|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:11-26 Samuel, being devoted to the Lord in a special manner, was from a child employed about the sanctuary in the services he was capable of. As he did this with a pious disposition of mind, it was called ministering unto the Lord. He received a blessing from the Lord. Those young people who serve God as well as they can, he will enable to improve, that they may serve him better. Eli shunned trouble and exertion. This led him to indulge his children, without using parental authority to restrain and correct them when young. He winked at the abuses in the service of the sanctuary till they became customs, and led to abominations; and his sons, who should have taught those that engaged in the service of the sanctuary what was good, solicited them to wickedness. Their offence was committed even in offering the sacrifices for sins, which typified the atonement of the Saviour! Sins against the remedy, the atonement itself, are most dangerous, they tread under foot the blood of the covenant. Eli's reproof was far too mild and gentle. In general, none are more abandoned than the degenerate children of godly persons, when they break through restraints.
Verse 19. - His mother made him a little coat. The coat, meil, was worn by priests (Leviticus 8:7), by kings and their sons (1 Samuel 18:4), by prophets (ibid. 28:14), and even by women (2 Samuel 13:18). It was an under garment of wool, woven throughout without seam, with holes for the head and arms, and reaching nearly to the ground: when used by women it had sleeves (ibid.). Under it they had a tunic or shirt fitting so closely that a man simply so clad was considered naked (1 Samuel 19:24), and over it priests and Levites wore the ephod, and so also David on the occasion mentioned above (1 Chronicles 15:27). The meil seems, moreover, to have often been a handsome dress, as that of the priests was of purple blue, with embroidery of pomegranates in three colours, and golden bells (Exodus 28:31-34); and when made of delicate materials for the use of the rich, it and the tunic are the soft luxurious clothing spoken of in Matthew 11:8. As the meal was the ordinary dress of all classes of people, it was made for Samuel at home, and can have no special meaning; but the ephod shows that he was brought up in the daffy practice of holy duties. This annual present, however, of clothing made by the mother's hands proves that the dedication of her son to God was not allowed to interfere with home affections, and both parents and child must have looked forward with joy to happy meetings at each recurrence of the family visit to the sanctuary.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moreover, his mother made him a little coat,.... Suitable to his stature; this was an outer coat to wear over others, and this also was such an one as the priests wore; it is the same word that is used for the priest's robe, Exodus 28:4, and this, it is very likely, was altogether of her own spinning, and weaving, and making up; which were works women did in those times: and this Hannah did partly out of her great love to her son Samuel, and partly to lessen the expense that Eli, or the congregation, were at in the maintenance of him; and the Talmudists (q) observe, that a priest might wear a garment, and minister in it, if his mother made it; and they give instances of priests, Ishmael and Eleazar, for whom their mothers made garments:
and brought it to him from year to year; for it seems this was only to be worn at festivals, and not on common days; and therefore she did not leave it with him, but took it home with her, and brought it again at the returning festival:
when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice: whether at the passover, or at Pentecost, or at the feast of tabernacles; and it is very probable she came with her husband at them all, yearly; for though she was not by the law obliged thereunto, yet her religious zeal and devotion, and her great desire to see her son as often as she could, induced her to come.
(q) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 25. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year—Aware that he could not yet render any useful service to the tabernacle, she undertook the expense of supplying him with wearing apparel. All weaving stuffs, manufacture of cloth, and making of suits were anciently the employment of women.
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