NIV Application Commentaries

Page 4 of 6 (107 items) « First ... < Previous 2 3 4 5 6 Next >
This post has 106 Replies | 6 Followers

Posts 69
LogosEmployee
Derek Fekkes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 27 2015 8:19 AM

All 42 volumes are on sale for $7.99 and the sale lasts through Saturday, May 9. If you use the following link, there's a "Buy all" button in the image that will put all volumes you don't already own into your cart: https://www.logos.com/products/search?Product+Type=NIVAC+Sale+2015. The issue with some faceted search pages not showing the sale prices should be resolved soon.

Posts 506
Tim Taylor | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 27 2015 8:29 AM

Derek Fekkes:

All 42 volumes are on sale for $7.99 and the sale lasts through Saturday, May 9. If you use the following link, there's a "Buy all" button in the image that will put all volumes you don't already own into your cart: https://www.logos.com/products/search?Product+Type=NIVAC+Sale+2015. The issue with some faceted search pages not showing the sale prices should be resolved soon.

Thank you for the clarity, Derek. Do you know if Logos is offering a payment plan on these?

Posts 2848
Tes | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 27 2015 8:36 AM

Yes,Logos is offering payment plan

Blessings in Christ.

Posts 2145
mab | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 27 2015 10:06 AM

Excellent, grabbed some for immediate use. Geeked

The mind of man is the mill of God, not to grind chaff, but wheat. Thomas Manton | Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. Richard Baxter

Posts 701
ChelseaFC | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 29 2015 4:40 PM

Derek Fekkes:

All 42 volumes are on sale for $7.99 and the sale lasts through Saturday, May 9. If you use the following link, there's a "Buy all" button in the image that will put all volumes you don't already own into your cart: https://www.logos.com/products/search?Product+Type=NIVAC+Sale+2015. The issue with some faceted search pages not showing the sale prices should be resolved soon.

Thanks for the link....btw...It'd be great to see the link on the Logos homepage so that everyone can take advantage of this sale if they want too..

Cheers, 

 ChelseaFC

Chelsea FC- Today is a good day!

Posts 908
David Carter | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 29 2015 6:03 PM

ChelseaFC:
Thanks for the link....btw...It'd be great to see the link on the Logos homepage so that everyone can take advantage of this sale if they want too..

I think that, for whatever reason, they are trying to keep it a secret. To date it's easily the least publicised sale in the history of Logos.

Posts 6062
DAL | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 29 2015 7:01 PM

David Carter:

ChelseaFC:
Thanks for the link....btw...It'd be great to see the link on the Logos homepage so that everyone can take advantage of this sale if they want too..

I think that, for whatever reason, they are trying to keep it a secret. To date it's easily the least publicised sale in the history of Logos.

it's a Zondervan sale: http://zondervanacademic.com/blog/nivac-software-sale-just-8-dollars/

I guess they are the ones in charge of advertising the sale and the others (e.g. Logos) they just have permission to sell and not necessarily advertise.

either way I'm happy we found out about this sale. Now all we need is the last two volumes of the series Ezra/Nehemiah and Psalm vol. 2!

DAL

Posts 4678
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Apr 29 2015 7:27 PM

David Carter:

ChelseaFC:
Thanks for the link....btw...It'd be great to see the link on the Logos homepage so that everyone can take advantage of this sale if they want too..

I think that, for whatever reason, they are trying to keep it a secret. To date it's easily the least publicised sale in the history of Logos.

Well, except for the sales you didn't hear about at all. Indifferent

Posts 9
Roger Kadeg | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 3:35 AM

I work with a specific sales person.  He indicated that, like the note above, he had to enter each volume individually - he could not do a single entry purchase on the set as indicated by the Logos rep above.  In addition, he was NOT allowed to solicit or notify his "regulars" of this offering.  His customers had to call him and specifically ask for the discount.  This type of restriction has occurred before - evidently dictated by the Logos/Faithlife contracts with the various publishers.  According to him, their sales/inventory pages are also not directly linked to the priced advertisement pages that the customers see - I occasionally  need to tell him the prices so he can confirm/"find" them on his global list of all Logos/Faithlife products.

Although I did not purchase it, he recently was able to offer me an unadvertised price on the compete NICOT/NICNT that was many hundreds off their standard price.  Therefore, I almost always deal with a sales person. Always inquire about the phone "special sales" that they may be authorized to offer!

Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 6:56 AM

Rodger Kadeg - I can confirm what you say. Saved IIRC about 400$ off NICOT/NT last month.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 1328
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 7:21 AM

Michael Childs:

Personally, I love 1 and 2 Samuel by Bill T. Arnold in this series.

Michael, do you also have the NAC commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel?  If so, I'm wondering how you would compare the NAC and NIVAC.

Anyone else with a comparison, please also feel free to comment.

Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 7:26 AM

Rick Ausdahl:

Michael Childs:

Personally, I love 1 and 2 Samuel by Bill T. Arnold in this series.

Michael, do you also have the NAC commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel?  If so, I'm wondering how you would compare the NAC and NIVAC.

Anyone else with a comparison, please also feel free to comment.












I. THE LORD RAISES UP SAMUEL AND DEPOSES THE HOUSE OF ELI (1:1–7:17)


This introductory section of Samuel forms a semantically seamless narrative link with the conclusion of the Book of Judges, the book that immediately precedes 1 Samuel in the Hebrew Bible.1 Judges ends with stories of spiritual ineptitude among the Levites (cf. Judg 17:1–18:31), sexual misconduct in Shiloh (Judg 21:15–24), and Levitical involvement in tragic military encounters (Judg 19:29–20:48); 1 Samuel opens with all three: spiritually dull Eli and his corrupt sons operate the Shiloh sanctuary contrary to the Torah guidelines (2:12–17); Hophni and Phinehas abuse the women serving at the Tent of Meeting (2:22); and ultimately, Eli’s sons die in a catastrophic battle with the Philistines (4:10–11). The Book of Judges concludes with a collection of stories that portray Levites guiding the tribes of Israel into sin—idolatry and fratricide. Samuel opens with sinful Levitical activity—forcing Israelite worshipers to offer unacceptable sacrificial portions to the Lord and playing a role in Israel’s disastrous loss to the Philistines.
The opening seven chapters of 1 Samuel trace the rise of Samuel and the downfall of the house of Eli. In portraying the life of Samuel, the narrator—surprisingly—begins by focusing on Hannah, a married woman who was struggling with a divinely ordained condition of barrenness. The woman’s struggle ends when, in response to a faith-filled vow, the Lord enables her to give birth to Samuel, a child who is given to God for a lifetime of service as a Nazirite. Samuel’s youth and adulthood prove to be as marvelous as his birth; while still a child he becomes Israel’s greatest judge, providing justice and deliverance from the Philistines, Israel’s most strident enemy at this juncture in history.
The second narrative prong of this section provides details of the tragic downfall of Israel’s most powerful priestly family in that day, the house of Eli. Their destruction comes from the Lord, the result of sinful conduct while administrating over Israel’s holiest shrine. As portrayed by the biblical writer, God used the occasion of a military encounter with the Philistines to bring deadly judgment on the Elides. As a result of the priests’ sin, Israel was bereft of its leading priests and temporarily lost possession of the ark, the visible throne of God. Yet all was not lost; the Lord used this circumstance to humiliate the Philistine god Dagon and thus reaffirm to Israel and the world that his greatness could not be diminished either by a decadent priesthood or a menacing foreign power.
Two vital offices in Israel are highlighted in the opening section of Samuel, those of priest and prophet. On the one hand, the priesthood is portrayed as being in decline. Neglectful Eli, himself too old to participate actively in the priestly activities (cf. Num 8:23–26), allows the sanctuary ritual to run amok and his sons’ abuses to go unchecked. On the other hand, the office of prophet is elevated to a height not reached since the days of Moses,2 as Samuel boldly declares the counsel of God from his youth onward.
Key events related to the fulfillment of three Torah prophecies are presented in this section of Samuel. Narrative incidents in this passage relate to the elevation of the Eleazarite line to priestly preeminence (cf. Num 25:6–13), the selection of the site where the Lord would cause his name to dwell (cf. Deut 12:5, 11, 21; 14:23–24; 16:2, 6, 11; 26:2), and the appearance of the prophet who would be like Moses (cf. Deut 18:15).
The Eli stories bring to the surface a narrative thread stretching from Exodus through 2 Kings that portrays the emergence of the Zadokites from the family line of Eleazar ben Aaron to priestly preeminence in Israel.3 In anticipation of the Zadokites’ selection as the sole legitimate priestly line in Jerusalem (cf. 1 Kgs 2:26–27, 35), the house of Eli (primary representative of the family line of Ithamar ben Aaron) is prophetically disqualified from continuing service.
The theme of the divine selection of Jerusalem as the site where the Lord’s name would dwell is intertwined with the theme of the ascent of the Eleazarite line. Just as the fall of the House of Eli was a necessary precursor to the emergence of the Zadokites, so Shiloh’s loss of status (cf. Ps 78:60; Jer 7:13–14) was an essential precursor to the rise of Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s selection as the site for the Lord’s central sanctuary later will be interpreted by the narrator as the Lord’s will (1 Kgs 11:13, 32, 36), even as the selection of the Zadokites was (1 Sam 2:35–36).
The Samuel stories portray him as the long-anticipated prophet who would be like Moses (Deut 18:15).4 Fascinating similarities exist between the portrayal of Samuel and Moses in the narrative accounts. Both had remarkable childhoods, being nurtured in their earliest years by mothers of faith (cf. Exod 2:1–2, 9; 1 Sam 1:20, 28) but raised during their formative years in environments other than their own homes (cf. Exod 2:10; 1 Sam 1:24–25). Both disavowed the corrupt elements of the environments in which they were raised (cf. Exod 2:11–12; Heb 11:25; 1 Sam 2:22–26). Both received their initial revelations from the Lord in the presence of an object that was burning but not consumed (Exod 3:3–10; 1 Sam 3:3–14). In both cases, the Lord’s revelatory message was preceded by a double mention of the prophet’s name (cf. Exod 3:4; 1 Sam 3:10). The two share the distinction of being the only prophets in Genesis-2 Kings to be called “faithful” (Hb. neʾĕmān; Num 12:7; 1 Sam 3:20). Both were commanded by the Lord to pronounce judgment against the leaders of the sinful regimes that oppressed Israel during the initial phase of their prophetic careers (cf. Exod 7:14–18; 1 Sam 3:11–18). Both killed an enemy of Israel with their own hands and immediately thereafter went into a period of self-imposed exile (cf. Exod 3:12–15; 1 Sam 15:33). Both wrote down regulations (mišpātîm) that were deposited before the Lord and used to guide the nation (Lev 26:46; Deut 31:9; 1 Sam 10:25). Both functioned as judges (cf. Exod 18:13; 1 Sam 7:6, 15–16), and both were prophets (cf. Deut 18:15; 34:10; 1 Sam 3:20). Both built altars to the Lord (cf. Exod 17:15; 24:4; 1 Sam 7:17). Neither was ever called a priest, yet both were recorded as performing activities associated with the priesthood (cf. Lev 8:14–29; 1 Sam 7:9). Both functioned as transition figures, being responsible for major course changes in Israelite history. Though both had two sons (cf. Exod 18:2–3; 1 Sam 8:2; 1 Chr 6:28; 23:15), neither had offspring who were remembered as playing a significant role in later Israel. Instead, at the Lord’s behest both set apart nonfamily members who led Israel to possess through conquest land the Lord promised to Abraham’s descendants (cf. Deut 34:9; 1 Sam 16:13).5
The sharp contrast between the decadence and incompetence of the genealogically designated spiritual leaders and the capable service of the Lord’s true prophet in this section mirrors the experiences of Israel throughout its history and recorded in passages found elsewhere in Scripture (Jer 20:1–6; Amos 7:10–17). The events portrayed in these chapters are reminiscent of the Torah contrast between a decadent priesthood and a strong prophet—exemplified in Aaron and his sons (cf. Exod 32:1–5, 25; Lev 10:1–2) and Moses (cf. Deut 34:10–12).
Theologically, one of the central truths discernible in this passage is that everyone—even Levitical judges—must be subject to the requirements of the Torah. Judges, like kings of later generations who failed to follow the dictates of the Torah, would be judged and condemned, and their work would be destroyed. The judgment on the house of Eli is the judgment on all Israelite leadership that would fail in its commitment to obey the Lord’s revealed will.
A second key theological insight discernible in these chapters is that the Lord uses socially powerless individuals possessing profound faith in him (in this case a barren woman) to overturn and transform the social order. The Lord uses that which is not to negate that which is (cf. 1 Cor 1:28).
A third major theological affirmation is that Yahweh’s kingship is absolute and extends to all lands and peoples. His power is not limited by national boundaries, nor is it diminished by Israel’s failures. As exemplified in his dealings with the Philistines and their god Dagon, Yahweh exercises unchallenged dominion over all peoples and all gods.
Consistent with his role as sovereign, the Lord is portrayed as the stern enforcer of the Sinai covenant. When Israel fails to live up to divinely mandated obligations, the Lord brings judgment to bear. Furthermore, he reserves the right to carry out personally the Torah commands that Israel fails to execute. Within these chapters he shatters a detestable idol in the Promised Land (cf. Exod 23:24; 34:13; Deut 12:3).
Obedience to the Lord in fulfilling vows brings blessing both for the individual who fulfills them as well as for society as a whole. Hannah made a vow to God. By obediently fulfilling her vow, she built a family for herself and gave birth to a servant of giant proportions in the history of Israel.


Robert D. Bergen, 1, 2 Samuel, vol. 7, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1996), 57–61.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 7:27 AM




I. “Story of Samuel” — with the Embedded “Story of the Ark of God” (1:1–7:17)

The beginning of the First Book of Samuel is placed late in the period of the judges, which is probably the mid-eleventh century B.C. It is set against the background of “the grand finale” of the book of Judges, chapters 17–21, which gives “a disconcerting picture of cultic and moral chaos,” as described in the formulaic expression: “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6; 21:25).1 In this dark time in the history of Israel, Yahweh chose as his prophet Samuel, who was destined to appoint the first kings in Israel. Thus, the first seven chapters, chs. 1–7, constitute a unified whole, dealing with the transitional period from the end of judgeship to the new era of kingship.2
The story of the ark (4:1–7:1), which constitutes itself a unified episode, is embedded in the entire story of Samuel (1:1–7:17). Its embedding, however, is intentional and well planned, as the very first verse (4:1a) refers back to the preceding section (ch. 3). Recent scholarly emphasis on the unity and “interconnections” between the embedded story of the ark and its surrounding chapters in 1 Samuel 1–7 is a welcome feature, though one need not to wait until the exilic era, as Polzin and Birch do3, in order to write out this early event in the history of Israel. The present writer is inclined to take the account in chs. 4–6 as pre-Davidic, though its final editing into a wider section, chs. 1–7, could be during the early Davidic era; see “Introduction.”


A. Rise of Samuel as Prophet (1:1–3:21)

1 Samuel 1–3 deals with the rise of the prophet Samuel in contrast to the decline of the Shilonite priesthood. This is reflected in the alternating literary structure ABABBA.

  (A)      Birth of Samuel, with the embedded prayer of Hannah (1:1–2:11)
  (B)      Sins of Eli’s sons (2:12–17)
  (A)      Samuel and his family (2:18–21a), with a note of Samuel’s growth (2:21b)
  (B)      Sins of Eli’s sons (2:22–25), with a note of Samuel’s growth (2:26),

followed by

  (B)      A divine message to Eli through “a man of God” (2:27–36)
  (A)      The prophetic call of Samuel (3:1–21).

There is a “resumptive repetition” of the expression, “the boy/Samuel was ministering to/before the Lord,” in 1 Sam. 2:11a, 18.
In this section, Hannah, Elkanah, and Samuel are sharply contrasted with Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. At that time the ark of God was still at Shiloh, the chief Israelite sanctuary, and was the symbol of Yahweh’s presence in the midst of the covenant people, though it was soon to be carried away by the Philistines (1 Sam. 4). Such a dreadful thing had never happened in the history of the covenant people Israel. It was surely one of the darkest times of its history when Samuel was called to be a prophet of the Lord (1 Samuel 3). This teaches us that regardless of how desperate the situation looks outwardly, God is certainly preparing his chosen individuals in order to fulfill his plan and purpose according to his sovereign will and gracious concern for his people.

1 Sam. 1:1–2:11

The birth of Samuel (1 Samuel 1) inaugurated “a decisive period” like the birth of Moses (Exodus 1–2) or of Jesus (Luke 1–2).4 A new era — the era of the monarchy — was brought about by the birth of the kingmaker. The story is not just about a devout woman whose prayer was heard. In the midst of an ordinary family life situation, God directed Hannah’s life so she played a crucial role as mother of the kingmaker. The one who was to be born to her was not only a prophet of Israel but the one who would establish kingship in Israel, appointing first Saul, then David. This Samuel takes the decisive role in the period of transition from the days of the judges to the monarchical era, leading to the establishment of the House of David and the beginning of the worship of Yahweh in Jerusalem. If an incident in a woman’s ordinary family life could be such a significant step in the eternal plan of a saving God, each day can be no less significant to a believer for God’s plan and purpose.
Although Hannah’s prayer for a son (1 Sam. 1:11) does not involve the need of an heir for her husband, C. H. Gordon is right: “Preoccupation with the birth of a son is part of the repertoire of what was worth recording down through the period of the Judges and Samuel, but not thereafter.”5 But, the “song” (2:1b-10) that Hannah prayed is not so much a thanksgiving for the son as a “hymn” to the sovereign God Yahweh, a song which became the prototype of the Magnificat (Luke 1). Thus, the story of Samuel’s birth reaches its climax with the “song” of Hannah in the story unit, 1:1–2:11.6

1. Birth and Dedication of Samuel (1:1–28)

A look at the discourse structure, based on the analysis of the “verbal sequence” of the text as it stands (see “Introduction” [Section VI, A]), shows that vv. 1–3 give the background information (“Elkanah and his two wives”: SETTING) for the following two EVENTs, that is, “Hannah’s prayer and vow” (vv. 4–19: EVENT 1) and the “Dedication of Samuel” (vv. 20–28: EVENT 2). And v. 28 is a transition leading toward the TERMINUS at 2:11, with the embedded “Hannah’s song” (2:1b-10). It is noteworthy that the entire chapter begins (v. 3: This man used to go up) and ends (v. 28: they worshipped) with Elkanah’s family worshipping God, and with a focus on Hannah, who will give praise to Yahweh.

a. Elkanah and His Two Wives (1:1–3)

  1 There was a man, one of the Zuphites from Ramathaim,
  from the hill country of Ephraim;
  his name was Elkanah,
      son of Jeroham, son of Elihu,
         son of Tohu,7 son of Zuph
           an Ephrathite.

  2 He had two wives:
  the name of the first was Hannah
  and the name of the second was Peninnah;
  Peninnah had children,
  but Hannah had no children.

  3 This man used to go up from his city annually8
  to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts at Shiloh,
  where Eli’s9 two sons, Hophni and Phinehas10,
      were [acting as] priests for the Lord.

1–3 In terms of discourse grammar the first three verses constitute the SETTING. While vv. 1–2 introduce the major dramatis personae, Elkanah and his wife Hannah, v. 3 explains what this man used to do and where. The mention of Shiloh and the priestly family of Eli as well as the Lord of Hosts, the hidden but ultimate agent of the events, foreshadows the entire narrative to come.

1 Like the stories of Saul and of Samson, the story of Samuel starts with the expression: There was a man (cf. 1 Sam. 9:1, “There was a man from Benjamin,” and Judg. 13:2, “There was a certain man of Zorah, of the tribe of the Danites”). The MT ’îš ’eḥād is usually translated as “a certain man” (NRSV; NASB; NIV; REB) as in 2 Sam. 18:10. But with this translation, the plural of ṣôpîm (Zuphite) cannot be explained satisfactorily. Hence, most scholars take the pl. mem of ṣôpîm as dittography of the following m and read ṣwpy mhr ’prym: for example, “a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from  …” (REB).11 Another suggestion is to take ṣôpîm without emendation as plural and to connect it with Ramathaim: for example, “Ramathaim-zophim” (KJV; NASB);12 “Ramathaim of the Zuphites” (JPS). However, it is also possible to see here an instance of the AXB pattern, in which AB: ’eḥād ṣôpîm (one of the Zuphites) is interrupted by the insertion of X: min-hārāmātayim (from Ramathaim) while keeping the relationship between A and B; hence, X modifies A  … B as a whole; see “Introduction” (Section VII, C). With this explanation, the pl. form of ṣôpîm causes no problem, and the phrase is translated one of the Zuphites from Ramathaim.
This man is described as one of the Zuphites, a description in harmony with the son of Zuph an Ephrathite of the end of this verse. It is also in keeping with 1 Sam. 9:5, which places Samuel’s home town in “the land of Zuph.” Zuph is the ancestor of a local clan, while Ephraim is the tribal ancestor.13
The location of Ramathaim is a matter of dispute. McCarter identifies it with modern Rentis, about 16 miles east of Tel Aviv on the western slope of the hills of Ephraim14. Later in the book it is called Ramah (1 Sam. 1:19; 2:11; 8:4; 25:1; 28:3), the usual name for Samuel’s home town (7:17), which is presumably “the city where the man of God was” (9:10), the Zuphite Ramah (9:5). Eusebius associated it with Arimathea of the NT and identified it with the village of Rempthis, whereas Jerome located it in the region of Timnah, about 9 miles northwest of Bethel. On the identification of Ramah, see on 1:19. The city was called Ramathaim (lit. “two hills”) probably because there were two hills associated with it; one for the city itself and the other for a high place. According to 1 Samuel 9, the high place, which was presumably on a hilltop (see 9:25), was located outside the city, which was itself on the top of a hill (see 9:11f.).
Elkanah (“God created”; cf. Gen. 14:19) must have been from a well-to-do family (see on 1 Sam. 1:24), as suggested by his pedigree and his dual marriage.15 The phrase “the Ephrathites” can refer either to “those hailing from Ephrath” (i.e., Bethlehem) or “Ephraimites,” members of the northern tribe of Ephraim (Judg. 12:5; 1 K. 11:26).16 According to Haran, ’eprāt or ’eprātāh is an “appellative” of the city Bethlehem (Gen. 35:16; 48:7; Ruth 4:11; Mic. 5:2; etc), whereas the gentilic ’eprātî denotes either a member of the tribe of Ephraim (Judg. 12:5; 1 K. 11:26) or an inhabitant of Bethlehem (1 Sam. 17:12; Ruth 1:2).17 Elkanah might have been of Bethlehemite stock rather than being an “Ephraimite,” even though he dwelt in the hill country of Ephraim.

2 In the ancient Near East, having an heir was very important, for lacking an heir meant the end of one’s “house.” For example, King Keret of the Ugaritic epic, though he had gold and silver, lost all his male children and so his dynasty was about to be extinguished.18 It was common in real life for a well-to-do man to take a second wife if the first did not bear him an heir. Sarah, of course, advised Abraham to take her slave-girl Hagar as his second “wife” (NEB; or concubine) so that he might have an heir (Gen. 16:1–6). One can easily guess that there was tremendous tension because of jealousy and enmity in a household where a man had two wives. In the light of the above, the term ’aḥat in this context probably means first.19 The construction the first  … the second.. . appears in Gen. 4:19; Exod. 1:15; Ruth 1:4; cf. 1 Sam. 8:2; 25:3.
Hannah, the central figure in this chapter, appears for the first time. C. Meyers even suggests that “the narrative of Samuel’s birth could just as well be called the Hannah Narrative.”20 The names Hannah (“favor [with God?]”) and Peninnah21 appear in chiastic order, that is, Hannah — Peninnah — Peninnah — Hannah. However, the focus here is on Hannah.

3 This verse, which begins with a wqtl NP (This man used to go up), fills in more of the SETTING.22
Elkanah went annually to Shiloh to perform the seasonal sacrifice (see 1 Sam. 1:21). The three annual festivals — the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks and the Feast of Booths (see Exod. 23:14–17; Lev. 23:15–20) — are not mentioned in 1 Samuel. Elkanah’s visit to Shiloh was made only once a year (1 Sam. 1:7, 21f.), and according to Haran his annual sacrifice was “a family or clan feast, confined to the family and celebrated by all its members, women and children included.”23 1 Sam. 20:6 also refers to “a yearly feast  … for the entire family” of David; see on “a family feast” in 1 Sam. 20:29.24
Elkanah’s visit could have been connected to the feast of the Lord in Shiloh mentioned in Judg. 21:19. About this feast there are two opposing views: one view takes it as the autumnal vintage festival;25 the other view denies any connection with such a festival.26 The view that sacrifices were offered to the dead at Shiloh with the assistance of the priest Eli is, however, sheer speculation.27 Regardless of the exact origin of this feast, Elkanah’s annual visit to Shiloh may well have had a historical significance for a member of the covenant people.
The phrase the Lord of Hosts (YHWH ṣebā’ôt) is a construct chain, with a proper noun as the first noun in status constructus like the Ugaritic DN il brt “El of covenant” (KTU 1.128:14–15) and il dn “El of judgment” (128:16). Such a genitival explanation can be supported by the phrases “Yahweh of Teman” and “Yahweh of Samaria” in the Kuntillet ‘Ajrud inscriptions.28 The “hosts” (ṣebā’ôt) can refer to heavenly bodies (Judg. 5:20; Isa. 40:26), angelic beings (Josh. 5:14f.), the armies of Israel (1 Sam. 17:45), or all creatures (Gen. 2:1). The noun (f.pl.) has probably an abstract meaning such as “plentifulness, numberlessness” and is intensified by plural form. Hence, it refers to numerous entities such as heavenly bodies and earthly armies. As 1 Sam. 1:3, 11 imply, “the original connection was evidently with worship rather than with battles, in which case the ‘hosts’ were angelic beings.”29
This is the first occurrence in the Bible of the phrase.30 It may originally have been specially connected with the Shiloh sanctuary (also v. 11; 4:4). Mettinger goes further and even hypothesizes that the phrase refers to the heavenly king who sits on his cherubim throne in the temple and that the notion of the Lord as king was seemingly current among the priests at Shiloh. Moreover, he makes the assumptions that the designation “originated in connection with the meeting of religions in Canaan” and that the original form of the name was ’el ṣebā’ôt.31 However, it is not easy to see exactly how and when this “meeting” happened. Similarity in matters of language and symbolism is not necessarily the result of a religious syncretism or influence.32 Mettinger’s view is highly conjectural,33 though his view that the kingship of Yahweh was seemingly current in the Shilonite cult might be supported in view of Hannah’s song; see “Introduction” (Section IX, A).
Shiloh, the modern site Khirbet Seilun [MR177–162], is situated 1.5 miles east of the Jerusalem-Nablus (Arabic name for Shechem) road and 20 miles north of Jerusalem. The first occurrence of this name in the OT is Josh. 18:1. As A. Mazar notes, “Shiloh seems to have been a sacred place long before the Iron Age, and perhaps this tradition led to its choice as the religious center of the Israelites during the period of the Judges.”34 It remained so during the period of tribal history (e.g., Josh. 21:2; Judg. 21:12), and a yearly feast of the Lord was held there (Judg. 21:19–21). Its destruction in the eleventh century B.C. is later mentioned in Jer. 7:12–14 and Ps. 78:60, and traces of the destruction have been discovered in excavations.35
The Hebrew phrase kōhănîm laYHWH (lit., “priests of the Lord”) appears only in this verse. Usually the phrase kōhănê YHWH “the priests of Yahweh” (1 Sam. 22:17, 21; Isa. 61:6; 2 Chr. 13:9) is used. The author may have had reservations about accepting them as “the priests of Yahweh”; hence, the translation [acting as] priests for the Lord may be preferred here. R. P. Gordon sees already at this stage the narrator’s “ominous note in relation to the ensuing narrative.”36

b. Hannah’s Prayer and Vow (1:4–19)

  (1) Hannah and Her Tormenter (1:4–8)

  4 On such a day37
  Elkanah made a sacrificial banquet38
  — he used to39 give shares (of the meat) to his wife Peninnah
  and all her sons and daughters;

  5 but to Hannah he used to give two noses40 (of sheep) as one share,
  for it was Hannah whom he loved,
  though the Lord had closed her womb.

  6 And her tormentor used to provoke her severely41
  with the result that42 she would aggravate her,
  for the Lord had shut her womb.

  7 Such things had been done43 year after year,
  as often as she went up to the house of the Lord,
  and in such a manner she kept provoking44 her to anger —
  and Hannah began to weep and would not eat.

  8 Elkanah, her husband, said to her,
      “Hannah, why45 are you weeping?
      Why aren’t you eating?
      Why do you let your heart be troubled?
      Am I not better than ten sons to you?”

4 This verse opens with first narrative tense (wayqtl), a linguistic signal that here the main story begins.
On such a day (wayhî hayyôm) refers to a day like one mentioned in the previous information (the SETTING); see also on 1 Sam. 14:1. It is the report of a specific incident on a particular occasion: On such a day Elkanah made a sacrificial banquet  … and she began to weep.. . (vv. 4a, 7b). The sacrifice is usually followed by a banquet feast, and “sacrificing” and “banqueting” became almost one and the same event; hence, the translation made a sacrificial banquet.46 As C. H. Gordon notes, slaughtering beasts for food normally was done only as part of a sacrifice, and so gods and men both received shares of the feast.47
The section vv. 4b-7a, which is inserted between two wayqtl (vv. 4a, 7b), is parenthetical, giving background information about customary actions. These “shares” would have been taken from the worshipper’s share of the “peace offering” (Lev. 7:11–18).48 In Ugarit, the ideal son is supposed to eat his “portion” in the “house” of El (bt. il).49
Here, “Peninnah” is mentioned before Hannah so that the focus can remain on “Hannah” (v. 5); see 1 Sam. 1:2b. This literary device of dealing with the secondary figure first in order to focus on the primary figure can be seen in other biblical narratives: for example, Gen. 10 (Japheth — Ham — Shem); 11:28–29 (Haran — Abram).

5 The term ’appāyim (dual; lit., “two noses”; or “face,” e.g. 1 Sam. 25:23)50 has been translated variously: for example, “a double portion” (NASB; NRSV); “a worthy portion” (KJV); “choice portion” (Targum); also “une unique part d’honneur” (Caquot and de Robert, p. 33). It has often been emended to ’epes (“except”) from the LXX plēn hoti, but this equivalence is not securely established.51 There are many other suggestions, but none seems convincing. It seems best to keep the literal meaning “two noses” and, with Barthélemy, to read the MT form as a technical term of the sacrificial ritual.52 It is interesting to note that the Ugaritic ap “nose” appears together with “lung” (npḥ) as an offering to deities in ritual texts.53 The dual form might reflect the practice that animals were sacrificed in pairs in ancient Canaan because the sheep was an animal often offered in pairs (ṯn šm, “two [heads of] sheep”) at Ugarit.54 Two or seven (or twice-seven) sheep were sacrificed in Israel (see Numbers 28f.).
Elkanah gave to Hannah two of the choicest parts of sheep, that is, two noses “as one share” (MT accentuation: mānāh ’aḥat). Or, Elkanah gave “one of two noses” (’aḥat ’appāyim) to Hannah as a share55. In the Emar rituals, the head of the sacrificed animal was treated as a favored part, reserved for the deity, for the diviner, and, sometimes, for the king.56 It may be that two noses in our text stands for two heads of sheep. Most translations (KJV; NIV; NRSV; etc.) take the giving to Hannah of the ’appāyim as a mark of love and favor and translate “he gave her  … for he loved her  …, though  ….” However, some interpreters think that the distribution favored Peninnah since she had children, and they translate it “he gave her  … although he loved her, because  ….”57 The former interpretation is preferable, for she could hardly expect to have as much as a large group.

6 Peninnah is her tormentor;58 compare “her rival” (NASB; NRSV); “her adversary” (KJV); “co-wife” (Walters).59 The name “Peninnah” no longer appears after v. 5, but while she thus keeps silence in the scene, she is “powerfully present in the background.”60 The plural marriage thus created severe tensions in this family as it did in Abraham’s (Gen. 16:4–5); see also “rival-wife” (NEB) in Lev. 18:18. Because Hannah was childless, Peninnah tormented Hannah, as Hagar despised the childless Sarah after Ishmael was born (Gen. 16:4–6); later, it was Sarah who afflicted Hagar, with the approval of her husband. It is noteworthy that the Lord’s closing of Hannah’s womb was the reason why Peninnah used to provoke her severely, while, on the other hand, despite of it, Elkanah loved her (v. 6).

7 It is often argued that the sanctuary of Shiloh was “a temple” (see v. 9; also 1 Sam. 3:3) built of stone,61 while 2 Sam. 7:6 states that the Lord had never lived in “a house” before the time of David but had been moving about in “a tent.” Hence, some conclude that the traditions are contradictory. However, there is no evidence in the biblical text that this “temple” at Shiloh was made of stone. The term house in this verse simply refers to a dwelling place without reference to its material; on the other hand, the “house” in the context of 2 Sam. 7:6–7 refers to the “house of cedar,” that is, a wooden shrine surrounded by a stone structure. The reference to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting (1 Sam. 2:22) rather suggests that the central part of the house of the Lord at Shiloh was in fact made of cloth. It may be that a more stable structure was built around the tent-shrine.62
The door post in v. 9 suggests that this house was apparently set up more like a temple than a portable tent. The doors are also mentioned in 3:15. In v. 9 the temple of the Lord (hêkāl YHWH), the word hêkāl, whose etymology goes back to the Sumerian word É.gal “a large house,” appears for the first time in the OT. The term temple definitely signifies a large structure; it could in fact refer to a large tent structure as in Ugaritic and Mari documents.63 Though one might see in these expressions “anachronistic touches based on conditions existing during the monarchical period,”64 such an explanation is unnecessary in the light of these second millennium evidences.

8 The pharase ten sons here is a literary cliché like “seven sons”; see on 1 Sam. 2:5. One might think that Elkanah conveys here his thought that “a husband  … can more than make up for the lack of natural offspring.”65 Also, the form of the question, the four-fold question with three “why’s,” conveys Elkanah’s concern for his beloved wife. However, despite his love, he cannot give her children, and so all depends on Hannah’s actions and God’s response.

  (2) Hannah’s Prayer and Vow (1:9–11)

  9 Hannah arose66 after the eating and drinking67 at Shiloh
  — Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair
  by the door post of the temple of the Lord;

  10 as for her, she was bitter in spirit68 —
  and prayed to the Lord, weeping hard,

  11 and made a vow:69
      “O Lord of Hosts!
      If you will indeed70 pay attention to the affliction of your maidservant
      and remember me and do not forget71 your maidservant
      and give your maidservant a child72,
      I will give73 him to the Lord all the days of his life,
      his head no razor shall touch.”

9 Hannah, the future mother of Samuel, here encounters Eli, the father of Hophni and Phinehas, sitting on his chair74 of high-priesthood. A chair was a sign of honor in a society where most people sat on the ground. This prepares the way toward contrast between their sons in 1 Samuel 2. Verses 9b-10a are parenthetical and “break into the main narrative to supply information relevant to or necessary for the narrative.”75
For the paired expression, eating and drinking, see Gen. 24:54; 25:34; 26:30; Exod. 24:11; etc. Since these two verbal phrases are so commonly paired, the phrase after the eating and drinking probably simply denotes “after dinner” or the like, without specifying whether Hannah had drunk wine or other alcohol; see v. 14.
Why is Shiloh mentioned here when the audience already knows the setting? It may be “intended to formalize the turn of events”76. Or it may be that “Shiloh” is mentioned in order to officially introduce Eli, the priest there. Or it may simply be a reminder that this scene is set there, since it has not been mentioned since v. 3. The initial waw of the directly following clause (we‘ēlî.. .) introduces a circumstantial clause (Now Eli.. .) and explains the situation of that place at that moment. So, mention of Shiloh as Eli’s sphere of activity here is not odd. This background information continues to v. 10a; thus, vv. 9b-10a are parenthetical, the main thought resuming at v. 10b (“and prayed to the Lord  …”). On the door post of the temple of the Lord, see above (v. 7).

10 With the wayqtl (and prayed) in v. 10b, the main line of the story resumes, picking up Hannah’s previous action “she arose” (wayqtl in v. 9). As a person with a struggling spirit (see v. 15), Hannah here takes refuge in the Lord, bringing her problem directly to her God by prayer. Affliction (v. 11) can often direct believers closer to their holy God.

11 Hannah’s agony finally finds words in the form of a vow. The only other example of “making a vow” in Samuel is 2 Sam. 15:7–8. According to Parker, a comparison with the Ugaritic Keret Epic shows a common form for vows both in Israel and in Late Bronze Age Syria.77 Van der Toorn78 notes in the expression “son of my vows” (Prov. 31:2) apparently another biblical case in which a child is the result of a mother’s vow.79 In her plea that Yahweh remember me, Hebrew *zkr (remember) has much stronger nuance than simply putting something into one’s memory; it includes positive actions toward the one “remembered”; for example, Ps. 8:4 (//*pqd “to care for”).
The sentence I will give him to the Lord has a “performative” force; it shows not only that Hannah promises it but also that she has already given him by faith. Usually a woman who had suffered so from not having a child would not give him up once he was born, but Hannah, a dedicated woman, was willing. Compare Abraham in Genesis 22. Here Hannah promised and gave; there Abraham was promised and was ordered to give. Both acted on faith. See vv. 27–28.
The phrase all the days of his life signifies life-long dedication, though the Nazirite consecration was normally a temporary one (see Numbers 6). See 1 Sam. 27:12 on the expression “an eternal servant” (also Ugaritic ‘bd ‘lm). Scholars are divided as to whether the MT here describes Samuel as a Nazirite. Some say it does, for there are correspondences between the present episode and that of the birth of Samson the Nazirite in Judges 13. For No razor shall touch his head, see Judg. 13:5; 16:17; cf. tá‘ar lō’-ya‘ăbōr ‘al-rō’šô (Num. 6:5). McCarter, based on the LXX and 4QSama, even restores before the razor the phrase: “and wine and strong drink he will not drink.”80 But others argue that the Naziritism was due to the later growth in LXX and 4QSama.81 The fact remains that explicit reference to the Nazirite is not made and the abstinence from grape products (see Num. 6:3–4) is not mentioned here in the MT.82
Without contesting the first possibility, R. P. Gordon suspects that the narrator presents here “a deliberate contrast” with the Samson story. He holds that “Hannah’s reference to the razor  … may be expressing the conviction that the same depilatory disaster as befell Samson (Judg. 16:17–21) will not overtake [her] son.” However, one might need to read the text in a more immediate context before reading it in a wider context “with an eye on intertextual concerns.”83 Taking note of the “aural” feature of the narrative (see “Introduction” [Section VI, D; VII, B]), especially in direct speech, it would not be strange if Hannah mentioned only a part of the Nazirite customs. A sentence may stop even in the middle of an utterance and hence be grammatically incomplete, leaving an incomplete feeling: that is, “aposiopesis” (see v. 22 below). Also, perhaps she limits herself to the hair provision because the prohibition of cutting his hair would begin in infancy, while the prohibition on wine drinking would come into force later.

  (3) Background Information (1:12–13)

  12 While84 she continued praying before the Lord,
  Eli was watching her mouth.

  13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart;
  only her lips were quivering but her voice could not be heard.
  So Eli thought she was drunk.

12–13 Verses 12–13 parenthetically provide background information to the following EVENT. The expression praying before occurs here for the first time in the OT. The sense is that Hannah was fully absorbed in the presence of the Lord (also 1 Sam. 1:15: “pouring out my soul before the Lord”), forgetting herself and, for a long time, not knowing that Eli was watching.85 Note that “to pray before the Lord” in the present context is distinct from “to pray to the Lord.” While the former emphasizes the prayer in the presence of Yahweh, the latter emphasizes the direction of prayer, implying more distance from him. Though closer, Eli misread her quivering mouth as the mild derangement of a drunk.

  (4) Dialogue between Eli and Hannah (1:14–18)

  14 And Eli said to her,
      “How long will you make yourself drunken?
      Put aside your wine away from you!”

  15 And Hannah answered:86
      “No, my lord!
      I am a woman struggling in spirit87
      I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink88.
      I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.

  16 Do not deliver up89 your maidservant
      to the Daughter of Beliyaal,
      for because of my great anguish
      and my vexation
      I have spoken until now.”

  17 And Eli answered:
      “Go in peace!
      May the God of Israel grant (you) the request90
      you have made of him!”

  18 And she said,
      “May your handmaid91 find favor in your eyes!”
      And the woman went her way and ate;92 she no longer looked miserable.93

14 Here begins a dialogue between Eli and Hannah. Eli’s approach to her marks the decisive start of a new development in the story. Naturally, it is Eli, a senior male and a priest, who initiates the dialogue. By mistaking Hannah as being drunken, he commands her to put aside her wine.

15 Hannah replies to Eli’s irritated rebuke by explaining herself. She is a woman struggling in spirit. Muraoka compares the expression who is struggling in spirit with the “determinedness” of Sihon in Deut. 2:30 and explains that Hannah was “firmly determined to take up the matter with her God.”94
The expression pouring out my soul denotes not simply an inward state of one’s heart or mind, but an involvement of the whole being.95 Hannah’s prayer completely consumes her. The verbal root *špk means “to pour (some thing) out of (its container) into (some place).”96 Here, with this expression, Hannah rephrases the narrator’s comment “she was praying before the Lord” (v. 12). Hannah “pours out” words of agonizing petition. In both passages before the Lord means more than just being in a temple; it refers to the divine presence where she faced the holy God in person.

16 The first half of this verse (deliver up  … to.. .) is a crux interpretum, and all ancient witnesses are taken as “unintelligible.” Since comparison with Job 3:24 and 4:19 is hardly sufficient to establish the meaning of nātan lipnê as “regard as, treat as,” McCarter suggests reading lpnyk lbt… instead of lpny bt… and translates: “Do not set your maidservant before you as a worthless woman,” that is, “Do not reckon your maidservant a worthless woman.” However, the most natural translation of MT is: Do not deliver up your maidservant to bt bly‘l. Hence, our passage has something to do with delivering up Hannah to someone. The real issue is how to interpret the phrase “the daughter of Beliyaal” (bt bly‘l). Most modern scholars take it for granted that it means “a worthless woman,” but the “Excursus” (below) defends the preferred Daughter of Beliyaal.

17 The expression Go in peace! marks “a successful conclusion of negotiation or assurance that the request for a desired state of relationships has been granted”;97 see also 1 Sam. 20:42; 2 Sam. 15:9. It is noteworthy that Eli invokes here the blessing of the God of Israel, while Hannah prayed to and before the Lord of Hosts, citing this intimate name of the covenant, Yahweh, quite frequently (vv. 11[x2], 15, 20, 22, 26, 27, 28a[x2]). The narrator seems to emphasize the personal and intimate relationship of Hannah and Elkanah with Yahweh (see vv. 3[x2], 5, 6, 10, 12, 19[x2], 21, 23, 28b) in contrast with Eli’s formal association with the cult of Yahweh. The word the request anticipates the wordplay in vv. 27f. R. P. Gordon notes that this is the only place in the OT where a priest blesses an individual.98

18 Hannah responds positively to Eli, wishing to enjoy his good will always. Note the contrast between and she would not eat in v. 7 and and she ate here. Evidently, she was deeply encouraged by Eli’s words, which she took as God’s promise. She ate because she was confident that her request had been heard. Now she no longer looked miserable, of course, not because she ate, but because she put her complete trust on Eli’s words. Her confidence clearly shone on her contented face.

  Excursus: “Daughter of Beliyaal” (1 Sam. 1:16)

Various translations have attempted to render the phrase bt bly‘l: for example, “a wicked woman” (NIV); “a worthless woman” (NASB, NRSV, JPS); “base woman” (NEB “degraded”).99 The term bly‘l appears nine times in Samuel besides this verse. “Son(s) of B.” (1 Sam. 2:12; 10:27; 25:17), “man/men of B.” (1 Sam. 25:25; 30:22; 2 Sam. 16:7; 20:1), “the torrents of B.” (2 Sam. 22:5), and “B.” (2 Sam. 23:6). In 2 Sam. 22:5 the term is in parallel to “death,” though “the verse is not proof that the word means Sheol.”100 In its twemtu-seven occurrences in the OT it never appears in the plural, but sometimes with a definite article (1 Sam. 25:25; 2 Sam. 16:7; 1 K. 21:13).
For the etymology of the term Beliyaal, there are basically two possibilities: one analyzes it as a noun with a negative particle bl; the other posits a verbal root *bl‘.
  1.      belî + yā‘al “without worth” or “worthlessness”; cf. Ugar. blmt “immortality” (Gordon, UT, §19.466). McCarter, following Cross and Freedman, takes it to be a “ (place of) not-coming-up,” which refers to “hell, the underworld”; this is refuted by Emerton.101
  2.      For the verbal root *bl‘, various translations have been suggested: “to confuse” (G. R. Driver), yielding the noun “confusion” (with an afformative -l); “to swallow” (Thomas 1963), yielding “the swallower” (cf. Prov. 1:12; the idea of Sheol swallowing people102); or “to destroy” (Emerton) yielding “destructiveness.” In Emerton’s words, “The sons of Belial are  … those whose characters are destructive, harmful, evil.”103

Thomas thinks that the phrase “indicates one whose actions or words engulf a man, bring him to the abyss, to the underworld.”104 McCarter suggests similarly for “fiend of hell.”105 However, as Emerton notes, Sheol in the OT is “not the place of torment or the abode of fiends. It is not a pleasant place, but it is the place to which everyone goes  ….”106 Emerton thinks that belîyā‘al does not mean “hell” but probably “destructiveness” or the like.
Whatever its etymology, the term seems to have experienced the following semantic change:
  (1)      a common noun: “worthlessness” (belî + yā‘al) or “utter destructiveness” (bly‘+ l) with a superlative (’)l “god”
  (2)      a divine name: Belîyā‘al.
  (3)      idiomatic expressions: “sons of Beliyaal” = “utterly destructive men”; “daughter of Beliyaal” = “utterly destructive woman”

I propose that here the phrase bat belîyā‘al is an archaic phrase reflecting the second stage and probably means “the Daughter of Beliyaal,” which refers to the Queen of the underworld, like Eresh-ki-gal of the Mesopotamian tradition.107 This fits the context of the MT: “Do not deliver up your maidservant before/to the presence of the Daughter of Beliyaal.” In other words, the expression “to deliver up someone to the presence of Beliyaal’s daughter” is an idiom which means “to bring someone for judgment by Beliyaal’s daughter,” that is, “to destroy someone utterly.”

  (5) Back to Ramah (1:19)

  19 And they got up early in the morning and worshipped before the Lord and came back to their home in Ramah.
  And Elkanah knew108 Hannah his wife.
  And the Lord remembered her.

19 Here the stage shifts from Shiloh to Ramah, so the narrator’s viewpoint moves from *šwb “returned (from Shiloh)” to *bw’ “came (to Ramah)”; hence came back rather than simply “came.” See “Introduction” (Section VI, D) on the use of “come” and “go.” This change of location signals the transition of this narrative toward the next stage.
Ramah here is that of Benjamin, probably modern er-Rām, 7–8 kilometers north of Jerusalem.109 The biblical tradition names both Ramathaim and Ramah of Benjamin as Samuel’s home town (1 Sam. 1:1 and 7:17). Perhaps the city’s name proper was “Ramah” (also 1 Sam. 2:11) and was sometimes called by its descriptive name, Ramathaim “Two Hills” (see above on 1 Sam. 1:1).
That God remembered means he “fulfilled” his agreed promises. As McCarter comments, “Remembering in the religious terminology of Israel and other Northwest Semitic societies referred to the benevolent treatment of an individual or group by a god, often, as in this case, in response to a specific plea.”110 With the short sentence, And the Lord remembered her (wayyizkerehā YHWH), this part of the narrative ends (i.e., the TERMINUS). See on 1 Sam. 1:11. The actions which implement that memory are soon to follow.


David Tsumura, The First Book of Samuel, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2007), 103–125.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 1328
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 7:45 AM

Prior to finding this forum topic, the only NIVAC commentary I had was on Romans.  Since then, I went to Best Commentaries and compared the NIVACs with the commentaries I already had in my complete sets of the NAC and the PNTC, looking for any of the individual NIVACs with higher ratings than those in the NAC and PNTC.  Based on that review I purchased several individual NIVACs, then added a couple more based on positive comments here on the forum even though I had not included them based on Best Commentaries ratings.

Here's a list of the NIVACs I purchased.

Exodus, Esther, Psalms Vol. 1 (I don't see a Vol. 2), Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea/Amos/Micah, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians/Philemon, Hebrews, and Revelation.

I'm wondering if anyone would strongly recommend other individual NIVACs even if not rated well by Best Commentaries.

Posts 1328
Rick Ausdahl | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 7:56 AM

Thanks, abondservant!

I haven't read your samples yet (will do so shortly), but my initial reaction just based on their respective lengths was shock, because since the first sample was from the NAC, I was expecting the second sample to be from the NIVAC--but it was soooo much longer that the NAC sample, I thought "How can this be!"  Indifferent  Then I realized it was from the NICOT and it made a lot more sense.  Wink

I don't currently have any of the NICOT and just one (Romans) from the NICNT, but plan to keep an eye on NIC series in the hopes I can get some of the books on sale.  So this will be a helpful comparison in that regard. 

Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 8:04 AM

hahaha! Sorry! I don't yet have the nivac title, though I'm deciding which ones I need.

Also, to be fair, they were both a lot longer than what was posted, but I did try to cover the same area in both.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 13059
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 8:29 AM

Rick Ausdahl:
Michael, do you also have the NAC commentary on 1 and 2 Samuel?  If so, I'm wondering how you would compare the NAC and NIVAC.

It's hard to post an extract from NIVAC, because it deals with whole chapters, which is a lot of text. But here's one sub-section from each section of the first chapter:

Original Meaning

Background of Hannah and Her Problems (1:1–8)

THE OPENING UNIT of this chapter introduces Samuel’s family. The details of geography and family heritage (1:1–2) are clues that Samuel was born to propitious circumstances, and these details anticipate the significance of his birth. The fact that Elkanah’s long line is preserved in the sacred traditions indicates that Samuel is from aristocracy. In fact, the Chronicler gives the added detail that Samuel’s line is from the Kohathite family of Levitical priests (1 Chron. 6:26–27, 33–34), who were originally responsible for caring for the ark of the covenant (Num. 3:31). Nor is Elkanah’s polygamy a problem (1 Sam. 1:2), since such practices were not uncommon in the Old Testament.3 Indeed, Hannah’s inability to conceive children may well have given rise to the need for a second wife.

This opening paragraph contains several features that illustrate the righteousness of Samuel’s parents. Elkanah is depicted as an upstanding Israelite who cares deeply for his family and carefully attends to his religious commitments. (1) He gives himself faithfully to the proper worship of Yahweh at great personal cost and sacrifice (“year after year this man went up,” 1:3). The law of Moses mandated regular trips to the tabernacle to worship (Deut. 16:16), and Elkanah is a faithful Israelite, concerned to fulfill his vows to Yahweh. The yearly festival in view here is likely the Feast of Tabernacles, celebrated at the end of each summer (Lev. 23:33–43), though it may also have been a private, personal pilgrimage distinct from the regularly prescribed requirements.5 (2) Elkanah carefully and generously distributes meat to his family, likely a common practice during the festivals in which certain sacrifices were offered (1:4). (3) Finally, Elkanah loves Hannah deeply, despite her unenviable position as a barren wife (1:5, 8).

The concluding statement of verse 2 sets up the painful situation for Hannah: “Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.” In the ancient social setting, the most important role for a wife was to bear children. Men of financial means needed to have a male heir to continue the line, and barren wives suffered the embarrassment and shame of seeing another wife provided for their husbands, as Hagar did for Sarah and Bilhah for Rachel. Elkanah’s impressive past (1:1) will find a future in Peninnah’s children rather than through his favorite wife, Hannah. Hannah’s intense pain is exacerbated by the insufferable cruelty inflicted on her by her counterpart, Peninnah: “Her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her” (1:6). This is a perpetual burden for Hannah, since it recurs each year at the time for the festival in Shiloh (1:7).

The passing reference to the ruling priestly family is a subtle reminder that the nation has strayed far from God (1:3): “Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD.” The next few chapters reveal just how apostate the priestly leadership has become. But even as this becomes clear in the narrative, it is equally clear that Samuel has been prepared from birth to lead the nation back to God.

Bridging Contexts

HANNAH’S PROBLEM AND ITS SOLUTION.

The internal literary structure of 1 Samuel 1 shows the timeless message of Samuel’s birth narrative. The chapter opens with a problem. Hannah’s pain is more than she can bear. A barren wife was seen as an embarrassment in the ancient world. Children were gifts of God, but they were also important economically in the ancient social structure. They contributed to the family wealth through their work, they cared for their parents in old age, and they ensured the future of the family by inheriting the family wealth. Hannah’s inability to fulfill what was seen as her raison d’être was devastating. When Elkanah follows social custom by having a second wife so that children can be brought into the home, that second wife proves to be a constant source of pain and agony to Hannah. Peninnah hurts her deeply, to the point of emotional depression (she weeps and cannot eat, 1:7).

Hannah’s earnest prayer in the Shiloh sanctuary is the pivotal point in the narrative. After Eli blesses her, she is able to eat, and “her face was no longer downcast” (cf. vv. 7–8, 18). There is a telling contrast between the Hannah who is too despondent to eat and the Hannah who emerges from God’s presence full of hope and confidence. Though her circumstances have not yet changed, she has found a peace with God, a peace that leaves her buoyant and capable of returning with her family. The way in which the narrative immediately turns to the birth of Samuel (1:19–20) brings quick resolution to Hannah’s problem. In response to her changed circumstances, she piously fulfills her vow by giving the boy over to the Lord.

This problem-solution literary structure enables us to focus on the timeless features of this text, which we should use in building a bridge to our contemporary context. This passage is not advocating polygamy for our times, though it does not condemn Elkanah’s polygamy. The practice of multiple wives was always and forever less than God’s ideal for Israel (Gen. 2:18, 24), and if we read this text in light of others in the Old Testament, it is clear that, wherever practiced, polygamy resulted in problems (e.g., Gen. 16:4; 30:1). While Elkanah is following cultural custom, especially in light of Hannah’s barrenness, this is certainly not the timeless truth we would apply to today’s context. Rather, the problem-solution structure we have observed above, pivoting as it does around Hannah’s prayer in the Shiloh sanctuary, emphasizes Hannah’s personal piety and highlights the importance of Samuel’s birth.

Contemporary Significance

CHRISTIANITY AND POSTMODERNISM.

<snip>

God’s answer today is the same as then, and Samuel’s birth presents us with two aspects of that answer. When a nation is in such despair, the only hope is the appearance of righteous individuals, both in national leadership and in the common citizenry. First Samuel 1 announces both. Samuel is the coming new leadership, and he is given to the nation through a righteous family. Let us consider the significance of this passage in terms of leadership and individual responsibility.

  1. Israel’s problems were deeply rooted in the national psyche, but they were compounded by her failed religious leadership. Eli and his sons were so perverse that they provided no hope of renewal. Without godly leadership, any nation faces eventual ruin. The birth of Samuel provided hope for the future for Israel. So too for modern states, the role of leadership should not be overlooked. The twentieth century has left behind examples of tyrannical despots who manipulated the nations in their charge and inflicted untold pain and suffering on the masses (Adolf Hitler, Romania’s Ceausescu, Cambodia’s Pol Pot, and Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, to name the most notorious). But other national leaders too have allowed the spiritual infrastructure of their nations to deteriorate through less dramatic and less obviously evil policies.
    Now, the beginning of the twenty-first century has produced Osama bin Laden, in perhaps a chilling forewarning of the kind of despotism we can expect in the future. As illustrated by 1 Samuel 1, God desires to use godly leaders to reform nations. In the Old Testament, kingship was a source of great potential good for the nation Israel. It became the means through which God himself would eventually redeem his people (i.e., through the Messiah). But kingship was also a potential for great evil. These principles are no less true of the Christian church generally, which also suffers from a lack of godly leadership.
  2. The second necessary element in the spiritual rebirth of a nation is probably more important, though it receives less attention in the Bible and in the modern world: the importance of a godly citizenry. A devout ruler alone cannot reform a rebellious and sinful populace. Interestingly, the good news of this passage begins with the righteous, everyday affairs of a faithful family. Through her suffering and trials, Hannah was used as an instrument of God to initiate spiritual rebirth in Israel. Like Elizabeth and Mary after her, she was honored by God with miraculous conception in order to show God’s mercy and grace and to continue his salvation story. But without a host of other, nameless Israelites who also prayed and lived their lives in quiet devotion, such reform would not be possible. These individuals become the salt and light of their society (Matt. 5:13–16).
    I believe the Bible illustrates that social change and reformation takes place primarily in this way. As the waves of the sea slowly and gradually alter the landscape of the seashore, we need billow after billow of godly people, swelling up to contribute their influence on our culture and slowly to chip away at the evil in our society. To use another metaphor, as the slow but incessant drip, drip of water on a granite boulder will eventually change its surface, so Christians must be faithful to God’s Word, living devout and godly lifestyles over the long duration in order to reform the church and the nation.
  3. Finally, we should also note the connection between Hannah’s suffering and her effective prayer. She had every reason to be bitter (1:10). She was incapable of bearing children, Peninnah ridiculed her, Elkanah was unable to comfort her, and Eli mistook her motives. Yet rather than capitulate to her emotions, she let her circumstances drive her to prayer. Hannah’s profound pain prodded her to an abiding faith, which issued forth in earnest prayer. Her prayer and vow exemplify the persistent and tenacious kind of faith that is borne out of pain and suffering. She is an example of the believing soul lost in desire before a heavenly Father. Bonhoeffer summarizes Jesus’ teaching on prayer in this way:

We are privileged to know that he knows our needs before we ask him. This is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty. It matters little what form of prayer we adopt or how many words we use, what matters is the faith which lays hold on God and touches the heart of the Father who knew us long before we came to him. Genuine prayer is never “good works,” an exercise or a pious attitude, but it is always the prayer of a child to a Father. Hence it is never given to self-display, whether before God, ourselves, or other people. If God were ignorant of our needs, we should have to think out beforehand how we should tell him about them, what we should tell him, and whether we should tell him or not. Thus faith, which is the mainspring of Christian prayer, excludes all reflection and premeditation.

The introduction of Samuel into the biblical story line begins with the heartfelt and effective prayer of his mother: “The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective” (James 5:16b, NRSV).

Posts 155
Alan | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 8:33 AM

Roger Kadeg:

 ..... His customers had to call him and specifically ask for the discount.  This type of restriction has occurred before - evidently dictated by the Logos/Faithlife contracts with the various publishers. Therefore, I almost always deal with a sales person. Always inquire about the phone "special sales" that they may be authorized to offer!

For those living outside the United States, especially in a different continent/hemisphere, such customers will be disadvantaged with making costly phone calls.  Any better ways to resolve this ?

Posts 3937
abondservant | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 8:40 AM

Alan Ang:

Roger Kadeg:

 ..... His customers had to call him and specifically ask for the discount.  This type of restriction has occurred before - evidently dictated by the Logos/Faithlife contracts with the various publishers. Therefore, I almost always deal with a sales person. Always inquire about the phone "special sales" that they may be authorized to offer!

For those living outside the United States, especially in a different continent/hemisphere, such customers will be disadvantaged with making costly phone calls.  Any better ways to resolve this ?



Email works well also.

L2 lvl4, L3 Scholars, L4 Scholars, L5 Platinum,  L6 Collectors. L7 Baptist Portfolio. L8 Baptist Platinum.

Posts 406
Erik | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Apr 30 2015 8:49 AM

Rick Ausdahl:

Prior to finding this forum topic, the only NIVAC commentary I had was on Romans.  Since then, I went to Best Commentaries and compared the NIVACs with the commentaries I already had in my complete sets of the NAC and the PNTC, looking for any of the individual NIVACs with higher ratings than those in the NAC and PNTC.  Based on that review I purchased several individual NIVACs, then added a couple more based on positive comments here on the forum even though I had not included them based on Best Commentaries ratings.

Here's a list of the NIVACs I purchased.

Exodus, Esther, Psalms Vol. 1 (I don't see a Vol. 2), Ecclesiastes/Song of Songs, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Hosea/Amos/Micah, 1 Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians/Philemon, Hebrews, and Revelation.

I'm wondering if anyone would strongly recommend other individual NIVACs even if not rated well by Best Commentaries.

Tremper Longman also gives 5-stars to the Joshua and Haggai/Zechariah volumes as well. I also like the 2 Cor. volume.

The NIVAC doesn't have a second Psalms volume yet since Gerald Wilson passed away.  The last I heard, Jamie Grant was writing the second volume, but that information is from several years ago and is likely now out of date. 

Page 4 of 6 (107 items) « First ... < Previous 2 3 4 5 6 Next > | RSS