1Samuel 2

 

וַתִּתְפַּלֵּל חַנָּה וַתֹּאמַר עָלַץ לִבִּי בַּיהוָה רָמָה קַרְנִי בַּיהוָה רָחַב פִּי עַל־אוֹיְבַי כִּי שָׂמַחְתִּי בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ׃   2:1

1Sam 2:1   And Hannah prayed and said,

                     “Joyful is my heart in the Lord,

                           lofty is my horn to the Lord. 

                     Enlarged is my mouth over my enemy,

                           for I rejoice in Your salvation.”

Hannah’s enemy is thought by some to be Peninnah.  Others are mystified as they assume the word for my enemy is in the plural, my enemies.  However, I don’t see (in my ignorance?) why it can’t be assumed to be in the singular, and that is what I have assumed.  That’s the only way the phrase makes any literal sense.

אֵין־קָדוֹשׁ כַּיהוָה כִּי אֵין בִּלְתֶּךָ וְאֵין צוּר כֵּאלֹהֵינוּ׃   2:2

1Sam 2:2   “There is none holy like the Lord,

                           for there is none beside You. 

                     And there is no Rock like our God.”

אַל־תַּרְבּוּ תְדַבְּרוּ גְּבֹהָה גְבֹהָה יֵצֵא עָתָק מִפִּיכֶם כִּי אֵל דֵּעוֹת יְהוָה (וְלֹא) [וְלוֹ] נִתְכְּנוּ עֲלִלוֹת׃   2:3

1Sam 2:3   “Let not exceedingly proud talk increase,

                           arrogance come out from your mouths;

                      for the Lord is a God of knowledge,

                           and by Him are actions weighed.”

An error in the parentheses is corrected in the brackets.

קֶשֶׁת גִּבֹּרִים חַתִּים וְנִכְשָׁלִים אָזְרוּ חָיִל׃   2:4

1Sam 2:4   “The bows of the mighty are broken,

                           and the faltering are girded with strength.”

שְׂבֵעִים בַּלֶּחֶם נִשְׂכָּרוּ וּרְעֵבִים חָדֵלּוּ עַד־עֲקָרָה יָלְדָה שִׁבְעָה וְרַבַּת בָּנִים אֻמְלָלָה׃   2:5

1Sam 2:5   “Those filled with bread hire themselves out,

                            and suffering ceases;

                     until the barren woman bears seven

                            and she of plenty of children languishes.”

The meaning of this verse is not necessarily clear to everyone.  It seems to me that Hannah is describing inversions of situations, miraculous inversions.  The sated are now hungry, suffering, supposedly eternal, ceases, barren women have many babies, and the mothers of numerous children are now barren.  I suspect this is her way of describing the astonishment and joy she is feeling and how miraculous it is.       [Return to Jere. 15:9]

יְהוָה מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל וַיָּעַל׃   2:6

1Sam 2:6   “The Lord is the One Who makes to die and Who brings life,

                           Who brings down to the grave and brings up.”

יְהוָה מוֹרִישׁ וּמַעֲשִׁיר מַשְׁפִּיל אַף־מְרוֹמֵם׃   2:7

1Sam 2:7   “The Lord is the One Who makes poor and Who makes rich,

                           Who brings low and Who also lifts up,

מֵקִים מֵעָפָר דָּל מֵאַשְׁפֹּת יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן לְהוֹשִׁיב עִם־נְדִיבִים וְכִסֵּא כָבוֹד יַנְחִלֵם כִּי לַיהוָה מְצֻקֵי   2:8

אֶרֶץ וַיָּשֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶם תֵּבֵל׃

1Sam 2:8   Who raises up the needy from the dust.

                           From the dung-hill He lifts up beggars,

                      to make sit with princes,

                           and the throne of glory He gives as their inheritance,

                      for the Lord's are the pillars of the earth,

                           and He has set the world upon them.”

רַגְלֵי (חֲסִידֹו) [חֲסִידָיו] יִשְׁמֹר וּרְשָׁעִים בַּחֹשֶׁךְ יִדָּמּוּ כִּי־לֹא בְכֹחַ יִגְבַּר־אִישׁ׃   2:9

1Sam 2:9   “The feet of His holy ones He shall keep,

                            but the wicked shall be silenced into obscurity,

                     for not with strength shall man prevail.”

An error in parentheses is corrected in the brackets.

יְהוָה יֵחַתּוּ מְרִיבוֹ עלוֹ  בַּשָּׁמַיִם יַרְעֵם יְהוָה יָדִין אַפְסֵי־אָרֶץ וְיִתֶּן־עֹז לְמַלְכּוֹ וְיָרֵם קֶרֶן   2:10

מְשִׁיחוֹ׃

1Sam 2:10   “The Lord shall break down he who strives with Him;

                             against him in heaven He will thunder.

                       The Lord will judge the ends of the earth,

                             and will give strength to His king,

                        and exalt the horn of His anointed.”

Who is this prophesy about, and when will it occur?  Or has it already been fulfilled?  I doubt the latter, although it could refer to king David.  But then why does it begin with The Lord will judge the ends of the earth?  This makes it sound more like an end-time prophesy to me, and so refers to the Messiah.

וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶלְקָנָה הָרָמָתָה עַל־בֵּיתוֹ וְהַנַּעַר הָיָה מְשָׁרֵת אֶת־יְהוָה אֶת־פְּנֵי עֵלִי הַכֹּהֵן׃   2:11

1Sam 2:11   And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house.  And the child was serving the Lord in the presence of Eli, the priest.

וּבְנֵי עֵלִי בְּנֵי בְלִיָּעַל לֹא יָדְעוּ אֶת־יְהוָה׃   2:12

1Sam 2:12   Now the sons of Eli were children of the ungodly; they did not know the Lord.

וּמִשְׁפַּט הַכֹּהֲנִים אֶת־הָעָם כָּל־אִישׁ זֹבֵחַ זֶבַח וּבָא נַעַר הַכֹּהֵן כְּבַשֵּׁל הַבָּשָׂר וְהַמַּזְלֵג שְׁלֹשׁ־   2:13

הַשִּׁנַּיִם בְּיָדוֹ׃

1Sam 2:13   And the manner of the priests with the people was, any one offering a sacrifice, then the servant of the priest would come when the flesh had boiled, and the flesh-hook of three tines was in his hand,

וְהִכָּה בַכִּיּוֹר אוֹ בַדּוּד אוֹ בַקַּלַּחַת אוֹ בַפָּרוּר כֹּל אֲשֶׁר יַעֲלֶה הַמַּזְלֵג יִקַּח הַכֹּהֵן בּוֹ כָּכָה יַעֲשׂוּ   2:14

לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַבָּאִים שָׁם בְּשִׁלֹה׃

1Sam 2:14   and he would cast it forth into the pan or into the kettle or into the caldron or into the pot.  All that the flesh-hook would bring up on it, the priest would take.  They would do like so to all Israel coming there in Shiloh.

גַּם בְּטֶרֶם יַקְטִרוּן אֶת־הַחֵלֶב וּבָא נַעַר הַכֹּהֵן וְאָמַר לָאִישׁ הַזֹּבֵחַ תְּנָה בָשָׂר לִצְלוֹת לַכֹּהֵן וְלֹא־   2:15

יִקַּח מִמְּךָ בָּשָׂר מְבֻשָּׁל כִּי אִם־חָי׃

1Sam 2:15   Also before they would make the fat to smoke, then the servant of the priest would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give flesh to roast for the priest, but he will not take from you boiled flesh, but raw.”

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו הָאִישׁ קַטֵּר יַקְטִירוּן כַּיּוֹם הַחֵלֶב וְקַח־לְךָ כַּאֲשֶׁר תְּאַוֶּה נַפְשֶׁךָ וְאָמַר לֹו כִּי עַתָּה   2:16

תִתֵּן וְאִם־לֹא לָקַחְתִּי בְחָזְקָה׃

1Sam 2:16   Then the man says to him, “Let them first make the fat to smoke, then take for yourself as your soul might desire.” Then he would say to him, “But give now, and if not, I take by force.”

וַתְּהִי חַטַּאת הַנְּעָרִים גְּדוֹלָה מְאֹד אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה כִּי נִאֲצוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים אֵת מִנְחַת יְהוָה׃   2:17

1Sam 2:17   So the sin of the young men was very great in the presence of the Lord, for the men scorned the offering of the Lord.

וּשְׁמוּאֵל מְשָׁרֵת אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה נַעַר חָגוּר אֵפוֹד בָּד׃   2:18

1Sam 2:18   But Samuel was a minister in the presence of the Lord, a youngster girded in an ephod of linen.

וּמְעִיל קָטֹן תַּעֲשֶׂה־לּוֹ אִמּוֹ וְהַעַלְתָה לוֹ מִיָּמִים יָמִימָה בַּעֲלוֹתָהּ אֶת־אִישָׁהּ לִזְבֹּחַ אֶת־זֶבַח הַיָּמִים׃   2:19

1Sam 2:19   And his mother would make a small robe for him and bring it up to him from year to year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

וּבֵרַךְ עֵלִי אֶת־אֶלְקָנָה וְאֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ וְאָמַר יָשֵׂםאֲשֶׁר שָׁאַל לַיהוָה וְהָלְכוּ לִמְקֹמוֹ׃ יְהוָה לְךָ זֶרַע מִן־   2:20 הָאִשָּׁה הַזֹּאת תַּחַת הַשְּׁאֵלָה׃

1Sam 2:20   And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give seed to you from this woman in place of the loan that was loaned to the Lord.”  And they would go to his place.

כִּי־פָקַד יְהוָה אֶת־חַנָּה וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד שְׁלֹשָׁה־בָנִים וּשְׁתֵּי בָנוֹת וַיִּגְדַּל הַנַּעַר שְׁמוּאֵל עִם־יְהוָה׃   2:21

1Sam 2:21   When the Lord remembered Hannah, then she conceived, and she bore three sons and two daughters.  And the child Samuel grew up with the Lord.

וְעֵלִי זָקֵן מְאֹד וְשָׁמַע אֵת כָּל־אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשׂוּן בָּנָיו לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֵת אֲשֶׁר־יִשְׁכְּבוּן אֶת־הַנָּשִׁים   2:22

הַצֹּבְאוֹת פֶּתַח אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד׃

1Sam 2:22   Now Eli was very old; he heard all that his sons had done to all Israel, and that they had lain with the women who were doing service at the door of the tent of meeting.

וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם לָמָּה תַעֲשׂוּן כַּדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי שֹׁמֵעַ אֶת־דִּבְרֵיכֶם רָעִים מֵאֵת כָּל־הָעָם   2:23

 אֵלֶּה׃

1Sam 2:23   And he said to them, “Why would you do things like these that I am hearing evil reports of you from all these people?”

אַל בָּנָי כִּי לוֹא־טוֹבָה הַשְּׁמֻעָה אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי שֹׁמֵעַ מַעֲבִרִים עַם־יְהוָה׃   2:24

1Sam 2:24   “No, my sons, for it is not good, the report I am hearing the people of the Lord spreading abroad.”

אִם־יֶחֱטָא אִישׁ לְאִישׁ וּפִלְלוֹ אֱלֹהִים וְאִם לַיהוָה יֶחֱטָא־אִישׁ מִי יִתְפַּלֶּל־לוֹ וְלֹא יִשְׁמְעוּ לְקוֹל   2:25

אֲבִיהֶם כִּי־חָפֵץ יְהוָה לַהֲמִיתָם׃

1Sam 2:25   “If a man sins against a man, God shall judge him, but if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?”   But they did not listen to the voice of their father, because the Lord intended to put them to death.

This doesn’t sit well with me.  If the Lord intended to put Eli’s sons to death, it would make no difference if they listened or not.  Yet if they did listen, wouldn’t the Lord forgive them? 

However, Eli’s first words, perhaps may reveal a novel idea:  The Lord will forgive sins against people, but not against Him.  Yet, I have to question this also.  Is not a sin against a person a sin against God?  Any sin that we could commit would have to be a violation of one or more of the commandments.  That must be considered a sin against God as well as against the person.  So unless I’m wrong (which I certainly could be), I am led to assume that this last entry was not inspired by the Lord.

וְהַנַּעַר שְׁמוּאֵל הֹלֵךְ וְגָדֵל וָטוֹב גַּם עִם־יְהוָה וְגַם עִם־אֲנָשִׁים׃   2:26

1Sam 2:26   And the child Samuel grew, and he grew in favor both with the Lord and with men.

וַיָּבֹא אִישׁ־אֱלֹהִים אֶל־עֵלִי וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הֲנִגְלֹה נִגְלֵיתִי אֶל־בֵּית אָבִיךָ בִּהְיוֹתָם   2:27

בְּמִצְרַיִם לְבֵית פַּרְעֹה׃

1Sam 2:27   And a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord:  ‘Was I surely revealed to the house of your forefather when they were in Egypt for the house of Pharoah,

וּבָחֹר אֹתוֹ מִכָּל־שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לִי לְכֹהֵן לַעֲלוֹת עַל־מִזְבְּחִי לְהַקְטִיר קְטֹרֶת לָשֵׂאת אֵפוֹד לְפָנָי   2:28

וָאֶתְּנָה לְבֵית אָבִיךָ אֶת־כָּל־אִשֵּׁי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

1Sam 2:28   and chose him from all the tribes of Israel for Me for a priest to go up on My altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me, and give to the house of your forefather all the fire offerings of the children of Israel?’

לָמָּה תִבְעֲטוּ בְּזִבְחִי וּבְמִנְחָתִי אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי מָעוֹן וַתְּכַבֵּד אֶת־בָּנֶיךָ מִמֶּנִּי לְהַבְרִיאֲכֶם מֵרֵאשִׁית   2:29

כָּל־מִנְחַת יִשְׂרָאֵל לְעַמִּי׃

1Sam 2:29   ‘Why do you trample on My sacrifice and on My offering that I have commanded in My habitation, and honor your sons above Me to make yourselves fat from the choicest of every offering of Israel, of My people?’”

לָכֵן נְאֻם־יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָמוֹר אָמַרְתִּי בֵּיתְךָ וּבֵית אָבִיךָ יִתְהַלְּכוּ לְפָנַי עַד־עוֹלָם וְעַתָּה   2:30

נְאֻם־יְהוָה חָלִילָה לִּי כִּי־מְכַבְּדַי אֲכַבֵּד וּבֹזַי יֵקָלּו׃ּ

1Sam 2:30   “Therefore says the Lord, God of Israel:  ‘I have indeed said your house and the house of your father shall walk before Me forever.’  But now says the Lord:  ‘Far be it from Me that I should be glorifying who grieve Me, and who scorn Me should be made bright!’

הִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים וְגָדַעְתִּי אֶת־זְרֹעֲךָ וְאֶת־זְרֹעַ בֵּית אָבִיךָ מִהְיוֹת זָקֵן בְּבֵיתֶךָ׃   2:31

1Sam 2:31   ‘Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your arm and the arm of the house of your father from being old in your house.’

וְהִבַּטְתָּ צַר מָעוֹן בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יֵיטִיב אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה זָקֵן בְּבֵיתְךָ כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃   2:32

1Sam 2:32   ‘And you shall look upon a rival of habitation in all that it will benefit Israel, but there will not be an old man in your house at any time.’

The first part of this verse is rather strange, especially in the Hebrew, and cries out for an insightful interpretation.  The second and third words !A[m' rc, translated by me as a rival of habitation, appear no where else in the bible in this combination.  There is, however, a related expression using the root rWc, which is related to rc, appearing in Psalms as !A[m' rWcl.  There it is translatable as as a rock of refuge, and seems to be of no benefit in interpreting this verse.  Also, the word !A[m can be used to stand for the Temple as well in certain contexts.  Of little help!  In the context of this verse, I imagine the words can be interpreted to indicate either of two thoughts, a later priest (in Shiloh), or another place of sacrifice.  I am inclined to interpret it as another place of sacrifice, because of the contrast of the term your house in the second part of the verse.  Yet, what does it mean, and why is the Lord saying it (through the “man of God”)?  How does it fit into the ongoing monologue?  I have to admit, I don’t have a clue.  Nevertheless, v. 2:35 below offers a clue:  It could be that both a later priest and a new house of sacrifice are being hinted at here.

וְאִישׁ לֹא־אַכְרִית לְךָ מֵעִם מִזְבְּחִי לְכַלּוֹת אֶת־עֵינֶיךָ וְלַאֲדִיב אֶת־נַפְשֶׁךָ וְכָל־מַרְבִּית בֵּיתְךָ יָמוּתוּ   2:33

אֲנָשִׁים׃ּ

1Sam 2:33   ‘But I shall not cut off every man of yours from My altar to sever your source, so to cause your soul to languish, but all the increase of your house shall die young men.’

וְזֶה־לְּךָ הָאוֹת אֲשֶׁר יָבֹא אֶל־שְׁנֵי בָנֶיךָ אֶל־חָפְנִי וּפִינְחָס בְּיוֹם אֶחָד יָמוּתוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם׃   2:34

1Sam 2:34   ‘And this will be the sign to you:  What happens to your two sons, to Hophni and Phinehas; both of them shall die in one day.’

וַהֲקִימֹתִי לִי כֹּהֵן נֶאֱמָן כַּאֲשֶׁר בִּלְבָבִי וּבְנַפְשִׁי יַעֲשֶׂה וּבָנִיתִי לוֹ בַּיִת נֶאֱמָן וְהִתְהַלֵּךְ לִפְנֵי־   2:35

מְשִׁיחִי כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃ּ

1Sam 2:35   ‘And I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest.  He will do as is in My heart and in My mind, and I will build for him a steadfast house, and he shall walk before My anointed all the time.’

וְהָיָה כָּל־הַנּוֹתָר בְּבֵיתְךָ יָבוֹא לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֺת לוֹ לַאֲגוֹרַת כֶּסֶף וְכִכַּר־לָחֶם וְאָמַר סְפָחֵנִי נָא אֶל־אַחַת   2:36

הַכְּהֻנּוֹת לֶאֱכֹל פַּת־לָחֶם׃ּ

1Sam 2:36   ‘And it shall be, all who are left in your house shall come to bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread and say, ‘Assign me, I pray you, to one of the priest's offices to be eating a piece of bread.’”

 

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