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Poole on 1 Samuel 1:26-28: Samuel Given Back to God

Verse 26:[1] And she said, Oh my lord, (Gen. 42:15; 2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6) as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

[I pray, my Lord (thus Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, Pagnine),בִּ֣י אֲדֹנִ֔י] In me, my Lord (Montanus, Septuagint). Understanding, iniquity, or some such (Ibn Ezra in Drusius). That בִּי obtains the force of an interjection, and excites attention (Sanchez, Menochius). Oh my Lord; that is to say, Hearken to thy servant, and grant what I am going to ask (Vatablus). Attend to me (Junius and Tremellius).

[Thy soul lives (thus Montanus)] These words are a formula, either, 1. of supplicating with good manners; that is to say, I wish a long life for thee, so that thou mightest be able to educate my son (Kimchi in Martyr). May thy soul live(Syriac). Mayest thou live safely, O Lord (Arabic); that is to say, Mayest thou thus live and be well (certain interpreters in Malvenda). Or, 2. of asservation and oath (Vatablus, similarly Drusius, Lapide, Sanchez, Montanus, Mendoza). That is to say, The things that I am going say are as true as the fact that thou art living, or as the fact that I am wishing thee long life (Vatablus). The Heathen and others were wont to swear by the life of those that they were loving, Genesis 42:15; 1 Samuel 17:55; 20:3. See also Alexander ab Alexandro Festival Days[2]5:10 (Mendoza). By the life of thy soul (Jonathan, Pagnine). By thy life I pray that thou wouldest attend to me (Junius). I prefer to refer it to the following sentence; that is to say, as certainly as I know that thou livest, so certainly believe what I say, namely, that I am that woman (Piscator).

Oh my lord; a form of speech to engage favourable attention. As thy soul liveth; the usual form of an oath, as Genesis 42:15; 1 Samuel 17:55; 20:3; as surely as thou livest: which asseverations seem necessary, because this was some years after it, and was quite forgotten by him.

Verse 27:[3] (Matt. 7:7) For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him…

[He hath given my petition] Petitionin the place of the thing petitioned, after the manner of the Scripture. An abstract in the place of the concrete (Mendoza).

Verse 28:[4] (1 Sam. 1:11, 22) Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD (or, returned him, whom I have obtained by petition, to the LORD[5]); as long as he liveth he shall be lent (or, he whom I have obtained by petition shall be returned[6]) to the LORD. And he (Gen. 24:26, 52) worshipped the LORD there.

[Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord, הִשְׁאִלְתִּ֙הוּ֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה] They render it variously. I made to ask him for the Lord (Montanus). I have lent or given (assigned [Arabic], surrendered [Tigurinus], delivered [Jonathan, Munster, Dutch]) to the Ord (Septuagint, Pagnine, Vatablus, English, Dutch, Syriac); that is, as he was given to me by God, so I also give him to Him; or I determined, or vowed, that I am going to surrender him for the use of the Lord (Vatablus, similarly Lapide, Sanchez). It would be the best interpretation, except that שָׁאַל, to lend, signifies, not so much to deliver a thing already received, as to deliver a thing to be received back (Mendoza). שָׁאַל and הִשְׁאִיל signify, not only to askand to pray for, but also to hearken to a petition, or to lend, give, grant the thing petitioned, by Catachresis:[7] For the verbs of the Hebrews sometimes signify an action begun, sometimes an action completed, especially in the Hiphil (Lapide). To lend is preferable here; as elsewhere it signifies to adhere to someone, or to join someone. Pagnine proves this out of Isaiah 14:2; 56:3; Jeremiah 50:5. Thus she lends her son to the Lord, that is, delivers him into the society of the Lord. Add that the debtors of the Hebrews were adhering to their creditors. See Proverbs 22:7; Isaiah 58:3. Now, Hannah acknowledged that her son was given by God, and was owed to God (Mendoza). I have restored to Him the petition that He gave to me (certain interpreters in Munster). I set him, who was given in prayer, to Jehovah (Junius and Tremellius). I return him, whom I acquired by prayers to the Lord (English, similarly Malvenda). I translate it, I surrender him: Hebrew, I cause that he is required of Jehovah; that is, that, as often as he might be required by Jehovah, he might appear, and present himself. A Metonomy of intended effect (Piscator).

[All the days in which he will have been lent] That is, as long as his life and will will have been extended; for parents’ vows of this sort (which are called personal [Sanchez]) children are not bound to fulfill (Menochius, Sanchez). Therefore, the prudent mother imposes a necessity upon herself of never recalling her son from the Temple; yet not upon her son, indeed, if should should will as an adult, he might decide otherwise concerning himself. Thus this passage appears to be able to be explained (Sanchez).

[כָּל־הַיָּמִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָיָ֔ה ה֥וּא שָׁא֖וּל לַֽיהוָ֑ה] All the days in which he will be lent (or surrendered [Tigurinus]) to the Lord (Munster, Pagnine); that is, as long as he shall live, he is surely given to the Lord (Vatablus). I lend him to the Lord all the days he lives, a loan to the Lord (Septuagint). All the days in which he lives, ministering before the Lord (Jonathan). I have lent him to the Lord all the days in which he is going to live, so that he might entreat the Lord for me(Syriac). I have assigned him to the Lord, so that he might be a minister in His sanctuary; for the entire span of the days of his lifetime; seeing that he is the gift that I had asked from the Lord (Arabic). I have surrendered him to the Lord all the days in which he will have lived; he was asked from the Lord. Or, otherwise, all the days in which he will be, he shall be given to the Lord(Dutch). As long as he lives, he shall be lent to the Lord. Or thus, he, whom I acquired with my prayers, shall be returned and given back, as it were, to the Lord (English). I set him before Jehovah, all the days in which he will have been (that is, will have lived [Piscator]), he, having been asked by prayer (I prefer given; Hebrew, asked), is for Jehovah[8] (Junius and Tremellius). That is, by us he is surrendered and given to the Lord, so that he might minister to Him (Junius). There is a beautiful Paranomasia[9]here; I שָׁאַלְתִּי/shaalti,[10] that is, I have asked of the Lord and obtained; and in turn I הִשְׁאִלְתִּהוּ/hishiltihu, that is, I have delivered him to God, so that he is שָׁאוּל/shaul,[11] that is, lent to God. She alludes to the name Samuel, and she gives that Etymology to it; that is to say, Previously he was so called, שָׁאוּל מֵאֵל, Shaul-meel, as it were, that is, asked from the Lord;[12] but now שָׁאוּל לְאֵל, Shaul-leel, that is, given or returned to the Lord. All the days in which he will have been (surviving), lent (supply, shall he be) to the Lord, so that He might make use of Him at pleasure (Lapide). The exposition of this passage is able to be twofold. 1. I resolved to give him to the Lord, as long as he has been given to us by God, that is, as long as he shall live. 2. As long as he shall be שָׁאוּל, that is, asked for or required. I will give him to the Lord, as long as He will have desired and required him. For, it was not in the power of the woman to prescribe to God. For God was able, either to extinguish him quickly; or, to make use of him for another purpose; which is exactly what happened, 1 Samuel 7. For he was made a Judge (Martyr).

I have lent him to the Lord, or, given him, etc., that is, do now give or offer him; for she did not lend him for a time, with a purpose or right to require him again. The words may be rendered thus, And I also asked him, or made myself to ask him, (a usual Hebraism,) for the Lord, that is, I prayed for this child, not only for myself, and to take away my reproach, but especially that I might have a child to serve and devote to the Lord. And so the following words, as long as he liveth, are not to be joined with this foregoing clause, but with those which come next after them; and that whole clause may be thus rendered, as a consequent upon the former: And, or therefore all the days in which he is, or shall be, he is or shall be lent or given to the Lord; or, as one begged for the Lord, and for his service, and therefore justly given to him. He shall be lent, or rendered, or used as one given in my prayer; for this was the condition of my prayer, that he should be the Lord’s.

[And they worshipped (thus the Syriac, Arabic, Dutch, Osiander)] And they bowed themselves there(Pagnine), namely, Samuel’s parents, giving thanks there (Osiander). But the Hebrew is singular (Malvenda).

[וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ] And he bowed himself (Montanus, Junius and Tremellius); he worshipped (Jonathan, Vatablus, Drusius, Munster, English); he gave thanks (Tigurinus). Who? Responses: Either, Eli; that is to say, Then Eli acquiesced to the prayers of the woman, that he might give thanks to God; he gave thanks for the benefit that she had received (Vatablus). Or, Hannah. But the verb is masculine (Malvenda). Or, Elkanah; or, as others have it, Samuel (Drusius, Malvenda). Our translation doubtlessly reads the same letters, but different points, יִשְׁתַּחוּ/yishtachu, and they worshipped, which formula is found, Genesis 48:12[13] (Malvenda).

He worshipped; not Eli, who is not mentioned but in verse 25, and then only passively, not as speaking or doing any thing; nor Elkanah, of whom here is no mention; but young Samuel, who is the subject spoken of in this and the foregoing verse, and who was capable of worshipping God in some sort, at least with external adoration; of which see on verse 22. And so the particle there is emphatical, signifying that hereby he entered himself into the worship and service of God in that place, to which he was devoted by his parents, and now did devote himself.

[1]Hebrew: וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ בִּ֣י אֲדֹנִ֔י חֵ֥י נַפְשְׁךָ֖ אֲדֹנִ֑י אֲנִ֣י הָאִשָּׁ֗ה הַנִּצֶּ֤בֶת עִמְּכָה֙ בָּזֶ֔ה לְהִתְפַּלֵּ֖ל אֶל־יְהוָֽה׃ [2]Alexander ab Alexandro (1461-1523) studied law at Naples and Rome, but, being dissatisfied with the practice of law, devoted himself to literary pursuits. His Dies Geniales is a miscellany of curious observations on philology and antiquities. [3]Hebrew: אֶל־הַנַּ֥עַר הַזֶּ֖ה הִתְפַּלָּ֑לְתִּי וַיִּתֵּ֙ן יְהוָ֥ה לִי֙ אֶת־שְׁאֵ֣לָתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁאַ֖לְתִּי מֵעִמּֽוֹ׃ [4]Hebrew: וְגַ֣ם אָנֹכִ֗י הִשְׁאִלְתִּ֙הוּ֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה כָּל־הַיָּמִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הָיָ֔ה ה֥וּא שָׁא֖וּל לַֽיהוָ֑ה וַיִּשְׁתַּ֥חוּ שָׁ֖ם לַיהוָֽה׃ [5]Hebrew: הִשְׁאִלְתִּ֙הוּ֙ לַֽיהוָ֔ה. [6]Hebrew: ה֥וּא שָׁא֖וּל. [7]That is, an improper use of the word. [8]That is, he is Jehovah’s. [9]That is, word play. [10]1 Samuel 1:27: “For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition (אֶת־שְׁאֵ֣לָתִי) which I asked of him (שָׁאַ֖לְתִּי מֵעִמּֽוֹ׃)…” [11]1 Samuel 1:28a: “Therefore also I have lent him (הִשְׁאִלְתִּהוּ) to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent (שָׁאוּל) to the Lord.…” [12]1 Samuel 1:20b: “…and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord (שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל כִּ֥י מֵיְהוָ֖ה שְׁאִלְתִּֽיו׃).” [13]Genesis 48:12: “And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself (וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ; there is some manuscript and versional (Septuagint, Syriac, and Palestinian Targum) for יִשְׁתַּחֲווּ, they bowed themselves) with his face to the earth.”

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