1 Samuel 1:8
Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Than ten sons.—Merely a round number to express many. The simple narration evidently came from Hannah, who, no doubt, in after years loved to dwell on her past sorrowful life, contrasted with her present strange blessedness as mother of the Restorer of the people.

1 Samuel 1:8. Am not I better to thee than ten sons — Oughtest thou not to value my love to thee more than the having as many sons as Peninnah hath; who would willingly change conditions with thee? In Elkanah here we have an example of a most excellent husband; who patiently bore with the insolent humour of Peninnah, and comforted dejected Hannah with words full of tender affection.

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.And as he did so ... - It should rather be "And so she did year by year, as often as she went up to the House of the Lord, so she provoked her." Though the verb is masculine, Peninnah must be the subject, because as often as SHE went up follows. The Vulgate has "they went up." 6. her adversary also provoked her sore—The conduct of Peninnah was most unbecoming. But domestic broils in the houses of polygamists are of frequent occurrence, and the most fruitful cause of them has always been jealousy of the husband's superior affection, as in this case of Hannah. Oughtest thou not to value my hearty love to thee, more than the having of as many sons as Peninnah hath? She would willingly change conditions with thee.

Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou?.... Since it was a time of rejoicing, as every festival was, especially at the ingathering of the fruits of the earth:

and why eatest thou not? since they were at a feast, and she had the best part and portion of the provision:

and why is thy heart grieved? to such a degree that she could neither eat nor drink:

am not I better to thee than ten sons? which, as Jarchi says, Peninnah had borne to him; his meaning is, that the share she had in his love and affections ought to have been esteemed by her more than if she had ten or many children by him; and it suggests that Peninnah would have been glad to have such a share in his affections as Hannah had; and it would have been more eligible to her, than to have borne him so many children as she had.

Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten {d} sons?

(d) Let this comfort you, that I love you no less than if you had many children.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. better to thee than ten sons] Cp. Ruth 4:15.

1 Samuel 1:8Elkanah sought to comfort her in her grief by the affectionate appeal: "Am I not better to thee (טּוב, i.e., dearer) than ten children?" Ten is a found number for a large number.
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