The LORD kills, and makes alive: he brings down to the grave, and brings up.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Lord killeth, and maketh alive.—Death too and life come from this same omnipotent Lord: nothing in the affairs of men is the sport of blind chance. The reign of a Divine law administered by the God to whom Hannah prayed is universal, and guides with a strict unerring justice what are commonly called the ups and downs, the changes and chances, of this mortal life. The following lines of the 7th, 8th, and 9th verses enforce by varied instances the same solemn truth.
The Babylonian Talmud on these words has a curious and interesting tradition:—“Three classes appear on the day of judgment: the perfectly righteous, who are at once written and sealed for eternal life; the thoroughly bad, who are at once written and sealed for hell: as it is written (Daniel 12:2), ‘And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt;’ and those in the intermediate state, who go down into hell, where they cry and howl for a time, whence they ascend again: as it is written (Zechariah 13:9), ‘And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them.’ It is of them Hannah said (1Samuel 2:6), ‘The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to hell, and bringeth up.’”—Treatise Bosh Hashanah, fol. 16, Colossians 2.1 Samuel 2:6-7. The Lord killeth and maketh alive — The power of life and death is in the hands of God; whom he pleaseth he takes out of the world, and whom he pleaseth, he preserves in it; raising men even from the brink of the grave, when they are ready to drop into it. The Lord maketh poor, &c. — Here she acknowledges the power of God, in frequently changing the conditions of men, reducing the rich to extreme poverty, and exalting the poor to great riches.1 Samuel 2:36. See, too, in Ezekiel 13:19, another example of hire paid in bread.Killeth, and maketh alive; either,
1. Diverse persons; he killeth one, and maketh another alive. Or,
2. The same person whom he first killeth, or bringeth very nigh unto death, he afterwards raiseth to life. Me, who was almost overwhelmed and consumed with grief, he hath revived. The name of death, both in sacred Scripture and profane writers, is oft given to great calamities; as Isaiah 26:19 Ezekiel 37:11 Romans 8:36. Deuteronomy 32:39.
he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up; he bringeth some very near to the grave, to the very brink of it; so that in their own apprehensions, and in the opinion of their friends, they are just dropping into it, and no hope of recovery left; when he says to them "Return", and brings them back from the pit, and delivers them from going into it, Job 33:22 and even when they are laid in it, he brings up out of it again, as in the case of Lazarus, and which will be the case in the resurrection, John 5:28.The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)6. the grave] The Heb. word Sheol, variously rendered in the E. V. grave, hell, pit, denotes the mysterious unseen world, the abode of all departed spirits, righteous and wicked alike. Hell, from A. S. helan, to cover, hide, would be a fair rendering if we could strip the word of all the associations with which it has been invested; but as we cannot do this, it is best to retain the Heb. word Sheol, or take its N. T. equivalent Hades.
There is no direct allusion here to the resurrection: death and Sheol are figuratively used for the depths of adversity and peril: life for deliverance and prosperity. See Psalm 71:20; Psalm 86:13.
6–8. In Jehovah’s hand are the issues of life and death, prosperity and adversity. All history illustrates this truth. Hezekiah is recalled from the gates of the grave: Job is tried by affliction: David is taken from the sheepfolds to be king: Nebuchadnezzar sinks to the level of a beast: Haman is degraded, Mordecai honoured: and chiefest example of all, He who “was despised and rejected of men,” was “highly exalted, and given a name that is above every name.”1 Samuel 1:11.), and said, "For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath granted me my request which I asked of Him: therefore I also make him one asked of the Lord all the days that he liveth; he is asked of the Lord." וגם אנכי: I also; et ego vicissim (Cler.). השׁאיל, to let a person ask, to grant his request, to give him what he asks (Exodus 12:36), signifies here to make a person "asked" (שׁאוּל). The meaning to lend, which the lexicons give to the word both here and Exodus 12:36, has no other support than the false rendering of the lxx, and is altogether unsuitable both in the one and the other. Jehovah had not lent the son to Hannah, but had given him (see 1 Samuel 1:11); still less could a man lend his son to the Lord. The last clause of 1 Samuel 1:28, "and he worshipped the Lord there," refers to Elkanah, qui in votum Hannae consenserat, and not to Samuel. On a superficial glance, the plural ישׁתּחווּ, which is found in some Codd., and in the Vulgate, Syriac, and Arabic, appears the more suitable; but when we look more closely at the connection in which the clause stands, we see at once that it does not wind up the foregoing account, but simply introduces the closing act of the transference of Samuel. Consequently the singular is perfectly appropriate; and notwithstanding the fact that the subject is not mentioned, the allusion to Samuel is placed beyond all doubt. When Hannah had given up her son to the high priest, his father Elkanah first of all worshipped before the Lord in the sanctuary, and then Hannah worshipped in the song of praise, which follows in 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
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