Poole on 1 Samuel 1:8: Elkanah's Attempt to Comfort

Verse 8:[1] Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I (Ruth 4:15) better to thee than ten sons?



[Am not I better to thee than ten sons?] That is, many sons (Drusius, Piscator). A Synecdoche of species (Piscator). A certain number is put for an uncertain number. Thus in Isaiah 4:1, seven women (Drusius). That is to say, Shouldest thou not value me more highly than ten sons? or, Am I not able to furnish for thee more benefits than ten sons? For I love thee most vehemently (Vatablus). In matrimonial concord there is more good than even in fertility (Grotius). He alludes here to Peninnah’s ten sons, which he had (Hebrews in Lapide).


Am not I better to thee than ten sons?: Oughtest thou not to value my hearty love to thee, more than the having of as many sons as Peninnah hath? She would willingly change conditions with thee.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אמֶר לָ֜הּ אֶלְקָנָ֣ה אִישָׁ֗הּ חַנָּה֙ לָ֣מֶה תִבְכִּ֗י וְלָ֙מֶה֙ לֹ֣א תֹֽאכְלִ֔י וְלָ֖מֶה יֵרַ֣ע לְבָבֵ֑ךְ הֲל֤וֹא אָֽנֹכִי֙ ט֣וֹב לָ֔ךְ מֵעֲשָׂרָ֖ה בָּנִֽים׃

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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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