He will give strength to his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
VERSE 11. Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. The child served the LORD before Eli the priest.
the sons of Eli were wicked. Why did Eli turn a blind eye to the wicked deeds of his sons? Why didn’t he get his sons under control? Or why didn’t he forbid them from leading the worship and sacrifices of the people?
Eli reminds us of Catholic bishops who knew their priests were sexual abusers. But they turned a blind eye to the situation. Or they protected the priest.
They didn’t know the LORD. Why were these men so wicked? It is because they did not know the LORD. They did not have a relationship with God. They were unsaved.
VERSE 13. The custom of the priests with the people was that when anyone offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant came while the meat was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand;
VERSE 14. and he stabbed it into the pan, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot. The priest took all that the fork brought up for himself. They did this to all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh.
VERSE 15. Yes, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat to roast for the priest; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw.”
VERSE 16. If the man said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take as much as your soul desires;” then he would say, “No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force.”
Let the fat be burned first. In true carnivore fashion, the fat is prized. It is dealt with first. Then after that is the lean.
VERSE 17. The sin of the young men was very great before the LORD; for the men despised the LORD’s offering.
VERSE 18. But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, clothed with a linen ephod.
VERSE 19. Moreover his mother made him a little robe, and brought it to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
VERSE 20. Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, “May The LORD give you offspring from this woman for the petition which was asked of the LORD.” Then they went to their own home.
offspring. Or “seed.”
VERSE 21. The LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew before the LORD.
VERSE 22. Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how that they slept with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting.
VERSE 23. He said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.
You make the LORD’s people disobey. A corrupt religious leader is a poison. He infects his whole congregation. His misdeeds wound his followers and cause them to go astray.
VERSE 25. If one man sins against another, God will judge him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?” Notwithstanding, they didn’t listen to the voice of their father, because the LORD intended to kill them.
VERSE 26. The child Samuel grew on, and increased in favor both with the LORD and also with men.
VERSE 27. A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “The LORD says, ‘Did I reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house?
VERSE 28. Didn’t I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? Didn’t I give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?
VERSE 29. Why do you kick at my sacrifice and at my offering, which I have commanded in my habitation, and honor your sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel my people?’
make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings. Eli was not just an observer of the crimes of his sons. Rather, he benefitted from them. That makes him a “material cooperator.”
That made him even more corrupt than his sons, as it was hidden. Eli projected an aura of righteousness, and let his sons take the blame.
VERSE 30. “Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, says, ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father should walk before me forever.’ But now the LORD says, ‘Far be it from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me will be cursed.
VERSE 31. Behold, the days come that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father’s house, that there will not be an old man in your house.
Behold. The Hebrew word is “הִנֵּה.” It means look at, take notice, observe, see, or gaze at. It is often used as an interjection.
VERSE 32. You will see the affliction of my habitation, in all the wealth which I will give Israel. There shall not be an old man in your house forever.
VERSE 33. The man of yours whom I don’t cut off from my altar will consume your eyes and grieve your heart. All the increase of your house will die in the flower of their age.
consume your eyes. Or “blind your eyes with tears.”
VERSE 34. This will be the sign to you that will come on your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they will both die.
VERSE 35. I will raise up a faithful priest for myself who will do according to that which is in my heart and in my mind. I will build him a sure house. He will walk before my anointed forever.
I will raise up a faithful priest for myself. God searches for people who long for him. These people hunger for God. They will do according to what is in his heart and mind.
2 Chronicles 16:9a. For the LORD’s eyes run back and forth throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.
VERSE 36. It will happen that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and will say, “Please put me into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread.” ’ ”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.