1 Samuel 2:1-10
Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth ABC
A “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.”
B “prayed” = palal. This is to judge for oneself or in an official capacity. It can also mean to pray or make supplication, to entreat.
C “heart” = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
D “exults” = alats. 8x in OT. This is to jump for joy, rejoice, triumph, or exult.
E “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.
F “strength” = qeren. This is horn or hill. It can be a flask or cornet, ivory, altar corner, mountain peak, or figuratively power.
G “exalted” = rum. This is to rise or raise, to be high literally or figuratively. So it can also mean to exalt or extol.
H “God” = YHVH. Same as “Lord” in v1. See note E above.
I “mouth” = peh. This is mouth in a literal or figurative sense. So, more literally, it can be beak or jaws. More figuratively, it refers to speech, commands, or promises.
J “derides” = rachab. This is to grow wide or enlarge in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean extend, relieve, rejoice, or speak boldly. This is the verb that Rahab comes from.
K “enemies” = oyeb. From ayab (to hate or be hostile to). This is a foe or enemy as one that you are hostile to.
L “rejoice” = samach. This is to rejoice or be glad. Properly, it is to brighten up in a literal or figurative sense.
M “victory” = yeshuah. From yasha (to deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free). This is salvation, deliverance, health, victory, prosperity.
N “Holy One” = qadosh. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy); related to qadash (set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified; something or someone set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean). This is sacred or holy in a ritual or moral sense. As a noun, it refers to a holy one (like a saint or angel), a holy place (the sanctuary), or God (the Holy One).
O “Rock” = tsur. From tsur (to confine, cramp, or bind in a literal or figurative sense; to besiege, assault, or distress). This is rock, tone, cliff, boulder, rocky. It can also be a refuge, a way to refer to God.
P “God” = Elohim.
Q “talk” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
R “more” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
S “very proudly” = gaboah + gaboah. From gabah (to be tall, high, exalted, proud, haughty). This is high, tall, long, proud, or arrogant. It could also be a high ranking official, someone exalted, or something lofty.
T “arrogance” = athaq. 4x in OT. From atheq (to move, advance, remove or continue; figuratively, to grow old or to copy or transcribe). This is arrogant, insolent, arrogance, impudent, stiff.
U “God” = El. Related to “God” in v2. See note P above.
V “knowledge” = deah. 6x in OT. From dea (knowledge, opinion); from yada (to know, be aware, see and so understand – includes observation, care, recognition; can also be used as a euphemism). This is knowledge.
W “actions” = alilah. From alal (to affect, do, practice, mock, overdo, glean, abuse, pain). This is a deed or action – something that causes an effect. It could be a wanton or shameful deed or an opportunity.
X “weighed” = takan. 18x in OT. This is to weigh, measure, estimate, balance – it is measuring any number of aspects. Figuratively, it can also mean to arrange, direct, mark off, or regulate.
Y “bows” = qeshet. Perhaps from qush (to set a trap, lure, ensnare) OR from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is a bow, arrow, or archer. Bow can be used figuratively for strength.
Z “mighty” = gibbor. From gabar (to be strong or mighty; to prevail or be insolent). This is strong, mighty, or powerful. This can imply a warrior, hero, or tyrant.
AA “broken” = chath. 5x in OT. From chathath (to be shattered, crack, terrify, discourage, break down; it could be beaten down violently or from confusion or terror). This is broken, crushed, afraid, dread.
BB “feeble” = kashal. This is to stumble, fail, be weak or decayed, be overthrown, to totter. It can refer to weak legs or ankles so it is falter, faint, or fall.
CC “gird on” = azar. 16x in OT. This is to encircle, bind, encompass, to belt or gird.
DD “strength” = chayil. From chul (to be firm, strong, prosperous; to endure). This is strength, wealth, ability, activity. It can refer to soldier or a company of soldiers as well as goods. It is a force of people, means, or goods. It can speak of valor, virtue, or strength.
EE “full” = sabea. 8x in OT. From saba (to be satisfied or full in a literal or figurative sense; to have plenty of). This is satisfied, full, ripe. It can be sated in a good or unpleasant way. Frequently used to say someone (Abraham, Isaac, Job) is “full of years” when they die.
FF “hired…out” = sakar. This is to hire, reward, earn.
GG “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
HH “hungry” = raeb. 16x in OT. From raeb (to be hungry or famished). This is hungry, a person who is hungry.
II “are fat with spoil” = chadal. This is properly to be flabby – it implies, to stop, fall, end, rest, leave alone, forsake, or desist. Figuratively this can be lacking or idle.
JJ “barren” = aqar. 12x in OT. From the same as eqer (stock, member, offshoot; figuratively, could be a descendant or someone who is transplanted like an immigrant who takes up permanent residence); from aqar (to uproot, pluck out, dig out by the roots, to hamstring; figuratively, to exterminate). This is barrenness or a woman who is barren.
KK “borne” = 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.
LL “seven” = sheba. This is seven or by sevenfold. It can also be used to imply a week or an indefinite number. Symbolically, this is the number of fullness, sacredness, perfection.
MM “many” = rab. From rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great. It refers to abundance of amount, rank, or status.
NN “children” = ben. This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
OO “is forlorn” = amal. 13x in OT. This is to fade, be weak, pine after, decay, droop. It can also refer to sickness or grief.
PP “kills” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
QQ “brings to life” = chayah. This is to live or keep alive in a literal or figurative sense. So, it an be revive, nourish, or save.
RR “brings down” = yarad. This is to go down, descend; going down in a literal or figurative sense. It can be going to the shore or a boundary, bringing down an enemy.
SS “Sheol” = Sheol. Perhaps from sha’al (to ask, request). This is the place where the dead go, the grace, the underworld.
TT “raises up” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
UU “makes poor” = yarash. This is inheriting or dispossessing. It refers to occupying or colonizing – taking territory by driving out the previous inhabitants and living there instead of them. By implication, it can mean to seize or rob, to expel, ruin, or impoverish.
VV “makes rich” = ashar. 17x in OT. This is to enrich, become rich, gain wealth, or otherwise accumulate.
WW “brings low” = shaphel. This is to be low, sink, be cast down, put down, humble, or humiliate.
XX “raises up” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
YY “poor” = dal. From dalal (to be low, hang, fade, be emptied, become poor, be oppressed). This is lean, weak, needy, poor. Properly, it is one who is dangling.
ZZ “dust” = aphar. May be related to aphar (to throw dust, be dust). This is dust as powdered, perhaps gray colored. It could be ashes, powder, ground, dry earth, clay mud, or rubbish.
AAA “lifts” = rum. Same as “exalted” in v1. See note G above.
BBB “needy” = ebyon. From abah (to consent, obey, want, yield, accept). This is needy, poor, beggar. Someone who is wanting.
CCC “ash heap” = ashpoth. 7x in OT. From the same as shaphath (to lay, ordain, locate, establish, light on fire, bring) OR from shaphah (to sweep bare, stick out). This is an ash heap, pile of refuse, dunghill.
DDD “make…sit” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
EEE “princes” = nadib. From nadab (to offer willingly, volunteer, freely give, be willing). Properly, this is voluntary and so it implies generous, noble, magnanimous, or a generous person.
FFF “inherit” = nachal. From nachalah (properly something that was inherited; can mean occupancy generally or, more particularly, an heirloom or an estate; can be an inheritance, gift, possession, or portion). This is to gain as a possession, divide for inheritance. Also, to occupy for any reason.
GGG “seat” = kisse. From the same as kese (full moon); perhaps from kasah (to cover, conceal, overwhelm; to cover as clothes do or to hide a secret). This is throne – a seat that is covered or has a canopy. Thus, it is a seat that conveys authority.
HHH “honor” = kabod. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.
III “pillars” = matsuq. 2x in OT. From tsuq (to melt, smelt, utter, pour) OR from tsuq (to press on, compress; figuratively, to oppress or bring distress). This is molten or a narrow thing – a pillar or hilltop.
JJJ “earth” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
KKK “world” = tebel. From yabal (to lead, bring, carry, conduct; properly, to flow; to bring or lead with fanfare). This is world, confusion, inhabited part of the earth, but also used for the whole world.
LLL “guard” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
MMM “feet” = regel. This is foot, endurance, or journey. It is a foot as the means of walking and so it implies a step or a greater journey. It can be used euphemistically for private parts.
NNN “faithful ones” = chasid. From chasad (being good, kind, merciful; may mean bowing one’s neck as is done in the presence of an equal for courtesy’s sake; so, if one in a superior position is treating you like an equal, that is what is captured here). This is faithful, kind, pious, merciful, or gracious. It can also refer to godly or pious people. This is where Chasidic Jews take their name from.
OOO “wicked” = rasha. This is morally wrong so it refers to someone who is actively bad as wicked, criminal, an evil person, offender, condemned, or ungodly.
PPP “cut off” = damam. This is to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, or die.
QQQ “darkness” = choshek. From chashak (to be or become dark). This is literal darkness is contrast to light. Figuratively, it can be obscurity, sorrow, misery, blindness, wickedness, destruction, death. It can also be hiding places. Additionally, it can mean judgment, mourning, ignorance, evil, or sin.
RRR “might” = koach. Root may mean to be firm. This is power, strength, force. It can be literal or figurative, positive or negative. It can also mean capacity or means – what something produces. Additionally, it could refer to some kind of small reptile.
SSS “one” = ish. Perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is man, husband, another, or humankind.
TTT “prevail” = gabar. Related to “mighty” in v4. See note Z above.
UUU “adversaries” = rib. This is properly to toss or grapple. It is used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes. It is used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case.
VVV “shattered” = nacheth. 11x in OT. This is to sink or descend, settle, press down, be broken.
WWW “thunder” = raam. 13x in OT. From raam (thunder). This is to trouble, be agitated, irritated, angered. It is used specifically for a peal of thunder.
XXX “heaven” = shamayim. Root may mean being lofty. This is sky, the air, or heaven. It is in a dual noun form so this might refer to the part of the sky where the clouds move on the one hand and the part beyond that where the sun, moon, and stars are on the other hand.
YYY “strength” = oz. From azaz (to be strong, become fixed, be bold, prevail, be impudent; it means to be stout literally or figuratively. A Late Hebrew word). This is strength in the sense of force, majesty, praise, material and physical strength, the abstract notion of security. It can also speak of social or political power.
ZZZ “power” = qeren. Same as “strength” in v1. See note F above.
AAAA “anointed” = mashiach. From mashach (to smear or anoint; to run oil on, to consecrate). This is the anointed or consecrated one. So, it could refer to a king, priest, or saint. It is also the root of the word “messiah.”
Image credit: “Hannah Gives Samuel to God” by artists Jeff Anderson, Siku, and Richard Thomas with Edge Group – Lion Hudson, 2015