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1 Samuel 1:20

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

Called his name Samuel - As she gave this name to her son because she had asked him of the Lord, the word שמואל Shemuel must be here considerably contracted; if it express this sentiment, the component parts of it are the following: מאל שאול shaul meEl, "asked of God." This name would put both the mother and the son in continual remembrance of the Divine interposition at his birth. See on 1 Samuel 1:28; (note).

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

Samuel - i. e. heard of God, because given in answer to prayer. The names “Ishmael” and “Elishama” have the same etymology.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
Elkanah and his family had a journey before them, and a family of children to take with them, yet they would not move till they had worshipped God together. Prayer and provender do not hinder a journey. When men are in such haste to set out upon journeys, or to engage in business, that they have not time to worship God, they are likely to proceed without his presence and blessing. Hannah, though she felt a warm regard for the courts of God's house, begged to stay at home. God will have mercy, and not sacrifice. Those who are detained from public ordinances, by the nursing and tending of little children, may take comfort from this instance, and believe, that if they do that duty in a right spirit, God will graciously accept them therein. Hannah presented her child to the Lord with a grateful acknowledgment of his goodness in answer to prayer. Whatever we give to God, it is what we have first asked and received from him. All our gifts to him were first his gifts to us. The child Samuel early showed true piety. Little children should be taught to worship God when very young. Their parents should teach them in it, bring them to it, and put them on doing it as well as they can; God will graciously accept them, and will teach them to do better.
Ellen G. White
Patriarchs and Prophets, 570

Hannah uttered no reproach. The burden which she could share with no earthly friend she cast upon God. Earnestly she pleaded that He would take away her reproach and grant her the precious gift of a son to nurture and train for Him. And she made a solemn vow that if her request were granted, she would dedicate her child to God, even from its birth. Hannah had drawn near to the entrance of the tabernacle, and in the anguish of her spirit she “prayed, ... and wept sore.” Yet she communed with God in silence, uttering no sound. In those evil times such scenes of worship were rarely witnessed. Irreverent feasting and even drunkenness were not uncommon, even at the religious festivals; and Eli the high priest, observing Hannah, supposed that she was overcome with wine. Thinking to administer a deserved rebuke, he said sternly, “How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.” PP 570.1

Pained and startled, Hannah answered gently, “No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.” PP 570.2

The high priest was deeply moved, for he was a man of God; and in place of rebuke he uttered a blessing: “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of Him.” PP 570.3

Hannah's prayer was granted; she received the gift for which she had so earnestly entreated. As she looked upon the child, she called him Samuel—“asked of God.” As soon as the little one was old enough to be separated from his mother, she fulfilled her vow. She loved her child with all the devotion of a mother's heart; day by day, as she watched his expanding powers and listened to his childish prattle, her affections entwined about him more closely. He was her only son, the special gift of Heaven; but she had received him as a treasure consecrated to God, and she would not withhold from the Giver His own. PP 570.4

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Ellen G. White
The Ministry of Healing, 372

Especially does responsibility rest upon the mother. She, by whose lifeblood the child is nourished and its physical frame built up, imparts to it also mental and spiritual influences that tend to the shaping of mind and character. It was Jochebed, the Hebrew mother, who, strong in faith, was “not afraid of the king's commandment” (Hebrews 11:23), of whom was born Moses, the deliverer of Israel. It was Hannah, the woman of prayer and self-sacrifice and heavenly inspiration, who gave birth to Samuel, the heaven-instructed child, the incorruptible judge, the founder of Israel's sacred schools. It was Elizabeth the kinswoman and kindred spirit of Mary of Nazareth, who was the mother of the Saviour's herald. MH 372.1

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Ellen G. White
The Adventist Home, 536

Reward at the Last Great Day—In your work for your children take hold of the mighty power of God. Commit your children to the Lord in prayer. Work earnestly and untiringly for them. God will hear your prayers and will draw them to Himself. Then, at the last great day, you can bring them to God, saying, “Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given me.”13 AH 536.1

When Samuel shall receive the crown of glory, he will wave it in honor before the throne and gladly acknowledge that the faithful lessons of his mother, through the merits of Christ, have crowned him with immortal glory.14 AH 536.2

The work of wise parents will never be appreciated by the world, but when the judgment shall sit and the books shall be opened, their work will appear as God views it and will be rewarded before men and angels. It will be seen that one child who has been brought up in a faithful way has been a light in the world. It cost tears and anxiety and sleepless nights to oversee the character building of this child, but the work was done wisely, and the parents hear the “Well done” of the Master.15 AH 536.3

Title to Admission to the King's Palace—Let the youth and the little children be taught to choose for themselves that royal robe woven in heaven's loom, the “fine linen, clean and white” which all the holy ones of earth will wear. This robe, Christ's own spotless character, is freely offered to every human being. But all who receive it will receive and wear it here. AH 536.4

Let the children be taught that as they open their minds to pure, loving thoughts and do loving and helpful deeds, they are clothing themselves with His beautiful garment of character. This apparel will make them beautiful and beloved here and will hereafter be their title of admission to the palace of the King. His promise is: AH 536.5

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Ellen G. White
Fundamentals of Christian Education, 96

Such was the training of Moses in the lowly cabin home in Goshen; of Samuel, by the faithful Hannah; of David, in the hill-dwelling at Bethlehem; of Daniel, before the scenes of the captivity separated him from the home of his fathers. Such, too, was the early life of Christ, in the humble home at Nazareth; such the training by which the child Timothy learned from the lips of his mother Eunice, and his grandmother Lois, the truths of Holy Writ. FE 96.1

Further provision was made for the instruction of the young, by the establishment of the “school of the prophets.” If a youth was eager to obtain a better knowledge of the Scriptures, to search deeper into the mysteries of the kingdom of God, and to seek wisdom from above, that he might become a teacher in Israel, this school was open to him. FE 96.2

By Samuel the schools of the prophets were established to serve as a barrier against the widespread corruption resulting from the iniquitous course of Eli's sons, and to promote the moral and spiritual welfare of the people. These schools proved a great blessing to Israel, promoting that righteousness which exalteth a nation, and furnishing it with men qualified to act, in the fear of God, as leaders and counselors. In the accomplishment of this object, Samuel gathered companies of young men who were pious, intelligent and studious. These were called the sons of the prophets. The instructors were men not only versed in divine truth, but those who had themselves enjoyed communion with God, and had received the special endowment of His Spirit. They enjoyed the respect and confidence of the people, both for learning and piety. FE 96.3

In Samuel's day there were two of these schools,—one at Ramah, the home of the prophet, and the other at Kirjath-jearim, where the ark then was. Two were added in Elijah's time, at Jericho and Bethel, and others were afterward established at Samaria and Gilgal. FE 96.4

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