1 Samuel 1:28
Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he lives he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
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(28) I have lent him to the Lord.—The rendering of the Hebrew here, “I have lent,” and in Exodus 12:36, is false. The translation should run: Therefore I also make him one asked of the Lord; all the days that he liveth he is asked of the Lord.” The sense is: “The Lord gave him to me, and now I have returned him whom I obtained by prayer to the Lord, as one asked or demanded.”

And he worshipped the Lord there.—“He,” that is, the boy Samuel: thus putting his own child-seal to his mother’s gift of himself to God.

1 Samuel 1:28. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord — But not with a purpose to require him again. Whatever we give to the Lord may, upon this account, be said to be lent to him, because, though we may not recall it, yet he will certainly repay it to our unspeakable advantage. As long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord — Or, as the words may be properly translated, All the days that he shall be desired for the Lord; that is, as long as God shall think fit to employ him in his own house: which was till he made him a judge, 1 Samuel 7:15. Then he was no longer fixed at Shiloh, but went about the country, to Beth-el, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh; afterward he settled at his own house in Ramah, as we read there, 1 Samuel 1:17. Still, however, he was wholly the Lord’s and lived entirely to him, employing all his powers of body and mind in his service. And he worshipped the Lord there — Not Eli, but young Samuel, who is spoken of in this and the foregoing verse, and who was capable of worshipping the Lord in some sort, at least with external worship. The Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic, however, translate the words: And they worshipped the Lord. 1:19-28 Elkanah and his family had a journey before them, and a family of children to take with them, yet they would not move till they had worshipped God together. Prayer and provender do not hinder a journey. When men are in such haste to set out upon journeys, or to engage in business, that they have not time to worship God, they are likely to proceed without his presence and blessing. Hannah, though she felt a warm regard for the courts of God's house, begged to stay at home. God will have mercy, and not sacrifice. Those who are detained from public ordinances, by the nursing and tending of little children, may take comfort from this instance, and believe, that if they do that duty in a right spirit, God will graciously accept them therein. Hannah presented her child to the Lord with a grateful acknowledgment of his goodness in answer to prayer. Whatever we give to God, it is what we have first asked and received from him. All our gifts to him were first his gifts to us. The child Samuel early showed true piety. Little children should be taught to worship God when very young. Their parents should teach them in it, bring them to it, and put them on doing it as well as they can; God will graciously accept them, and will teach them to do better.As thy soul liveth - This oath is unique to the Books of Samuel, in which it occurs six times, and to the Books of Kings, in which however, it is found only once. See the note to 1 Samuel 1:11. 24. three bullocks—The Septuagint renders it "a bullock of three years old"; which is probably the true rendering. I have lent him to the Lord, or, given him, &c., i.e. do now give or offer him; for she did not lend him for a time, with a purpose or right to require him again. The words may be rendered thus, And I also asked him, or made myself to ask him. (a usual Hebraism,) for the Lord, i.e. I prayed for this child, not only for myself, and to take away my reproach, but especially that I might have a child to serve and devote to the Lord. And so the following words,

as long as he liveth, are not to be joined with this foregoing clause, but with those which come next after them; and that whole clause may be thus rendered, as a consequent upon the former: And, or therefore all the days in which he is, or shall be, he is or shall be lent or given to the Lord; or, as one begged for the Lord, and for his service, and therefore justly given to him.

He shall be lent, or rendered, or used as one given in my prayer; for this was the condition of my prayer, that he should be the Lord’s.

He worshipped; not Eli, who is not mentioned but 1 Samuel 1:25, and then only passively, not as speaking or doing any thing; nor Elkanah, of whom here is no mention; but young Samuel, who is the subject spoken of in this and the foregoing verse, and who was capable of worshipping God in some sort, at least with external adoration; of which see See Poole on "1 Samuel 1:22". And so the particle

there is emphatical, signifying that hereby he entered himself into the worship and service of God in that place, to which he was devoted by his parents, and now did devote himself. Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord,.... To be employed in his service, not for a few days, months, or years, but for his whole life. The Targum is,"I have delivered him, that he may minister before the Lord;''as she had received him front him as an answer of prayer, she gave him up to him again according to her vow: as long as he liveth he shall be lent unto the Lord, or as the Targum,"all the days that he lives he shall be ministering before the Lord;''

or "all the days he shall be asked" (or "required") by or for the Lord (e); that is, he shall be lent unto him, and serve him as long as it is desired:

and he worshipped the Lord there; in the tabernacle at the same time; either Elkanah, who with Hannah brought the child to Eli, and now gave thanks to God for giving them the child, and prayed unto him that he might be received into the service of the sanctuary; or else Eli, to whom the child was brought for admittance, who when he heard that Hannah's request was granted, which he had entreated also might be or had declared it would be, bowed his head, and gave thanks to God for it; or rather the child Samuel, as he was taught and trained up, bowed himself before the Lord, and worshipped him in the tabernacle as soon as he was brought into it, though a child; for he only is spoken of in this and the preceding verse; and by some interpreters (f) the name Samuel is supplied; the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read in the plural number, "and they worshipped the Lord there": that is, Elkanah and his wife; so Mr. Weemse (g) translates and interprets it.

(e) "Quamdiu" h. e. "expetitus aut requisitur", Peter Martyr; "quoties a Jehova postulatur", Piscator. (f) Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (g) Observat. Nat. c. 18. p. 77.

Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he {l} worshipped the LORD there.

(l) Meaning, Eli gave thanks to God for her.

28. therefore also, &c.] Render, And I on my part have given him to Jehovah as long as he liveth: because he was one asked for Jehovah. The exact translation of the Heb. is doubtful, and the remarkable play upon words in it is lost in translation. But the general sense is clear: ‘Jehovah gave me the child, and I restore him in accordance with my vow.’ The word translated lend occurs elsewhere only in Exodus 12:36, where it means give rather than lend. A loan may be reclaimed at the will of the lender. Hannah’s surrender of Samuel was complete. See 1 Samuel 1:11 and ch. 1 Samuel 2:20.

he worshipped] Who? Not Samuel, who was too young: but Elkanah, as head of the household, worshipped, while Hannah poured out her heart in the hymn which immediately follows. The Sept. however omits the words, and the Vulg. reads “And they worshipped the Lord there.”Verse 28. - I have lent him. The word lent spoils the meaning: Hannah really in these two verses uses the same verb four times, though in different conjugations, and the same sense must be maintained throughout. Her words are, "For this child I prayed, and Jehovah hath given me my asking which I asked of him: and I also have given back what was asked to Jehovah; as long as he liveth he is asked for Jehovah." The conjugation translated to give back what was asked literally means to make to ask, and so to give or lend anything asked. The sense here requires the restoration by Hannah of what she had prayed for (comp. Exodus 12:35, 36), but which she had asked not for herself, but that she might devote it to Jehovah's service. At the end of ver. 28 the sing. "he worshipped" is rendered in the pl. by all the versions except the Sept., which omits it. But he, i.e. Elkanah, includes all his household, and it may be correctly translated in the pl., because the sense so requires, without altering the reading of the Hebrew. In the sing. it puts an unnecessary difficulty in the way of the ordinary reader.

When Elkanah went up again with his family to Shiloh, to present his yearly sacrifice and his vow to the Lord, Hannah said to her husband that she would not go up till she had weaned the boy, and could present him to the Lord, that he might remain there for ever. הימים זבח, the sacrifice of the days, i.e., which he was accustomed to offer on the days when he went up to the sanctuary; really, therefore, the annual sacrifice. It follows from the expression "and his vow," that Elkanah had also vowed a vow to the Lord, in case the beloved Hannah should have a son. The vow referred to the presentation of a sacrifice. And this explains the combination of את־נדרו with לזבּח.

(Note: The lxx add to τὰς εὐχὰς αὐτοῦ the clause καὶ πάσας τὰς δεκάτας τῆς γῆς αὐτοῦ ("and all the tithes of his land"). This addition is just as arbitrary as the alteration of the singular נדרו into the plural τὰς εὐχὰς αὐτοῦ. The translator overlooked the special reference of the word נדרו to the child desired by Elkanah, and imagined - probably with Deuteronomy 12:26-27 in his mind, where vows are ordered to be paid at the sanctuary in connection with slain offerings and sacrificial meals - that when Elkanah made his annual journey to the tabernacle he would discharge all his obligations to God, and consequently would pay his tithes. The genuineness of this additional clause cannot be sustained by an appeal to Josephus (Ant. v. 10, 3), who also has δεκάτας τε ἔφερον, for Josephus wrote his work upon the basis of the Alexandrian version. This statement of Josephus is only worthy of notice, inasmuch as it proves the incorrectness of the conjecture of Thenius, that the allusion to the tithes was intentionally dropped out of the Hebrew text by copyists, who regarded Samuel's Levitical descent as clearly established by 1 Chronicles 6:7-13 and 1 Chronicles 6:19-21. For Josephus (l. c. 2) expressly describes Elkanah as a Levite, and takes no offence at the offering of tithes attributed to him in the Septuagint, simply because he was well acquainted with the law, and knew that the Levites had to pay to the priests a tenth of the tithes that they received from the other tribes, as a heave-offering of Jehovah (Numbers 18:26.; cf. Nehemiah 10:38). Consequently the presentation of tithe on the part of Elkanah, if it were really well founded in the biblical text, would not furnish any argument against his Levitical descent.)

Weaning took place very late among the Israelites. According to 2 Macc. 7:28, the Hebrew mothers were in the habit of suckling their children for three years. When the weaning had taken place, Hannah would bring her son up to the sanctuary, to appear before the face of the Lord, and remain there for ever, i.e., his whole life long. The Levites generally were only required to perform service at the sanctuary from their twenty-fifth to their fiftieth year (Numbers 8:24-25); but Samuel was to be presented to the Lord immediately after his weaning had taken place, and to remain at the sanctuary for ever, i.e., to belong entirely to the Lord. To this end he was to receive his training at the sanctuary, that at the very earliest waking up of his spiritual susceptibilities he might receive the impressions of the sacred presence of God. There is no necessity, therefore, to understand the word גּמל (wean) as including what followed the weaning, namely, the training of the child up to his thirteenth year (Seb. Schmidt), on the ground that a child of three years old could only have been a burden to Eli: for the word never has this meaning, not even in 1 Kings 11:20; and, as O. v. Gerlach has observed, his earliest training might have been superintended by one of the women who worshipped at the door of the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:22).

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