« PreviousContinue »
But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion, for he loved Hannah.
But Peninnah proyoked her sore to make her fret, because the Lord had not given her children,
And as she did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD; so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.
Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou ? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved ? am not I better to thee than ten sons ? so Hannah rose
after they had eaten in Shiloh, and drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.
And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore.
And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine hand. maid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.
And it came to pass as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.
Now Hannah, she spake in her heart, only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard ; therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.
And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drank neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.
Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.
Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
And they rose in the morning early and worshipped before the LORD, and returned to their own house to Ramah : and the Lord remembered Hannah.
Wherefore it came to pass that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.
And the man Elkanah, and all his house went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow..
But Hannah went not up: for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.
And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him, only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck.
And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh.
And the child was young. And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
And she said, O my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto: the Lord.
For this child I prayed: and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him. Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD as long
as he liveth; he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
And Hannah prayed and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD, my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee : neither is there any rock like our God.
Talk no more so exceedingly proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth : for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased; so that the barren hath borne seven, and she that hath many
chil. dren is waxed feeble.
The LORD killeth and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up.
The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. He raiseth
the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath Bet the world upon them.
He will keep the feet of the saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness : for by strength shall no man prevail.
The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces : out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house : and the child did minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS, Elkanah the father of Samuel was by birth a Levite descended from Kohath the second son of Levi: it seems he did not attend the service of the tabernacle, but lived privately in the country; however, he was a person of remarkable piety, for he not only obeyed the Divine command of going to present himself three times in a year before the LORD, but he took his family with him to Shiloh.
Elkanah had married two wives, and the dissension between these women was the occasion of great uneasiness to him.
Hanpah was of a meek and pious temper, but the circumstance of her having no children made her extremely unliappy, as she feared it was a mark of God's displeasure ; and the continual triumphs.of her rival greatly aggravated her distress, so that she fell into a state of despondency. Her husband's kind remonstrances, however, brought her to a sense of her duty, and she resolved to apply to God for comfort and re. lief.
Hannah we find punctually performed her vow, and offered up the most thankful acknowledgments: in this instance, her behaviour is deserving of our imitation; for we ought, when prosperity returns, to remember those pious resolutions which we formed whilst we were in distress.
There is great resemblance between Hannah's thanksgiving, and that of the blessed virgin, when the Angel announced to her, that she should be the mother of the MESSIANI *.
Horn in Scripture sometimes signifies glory, honour, brightness, and rays. Hannah's meaning therefore, in saying, mine horn is exalted in the LORD, seems to be, that God had advanced her to honour.
The name of rock is frequently given to God in Scripture, (particularly by king David *) as an emblem of strength and protection. In those days it was usual to flee to rocks, as asylums against the invasion of enemies.
It is said that Samuel did minister unto the LORD: he was then but three years old; his mother must have taken uncommon pains, to be able to sow the seeds of piety so early; and we find, by his subsequent conduct, that they were never rooted out.
Hannah's behaviour affords an excellent example to all persons who are under affliction; and shews, that there is no remedy for grief like fervent humble prayer; for we read, that when she had poured forth her soul to the Lord, her countenance was no longer sad. The suc-cess of her petition furnishes us with a convincing proof that Gop lends a gracious ear even to prayers which are offered for particular blessings, if it is consistent with His wisdom and goodness to grant them.
Hannah's thanksgiving discovers that she felt the most fervent piety; indeed she seems to have been inspired by the Holy Spirit when she uttered it, as king David was when he composed his Psalms, therefore it encourages all persons in distress to place confi. dence in the LORD. It must however be observed, that those who do so are not to expect an exact accomplishment of their wishes, for God only knows how far this may be proper to grant;, but they may be sure that their faith and trust will be rewarded, as seemeth best to infinite wisdom.
• See Psalnı lxii. 6. and lxxxix, 26.