1 Samuel 2:18-21, 26

1 Samuel 2:18-21, 26
A Women’s Lectionary – Proper 8


18 SamuelA was ministeringB beforeC the Lord,D

Notes on verse 18a

A “Samuel” = Shemuel. From shem (name, fame, renown; indicating something essential about a person; honor, authority, or character); {may be from sum (to put, place, set)} + el (God, a god) OR from shama (hear, call, consent, or consider; implies listening intelligently, giving attention; obedience and action are often implied) + el (God, a god).This is Samuel meaning either the “name of God” or “heard of God.”
B “ministering” = sharath. This is ministering, serving, or waiting on. It can refer to one offering service as a worshipper or one serving as a servant.
C “before” = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
D “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.

a boyE wearingF a linenG ephod.H 

Notes on verse 18b

E “boy” = naar. May be from na’ar (to shake, toss up and down, tumble around). This is a child or a servant. It is a child in their active years so they could be aged anywhere from infancy to adolescence.
F “wearing” = chagar. This is to gird, bind, or arm. Generally, it is using a belt to gather up one’s garment so that it’s easier to run or move quickly.
G “linen” = bad. Perhaps from badad (to divide or be separated; alone, solitary, lonely, isolated, straggler). This is white linen as a fabric of divide fibers, flaxen thread, or yarn.
H “ephod” = ephod. This is an ephod, shoulder piece – perhaps a breastplate or apron. It can refer specifically to a ritual garment worn by the high priest. Alternately, it can refer to an image.

19 His motherI used to makeJ for him a littleK robeL and takeM it to him each yearN

Notes on verse 19a

I “mother” = em. This is a mother as binding a family together or a breeding female animal. It could be mother in a literal or figurative sense.
J “make” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
K “little” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.
L “robe” = meil. From maal (to cover up; figuratively, to act in a covert or treacherous way, to be unfaithful or transgress). This is a robe, mantle, or cloak – an outer garment.
M “take” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
N “each year” = yom + yom. Literally, “days by days.” Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.

when she went upO with her husbandP to offerQ the yearlyR sacrifice.S 

Notes on verse 19b

O “went up” = alah. Same as “take” in v19. See note M above.
P “husband” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
Q “offer” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
R “yearly” = yom. Literally, “days.” Same as “each year” in v19. See note N above.
S “sacrifice” = zebach. Related to “offer” in v19. From zabach (see note Q above). This is a slaughter – literally of an animal. So, it implies the act or the animals used in sacrifice. Further, it can mean offering.

20 Then EliT would blessU ElkanahV and his wifeW and say, “May the Lord repayX you with childrenY by this womanZ

Notes on verse 20a

T “Eli” = Eli. Related to “take” in v19. From alah (see note M above). This is Eli, meaning “lofty.”
U “bless” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
V “Elkanan” = Elqanah. Related to “Samuel” in v18. From el (see note A above) + qanah (to get, buy, redeem, create, possess). This is Elkanah, a name meaning “God has created, “God has taken possession,” “God has redeemed,” or “God has obtained.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Elkanah.html
W “wife” = ishshah. Related to “husband” in v19. From ish (see note P above). This is woman, wife, or female.
X “repay” = sum. Related to “Samuel” in v18. See note A above.
Y “children” = zera. From zara (to sow or scatter seed; conceive or yield). This is seed or sowing. It can mean fruit, plant, sowing time, child, offspring, or posterity.
Z “woman” = ishshah. Same as “wife” in v20. See note W above.

for the loanAA that she madeBB to the Lord,” and then they would returnCC to their home.DD

Notes on verse 20b

AA “loan” = sheelah. 14x in OT. From shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand). This is something that is requested like a petition, request, or loan. Used frequently in the book of Esther.
BB “made” = shaal. Related to “loan” in v20. See note AA above.
CC “return” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
DD “home” = maqom. From qum(to arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide; rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action; standing in a figurative sense). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.

21 And the Lord took noteEE of Hannah;FF she conceivedGG and boreHH

Notes on verse 21a

EE “took note” = paqad. This is to attend to or visit – can be used for a friendly or violent encounter. So, it can be to oversee, care for, avenge, or charge.
FF “Hannah” = Channah. 13x in OT. From chanan (beseech, show favor, be gracious; properly, to bend in kindness to someone with less status). This is Hannah or Channah, meaning “favored.”
GG “conceived” = harah. This is to conceive or be pregnant – it can be literal or figurative.
HH “bore” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.

threeII sonsJJ and twoKK daughters.LL And the boy Samuel grew upMM in the presence of the Lord.

Notes on verse 21b

II “three” = shalosh. This is three, fork, three times.
JJ “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
KK “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
LL “daughters” = bat. Related to “sons” in v21. From ben (see note JJ above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
MM “grew up” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.

26 Now the boy Samuel continuedNN to grow both in statureOO and in favorPP with the Lord and with the people.QQ

Notes on verse 26

NN “continued” = halak. Same as “return” in v20. See note CC above.
OO “grow…in stature” = gadel. Related to “grew up” in v21. 3x in OT. From gadal (see note MM above). This is to grow up or become rich or otherwise great. It is large in a literal or in a figurative sense.
PP “favor” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
QQ “people” = ish. Same as “husband” in v19. See note P above.

Image credit: “Bedouin Camp” by John Singer Sargent, 1905.

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