The Birth of Samuel

1 Samuel 1:1-1:27


Intro: The book of I Samuel is a transition period in the history of Israel.  The nation is moving to a theocracy, a monarchy.  However, they weren’t really following God as King.  You might say that they were moving to an Anarchy because several times through the book of Judges it says, “Every man did that what was right in his own sight,” moving into a monarchy, where they have an earthly king.  But more than that, it is a transition from a period of judges into the period of kings, where the nation will no longer be ruled by judges.  Instead, we are introduced to the kings. 


1 Samuel not only recounts eventful history; it is eventful history interwoven with the biographies of three colorful personalities:


Samuel, Saul, David: and it is around these three that the Book of 1 Samuel is divided


1 Sam 1-7         SAMUEL

1 Sam 8-15 SAUL

1 Sam 16-31    DAVID


Interwoven thru their stories which overlap are the accounts of many other Characters that we learn so much about – LOYALTY / LOVE / FRIENDSHIP / THE DANGERS OF BITTERNESS / FOOLISHINESS – MANY OTHERS …PAGES


We start with Samuel

“Never did time seem more hopeless than when Samuel

arose. The Philistines, strengthened not merely by a

constant influx of immigrants, but by the importation of arms

from Greece, were fast reducing Israel to the condition of a

subject race.” (Smith, Pulpit Commentary)


Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains

of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of

Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.


A certain man: At this strategic time and place, God begins His

plan as He almost always does - with a person, a man or a woman

He will use. God could accomplish His work all by Himself, or by

using angels, or by any number of other means, but His normal way

of working is to find a certain man and work through them.


Now in I Chronicles, chapter 6, verses 26-27: as the genealogies are there given, we find that Samuel, or his father Elkanah, is of the Levitical tribe of Kohath.  Though they lived in Ephraim, they lived in one of the Levitical cities of Ephraim.  So they were called an Ephraimite because that is the area that they came from.  They were of the tribe of Levi.  He was the family of Kohath.  Their genealogy is listed there in I Chronicles 6.  Some people have a problem because Samuel was offering sacrifices, and if he was in the tribe of Ephraim, that would not be his position.  He was of the tribe of Levi, living in one of the Levitical cities in Ephraim.  Thus, called an Ephrathite; but in reality of the tribe of Levi, a Kohathite. 


And he had  two wives: the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other  Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

In those days polygamy was practiced, and this man, Elkanah, had two wives.  The name of the first one was Grace, or “Hannah,” in Hebrew.  Translated into English, it is “Grace.”  The name of the second was Peninnah, which in English is “Pearl.”  Now Pearl had children, but Grace had no children. 


It was the burning desire of every Hebrew couple to have son  in those days, not being able to bear children was a cultural curse.  The primary duty of the wife was to produce a son for her husband according to that culture


          If the wife couldn't bear a son, it was common to provide a                  surrogate for her husband (EXAMPLE: Sarah gave her servant           Hagar to Abraham)


     At that time, barrenness was seen as curse from God. 


          Later, according to Jewish tradition, a  list was drawn up of                 those not entering heaven:


              A Jewish man who had no wife


              A Jewish wife who had no children.


                   In some circles, this is still considered grounds for  divorce

In the face of her barrenness, Hannah  also faced competition from her husbands other wife.



V. 3 This man went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the

LORD of hosts in Shiloh..

          This is the first time the name the Lord of Hosts, JEHOVAH Sabaoth, is used in the Bible.  It is not used at all in the Pentateuch.  This is the first mention of JEHOVAH Sabaoth, the LORD of Hosts.  JEHOVAH Sabaoth is His name.  It is used 281 times in the Bible, and has the idea “LORD of the Mighty Armies.”

Hannah feels attacked by her rival, and so calls on the LORD of

Mighty Armies to be her protector!. The title LORD of hosts is used some 260 times in  the Old Testament,

 Shiloh was at that time the religious center, that’s where the tabernacle was placed.  This is where the ark of the covenant was.  The place of worship was Shiloh, and thus, they were going to Shiloh each year to worship the LORD at the time of the feast. 



Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there

And whenever the time came for Elkanah to make an offering, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he would give a double portion, for he loved Hannah, although the LORD had closed her womb. And her rival also provoked her severely, to

make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb. So it

was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, that

she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.


NOTE: God never CONDONED polygamy in the Bible


          In fact, the Bible clearly points out the PROBLEMS inherent in it


     Think of it men - A husband having to please more than one woman!!

Friend: Why would anyone want to do that – it takes all the energy I have all the grace that God can give to please & take care of the wife that I have – why would I want another one?


              BUT - A wife having to SHARE her husband with another                        woman.... COMPETE for his affection and attention... Must           have been misery


              Husbands Take NOTE: NEVER give your wife a moments                     opportunity to feel as though she has to COMPETE for your                        affection and attention


Here is another one of those places where we see the problems with Polygamy – Always a Favorite and always a Rival

A) This is so sad – every year when Elkanah would take his family up to Shiloh to worship Penninah would use it as an opportunity to Provoke and tease Hannah


B) So here was this time that should have been a great blessing – a time to look forward to – a time of celebration – Wonderful time

Going up to the house of the LORD was going up for the feast.  It was a time of great feasting.  You would offer up your sacrifice, your peace offering unto the LORD.  You would give the LORD His portion, but then take your portion.  There was always a time of great feasting.  As you worship God you would worship Him with feasting.  Like Thanksgivings, when we gather, we worship the LORD, we thank God for his goodness: we have the big spread and we eat together, giving thanks unto God for His blessings.  That is what the feasts, the Jewish holidays, were.  When there were feast days, they would come to Jerusalem to feast. 


1) Instead it was this time that was miserable because of the TEASING AND TAUNTING


C) Now I think this can happen in the body of Christ – We come here to Church – it is to be a time to look forward to: Meeting w/ the Lord & the family – time of excitement and celebration


D) But it can often become a time that is difficult for people in the Family who can feel like they are 2nd class Christians –

1) Because they have been DIVORCED / because they are a single Parent or because they are SINGLE  - made to feel 2nd class or inferior


E) We need to watch – As a pastor I have had to become much more mindful of the various people in the Church – easy to talk to Parents – married people

1) Try not to exclude those who are in those other categories


F) Love it – Home groups – single people – Go – mixing with those who are married and feel comfortable there – Great –


It breaks my heart to know that there are those who are single out there or divorced who really wrestle with fitting in – Makes their Church experience a difficult one – Instead of realizing they have so much to Give – they can play a vital and important role in the Church


So for Hannah every year this trip was a difficult one –

V.8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep?

Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better

to you than ten sons?”


Elkanah’s response blesses me – He shows this deep concern for his wife and he is trying to let her know – I don’t care that you haven’t born me a son – We have each other that is what matters most –


He wanted her to know that she was special to him !!!!


V.9-11  So Hannah arose after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the tabernacle of the LORD. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish.

Hannah had many problems. Her husbands heart was

divided. Her home, instead of being a place of refuge from

trials, was a place of trials. Her hope had been disappointed.

Yet in all those things, Hannah did the right things: she wept, she prayed,

and she committed the whole situation to the LORD.


: She brought her grief and sorrow before the Lord. poured out her heart to God.  That’s really where we are going to find our help.  That’s where we’re going to find the sympathetic understanding that we need.


High Priest who can sympathize / He is rewarder of those who diligently seek Him / James 1 He is the giver of Wisdom to those who ask



Then she made a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your

maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a male child, then I will

give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come

upon his head.”


She made a vow: Hannah promises her son to the work of the

LORD, vowing that he will be a Nazirite from birth (I will give him to

the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon

his head). According to Numbers 6, the vow of a Nazirite included

the following:

i. Abstinence from any product from a grape vine, signifying

distance from all fleshly pleasures.

ii. Taking no part in any mourning for the dead, nor to come

near a dead body, because the dead show the corruption

and the fruit of sin. Also, because the Nazirite had greater

concerns than the ordinary joys and sorrows of life.

iii. Never cutting the hair, because it was a public, visible

sign to others of the vow.

iv. Typically, the vow of a Nazirite was taken for a set and

rather short period of time. Samuel and Samson (Judges

13:5) were unique, because they were Nazirites from birth.

e. I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life: The child

born would be a Levite, and being of that tribe, would be already

dedicated unto the LORD, because God regarded the tribe of Levi

as His own special possession. But the time of a Levite’s special

dedication to the LORD only lasted from the age of 30 to 50

(Numbers 4:2-3). Here, Hannah was taking something that already

belonged to the LORD in some sense, and gave it again to the LORD

in a greater way - for the whole life, and in a the dedication of a

Nazirite, which was a greater consecration than a Levite.


Even so, we may be dedicated unto the LORD - but is there

a greater dedication God wants from us? It would have been

easy for Hannah to say, “I don’t need to dedicate my child to

the LORD, because he is already dedicated.” But there was a

deeper dedication the LORD was trying to draw out of

Hannah. Is there a deeper dedication the LORD is trying to

draw out of you?

It is difficult, even impossible to understand all the reasons and

dynamics behind the plan of God; but certainly, if God wanted this

little boy to be dedicated to Him in this special way, He had to allow

Hannah to come to this place of desperation.


God needed a man to lead the children of Israel to a spiritual revival, and there was no man in Israel that God could use. 


It is a sad story: God’s need for a man at the time of Ezekiel, the prophet.  When God’s judgment was coming upon the nation because of their sin, God was wanting -- still, to forestall the judgment.  God said in Ezekiel, “And I sought for a man among them, who would stand in the gap, and who would fill in the hedge, but I found none: and therefore my judgment had to come.”   God could not find the man who would intercede and stand between the judgment of God and the people.  Thus, not finding a man, judgment came. 


I wonder how often that is repeated in history, where God is seeking for a man who will fully dedicate his life to the purposes and plan of God, and how many times God comes up short. 


Not finding a man, God found a woman. 


V.12-14 And it happened, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli  watched her mouth. Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips

moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was

drunk. So Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put your wine

away from you!”


Now this is sad - Now, here’s an interesting thing: it gives you an insight to the moral degeneracy of the times.  Here is the priest in the temple, seeing a woman really pouring out her heart unto God.  It is such an unusual sight to him, that he doesn’t think she’s praying.  He figures she’s drunk.  Which means that the women were perhaps lying around drunk after feast times.  This was his initial presumption, that she was drunk.  Rather than realizing that, “Hey, here’s a woman in real agony and bitterness in her soul, pouring out her heart to God.”  He just presumed that she was drunk.  So he says to her, “Hey lady!  How long are you going to be drunk?  Put away your booze.” 


Listen: Especially those involved in Ministry- We can be so prone to jump to WRONG conclusions – when it comes to people – Because we have these preconceived ideas – about them or about their situations.

We can look at their outward appearance and think – Carnal – or whatever –


Think just because they are here they are saved – might not be – Pray for them   - MATT – TATOOS – GREAT GUY




Another thing – How often to we notice someone’s wrong behavior – doing something wrong – they are reacted in the wrong way – we fail to consider the hurt in that persons life that might be affecting them – to act in that wrong way –


V.15- 16 And Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of

sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor intoxicating drink, but

have poured out my soul before the LORD. “Do not consider your

maidservant a wicked woman, for out of the abundance of my

complaint and grief I have spoken until now.”


What a great description of PRAYER – POURING OUT YOUR SOUL

A) When is the last time you have done that – God Responds to the Prayer of Desperation – Jairus with his daughter / woman with the issue of blood / centurion w/ his servant / man with demon possessed son


One thing in Common – out of Options and Desperate –


Too many times – we have our back up plans – When is the last time you really came to the Lord – Poor in Spirit – broken hearted – out of options

 Lord you are all I have – poured your heart out to him – He loves that heart

V.17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” And she said, “Let your maidservant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.

Note this – Eli – gives Hannah this word of encouragement and she takes it as being from the Lord - the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.


That is faith in action there – Pour my heart out to the Lord – He answered and now I am going to walk in that !!! – No longer sad or worried


V. 19 Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD,

and returned and came to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew

Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So it came to pass in

the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called

his name Samuel, (Samuel = Heard of God )saying, “Because I have asked for him from the  LORD.”    God heard her cry


I love this phrase here the Lord REMEMEBERED HER -  this to me is such a powerful line – not that the Lord forgot her – but that his face and shown graciously upon her – Lord remember me –


What a wonderful blessing to dwell upon – the LORD REMEMBERS US



V21- 28

© 2001 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

How difficult this must have been!

Not only hard for Hannah, but hard for Elkanah also. Their

willingness to fulfill the vow, even at great personal cost, is

evidence of godliness in both Elkanah and Hannah.

b. The fact that 1 Samuel 1:24 mentions three bulls brought to

Shiloh, but 1 Samuel 1:25 mentions only one being sacrificed (with

some of the meat available for a fellowship meal) emphasizes that

one of the bulls was specifically made as a burnt offering for the

cleansing and consecration of little Samuel.

i. The magnitude of Elkanah’s offering when Samuel was

dedicated to the LORD - offering an entire bull - shows that a

“grown up” offering for sin was made at his dedication, even

though Samuel was only about three years old. This is a

subtle reference to the inherited nature of our sinfulness.

Though Samuel has not sinned as much as an adult, he is

still a guilty sinner, because he has inherited a sinful nature

from Adam - as we all have.


lent  =  "a complete irrevocable giving up".


              She wasn't in a holding pattern, waiting for kids to leave                        home so she could resume her life.


Here we have our basis for baby dedications


          "Lord, this child is FROM you and is now being presented TO             you."


     NOTE: She really believed that God would keep her child walking          with God


          as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD


Notice how the Chapter ends

So they worshipped the LORD there: Worship is a repeated

characteristic of this family (1 Samuel 1:3, 19, 28). Even in difficult

situations, they can worship the LORD. Praising God on the day you

give your little son away may not be easy, but it is praise God is

pleased with, even as we are to bring a sacrifice of praise to God

(Hebrews 13:15).


CH. 2




Now as we move into chapter 2, we have here a sort of spontaneous worship that rises out of Hannah’s heart; which is really a prophecy, an extremely exciting prophecy in the Old Testament. 



There is in the New Testament, in the book of Luke, what is called, ‘The Magnificant of Mary.’  It is that expression of Mary when she meets her cousin Elizabeth.  And it gives us insight into the character of Mary.  It helps us to see what a deeply spiritual person she was.  As she busts forth, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit does rejoice in God my Savior.  For He has regarded the low estate of his handmaid.”  She goes on in this glorious exaltation to God.  There is nothing in it in scripture to equal except this glorious declaration and exaltation of Hannah here in the Old Testament.


As we look at this we get an insight into the depth of the character of this woman.  And we understand why God chose this woman to fulfill His purpose to bring a man into the world that He could use for His plan and purpose for Israel.


Hannah’s prayer.

1. (1-2) Thanksgiving and praise.

And Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the LORD;

My horn is exalted in the LORD.

I smile at my enemies,

Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

No one is holy like the LORD,

For there is none besides You,

Nor is there any rock like our God.”


Beautiful expressions of praise to the Lord: “My heart rejoices, my horn is exalted: my mouth is enlarged because I rejoice in thy salvation.”   When she declared ‘I rejoice in thy salvation,’ this begins a look forward.  How is God’s salvation provided for us?  Through Yeshua, “Jehovah is salvation.”  When she said, “I look, and I rejoice in thy salvation,” she’s rejoicing actually in Jesus Christ.  It turns into a prophecy here, and I want you to notice what a remarkable prophecy it actually is. 


Jesus is the Rock, the scripture says in II Corinthians: and there is no Rock like our God.  Remember in Nebuchadnezzar’s vision interpreted by Daniel, he saw the image until there was, “a rock not cut with hands that smote the great image in the feet.  So that the image crumbled and the rock grew up until it was a mountain that covered the earth.”   That rock was Jesus.  Jesus said that, “Upon this Rock I will build my church.”   What rock?  The confession of Peter that, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”


V. 3 -5 “Talk no more so very proudly;

Let no arrogance come from your mouth,

For the LORD is the God of knowledge;

And by Him actions are weighed.”

“The bows of the mighty men are broken,

And those who stumbled are girded with strength.

Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,

And the hungry have ceased to hunger.

Even the barren has borne seven,

And she who has many children has become feeble.


a. Talk no more so very proudly: While Hannah certainly has her

rival in mind, her “fellow-wife” Peninnah here. But in some way, she

sees Peninnah as just a representative of all the proud and

arrogant people in the world. Hannah wisely tells the proud to talk

no more and to let no arrogance come from your mouth. Pride

can be expressed in many ways, but it usually is expressed by our

words. The proud would be much better off if they would just not

talk so much!

b. For the LORD is the God of knowledge: This, of course, is the

best reason to forsake our pride. Next to God, we all know nothing,

and since we are all far from God, we are all far from all knowledge.

He knows us, and by Him actions are weighed.


The LORD kills and makes alive;

He brings down to the grave and brings up.

The LORD makes poor and makes rich;

He brings low and lifts up.

He raises the poor from the dust

And lifts the beggar from the ash heap,

To set them among princes

And make them inherit the throne of glory.”

“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,

And He has set the world upon them.



Even as Jesus went into the grave and He arose out of the grave.  The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich.  He who was rich, yet for your sakes became poor, that you through His poverty, might know the riches of God. 


He bringeth low, and he lifted up. 


He humbled himself and came in the form of a man obedient as a servant even unto death, the death of the cross.  Wherefore God has also highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name.  This is a marvelous prophecy concerning Jesus Christ. 


He raiseth up the poor out of the dust and lifteth up the beggar from the dung hill.

Now he’s talking about what Jesus does for those who trust in Him: raises the poor out of the dust, lifts the beggar out of the dung hill.


To set them among princes, and make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and He has set the world upon them.


So that glorious work of God’s grace.  And isn’t it interesting that the name, ‘Hannah’ means, “grace?”  Here she begins to express the glorious grace of God through Jesus Christ which has been extended unto us.


v.9-10  He will guard the feet of His saints,

But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.

For by strength no man shall prevail.

The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces;

From heaven He will thunder against them.

The LORD will judge the ends of the earth.

He will give strength to His king,

And exalt the horn of His anointed.”


The word, ‘anointed’ is the Hebrew word, “Messiah.”  Thus, a tremendous prophecy concerning the Messiah:His king, God will exalt.  So this marvelous, marvelous prophecy of Hannah; almost unequal in scripture.