top of page

Poole on 1 Samuel 2:3: Hannah's Song, Part 3

Verse 3:[1] Talk no more so exceeding proudly; (Ps. 94:4; Mal. 3:13; Jude 15) let not arrogancy (Heb. hard[2]) come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

[Do not multiply to speak, etc., אַל־תַּרְבּ֤וּ תְדַבְּרוּ֙ גְּבֹהָ֣ה גְבֹהָ֔ה] Verbatim: Let ye not multiply, speak high high (Montanus, Piscator). There are two futures/ imperfects set side by side without a conjunction (Malvenda). The Hebrew future/imperfect in the place of the infinitive. Let ye not multiply to speak, in the place of, do not speak further (Vatablus). A novel way of speaking is to be observed here, in which a verb is taken as an adverb: Like he made great to do, in the place of, he did greatly:[3] he added to speak, in the place of, he spoke further.[4] So here, to multiply to speak, in the place of, to speak further or more frequently(Sanchez). Thus, I will add, I will pity, in the place of, I will yet pity more.[5] Hence the rule, When two verbs of the same tense or mood are read together without a copula, or even with a copula, the first ought to be rendered adverbially (Drusius). Speak ye not, therefore, after this(or, further [Syriac]) (Pagnine). Ye shall not multiply to speak, etc. (Jonathan). Speak ye not with many words (Junius and Tremellius). Be ye not much in speaking (Tigurinus). Be ye unwilling to multiply words to speak, etc. (Munster).

[Boasting lofty things, גְּבֹהָ֣ה גְבֹהָ֔ה] High, high (Montanus, Piscator). Great things (Jonathan, similarly the Septuagint); magnificent things(Syriac, Arabic, Tigurinus, Munster); a lofty, or arrogant and proud, understanding, word (Vatablus, thus Pagnine). So very haughtily (Junius and Tremellius). Elevated, elevated, that is, in an altogether elevated manner. For, in general, among the Hebrews, the superlative degree is communicated by the uninterrupted repetition of an adjective: in such a way that there might be an Anadiplosis[6] in place of the superlative; as הָאָדֹ֤ם הָאָדֹם֙, the red, the red, in Genesis 25:30,[7]denotes altogether red, understanding, food (Glassius’[8] “Grammar” 25). By the doubling of the substantive, she signifies that they were frequent and assiduous in spewing proud words (Vatablus). Nevertheless, sometimes this repetition only indicates the certainty of a matter, as in Numbers 3:9[9] (Glassius’ “Grammar” 25). But why does Hannah make use of the plural number, Do not ye, etc., since she inveighs against Peninnah alone? Responses: 1. By syllepsis she makes use of the plural in the place of the singular. Or, 2. She speaks this way to be respectful. Or, 3. Lest, if she speak in the singular, she should reveal Peninnah and make her calumnies public. Let us also observe similar caution in touching upon the faults of enemies. Thus those in Exodus 5:16, and it is done unjustly, etc.:[10] they do not say, thou, O King, actest unjustly: And David, being about to reprehend Saul, names others, 1 Samuel 24:9. Moreover, note the leniency of Hannah in reprehending; for, in admonishing that they should not be proud, she was reprehending mildly and secretly that they had been proud; and hence she was appearing, not so much to scold concerning the past, as to inform concerning the future (Mendoza). Now, Hannah here reprehends much and proud boasting, in Peninnah, and in her sons and kinsmen, concerning her fertility and felicity, which had been conjoined with contempt of Hannah (Lapide, Mendoza).

Talk no more so exceeding proudly; thou Peninnah, boast no more of thy numerous offspring, and speak no more insolently and scornfully of me, as thou hast done. She speaks of her in the plural number, brings many because she would not expose her name to censure, but only instruct and reprove her for her good.

[Let old things depart from your mouth, יֵצֵ֥א עָתָ֖ק מִפִּיכֶ֑ם] Let the old go out of your mouth (Montanus). Let old things be far from your mouth (Munster). Old things, that is, ill words now inveterate by long usage, as it were (Lyra). Old, proud speeches, in which ye had been accustomed to glory (Lapide). Think and speak differently concerning thyself now, than previously thou wert wont (Tirinus). Put on new manners; these old manners are hardly fitting for you (Osiander). עָתַק signifies both to grow old, and to strengthen (Mendoza, similarly Martyr). עָתַקsignifies an old saying, or tale, as what was wont commonly to be circulated of old, that barren women were displeasing to God. Hannah here refuted this common sentiment. Thus Montanus on Psalm 31:18 (Malvenda). [Others translate it otherwise.] The negation that preceded ought to be repeated in the second clause, and let not go out, etc. (Vatablus). Therefore, they translat it letnot go out an arrogant word (iniquity [Arabic], blasphemy [Jonathan], grandiloquence[Septuagint]) from your mouth(Pagnine, Septuagint, Jonathan, Syriac, Arabic). Letnot proceed a proud (Hebrew: hard, harsh [Junius]) anything, etc. (Junius and Tremellius). Let not go out a hard, etc. (Drusius, Vatablus, Piscator), understanding, word, as in Psalm 94:4, they speak a hard,[11] and in Psalm 31:18[12] (Drusius). A proud and arrogant word she calls hard, of which sort is, God is not omnipotent, who could not give conception to the barren (Vatablus). They are hard, because they are not able to be borne by those against whom they are advanced (Martyr). And, as hard thing give trouble to the senses, so proud words to the mind (Piscator). There is nothing rougher and harder than reproachful words (Mendoza). Some read it affirmatively, but in the same sense (Malvenda). Let the more severe speech cease from your mouth (Tigurinus). Let the cruel depart from your mouth (Castalio).

Arrogancy; Hebrew, hard speeches, as those are called, Jude 15, harsh, heavy, and not to be borne. Or, the old sayings; either the old proverbs concerning barren women, which thou appliedstto me; or the old reproaches, to which for a long time thou hast accustomed thyself.

[Because the Lord is a God of sciences[13]] Omniscient, to whom all things lie open (Menochius), even the thoughts of men (Estius, Vatablus), and their works (Vatablus). He also sees your pride and audacity in calumniating. Abstain ye, therefore, from both: For who would offend before the face of the Judge? See Job 7:8 (Mendoza). Do not boast, etc., because God knows and foresees all things, as much future, as past and present, and joins the former with the latter; hence He knows that your glory, etc., is going to be turned into shame, etc. (Lapide). He knows how it is going to turn out; and He is able to destroy you in ways well-known to Him (Martyr). Now, He is called a God דֵּעוֹת, of sciences(Drusius), or, cogitations(Vatablus). Because He knows equally all the fields of study of men: they are before Him without multiplication or mutation. What if He is furnished with omnimodal knowledge? (Drusius), of the sciences, which is to say, perfectly knowledgeable of all things, even particulars (Kimchi in Mendoza). It is a Hebraism, like God of strengths, Psalm 46:7,[14] of vengeances, Psalm 94:1,[15] that is, God powerful, avenging (Mendoza).

The Lord is a God of knowledge; he knoweth thy heart, and all that pride, and envy, and contempt of me which thy own conscience knows, and all thy perverse carriages towards me.

[And to Him are thoughts prepared, וְלֹ֥א נִתְכְּנ֖וּ עֲלִלֽוֹת׃[16]] In the writing it is לֺא/not; in the reading, לוֹ, to Him. The Masoretes[17] not that there are fifteen such (Drusius). [Some read לוֹ, and thus translate it:] And for Him works are prepared (Pagnine, Vatablus), that is, works, magnificent for their order, are done by Him. Others: and for Him works are numbered, that is, the works of all are weighed and examined by Him (Vatablus). And to Him, that is, by Him, actions are disposed (Piscator). By Him actions are weighed (English). And over His every deed His judgment is extended (Jonathan). And His works are done rightly: Compare Ezekiel 18:25[18] (Dutch). And His endeavors (or, cogitations[Tigurinus]) are perfect(Munster). It is able to be explained, either, 1. concerning human cogitations; to Him they are prepared, that is, are weighed, and are thus manifested. See Proverbs 21:2.[19] Or, in this sense, to Him they are prepared, that is, unto His praise they are directed, or ought to be directed. תָּכַן signifies this in Isaiah 40:13.[20] Or, 2. concerning divine cogitations. Thus the Septuagint: God preparing His inventions(Mendoza). Actions here are the pursuits and endeavors of mortals; or, His very own actions whereby He governs human affairs. And thus the term עֲלִלוֹת/actions is occasionally attributed to God[21] (Piscator). For Him His cogitations have been prepared, thus disposed, just as for a mason material is supposed, prepared by another: Moreover, cogitations is in the place of matters cogitated; or it is common to have an action in the place of the subject, or in the place of the end of the action. And these things, if these are the cogitationsof God (Sanchez). Then the sense is, it belongs to God to bring to completion, not only those things that we contemplate and desire, but also those things that He contemplates and wills; which things are frequently far different than those things that we contemplate and will; just as here He thought to make Hannah fruitful and exalt her, not Peninnah. But if the cogitations of men is considered, the sense is that the thoughts of men are open to God, and by Him are directed, or fulfilled, or burst and ruined; as He fulfilled my desires for fruitfulness; but He dispersed the arrogant thoughts of Peninnah (Lapide). That is to say, let men consider what they do or contemplate; because God weighs and numbers all things; and He will not leave anything unpunished, if evil; or unrewarded, if it be good (Sanchez). And to Him works are directed (Pagnine in Mendoza), that is, the end to which they are directed, tend. Divine contemplations alone are never frustrated; but human contemplations are often broken and ruined. Therefore, no one ought to glory in his goods (Mendoza). [Others read לֺא/not, and thus translate it:] And before Him there are no pretexts, or excuses(Symmachus). For, those only to whom a thing happens apart from intention make use of excuses; which has not place in God, who works all things according to the purpose of His will[22] (Mendoza). Crafty methods do not stand before Him (Syriac). Arts are of no advantage before Him (Arabic). And actions are not disposed (Junius and Tremellius). That is, without Him, or without His will and administration; that is to say, try as ye might, nevertheless ye are going to bring absolutely nothing to pass without Him (Junius). The efforts of the sons of men are not going to accomplish anything, if God refuse (certain interpreters in Munster). And His works are not numbered, that is, are able to be comprehended by no number (certain interpreters in Vatablus). Others: Are not His works rightly done? (certain interpreters in the Dutch). [They take לֺא/not interrogatively, as if it were הֲלוֹא.] It matters little, whether it be read לֺא/not, or לוֹ, to Him. For, according to the Qere [that is, the reading, or לוֹ, to Him], the sense will be that God disposes His own counsels; that is, brings to pass the things determined; according to the Kethib [that is, the writing, or לֺא/not], the sense will be that the impious, against whom Hannah speaks, are not able to apply, that is, to execute their determined counsels, against God; both senses are true and suitable (Cappel’s[23] Sacred Criticism[24] 115).

By him actions are weighed, that is, he pondereth or trieth all men’s thoughts and actions, (for the Hebrew word signifies both,) as a just Judge, to give to every one according to their works; and therefore he hath pitied my oppressed innocency, and rebuked her arrogancy. Or, by him counsels, or actions, or events are disposed or ordered, and not by ourselves; and therefore he brings many things to pass contrary to men’s expectations, as now he hath done; he maketh one barren, and another fruitful, when and how it pleaseth him. In the Hebrew text it is לֺא/lothe adverb; and so the words may be rendered thus, His actions are not, or cannot, be directed, or rectified, or corrected by any others; none can mend his work; he doth every thing best, and in the best season, as now he hath done: or weighed, or numbered; his ways are unsearchable. Or thus, Are not his works right and straight? who can blame his actions? So לֺא/lo is for הֲלֹא/halo, as it is 2 Samuel 13:26; 2 Kings 5:26; Job 2:10.

[1]Hebrew: אַל־תַּרְבּ֤וּ תְדַבְּרוּ֙ גְּבֹהָ֣ה גְבֹהָ֔ה יֵצֵ֥א עָתָ֖ק מִפִּיכֶ֑ם כִּ֣י אֵ֤ל דֵּעוֹת֙ יְהוָ֔ה וְלֹ֥א נִתְכְּנ֖וּ עֲלִלֽוֹת׃ [2]Hebrew: עָתָק. [3]For example, Psalm 126:2: “Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things (הִגְדִּ֥יל יְ֜הוָ֗ה לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת, Jehovah hath made great to do) for them.” [4]For example, 1 Samuel 3:6: “And the Lord called yet again (וַיֹּ֣סֶף יְהוָ֗ה קְרֹ֣א עוֹד֮, Jehovah yet added to call), Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.” [5]For example, Hosea 1:6: “And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy (לֹ֨א אוֹסִ֜יף ע֗וֹד אֲרַחֵם֙) upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away.” [6]That is, a repetition. [7]Genesis 25:30: “And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red (מִן־הָאָדֹ֤ם הָאָדֹם֙ הַזֶּ֔ה); for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom (אֱדוֹם).” [8]Solomon Glassius (1593-1656) was a German Lutheran divine and critic. He was Professor of Divinity at the University of Jena. His Philologia Sacra was a groundbreaking work in Biblical Hebrew. [9]Numbers 3:9: “And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him (נְתוּנִ֙ם נְתוּנִ֥ם הֵ֙מָּה֙ ל֔וֹ, given, given are they to him) out of the children of Israel.” [10]Exodus 5:16: “There is no straw given unto thy servants, and they say to us, Make brick: and, behold, thy servants are beaten; but the fault is in thine own people (וְחָטָ֥את עַמֶּֽךָ׃; et injuste agitur contra populum tuum, and it is done unjustly against thy people, in the Vulgate).” [11]Psalm 94:4: “How long shall they utter and speak hard things (יַבִּ֣יעוּ יְדַבְּר֣וּ עָתָ֑ק)? and all the workers of iniquity boast themselves?” [12]Psalm 31:18: “Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things (עָתָק) proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.” [13]Hebrew: כִּ֣י אֵ֤ל דֵּעוֹת֙ יְהוָ֔ה. [14]Psalm 46:7: “The Lord of hosts (יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֣וֹת; Dominus virtutum, the Lord of virtues, in the Vulgate) is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.” [15]Psalm 94:1: “O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth (אֵל־נְקָמ֥וֹת יְהוָ֑ה אֵ֖ל נְקָמ֣וֹת; Deus ultionum Dominus, Deus ultionum, O Lord God of vengeances, God of vengeances, in the Vulgate), shew thyself.” [16] תָּכַן signifies to be measuredor estimated; עֲלִילָה, a deed or practice. [17]The Masoretes were mediæval Jewish scribes (laboring from the fifth to the tenth centuries AD), responsible for the preservation and propagation of the traditional text of the Hebrew Scriptures. [18]Ezekiel 18:25: “Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal (לֹ֥א יִתָּכֵ֖ן דֶּ֣רֶךְ אֲדֹנָ֑י). Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequalהֲדַרְכִּי֙) לֹ֣א יִתָּכֵ֔ן הֲלֹ֥א דַרְכֵיכֶ֖ם לֹ֥א יִתָּכֵֽנוּ׃)?” [19]Proverbs 21:2: “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts (וְתֹכֵ֖ן לִבּ֣וֹת יְהוָֽה׃).” [20]Isaiah 40:13: “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord (מִֽי־תִכֵּ֥ן אֶת־ר֖וּחַ יְהוָ֑ה), or being his counsellor hath taught him?” [21]For example, Psalm 9:11: “Sing praises to the Lord, which dwelleth in Zion: declare among the people his doings (עֲלִילוֹתָיו).” [22]See Ephesians 1:11. [23]Louis Cappel (1585-1658) was a Huguenot divine of broad and profound learning. He served as a minister of the gospel and Professor of Hebrew and Theology at Saumur. Although his expertise in the Hebrew language was beyond question, his denial of the authority of the vowel points and of the absolute integrity of the Hebrew texts was hotly contested. [24] Critica Sacra, sive de Variis quæ in Sacris Veteris Testamenti Libris Occurrunt Lectionibus Libri Sex: in quibus ex Variarum Lectionum Observatione Quamplurima Sacræ Scripturæ Loca Explicantur, Illustrantur, atque adeò Emendantur non Pauca.

25 views2 comments


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Mar 12, 2020

Fisher's Catechism: 'Q. 4.1. Is not omniscience, or infinite knowledge and understanding, inseparably connected with infinite [wisdom?]

A. Yes: "For the Lord is a God of knowledge, by him actions are weighed," 1 Samuel 2:3.'


Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Mar 12, 2020

Matthew Henry: '[Observe h]ow she herewith silences those that set up themselves as rivals with God and rebels against him (1 Samuel 2:3): Talk no more so exceedingly proudly. Let not Peninnah and her children upbraid her any more with her confidence in God and praying to him: at length she found it not in vain. See Micah 7:10, Then she that is my enemy shall see it, and shame shall cover her that said, Where is thy God? Or perhaps it was below her to take so much notice of Peninnah, and her malice, in this song; but this is intended as a check to the insolence of the Philistines, and other enemies of God and Israel, that se…

bottom of page