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as he liveth; he shall be lent to the Lord. And he worshipped the Lord there. 'j • , .T: .
And Hannah prayed and said, My heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as the Lord : for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
Talk no more so exceedingly proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the Lor D is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased; so that the barren hath borne seven, and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
The Lord killeth and maketh alive s he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
The Lor D maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.
He will keep the feet of the , saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness: for by strength shall no man prevail. .' -.:
The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces: out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed. ' 'i•«' '.
And Elkanah went to Ramali to his house: and the child did .minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.
ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.
Elkanah the father of Samuel was by birth a Levite, descended from Kohath the second son of Levi: it seems he did not attend the service of the tabernacle, but lived privately in the country; however, he was a person of remarkable piety, for he not only obeyed the Divine command of going to present himself three times in a' year before the Lokd, but he took his family with him to Shiloh.
Elkanah had married two wives, and the dissension between these women was the occasion of great uneasiness to him.
Hannah was of a 'meek and pious temper, but the circumstance of her having no children made her extremely unhappy, as she feared it was a mark of God's displeasure; and the continual triumphs of her rival greatly aggravated her distress, so that she fell into a state of despondency. Her husband's kind remonstrances, however, brought her to a sense of her duty, and she resolved to apply to God for comfort and relief.
Hannah we find punctually performed her vow, and offered up the most thankful acknowledgments: in this instance, her behaviour is deserving of our imitation ; for we ought, when prosperity returns, to remember those pious resolutions which we formed whilst we were in distress.
There is great resemblance between Hannah's thanksgiving, and that of the blessed virgin, when the Angel announced to her, that she should be the mother of the Messiah*.
* See Luke i. 46. c; , Horn
Horn in Scripture sometimes signifies glory, honour, brightness, and rays. Hannah's meaning therefore, in saying, mine horn is exalted in the Lord, seems to be, that God had advanced her to hondur.
The name of rock is frequently given to God in Scripture, (particularly to king David*) as an emblem of strength and protection. In those days, it was usual to flee to rocks, as asylums against the invasion of enemies.
It is said that Samuel did minister unto the Lord : be was then but three years old; his mother must have taken uncommon pains, to be able to sow the seeds of piety so early; and we find, by his subsequent conduct, that they were never rooted out.
Hannah's behaviour affords an excellent example to all persons who are under affliction; and shews, that there is no remedy for grief like fervent humble prayer; for we read, that when she had poured forth her soul to the Lord, her countenance was no longer sad. The success of her petition furnishes us with a convincing proof that God lends a gracious ear even to prayers which are offered for particular blessings, if it is consistent with His wisdom and goodness to grant them.
Hannah's thanksgiving discovers that she felt the most fervent piety ^ indeed she seems to have been inspired by the Holy Spiuit when she uttered it, as king David was when he composed his psalms, therefore it encourages all persons in distress to place confidence in the Lord. It must however be observed, that those who do so are not to expect an exact accomplishment of their wishes, for God only knows how far this may be proper to grant; but they may be sure that their faith and trust will be rewarded, as seemeth best to infinite wisdom.'
.. .* i. .i'
* Sec Psalpi lxii. 6. lxxxix. 26.
What an excellent example did Hannah set as a parent; May all mothers like her seize the earliest opportunity of impressing the yet unprejudiced mind with religious knowledge, which can alone secure the present and future happiness of their children!
SECTION LXIV. Samuel's Ministry—A Prophecy Against Eli's
From 1 Samuel, Chap. n.
Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial ; they knew not the Lord.
And the priest's custom with the people was, that when any man offered sacrifice the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand: and he struck it into the pan or kettle, or caldron, or pot: all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
Also before they burned the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest: for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth ~ then he would answer him Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she dame up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and they went unto their own house, and the Lord blessed Hannah so that she had three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.
Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto Israel; and he said unto them, Why do ye such things, for I hear of your dealings by all this people.
Nay, my sons: for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress.
If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall intreat for him? notwithstanding, they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, wherefore the Lord would slay them.
And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men.
And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said, unto him, Thus saith the Lord, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were, in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? and did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the Oilerings made by fire of the children of Israel?
Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice' and at my offering, which I have commanded in my habitation, and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the choicest of all the offerings of Israel my people.' Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed, that thy house and the house of thy father should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord