1 Samuel 1:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

New Living Translation
There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim.

English Standard Version
There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.

New American Standard Bible
Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

King James Bible
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

International Standard Version
A certain man lived in Ramathaim-zophim, which is in the hill country of Ephraim. He was Jeroham's son Elkanah, the grandson of Elihu and grandson of Tohu, who was the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

NET Bible
There was a man from Ramathaim Zophim, from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
There was a man named Elkanah from Ramathaim Zophim in the mountains of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, grandson of Elihu, great-grandson of Tohu, whose father was Zuph from the tribe of Ephraim.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Now there was a certain man of Ramath of Zophim, of Mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.

King James 2000 Bible
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite:

American King James Version
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

American Standard Version
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill-country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite:

Douay-Rheims Bible
There was a man of Ramathaimsophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elcana, the son of Jeroham, the son of Eliu, the son of Thohu, the son of Suph, an Ephraimite:

Darby Bible Translation
And there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.

English Revised Version
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite:

Webster's Bible Translation
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

World English Bible
Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite:

Young's Literal Translation
And there is a certain man of Ramathaim-Zophim, of the hill-country of Ephraim, and his name is Elkanah, son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, and Ephrathite,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

1:1-8 Elkanah kept up his attendance at God's altar, notwithstanding the unhappy differences in his family. If the devotions of a family prevail not to put an end to its divisions, yet let not the divisions put a stop to the devotions. To abate our just love to any relation for the sake of any infirmity which they cannot help, and which is their affliction, is to make God's providence quarrel with his precept, and very unkindly to add affliction to the afflicted. It is evidence of a base disposition, to delight in grieving those who are of a sorrowful spirit, and in putting those out of humour who are apt to fret and be uneasy. We ought to bear one another's burdens, not add to them. Hannah could not bear the provocation. Those who are of a fretful spirit, and are apt to lay provocations too much to heart, are enemies to themselves, and strip themselves of many comforts both of life and godliness. We ought to notice comforts, to keep us from grieving for crosses. We should look at that which is for us, as well as what is against us.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 1. - There was a certain man of Ramathaim-Zophim. Though Samuel belonged to the tribe of Levi, yet no special mention is made of the fact, because he owed his importance and rank as a judge not to his Levitical origin, but to the gift of prophecy, which was independent of the accidents of birth and station. In the First Book of Chronicles, ch. 6, his parentage is twice given, that in vers. 22-28 being apparently the family genealogy, while that in vers. 33-38 was probably taken from the records of the temple singers, sprung from Heman, Samuel's grandson (1 Chronicles 6:33). His name there appears as Shemuel, our translators not having perceived that it is the same as that for which elsewhere they give the familiar rendering, Samuel. The variations Elkanah, Jeroham, Elihu, Tohu, Zuph (1 Samuel 1:1); Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliab, Nahath, Zophai (1 Chronicles 6:26, 27); Elkanah, Jeroham, Eliel, Toah, Zuph (ibid. vers. 34, 35), are interesting as showing that the genealogies in Chronicles. were compiled from family documents, in which, as was usual in the case of proper names, there was much diversity of spelling, or possibly of interpreting the cumbrous signs used for letters in those early days. The variations, however, in Elihu (God is he), Eliab (God is Father), and Eliel (God is God) were probably intentional, as were certainly other changes in names, such as that of Ishbaal into Ishbosheth. The name of Samuel's father, Elkanah (God is owner), is a common one among the Kohathites, to which division of the sons of Levi Samuel belonged. The prophet's birthplace was Ramathaim-Zophim, no doubt the Ramah which was Samuel s own head-quarters (1 Samuel 7:17; 1 Samuel 15:34; 1 Samuel 16:13; 1 Samuel 19:18-23; 1 Samuel 25:1); the place where he dwelt, wrought, died, and was buried, and the Arimathsea of the Gospels. The Septuagint generally gives the name in full, but this is the only place where it is so written in the Hebrew. Ramah signifies a height, and the dual Ramathaim the double height, the town being situated on a hill ending in two peaks. But which it was of the many Ramahs, or hill towns, in the Holy Land, is hotly contested; probably it was the Ramah in Benjamin, about two hours' journey northwest of Jerusalem. Its second name, Zophim, is taken from Zuph, Samuel's remote ancestor, with whom the genealogy here begins. Zuph had apparently emigrated from Ephraim, one of the three tribes (Ephraim, Manasseh, Dan) to which the Kohathites were attached, and was a person of sufficient power and energy to give his name to the whole district; called the land of Zuph in 1 Samuel 9:5. His descendants, the Zophim, had Ramah as their centre, and Elkanah, as their head, would be a man of wealth and influence. Though actually belonging to the tribe of Benjamin, Ramah is said to be upon Mount Ephraim, because this limestone range extended to and kept its name almost up to Jerusalem (see Judges 4:5, and 2 Chronicles 13:4; 2 Chronicles 15:8, compared with 2 Chronicles 13:19). Elkanah too is called an Ephrathite, i.e. an Ephraimite, no doubt because before Zuph emigrated the family had belonged to Ephraim, it being apparently the practice to reckon Levites as pertaining to the tribes to which they were attached (Judges 17:7). The Hebrews Ephrathite is rightly rendered Ephraimite in Judges 12:5, and should be so translated here, and in 1 Kings 11:26. In Ruth 1:2; 1 Samuel 17:12 it means Bethlehemite, that town being also called Ephratah, the fruitful; Ephraim has the same meaning, but being a dual, no adjective can be formed from it.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Now there was a man of Ramathaimzophim, of Mount Ephraim,.... Ramathaim is a word of the dual number, and signifies two Ramahs; the city consisted of two parts, being built perhaps on two hills, and were called Zophim; because, as the Rabbins say, they looked one to another; or rather, because situated on eminences, there were watchtowers in them, where watchmen were placed; or because they were inhabited by prophets, who were sometimes called watchmen, Ezekiel 3:17 and here is thought to be a school of the prophets, see 1 Samuel 19:19 and which seems to be countenanced by the Targum, in which the words are paraphrased thus, "and there was one" man of Ramatha, of the disciples of the prophets; or, as others think, the sense is this, this man was one of the Ramathites, the inhabitants of Ramah, and of the family of Zuph, or the Zuphites, which gave the name to the land of Zuph, and the grand ancestor of Elkanah is in this verse called Zuph, see 1 Samuel 9:5. According to Jerom (e), this is the same with Arimathaea, of which Joseph was, Matthew 27:57 for thus he writes,"Armatha Sophim, the city of Helcanah and Samuel, in the Thamnitic region near Diospolis (or Lydda), from whence was Joseph, who in the Gospels is said to be of Arimathaea;''but Reland (f) thinks it cannot be the same that was about Lydda, which was all a champaign country; whereas this was in the mountains of Ephraim, which must be sought to the north of Jerusalem, and not the west, and so it follows:

of Mount Ephraim: which is added to distinguish it from other Ramahs in several tribes, as in Benjamin, Naphtali, &c. though this may refer not to the situation of Ramathaim, but to the country of this man, who was originally of Mount Ephraim, as was the Levite in Judges 19:1 who was the cause of much evil to Israel, as this was of great good, as Kimchi observes:

and his name was Elkanah; which signifies "God hath possessed"; that is, possessed him, or he was in possession of God; he had an ancestor of the same name, 1 Chronicles 6:23. This man was a Levite, one of the Kohathites, and a descendant of Korah; so that the famous prophet Samuel was of the sons of Korah:

the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph; the three last of these names are somewhat differently read in 1 Chronicles 6:26, where they are Eliab, Nahath, Zophai; and in 1 Chronicles 6:34. Eliel, Toah, Zuph:

an Ephrathite; which appellation is to be connected, according to Kimchi, not with Elkanah, but with Zuph; though neither of them were so called from Bethlehemjudah, the inhabitants of which were indeed called Ephrathites from Ephratah, another name of it; so Elimelech, and his sons Mahlon and Chilion, being of that city, were so called, Ruth 1:2 not from their being of the tribe of Ephraim, as Jeroboam of that tribe is called an Ephrathite, 1 Kings 11:26, see Judges 12:5 for these were Levites, the descendants of Kohath, in the line of Korah; but because they sojourned in Mount Ephraim, or dwelt there, as Elkanah did; and it is well known that the Kohathites had cities given them in the tribe of Ephraim, Joshua 21:5.

(e) De loc. Heb. fol. 88. K. (f) Palestin. Illustrat. tom. 2. p. 581.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

THE FIRST BOOK OF SAMUEL, OTHERWISE CALLED THE FIRST BOOK OF THE KINGS. Commentary by Robert Jamieson

CHAPTER 1

1Sa 1:1-8. Of Elkanah and His Two Wives.

1, 2. a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim—The first word being in the dual number, signifies the double city—the old and new town of Ramah (1Sa 1:19). There were five cities of this name, all on high ground. This city had the addition of Zophim attached to it, because it was founded by Zuph, "an Ephrathite," that is a native of Ephratha. Beth-lehem, and the expression "of Ramathaim-zophim" must, therefore, be understood as Ramah in the land of Zuph in the hill country of Ephratha. Others, considering "mount Ephraim" as pointing to the locality in Joseph's territory, regard "Zophim" not as a proper but a common noun, signifying watchtowers, or watchmen, with reference either to the height of its situation, or its being the residence of prophets who were watchmen (Eze 3:17). Though a native of Ephratha or Beth-lehem-judah (Ru 1:2), Elkanah was a Levite (1Ch 6:33, 34). Though of this order, and a good man, he practised polygamy. This was contrary to the original law, but it seems to have been prevalent among the Hebrews in those days, when there was no king in Israel, and every man did what seemed right in his own eyes [Jud 21:25].

1 Samuel 1:1 Additional Commentaries
Context
Elkanah and his Wives
1Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.…
Cross References
Joshua 17:17
But Joshua said to the tribes of Joseph--to Ephraim and Manasseh--"You are numerous and very powerful. You will have not only one allotment

Joshua 17:18
but the forested hill country as well. Clear it, and its farthest limits will be yours; though the Canaanites have chariots fitted with iron and though they are strong, you can drive them out."

Joshua 24:33
And Eleazar son of Aaron died and was buried at Gibeah, which had been allotted to his son Phinehas in the hill country of Ephraim.

Ruth 4:22
Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David.

1 Samuel 1:19
Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her.

1 Samuel 2:11
Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

1 Samuel 7:17
But he always went back to Ramah, where his home was, and there he also held court for Israel. And he built an altar there to the LORD.

1 Samuel 9:5
When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to the servant who was with him, "Come, let's go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us."

1 Chronicles 6:22
The descendants of Kohath: Amminadab his son, Korah his son, Assir his son,

1 Chronicles 6:33
Here are the men who served, together with their sons: From the Kohathites: Heman, the musician, the son of Joel, the son of Samuel,
Treasury of Scripture

Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

1 Samuel 1:1-3 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, …

1 Samuel 1:4-8 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his …

1 Samuel 1:9-11 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk…

1 Samuel 1:12-18 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that …

1 Samuel 1:19-23 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the …

1 Samuel 1:24-28 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three …

Ramathaim-zophim This ancient town, now called Ramla, is, according to Phocas, about thirty-six miles west of Jerusalem, and, according to modern travellers, about none miles from Joppa and a league from Lydda, between which it is situated. It is built on a rising ground, on a rich plain, and contains about two thousand families.

1 Samuel 1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the …

Matthew 27:57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named …

Arimathea
mount

Judges 17:1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah.

Judges 19:1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel…

Elkanah

1 Chronicles 6:25-27,34 And the sons of Elkanah; Amasai, and Ahimoth…

Zuph

1 Samuel 9:5 And when they were come to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant …

Ephrathite

1 Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehemjudah, whose …

Judges 12:5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: …

Ruth 1:2 And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, …

1 Kings 11:26 And Jeroboam the son of Nebat, an Ephrathite of Zereda, Solomon's …

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Alphabetical: a an and certain country Elihu Elkanah Ephraim Ephraimite from hill his Jeroham man name Now of Ramathaim Ramathaim-zophim son the There Tohu was whose Zuph Zuphite

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