1 Samuel 1:4
And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
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1 Samuel 1:4. Portions — Of those parts of the peace-offerings which belonged to the offerer. These were the whole, except the fat, which belonged to the Lord, and the breast and right shoulder, which were due to the priest, Leviticus 7:34; with the rest the sacrificer made a feast for himself, his family, and friends, giving to every one a portion of the sacrifice, as the master of the feast used to do to the guests. And they ate all before the Lord, and hereby were supposed to have communion with him, by partaking with him of his sacrifices, which had been offered to him at his altar.

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.It is likely that during the unsettled times of the Judges Jdg 21:25 the attendance of Israelites at the three Festivals Exodus 34:23; Deuteronomy 16:16 fell into desuetude or great irregularity, and this one feast (see the marginal reference), which may have coincided with the Feast of Pentecost or tabernacles, may have been substituted for them.

The Lord of Hosts - This title of Yahweh which, with some variations, is found upward of 260 times in the Old Testament, occurs here for the first time. The meaning of the word "hosts" is doubtless the same as that of "army" Daniel 4:35 and includes all the myriads of holy Angels who people the celestial spheres 1 Kings 22:19. It is probably with reference to the idolatrous worship of the Host of heaven that the title the "Lord of Hosts" was given to the true God, as asserting His universal supremacy (see Nehemiah 9:6). In the New Testament the phrase only occurs once James 5:4.

And the two sons ... - It should be, "and there the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the Lord," i. e. performed the functions of priests, in the old age of Eli 1 Samuel 4:18, who is represented 1 Samuel 1:9 as sitting on a seat in the temple. The reading of the Greek Version "Eli was there, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, priests of the Lord," is quite unnecessary, and indeed destroys the sense. The information here given concerning the sons of Eli is followed up in 1 Samuel 2:12 ff.

4. when … Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah … portions—The offerer received back the greater part of the peace offerings, which he and his family or friends were accustomed to eat at a social feast before the Lord. (See on [230]Le 3:3; [231]De 12:12). It was out of these consecrated viands Elkanah gave portions to all the members of his family; but "unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion"; that is, a larger choice, according to the Eastern fashion of showing regard to beloved or distinguished guests. (See on [232]1Sa 9:24; also see on [233]Ge 43:34).Ver. 4. To wit, out of the sacrifice of his peace-offerings, the greatest part whereof fell to the offerer, and was eaten by him and his friends or guests before the Lord, Le 3 Le 7 Deu 12:12 16:11; and out of this he gave them all parts or portions, as the master of the feast used to do to guests.

And when the time was that Elkanah offered,.... That is, brought his offering to the priest, to offer it for him, which was at one of the three festivals. According to R. Joshua Ben Levi (f), this was at the time of Pentecost; but Abarbinel thinks it was at the time of the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, which was a time of rejoicing, even the feast of tabernacles, and which is most likely:

he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions; parts of the offering, everyone a part, or portion; by which it appears, that this was a peace offering he offered, the greater part of which belonged to the owner, and which he made a feast of for his family and friends; see Deuteronomy 12:5. Jerom (g) interprets these portions of garments.

(f) Apud Kimchium in loc. (g) Trad. Heb. in lib. Reg. fol. 74. H.

And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:
4. offered] sacrificed, as in 1 Samuel 1:3. His sacrifice was a thank-offering, for it was only of the thank-offerings that the worshippers partook (Leviticus 7:11-18).

he gave] The tenses in 1 Samuel 1:4-7 express repeated action: “he used to give: her adversary used to provoke her.”

portions] Of the victims sacrificed. Cp. 1 Samuel 9:23.

1 Samuel 1:4"And it came to pass, the day, and he offered sacrifice" (for, "on which he offered sacrifice"), that he gave to Peninnah and her children portions of the flesh of the sacrifice at the sacrificial meal; but to Hannah he gave אפּים אחת מגה, "one portion for two persons," i.e., a double portion, because he loved her, but Jehovah had shut up her womb: i.e., he gave it as an expression of his love to her, to indicate by a sign, "thou art as dear to me as if thou hadst born me a child" (O. v. Gerlach). This explanation of the difficult word אפּים, of which very different interpretations have been given, is the one adopted by Tanchum Hieros., and is the only one which can be grammatically sustained, or yields an appropriate sense. The meaning face (facies) is placed beyond all doubt by Genesis 3:19 and other passages; and the use of לאפּי as a synonym for לפני in 1 Samuel 25:23, also establishes the meaning "person," since פּנים is used in this sense in 2 Samuel 17:11. It is true that there are no other passages that can be adduced to prove that the singular אף was also used in this sense; but as the word was employed promiscuously in both singular and plural in the derivative sense of anger, there is no reason for denying that the singular may also have been employed in the sense of face (πρόσωπον). The combination of אפּים with אחת מגה in the absolute state is supported by many other examples of the same kind (see Ewald, 287, h). The meaning double has been correctly adopted in the Syriac, whereas Luther follows the tristis of the Vulgate, and renders the word traurig, or sad. But this meaning, which Fr. Bttcher has lately taken under his protection, cannot be philologically sustained either by the expression פניך נפלוּ (Genesis 4:6), or by Daniel 11:20, or in any other way. אף and אפּים do indeed signify anger, but anger and sadness are two very different ideas. But when Bttcher substitutes "angrily or unwillingly" for sadly, the incongruity strikes you at once: "he gave her a portion unwillingly, because he loved her!" For the custom of singling out a person by giving double or even large portions, see the remarks on Genesis 43:34.
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