Poole on 1 Samuel 1:24, 25: The Fulfillment of Hannah's Vow

[circa 1165] Verse 24:[1] And when she had weaned him, she (Deut. 12:5, 6, 11) took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto (Josh. 18:1) the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.



[And she took him] And it is repeated in this verse, she took him, so that Hannah’s alacrity in offering her son might be indicated (Mendoza).


[In three calves, בְּפָרִ֤ים שְׁלֹשָׁה֙] Inor with three young bulls (Montanus, Jonathan). [Thus nearly all interpreters.] Others: with a young bull (or bull [Septuagint, Arabic]) of three years (Syriac, Arabic, Septuagint). This translation is favored by Chrysostom, and also by Theodoret, observing that Hannah offered a boy and a calf of the same age (Mendoza). But why three calves? Response: In order to make ample sacrifices and offerings (Vatablus). One of those was sacrificed on the first day; the other two thereafter on other feast days. Thus Rabbi Levi;[2] or rather, one was intended for a burnt-offering, the other two for peace-offerings (Martyr). Only one was sacrificed, verse 25; the other two were used for feasting (Menochius, Drusius). These two she either gave to the Priest, to whom she entrusted her son; or left as appointed and solemn sacrificial victims in the Temple (Montanus out of Sanchez).


Three bullocks; either, first, One to be offered at that time; the other two presented to the priest, whether for his own use, or to be offered afterwards, as he saw fit. Or, secondly, One for a burnt-offering, the second for a sin-offering, the third for a peace-offering, of which they might all feast together; for all these sorts seem expedient for this work and time.


[And three modii of of flour] Hebrew: an ephah,[3] which contains three modii, or three sata[4] (Mendoza). They were eating part, and offering part as a gift, which they call the מנכה [read מִנְחָה/Minchah, grain offering] (Drusius). Now, that for each calf one Ephah was to be offered, we have Ezekiel 46:7. Hence, for the one calf that she wished to sacrifice, brought enough flour for libations (Sanchez).


One ephah of flour, for the meat-offerings belonging to the principal sacrifices, which to each bullock were three tenth deals, or three tenth parts of an ephah, as appears from Numbers 15:9; 28:12; and so nine homers, or nine parts of the ephah, were spent, and the tenth part was either a separate meat-offering, or given to the priest.


[An amphora of wine, וְנֵבֶל] A skin(Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius, Malvenda, Drusius); an amphora, a jar, a pot (Vatablus). This measure is of the same capacity for liquids, as the Ephah for solids (Mendoza). The flour and wine of the peace-offering were mixed together, Numbers 15:8-10, all which she brought here, with a liberal hand (Sanchez). But, what was left over, was given out to those sacrificing, or feasting. From which it is gathered that there was not only a sacrifice here, but also a feast (Mendoza).


A bottle of wine, for drink-offerings, according to the manner.


[Now, the boy was yet infantile, וְהַנַּ֖עַר נָֽעַר׃] And the lad was a lad (Montanus). Now, the lad (understanding, was) a lad (Pagnine), or a little boy(Jonathan), yet a little boy (Syriac, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Kimchi in Drusius, Vatablus); he was yet nursing (Jonathan in Vatablus), that is, he was so young that it was as if he were yet suckling the breasts of his mother (Munster). In this repetition, the signification is intensified by epizeuxis;[5] which is to say, very young. Thus in Psalm 68:12, of the beloved, of the beloved[6] (Mendoza). The first boydenotes the person; the second, his age (Piscator).


Verse 25:[7] And they slew a bullock, and (Luke 2:22) brought the child to Eli.



[A calf] Either, only one was sacrificed [see what things are on the preceding verse]; or, פַּר/bullock here is the name of the species and collective, that is to say, they sacrifices the three young bulls (Malvenda).


A bullock; either, first, One of the three at the present, reserving the rest for the future. Or, secondly, The three bullocks mentioned verse 24, to which the article here added, in the Hebrew, seems manifestly to relate; there being no one bullock there, singled out, to which it can belong. And so it is only an enallage of the singular number for the plural, which is frequent.


[And they presented] They brought; that is, with the sacrifice made, they brought him in (Vatablus).


[1]Hebrew: וַתַּעֲלֵ֙הוּ עִמָּ֜הּ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר גְּמָלַ֗תּוּ בְּפָרִ֤ים שְׁלֹשָׁה֙ וְאֵיפָ֙ה אַחַ֥ת קֶ֙מַח֙ וְנֵ֣בֶל יַ֔יִן וַתְּבִאֵ֥הוּ בֵית־יְהוָ֖ה שִׁל֑וֹ וְהַנַּ֖עַר נָֽעַר׃ [2]Although little is known about the life of Levi ben Gershon, also known as Gersonides and Ralbag (1288-1344), his interests included, not only Biblical and Talmudic interpretation, but also philosophy, science, and mathematics. [3]Hebrew: וְאֵיפָה. [4]An ephah was approximately eight dry gallons. The σάτον and modius appear to be a little larger than an English peck (two dry gallons). [5]That is, the repetition of a word or phrase in immediate succession. [6]Psalm 68:12: “Kings of armies did flee, did flee (יִדֹּד֣וּן יִדֹּד֑וּן; rex virtutum dilecti dilect, the king of powers is of the beloved, of the beloved, in the Vulgate): and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.” [7]Hebrew: וַֽיִּשְׁחֲט֖וּ אֶת־הַפָּ֑ר וַיָּבִ֥יאוּ אֶת־הַנַּ֖עַר אֶל־עֵלִֽי׃

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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