1Samuel 1


וַיְהִי אִישׁ אֶחָד מִן־הָרָמָתַיִם צוֹפִים מֵהַר אֶפְרָיִם וּשְׁמוֹ אֶלְקָנָה בֶּן־יְרֹחָם בֶּן־אֱלִיהוּא בֶּן־תֹּחוּ בֶן־   1:1

צוּף אֶפְרָתִי׃

1Sam. 1:1   Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim and his name was Elkanah son of Jerocham son of Elihu son of Tochu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

וְלוֹ שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים שֵׁם אַחַת חַנָּה וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית פְּנִנָּה וַיְהִי לִפְנִנָּה יְלָדִים וּלְחַנָּה אֵין יְלָדִים׃   1:2

1Sam. 1:2   And he had two wives. The name of one was Hannah and the name of the other was Peninnah.  And there were children of Peninnah’s but there were no children of Hannah’s.

וְעָלָה הָאִישׁ הַהוּא מֵעִירוֹ מִיָּמִים יָמִימָה לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֺת וְלִזְבֹּחַ לַיהוָה צְבָאוֹת בְּשִׁלֹה וְשָׁם שְׁנֵי בְנֵי־   1:3

עֵלִי חָפְנִי וּפִנְחָס כֹּהֲנִים לַיהוָה׃

1Sam. 1:3   And that man went up from his city from year to year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts in Shiloh.  And there the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests for the Lord.

וַיְהִי הַיּוֹם וַיִּזְבַּח אֶלְקָנָה וְנָתַן לִפְנִנָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ וּלְכָל־בָּנֶיהָ וּבְנוֹתֶיהָ מָנוֹת׃   1:4

1Sam. 1:4   And it happened the day that Elkanah sacrificed, that he gave portions to Peninnah, his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters,

וּלְחַנָּה יִתֵּן מָנָה אַחַת אַפָּיִם כִּי אֶת־חַנָּה אָהֵב וַיהוָה סָגַר רַחְמָהּ׃   1:5

1Sam. 1:5   but to Hannah he would give one portion twice, for he loved Hannah, although the Lord had shut up her womb.

וְכִעֲסַתָּה צָרָתָהּ גַּם־כַּעַס בַּעֲבוּר הַרְּעִמָהּ כִּי־סָגַר יְהוָה בְּעַד רַחְמָהּ׃   1:6

1Sam. 1:6   And her rival vexed her sorely in order to irritate her, because the Lord had closed up behind her womb.

וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה שָׁנָה בְשָׁנָה מִדֵּי עֲלֹתָהּ בְּבֵית יְהוָה כֵּן תַּכְעִסֶנָּה וַתִּבְכֶּה וְלֹא תֹאכַל׃   1:7

1Sam. 1:7   And so it would come to pass year by year when she went up by the house of the Lord, so she would vex her, and she would cry and would not eat.

וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ אֶלְקָנָה אִישָׁהּ חַנָּה לָמֶה תִבְכִּי וְלָמֶה לֹא תֹאכְלִי וְלָמֶה יֵרַע לְבָבֵךְ הֲלוֹא אָנֹכִי טוֹב   1:8

לָךְ מֵעֲשָׂרָה בָּנִים׃

1Sam. 1:8   And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why must you weep, and why should you not eat, and why should your heart be so grieved?  Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

וַתָּקָם חַנָּה אַחֲרֵי אָכְלָה בְשִׁלֹה וְאַחֲרֵי שָׁתֹה וְעֵלִי הַכֹּהֵן יֹשֵׁב עַל־הַכִּסֵּא עַל־מְזוּזַת הֵיכַל יְהוָה׃   1:9

1Sam. 1:9   Then Hannah rose up, after she had eaten in Shiloh, and after she had drunk, and Eli, the priest, sat on the seat against the door post of the Temple of the Lord,

וְהִיא מָרַת נָפֶשׁ וַתִּתְפַּלֵּל עַל־יְהוָה וּבָכֹה תִבְכֶּה׃   1:10

1Sam. 1:10   and she was bitter of soul, and she prayed upon the Lord, and she would weep sorely.

וַתִּדֹּר נֶדֶר וַתֹּאמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת אִם־רָאֹה תִרְאֶה בָּעֳנִי אֲמָתֶךָ וּזְכַרְתַּנִי וְלֹא־תִשְׁכַּח אֶת־אֲמָתֶךָ   1:11

וְנָתַתָּה לַאֲמָתְךָ זֶרַע אֲנָשִׁים וּנְתַתִּיו לַיהוָה כָּל־יְמֵי חַיָּיו וּמוֹרָה לֹא־יַעֲלֶה עַל־רֹאשׁוֹ׃

1Sam. 1:11   And she made a vow and said, “O Lord of hosts, if indeed You will look on the affliction of Your handmaid and remember me and not forget Your handmaid, and give to Your handmaid a seed of men, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall not come upon his head.”

וְהָיָה כִּי הִרְבְּתָה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וְעֵלִי שֹׁמֵר אֶת־פִּיהָ׃   1:12

1Sam. 1:12   And it was that Eli watched her mouth, for she was long praying before the Lord.

וְחַנָּה הִיא מְדַבֶּרֶת עַל־לִבָּהּ רַק שְׂפָתֶיהָ נָּעוֹת וְקוֹלָהּ לֹא יִשָּׁמֵעַ וַיַּחְשְׁבֶהָ עֵלִי לְשִׁכֹּרָה׃   1:13

1Sam. 1:13   Now Hannah, she was speaking out of her heart; only her lips were moving and her voice could not be heard.  So Eli thought her to be drunk.

This is interesting as well as revealing.  Apparently no one prayed silently before the Lord, at least there in Shiloh, as Eli had never seen it before (except perhaps if someone had been drinking excessively).

וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ עֵלִי עַד־מָתַי תִּשְׁתַּכָּרִין הָסִירִי אֶת־יֵינֵךְ מֵעָלָיִךְ׃   1:14

1Sam. 1:14   And Eli said to her, “How long would you be drunk?  Put away your wine from yourself.”

וַתַּעַן חַנָּה וַתֹּאמֶר לֹא אֲדֹנִי אִשָּׁה קְשַׁת־רוּחַ אָנֹכִי וְיַיִן וְשֵׁכָר לֹא שָׁתִיתִי וָאֶשְׁפֹּךְ אֶת־נַפְשִׁי לִפְנֵי   1:15


1Sam. 1:15   And Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord, I am a woman of sorrowful spirit, and I have not drunk wine or strong drink, but I must pour out my soul before the Lord.”

The fourth word before the end of the top line, translated by me as but I must pour out,  contains a first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav.

אַל־תִּתֵּן אֶת־אֲמָתְךָ לִפְנֵי בַּת־בְּלִיָּעַל כִּי־מֵרֹב שִׂיחִי וְכַעְסִי דִּבַּרְתִּי עַד־הֵנָּה׃   1:16

1Sam. 1:16   “Do not take your handmaid for a wicked woman, for I have spoken until now from the greatness of my complaint and my vexation.”

וַיַּעַן עֵלִי וַיֹּאמֶר לְכִי לְשָׁלוֹם וֵאלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יִתֵּן אֶת־שֵׁלָתֵךְ אֲשֶׁר שָׁאַלְתְּ מֵעִמּוֹ׃   1:17

1Sam. 1:17   Then Eli answered, and he said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have asked from Him.”

וַתֹּאמֶר תִּמְצָא שִׁפְחָתְךָ חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ וַתֵּלֶךְ הָאִשָּׁה לְדַרְכָּהּ וַתֹּאכַל וּפָנֶיהָ לֹא־הָיוּ־לָהּ עוֹד׃   1:18

1Sam. 1:18   And she said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.”  And the woman went her way, and she ate, and her face was not withdrawn any more.

וַיַּשְׁכִּמוּ בַבֹּקֶר וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה וַיָּשֻׁבוּ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־בֵּיתָם הָרָמָתָה וַיֵּדַע אֶלְקָנָה אֶת־חַנָּה אִשְׁתּוֹ   1:19

וַיִּזְכְּרֶהָ יְהוָה׃

1Sam. 1:19   And they rose early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord, then returned and went to their house to Ramah.  And Elkanah knew Hannah, his wife, and the Lord remembered her.

וַיְהִי לִתְקֻפוֹת הַיָּמִים וַתַּהַר חַנָּה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ שְׁמוּאֵל כִּי מֵיְהוָה שְׁאִלְתִּיו׃   1:20

1Sam. 1:20   And it came to pass in the course of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel:  Because “I asked for him from the Lord.”

The name Samuel can mean his name is El (God).                              [Return to 1Chr. 6:13]

וַיַּעַל הָאִישׁ אֶלְקָנָה וְכָל־בֵּיתוֹ לִזְבֹּחַ לַיהוָה אֶת־זֶבַח הַיָּמִים וְאֶת־נִדְרוֹ׃   1:21

1Sam. 1:21   And the man Elkanah went up, with all his house, to offer the sacrifice of the time and his vow to the Lord.

וְחַנָּה לֹא עָלָתָה כִּי־אָמְרָה לְאִישָׁהּ עַד יִגָּמֵל הַנַּעַר וַהֲבִאֹתִיו וְנִרְאָה אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה וְיָשַׁב שָׁם עַד־   1:22


1Sam. 1:22   But Hannah did not go up for she said to her husband, “Until the child is weaned, then I will bring him that we may see the presence of the Lord, and he will stay there forever.”

I find in this verse what I perceive to be a general mistranslation.  The word that I’ve translated as that we may perceive is usually found to be translated as that he may appear before.  The particular word in question, וְנִרְאָה, the seventh-from-last in the top line, is typically presumed to be third-person perfect, but I believe it is first-person imperfect.  The grammar of the phrase is the key to my belief.  It rests on the presence of the et that appears next, making the word following it (Adonai) the direct object of the word in question.  Moreover, the word before appears nowhere in the verse.  Therefore, the standard translation requires ignoring two aspects of the grammar of the verse.  My translation identifies the word in question as a first-person imperfect verb with a non-inverting vav.

וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ אֶלְקָנָה אִישָׁהּ עֲשִׂי הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינַיִךְ שְׁבִי עַד־גָּמְלֵךְ אֹתוֹ אַךְ יָקֵם יְהוָה אֶת־דְּבָרוֹ וַתֵּשֶׁב   1:23

הָאִשָּׁה וַתֵּינֶק אֶת־בְּנָהּ עַד־גָמְלָהּ אֹתוֹ׃

1Sam. 1:23   And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Do what is good in your eyes.  Stay until your weaning of him.  But the Lord will establish His word.”  So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.

וַתַּעֲלֵהוּ עִמָּהּ כַּאֲשֶׁר גְּמָלַתּוּ בְּפָרִים שְׁלֹשָׁה וְאֵיפָה אַחַת קֶמַח וְנֵבֶל יַיִן וַתְּבִאֵהוּ בֵית־יְהוָה שִׁלוֹ   1:24

וְהַנַּעַר נָעַר׃

1Sam. 1:24   And she took him up with her, when she had weaned him, with three bullocks and one ephah of meal and a bottle of wine, and she brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, and the child was young.

וַיִּשְׁחֲטוּ אֶת־הַפָּר וַיָּבִיאוּ אֶת־הַנַּעַר אֶל־עֵלִי׃   1:25

1Sam. 1:25   And they slaughtered the bullocks and brought the child to Eli.

וַתֹּאמֶר בִּי אֲדֹנִי חֵי נַפְשְׁךָ אֲדֹנִי אֲנִי הָאִשָּׁה הַנִּצֶּבֶת עִמְּכָה בָּזֶה לְהִתְפַּלֵּל אֶל־יְהוָה׃   1:26

1Sam. 1:26   And she said, “Oh, my lord, as your soul is alive, my lord, I am the woman who was standing with you in here praying to the Lord.”

אֶל־הַנַּעַר הַזֶּה הִתְפַּלָּלְתִּי וַיִּתֵּן יְהוָה לִי אֶת־שְׁאֵלָתִי אֲשֶׁר שָׁאַלְתִּי מֵעִמּוֹ׃   1:27

1Sam. 1:27   “For this child I prayed, and the Lord granted my request to me that I asked from Him.”

וְגַם אָנֹכִי הִשְׁאִלְתִּהוּ לַיהוָה כָּל־הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר הָיָה הוּא שָׁאוּל לַיהוָה וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ שָׁם לַיהוָה׃   1:28

1Sam. 1:28   “So I have also lent him to the Lord.  All the time that there is, he is lent to the Lord.”  And they bowed down there to the Lord.


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