1 Samuel 1:9
So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.
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(9) After they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk.—This was the solemn sacrificial meal, at which the whole family were present.

Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat.—Eli, the high priest of Israel at this time, was a descendant of Ithamar, the younger son of Aaron (see 1Chronicles 24:3, where it is stated that his great-grandson, Ahimelech, was of the sons of Ithamar). The circumstances which led to the transfer of the dignity from the line of Eleazar, who succeeded his father Aaron in the office, are unknown. It has been suggested that at the death of the last high priest of the line of Eleazar, Ozi, there was no son of sufficient age and experience to succeed, and so the office passed to the next of kin, Eli, a son of the house of Ithamar. (See Josephus, Antt. v., 2, § 5.)

The seat upon which Eli is represented as usually sitting (see 1Samuel 4:18) was evidently a chair or throne of state, where the high-priestly judge sat at certain times to administer justice and to transact business. The Hebrew word rendered here “post,” and the expression “doors of the house” (1Samuel 3:15), seem to suggest that now a permanent home had been erected for the sanctuary: something of a building, possibly of stone, surrounding the Tabernacle had been built.

The “temple of the Lord,” rather, palace of the Lord, so called not from any external magnificence but as being the earthly place where at times the visible glory of the Eternal King of Israel, the Shekinah, was pleased to manifest itself.

1 Samuel 1:9. So Hannah rose up — The kind words of her husband in a great measure removed her sorrow, and induced her to eat and drink cheerfully. In her we have an example of a dutiful wife; who, sensible of her husband’s kindness, endeavoured to please him, by complying with his desires, and avoiding what she perceived would give pain to his mind. Eli sat upon a seat — Hebrew, הכסאhachissee, a throne, it being a seat raised up to some height, to make him conspicuous to all that entered into the house of God; at the door of which he sat, either as judge, or as high-priest, to hear and answer such as came to him for advice, and to inspect and direct the worship of God. By a post of the temple — That is, of the tabernacle, which is frequently so called; as the temple, when it was built, is called a tabernacle. See Jeremiah 10:20; Lamentations 2:6.

1:9-18 Hannah mingled tears with her prayers; she considered the mercy of our God, who knows the troubled soul. God gives us leave, in prayer, not only to ask good things in general, but to mention that special good thing we most need and desire. She spoke softly, none could hear her. Hereby she testified her belief of God's knowledge of the heart and its desires. Eli was high priest, and judge in Israel. It ill becomes us to be rash and hasty in censures of others, and to think people guilty of bad things while the matter is doubtful and unproved. Hannah did not retort the charge, and upbraid Eli with the wicked conduct of his own sons. When we are at any time unjustly censured, we have need to set a double watch before the door of our lips, that we do not return censure for censure. Hannah thought it enough to clear herself, and so must we. Eli was willing to acknowledge his mistake. Hannah went away with satisfaction of mind. She had herself by prayer committed her case to God, and Eli had prayed for her. Prayer is heart's ease to a gracious soul. Prayer will smooth the countenance; it should do so. None will long remain miserable, who use aright the privilege of going to the mercy-seat of a reconciled God in Christ Jesus.After they had eaten ... - Rather, "after she had eaten and after she had drunk," which is obviously right. Hannah, in the bitterness of her spirit, could not enjoy her feast, and so, after eating and drinking a little, she arose and went to the temple, leaving her husband and Peninnah and her children at table, where she still found them on her return 1 Samuel 1:18.

Upon a seat ... - Rather, "upon the throne," the pontifical chair of state 1 Samuel 4:13, which was probably set at the gate leading into the inner court of the tabernacle.

The temple of the Lord - The application of the word temple to the tabernacle is found only here, 1 Samuel 3:3; and Psalm 5:7; and the use of this word here is thought by some an indication of the late date of the composition of this passage.

1Sa 1:9-18. Hannah's Prayer. After they had eaten, i.e. Elkanah and his company, except Hannah. Or, she; for though at first she eat nothing, yet upon her husband’s invitation and encouragement she might eat afterwards; though the former may seem more probable.

Upon a seat, or throne; for it is manifest it was raised higher than ordinary, 1 Samuel 4:18. Here he might sit, either as the judge, or rather as high priest, to hear and answer such as came to him for advice, and to inspect and direct the worship of God as need was.

By a post of the temple, i.e. of the tabernacle, which is called the temple here, and 1 Samuel 3:3 2 Samuel 22:7 Psalm 27:6; as, on the contrary, the temple is called the tabernacle, Jeremiah 10:20 Lamentations 2:6. And although this tabernacle was but a tent, yet it was supported by boards and posts, and especially at the entrance, by which Eli sat, even by the entrance into the outward court, otherwise he could not have seen Hannah. See Poole on "1 Samuel 3:15".

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drank,.... After dinner, after Elkanah and Peninnah, and their children, had eaten heartily, and drank freely, and made a comfortable meal, and even a feast of it, at the place where the tabernacle and altar were, and their peace offerings were offered up, part of which they had been regaling themselves with. The Targum is,"after she had eaten in Shiloh, and after she had drank;''for upon the entreaty of her husband, and to make him easy, she might be prevailed upon to eat somewhat, though it might be but little; and to drink, though it was but water; for as for wine and strong drink, she declares afterwards she had not drank, 1 Samuel 1:15.

now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord; for so the tabernacle was called, and sometimes the temple is called a tabernacle, Jeremiah 10:20. Now at the door posts and side of the threshold of the temple of the Lord, as the Targum; at the entrance of the great court of the Israelites, Eli had a seat placed, on which he sat; this must be at the gate of the court of the tabernacle, by the pillars of it; for in the court itself none afterwards might sit but kings of the family David (n); here Eli sat as an high priest and judge, give advice in difficult cases, and to try and judge all causes that were brought before him; some say (o) that he was on this day constituted an high priest, and others say (q) he was now made a judge; but no doubt he was both high priest and judge before this time.

(n) Maimon. & Bartenora in Misn. Yoma, c. 7. sect. 1.((o) Shoched Tob apud Yalkut, par. 2. fol. 12. 4. (q) Seder Olam Rabba, c. 13. p. 37.

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the {e} temple of the LORD.

(e) That is of the house where the ark was.

9–20. Hannah’s Prayer and its answer

9. So Hannah rose up] Simply And. Hannah left the feast for which she had not heart, and went to pray.

Eli the priest] Eli belonged to the house of Ithamar Aaron’s fourth son, as is clear from a comparison of 1 Chronicles 24:3 with 2 Samuel 8:17 and 1 Kings 2:17, and from the omission of his name in the genealogy of Eleazar in 1 Chronicles 6:4-15. The last high-priest mentioned before him was Phinehas the son of Eleazar (Jdg 20:28); but when or why the succession passed into the family of Ithamar, we are not told. The office did not return to the line of Eleazar until Solomon deposed Abiathar in fulfilment of the doom pronounced upon the house of Eli, and appointed Zadok in his place (1 Kings 2:27). Eli united the offices of Priest and Judge.

upon a seat by a post of the temple] Rather, “upon the seat (or, his seat) by the doorpost of the temple.” “The sanctuary itself was so encased with buildings, as to give it the name and appearance of ‘a house’ or ‘temple.’ There was a gateway with a seat inside the doorposts or pillars which supported it. It was ‘the seat’ or ‘throne’ of the ruler or judge, as afterwards in the Palace of Solomon. Here Eli sat on days of religious or political solemnity, and surveyed the worshippers as they came up the eminence on which the sanctuary was placed.” Stanley’s Lectures on the Jewish Church, I. 321.

the temple] The Heb. word denotes a spacious and stately building: hence (a) a royal palace: (b) the temple: (c) heaven, as the true temple of Jehovah. It is applied to the tabernacle only here and in 1 Samuel 3:3, and possibly in Psalm 5:7. Its use in the present passage may indicate that the book was written at a time when the religious nomenclature had been coloured by the construction of Solomon’s temple.

Verse 9. - After they had eaten .... after they had drunk. The Hebrew favours the translation, "After she had eaten in Shiloh, and after she had drunk;" the somewhat forced rendering of the A.V. having arisen from a supposed discrepancy between this verse and ver. 7. Really there is none. The words simply mean that Hannah took part in the sacrificial banquet, though she did so without appetite or pleasure; and thus they connect her visit to the temple and her prayer with the most solemn religious service of the year. To take part in this banquet was a duty, but as soon as she had fulfilled it she withdrew to the temple to pour out her grief before God. There Eli, the priest, i.e. the high priest, as in Numbers 26:1; Numbers 27:2, was seated upon, not a seat, but the pontifical throne, placed at the entrance leading into the inner court of the tabernacle, so that all who came to worship must pass before him. It is remarkable that the tabernacle is called the temple (so 1 Samuel 3:3; Psalm 5:7), or, more literally, the "palace" of Jehovah, his royal residence; and it thus appears that the name had come into use before Solomon's building was erected. The curtains (Exodus 26:1) also had given place to a mezuzah, translated a post, but really a sort of porch, with doors, as appears from 1 Samuel 3:15 (comp. Exodus 21:6; 1 Kings 7:5). As the tabernacle remained stationary at Shiloh for 300 years, naturally numerous buildings of a more solid nature grew up around it. 1 Samuel 1:9Hannah's prayer for a son. - 1 Samuel 1:9-11. "After the eating at Shiloh, and after the drinking," i.e., after the sacrificial meal was over, Hannah rose up with a troubled heart, to pour out her grief in prayer before God, whilst Eli was sitting before the door-posts of the palace of Jehovah, and vowed this vow: "Lord of Zebaoth, if Thou regardest the distress of Thy maiden, and givest men's seed to Thy maiden, I will give him to the Lord all his life long, and no razor shall come upon his head." The choice of the infinitive absolute שׁתה instead of the infinitive construct is analogous to the combination of two nouns, the first of which is defined by a suffix, and the second written absolutely (see e.g., וזמרת עזּי, Exodus 15:2; cf. 2 Samuel 23:5, and Ewald, 339, b). The words from ועלי onwards to נפשׁ מרת form two circumstantial clauses inserted in the main sentence, to throw light upon the situation and the further progress of the affair. The tabernacle is called "the palace of Jehovah" (cf. 1 Samuel 2:22), not on account of the magnificence and splendour of the building, but as the dwelling-place of Jehovah of hosts, the God-king of Israel, as in Psalm 5:8, etc. מזוּזה is probably a porch, which had been placed before the curtain that formed the entranced into the holy place, when the tabernacle was erected permanently at Shiloh. נפשׁ מרת, troubled in soul (cf. 2 Kings 4:27). תבכּה וּבכה is really subordinate to תּתפּלּל, in the sense of "weeping much during her prayer." The depth of her trouble was also manifest in the crowding together of the words in which she poured out the desire of her heart before God: "If Thou wilt look upon the distress of Thine handmaid, and remember and not forget," etc. "Men's seed" (semen virorum), i.e., a male child. אנשׁים is the plural of אישׁ, a man (see Ewald, 186-7), from the root אשׁ, which combines the two ideas of fire, regarded as life, and giving life and firmness. The vow contained two points: (1) she would give the son she had prayed for to be the Lord's all the days of his life, i.e., would dedicate him to the Lord for a lifelong service, which, as we have already observed at 1 Samuel 1:1, the Levites as such were not bound to perform; and (2) no razor should come upon his head, by which he was set apart as a Nazarite for his whole life (see at Numbers 6:2., and Judges 13:5). The Nazarite, again, was neither bound to perform a lifelong service nor to remain constantly at the sanctuary, but was simply consecrated for a certain time, whilst the sacrifice offered at his release from the vow shadowed forth a complete surrender to the Lord. The second point, therefore, added a new condition to the first, and one which was not necessarily connected with it, but which first gave the true consecration to the service of the Lord at the sanctuary. At the same time, the qualification of Samuel for priestly functions, such as the offering of sacrifice, can neither be deduced from the first point in the vow, nor yet from the second. If, therefore, at a later period, when the Lord had called him to be a prophet, and had thereby placed him at the head of the nation, Samuel officiated at the presentation of sacrifice, he was not qualified to perform this service either as a Levite or as a lifelong Nazarite, but performed it solely by virtue of his prophetic calling.
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