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Poole on 1 Samuel 2:26: Sweet Samuel and the Wicked Sons of Eli

Verse 26:[1] And the child Samuel (1 Sam. 2:21) grew on, and was (Prov. 3:4; Luke 2:52; Acts 2:47; Rom. 14:18) in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.

[But the child Samuel, etc.] The constancy of Samuel shines the brighter, who was progressing among those regressing; and the perversity of the sons of Eli appears the uglier, who, being roused not at all by the example of one progressing, were regressing to greater degrees from day to day (Mendoza).

[He was advancing and increasing, etc., הֹלֵ֥ךְ וְגָדֵ֖ל] Walking and growing great (Montanus), or, increasing (Jonathan). He was walking or going, and increasing (Pagnine, Piscator); by going (or advancing [Tigurinus]) he was increasing (Munster, Tigurinus). He was proceeding to increase (Junius and Tremellius), that is, he was advanicing in years and goodness, and was increasing in good reputation (Vatablus). He was highly esteemed (Syriac, Arabic).

[And he was pleasing as much to the Lord, as to men,וָט֑וֹב גַּ֚ם עִם־יְהוָ֔ה וְגַ֖ם עִם־אֲנָשִֽׁים׃] And good with the Lord; and also with men (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint). Both before Jehovah, and also before men (Piscator, similarly Pagnine, Junius and Tremellius). And he improved as much before God, as before men (Munster, Tigurinus). Pleasing, or acceptable, or agreeable, as much before God, etc. (Dutch, Junius and Tremellius, English). Thus among the Syrians טִיבוּתָא is taken for grace, that is, favor and reputation (Gataker’s Cinnus 92). Moreover, the preposition עִם/with, among many other things, sometimes denotes approbation and judgment, as in this place; for the sense is, that he was approved by the Judgment of God and of men; thus is is also said concerning the Christ as a child, Luke 2:52. Thus it is also taken in Psalm 39:12, for I am a stranger עִמָּךְ, with thee, or before thee. See also 1 Samuel 2:21[2] (Glassius’ “Grammar” 563). The sense of this passage is, he was becoming ever better and more pleasing, as much before God, as before men (Vatablus). And he was growing from day to day, and becoming better, etc. (Castalio). Samuel joined things that are joined only with the greatest difficulty: he pleased both God and men. He was pleasing to God with respect to religion, and to men with respect to righteousness; and both in true charity. He was striving to please even the wicked, so that them might be made good, according to Romans 12:17; 1 Timothy 3:7 (Mendoza).

The child Samuel grew on, and was in favour, etc.:He grew better in bad times, which is remembered to his commendation.

[1] Hebrew: וְהַנַּ֣עַר שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל הֹלֵ֥ךְ וְגָדֵ֖ל וָט֑וֹב גַּ֚ם עִם־יְהוָ֔ה וְגַ֖ם עִם־אֲנָשִֽׁים׃ [2] 1 Samuel 2:21: “And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord (עִם־יְהוָה).”

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