1 Samuel 2:10
The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
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(10) His king . . . of his anointed.—A Lapide, quoted by Wordsworth, wrote here, “haec omnia spectant ad Christum,” “all these things have regard to Christ.” Jewish expositors, too, have generally interpreted these words as a prophecy of King Messiah. The words received a partial fulfilment in the splendid reigns of David and Solomon; but the pious Jew looked on the golden halo which surrounded these great reigns as but a pale reflection of the glory which would accompany King Messiah when He should appear.

This is the first passage in the Old Testament which speaks of “His Anointed,” or “His Messiah.” The LXX. render the words “Christou autou.”

This song was soon evidently well known in Israel. The imagery, and in several passages the very words, are reproduced in the Psalms. See Excursus A and B at the end of this Book.

1 Samuel 2:10. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces — Here we have an instance of pious affections rising up, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, to the height of prophecy. Here Hannah begins to predict the deliverance of the Israelites from the hand of the Philistines, and their other enemies: and her prediction was fulfilled when, at the command of Samuel, they were gathered together, and fought with the Philistines at Mizpeh, chap. 1 Samuel 7:10. At which time, as Hannah foretels, the Lord thundered out of heaven upon them; and again when David slew Goliath, and the men of Israel and Judah routed and pursued them, (1 Samuel 17:52,) as well as on many other occasions, till at length they were finally subdued. The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth — That Isaiah , 1 st, The Philistines, who lived in the extremity of Canaan westward; and, 2d, The enemies of God’s people in the remotest parts of the earth, who shall be converted or destroyed before the consummation of all things. He shall give strength unto his king — Here she predicts they should have a king. But she is chiefly to be understood as speaking, either, 1st, of David, who was most properly God’s king, appointed and anointed at his express command, instead of Saul, whom he rejected, on account of his disobedience; or, 2d, Of Christ, David’s son, of whom David was but a type. “Who doth not perceive,” saith St. Augustine, (De Civ. Dei, lib. 17, cap. 4,) “that the spirit which animated this woman, whose name, Hannah, signifies grace, prophesied of the Christian religion, the city of God, whose king and founder is Christ? Who does not see that she speaks of the grace of God, from which the proud are estranged that they may fall, but with which the humble are filled, that they may rise.” Thus also the preceding clause, The Lord shall judge the ends of the earth, obtains a more sublime and important sense, and more exact accomplishment. David’s victories and dominions reached far, but God will give to the son of David the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. And he will give strength unto his king, for the accomplishment of his great undertaking. And, as the next words express, will exalt the horn — The power and honour, of his Anointed — Till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. It is remarkable, that this is the first time that the name Messiah (or God’s anointed) is found in the Scriptures, there being no such word in any of the preceding books. This is an additional reason why we should consider this prophecy of Hannah as looking forward to gospel days. “And when one considers,” as Dr. Dodd observes, “the terms in which this beautiful song is expressed; when one considers the perfect resemblance there is between this and that of the blessed Virgin, Luke 1:46; when one considers the allusion which the father of John the Baptist makes to the latter part of it, (Luke 1:69-70,) one cannot persuade one’s self but that Hannah had a respect to something higher than Peninnah her rival, or the triumphs even of David himself. The expressions are too magnificent and sublime to be confined to such objects. Kimchi (the Jewish rabbi) was so struck with them, that he ingenuously acknowledges, that the king, of whom Hannah speaks here, is the Messiah; of whom she speaks either by prophecy or tradition. ‘For,’ continues he, ‘there was a tradition among the Israelites, that a great king should arise in Israel; and she seals up her song with celebrating this king, who was to deliver them from all their enemies.’ In short, all the particulars of the 9th and 10th verses especially, perfectly characterize the reign of the Messiah; his protection of his saints; the vain efforts of their enemies; their triumph over them; the extent of his kingdom, and the perpetual increase of his power.”

2:1-10 Hannah's heart rejoiced, not in Samuel, but in the Lord. She looks beyond the gift, and praises the Giver. She rejoiced in the salvation of the Lord, and in expectation of His coming, who is the whole salvation of his people. The strong are soon weakened, and the weak are soon strengthened, when God pleases. Are we poor? God made us poor, which is a good reason why we should be content, and make up our minds to our condition. Are we rich? God made us rich, which is a good reason why we should be thankful, and serve him cheerfully, and do good with the abundance he gives us. He respects not man's wisdom or fancied excellences, but chooses those whom the world accounts foolish, teaching them to feel their guilt, and to value his free and precious salvation. This prophecy looks to the kingdom of Christ, that kingdom of grace, of which Hannah speaks, after having spoken largely of the kingdom of providence. And here is the first time that we meet with the name MESSIAH, or his Anointed. The subjects of Christ's kingdom will be safe, and the enemies of it will be ruined; for the Anointed, the Lord Christ, is able to save, and to destroy.He shall give strength ... - This is a most remarkable passage, containing a clear and distinct prophecy of the Kingdom and glory of the Christ of God. (Compare Luke 1:69-70). 10. the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth … exalt the horn of his anointed—This is the first place in Scripture where the word "anointed," or Messiah, occurs; and as there was no king in Israel at the time, it seems the best interpretation to refer it to Christ. There is, indeed, a remarkable resemblance between the song of Hannah and that of Mary (Lu 1:46). The adversaries of the Lord; and of his people; especially the Philistines, who at this time were the chief oppressors of Israel.

Shall be broken to pieces these and the following words are prophetical of what God was about to do: they who are now our lords, shall be subdued.

Out of heaven, i.e. out of the clouds or air, which is oft called heaven.

Shall he thunder upon them; as was done, 1 Samuel 7:10.

Shall judge, i.e. shall condemn and punish, as that verb by a synedoche is oft used. Of the earth, or, of the land, to wit, the Philistines who dwelt in the utmost borders of Canaan, even upon the sea-coast.

Unto his king; either,

1. Unto the judge or ruler whom he shall set up for the protection and deliverance of his people; the word king being elsewhere so taken. Or,

2. The King properly so called; and so she prophesieth, that Israel should have a king, and that there should be a great difference between king and king; between the people’s king, Saul, whom they would obstinately and passionately desire, by whom therefore they should have but little relief; and God’s king, David, whom God would choose as a man after his own heart, and whom he would strengthen and assist so, as by his hands to break all his enemies to pieces.

Exalt the horn, i.e. increase or advance the strength.

Of his anointed, i.e. of his king. The same thing repeated in other words, although it may have a mystical sense and respect to Christ, the singular anointed one of God, and the special King of his people, whom all their other kings did typify and represent, and from whom they received authority and power.

The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces,.... Or Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, "shall break in pieces those that contend with him"; with the Lord, or with his people, or with Samuel particularly; for this may be considered as a prophecy of Hannah concerning her son, what God would do for him against his enemies, that should rise up, contend, and fight with him, as the Philistines; of whom Ben Gersom interprets it, whom the Lord discomfited and broke to pieces; see the literal fulfilment of this prophecy in 1 Samuel 7:1 in a spiritual sense all wicked men are the enemies of God, and of his people, and sooner or later shall be broken to pieces. Some, in a good sense; when they are smitten with the words of his mouth, cut to the heart, and made contrite; are humbled and brought into subjection to him, and their enmity slain and abolished, and they filled with love to him; and are so broken to pieces, that they have nothing to depend upon, or trust in for life or salvation, but apply to Christ alone for it. Others, in an ill sense; and the meaning is, that the wicked shall be utterly destroyed by the Lord, with an everlasting destruction, with an incurable and irreparable one; shall be broken in pieces like a potter's vessel, which can never be put together again, see Psalm 2:9.

out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: as the Lord did upon the Philistines in the times of Samuel, when Israel were engaged in war with them, 1 Samuel 7:10. And the last vial of the wrath of God, poured out upon his adversaries the antichristian states, will be attended with thunders and lightnings, Revelation 16:17, it denotes the terrible manner in which God will destroy his adversaries; the Septuagint version is, "the Lord ascended to heaven and thundered"; hence Procopius Gazaeus, following this version, says, Hannah prophesied of the taking up of the Saviour, and of the mission of the Holy Ghost, and of the preaching of the apostles, and of the second coming of Christ, as follows: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; not of the land of Israel by Samuel, as some interpret it, see 1 Samuel 7:15 but of the whole world, and may refer to the government of it in general by the Lord, or to the judgment of it by his Son; for he judges none, but has committed all judgment to him; who at his first coming judged the world, by the ministry of the word in Judea and in the Gentile world, by setting up ordinances, and by qualifying and constituting persons to act in the government of his church under him; and at his spiritual coming he will take to himself his great power and reign, and judge the whore of Babylon; and at his last or second coming he will judge the whole world, quick and dead, righteous and wicked:

and he shall give strength unto his king: either who was made king in the times of Samuel, Saul, who was the first of the kings of Israel, or David, whom Samuel anointed; and it is true of them both, that the Lord gave them strength to fight with and conquer their enemies; or rather the King Messiah, who in the next clause is called the Lord's anointed, or Messiah:

and exalt the horn of his anointed; and so the Targum paraphrases the words,"he shall give strength to his king and enlarge the kingdom of his Messiah.''with which Kimchi agrees, and says, the thing is doubled or repeated, for the King is the Messiah; and to him the words are applied by other Jewish writers (p), ancient and modern. Christ is King over all, angels and men, particularly he is King of saints; he is Jehovah's King, set up and anointed by him from everlasting; was in time promised as such, and in the fulness of time came in that character, and at his ascension to heaven was made and declared Lord and Christ; and through the success of his Gospel in the world has appeared yet more so, and will be still more manifest in the latter day, when he shall be King over all the earth, and especially in his personal reign. Now when "strength" is said to be given him, this must be understood either of strength given to him in human nature, to perform the great work of our redemption and salvation, which required great strength; as a divine Person he needed none, as man he did; or of that strength communicated to him as Mediator, to give unto his people, in whom they have both righteousness and strength; or rather of that power and dominion given him as King particularly; all power in heaven and in earth were given him at his resurrection, and will appear more fully hereafter, when his kingdom will be from sea to sea, and his dominion from the river to the ends of the earth, see Daniel 7:13. And the same thing is meant by "horn", which is an emblem of strength, power, dominion, and glory; hence he himself is called the horn of David, and the horn of salvation; it is a name and title given to kings, Daniel 7:24 in allusion to the horns of beasts, in which their strength lies to defend themselves, and annoy their enemies; and the exaltation of him prophesied of may respect and include his resurrection from the dead, ascension to heaven, session at the right hand of God, the judgment of all committed to him, and the glorious exercise of his kingly office in the spiritual and personal reigns. This is the first time we meet with the word Messiah, or anointed, as ascribed to a divine Person, the Son of God; who has this name or title from his being anointed, not with material oil, but with the oil of gladness, with the Holy Ghost, and his gifts and graces without measure; and who is called the Lord's anointed, because he was anointed by his Father to be prophet, priest, and King, or invested by him with those offices even from eternity, see Psalm 2:6 and which was more manifestly declared at his birth, his baptism, and ascension to heaven; see Luke 2:40.

(p) Zohar in Gen. fol. 58. 4. Midrash Echa Rabbati, fol. 53. 3. R. Saadiah Gaon, Comment. in Daniel 7.13.

The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his {h} king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

(h) She grounded her prayer on Jesus Christ who was to come.

10. The adversaries of the Lord] Render,

Jehovah, they that strive with Him shall be broken to pieces:

against them in heaven let Him (or, He shall) thunder:

Jehovah shall judge the ends of the earth:

and may He (or, He shall) give strength unto His king,

and exalt the horn of His Anointed.

The conclusion of the hymn is partly a prayer for the destruction of Jehovah’s enemies, partly an expression of confidence that this will surely be effected. The mention of Jehovah’s judgments leads up naturally to the thought of those who are his instruments for executing them. Hannah’s prophetic prayer was but partially fulfilled in the king soon to be anointed by her son as the deliverer of Israel: it reaches forward to Him whom the Jewish kings foreshadowed, the King Messiah, in whom alone the lofty anticipations of the prophetess are to be completely realised.

shall be broken to pieces] The Sept. here inserts the greater part of Jeremiah 9:23-24. The passage may nave been originally placed in the margin as an illustration, and afterwards incorporated in the text.

his anointed] Here first in connexion with the kingly office do we meet the word which was to become the characteristic title of the expected deliverer, the “Messiah” or “Anointed One,” “the Christ.” The Sept. renders “ὑψώσει κέρας χριστοῦ αὐτοῦ” (cp. Luke 2:26): the Vulgate “sublimabit cornu Christi sui.” See the notes on 1 Samuel 10:1 and 1 Samuel 12:3.

It has been alleged that the mention of the king stamps the song as of later date, posterior to the establishment of the monarchy. This is by no means the case. The idea of a king was not altogether novel to the Israelite mind. The promise to Abraham spoke of kings among his posterity (Genesis 17:6): the Mosaic legislation prescribes the method of election and the duty of the king (Deuteronomy 17:14-20): Gideon had been invited to establish a hereditary monarchy (Jdg 8:22). Anointing too was recognised as the regular rite of admission to the office (Jdg 9:8). Amid the prevalent anarchy and growing disintegration of the nation, amid internal corruption and external attack, the desire for a king was probably taking definite shape in the popular mind. The prophet who came to Eli speaks again of “Jehovah’s anointed” (1 Samuel 2:35). But who so worthy to be first chosen to anticipate the future as the mother of him who was destined to guide the chosen nation through this critical epoch of its existence, and superintend the foundation of the Davidic-Messianic kingdom?

Chapters 1 and 2 to 1 Samuel 2:10 form the Haphtarah or lesson from the prophets, appointed to be read in the Jewish synagogues on the first day of the new year.

A translation of the Targum or Chaldee Paraphrase of Hannah’s Song is given in Note III. p. 236.

Verse 10. - The adversaries. In the Hebrews the nouns are again sing., though the verb is pl., showing that they are to be taken collectively. Lit. the translation is, "Jehovah they shall be broken in pieces, whoever it be that contendeth with him;" the word having reference to contentions in a court of law, and the whole verse keeping the administration of justice in view. It proceeds, "Upon him he shall thunder in heaven;" i.e. Jehovah, seated on his throne in heaven, shall, as the supreme Judge, utter the sentence; and thunder was to the Hebrew God's voice. He shall judge the ends of the earth, i.e. the whole earth up to its remotest quarters. The last distich is remarkable. It is a distinct prophecy of David's kingdom, and of the king as the anointed one, but looking onwards to the Messiah, David's greater Son. So distinct a reference to a king before a king existed has made Ewald and others regard the whole hymn as an interpolation of later times. But already Hannah's thoughts had risen to a higher level than the fortunes of the literal Israel. In claiming for Jehovah, her covenant God, the righteous government of the whole world, she prepares our minds for the corresponding thought of Jehovah being the universal Saviour. Very probably the whole national mind was set upon having a king to enable them to make head against the Philistines long before, under Samuel, the desire became so strong as to be irresistible. The thought of a king was in no respect alien from the Jewish commonwealth (Deuteronomy 17:14). They had wished Gideon to hold this office (Judges 8:22); Jotham's parable in Judges 9. described the nation as eager to be thus governed, but the better minds as bent on declining so dangerous a preeminence. There is very much to prove that the nation had come to regard the appointment of a king as an eventual necessity, however long delayed. But not here only, but everywhere, the Jewish mind was constantly brooding upon the future. Hannah does no more than every patriarch and saint and prophet of the old dispensation. Prophecies such as that in Genesis 49:10 filled the hearts of all alike. And though the present longings of the nation for a king make Hannah's words not unnatural even in their lower sense, yet the truer exposition is that which acknowledges in Israel a people raised up for a special purpose, and the bestowal by God upon its seers for the carrying out of this purpose of the gift of prophecy. And it was this extraordinary gift which bent and shaped the mind of the nation, and filled it with future aspirations; and not a causeless state of the national mind which, excited by vague hopes, made men from time to time give utterance to anticipations which by some strange coincidence always came true.

CHAPTER 2:11-26 SAMUEL'S MINISTRATIONS AT SHILOH (vers. 11-21). 1 Samuel 2:10 9 The feet of His saints He will keep,

And the wicked perish in darkness;

For by power no one becomes strong.

10 The Lord - those who contend against Him are confounded.

He thunders above him in the heavens;

The Lord will judge the ends of the earth,

That He may lend might to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.

The Lord keeps the feet of the righteous, so that they do not tremble and stumble, i.e., so that the righteous do not fall into adversity and perish therein (vid., Psalm 56:14; Psalm 116:8; Psalm 121:3). But the wicked, who oppress and persecute the righteous, will perish in darkness, i.e., in adversity, when God withdraws the light of His grace, so that they fall into distress and calamity. For no man can be strong through his own power, so as to meet the storms of life. All who fight against the Lord are destroyed. To bring out the antithesis between man and God, "Jehovah" is written absolutely at the commencement of the sentence in 1 Samuel 2:10 : "As for Jehovah, those who contend against Him are broken," both inwardly and outwardly (חתת, as in 1 Samuel 2:4). The word עלו, which follows, is not to be changed into עליהם. There is simply a rapid alternation of the numbers, such as we frequently meet with in excited language. "Above him," i.e., above every one who contends against God, He thunders. Thunder is a premonitory sign of the approach of the Lord to judgment. In the thunder, man is made to feel in an alarming way the presence of the omnipotent God. In the words, "The Lord will judge the ends of the earth," i.e., the earth to its utmost extremities, or the whole world, Hannah's prayer rises up to a prophetic glance at the consummation of the kingdom of God. As certainly as the Lord God keeps the righteous at all times, and casts down the wicked, so certainly will He judge the whole world, to hurl down all His foes, and perfect His kingdom which He has founded in Israel. And as every kingdom culminates in its throne, or in the full might and government of a king, so the kingdom of God can only attain its full perfection in the king whom the Lord will give to His people, and endow with His might. The king, or the anointed of the Lord, of whom Hannah prophesies in the spirit, is not one single king of Israel, either David or Christ, but an ideal king, though not a mere personification of the throne about to be established, but the actual king whom Israel received in David and his race, which culminated in the Messiah. The exaltation of the horn of the anointed to Jehovah commenced with the victorious and splendid expansion of the power of David, was repeated with every victory over the enemies of God and His kingdom gained by the successive kings of David's house, goes on in the advancing spread of the kingdom of Christ, and will eventually attain to its eternal consummation in the judgment of the last day, through which all the enemies of Christ will be made His footstool.

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