(24-8) 1 Samuel 1:20–28 . Samuel Is Presented at the Tabernacle“Weaning took place very late among the Israelites. According to [2 Maccabees 7:27], the Hebrew mothers were in the habit of suckling their children for three years. When the weaning had taken place, Hannah would bring her son up to the sanctuary, to appear before the face of the Lord, and remain there forever, i.e. his whole life long. The Levites generally were only required to perform service at the sanctuary from their twenty-fifth to their fiftieth year [see Numbers 8:24–25 ]; but Samuel was to be presented to the Lord immediately after his weaning had taken place, and to remain at the sanctuary forever, i.e. to belong entirely to the Lord. To this end he was to receive his training at the sanctuary, that at the very earliest waking up of his spiritual susceptibilities he might receive the impressions of the sacred presence of God.” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 2:2:26.)
(24-9) 1 Samuel 2:1–11Hannah’s prayer shows her to have been a woman with great faith and love for God. The horn (see v. 1 ) symbolized power and strength. God had given her the power to bear a child. The rock (see v. 2 ) was a representation of protection. Jesus Christ is the rock or stone of Israel, the protector from evil (see Matthew 21:42–44 ). In 1 Samuel 2:10 both allusions are combined into one: the Messiah is “the anointed one” who will break all adversaries of the Lord in pieces (the Greek word for Messiah, Christos, also means “the anointed one”). He it was, Hannah said, who would be given strength in that his horn (power) would be exalted before men. This passage is a choice Old Testament reference to the future Messiah and shows that Hannah was blessed with the gift of prophecy.
(24-10) 1 Samuel 2:8The people of Hannah’s day did not think the world was flat and sitting on pillars, as some suppose. That superstition was the invention of the Middle Ages. Hannah was using poetic language to show the power of Jehovah.
(24-11) 1 Samuel 2:13–36 . If the Priests Were Entitled to a Portion of Certain Sacrifices, Why Were the Sons of Eli Punished?“Of these offerings, the portion which legally fell to the priest as his share was the heave-leg and wave-breast. And this he was to receive after the fat portions of the sacrifice had been burned upon the altar [see Leviticus 7:30–34 ]. To take the flesh of the sacrificial animal and roast it before this offering had been made, was a crime which was equivalent to a robbery of God. . . . Moreover, the priests could not claim any of the flesh which the offerer of the sacrifice boiled for the sacrificial meal, after burning the fat portions upon the altar and giving up the portions which belonged to them, to say nothing of their taking it forcibly out of the pots while it was being boiled [see 1 Samuel 2:12–17 ]. Such conduct as this on the part of the young men (the priests’ servants), was a great sin in the sight of the Lord, as they thereby brought the sacrifice of the Lord into contempt.” (Keil and Delitzsch, Commentary, 2:2:35–36.)
The poor example of the priests caused others in Israel to abhor “the offering of the Lord” ( v. 17 ). But these actions were not all, for the sons of Eli seduced women and engaged in adulterous acts at the very door of the tabernacle, evidently by misusing their office of priest to entice the women (see v. 22 ). Under the law of Moses, willful disobedience to parents was punishable by death, and the parents were obliged to see that the punishment was carried out (see Reading 20-9 ). Hophni and Phinehas compounded their already serous sins by disobeying their father, and Eli failed in his parental responsibility as well as in his office as the presiding priest. Although he rebuked his sons, he took no action to see that the abomination in his family and at the tabernacle was corrected. Therefore, “a man of God” (some unnamed prophet) came to Eli and pronounced the Lord’s curse upon Eli’s house because “[thou] honourest thy sons above me” ( vv. 27, 29 ). That is, Eli’s relationship with his sons was of more value to him than his relationship with God.
(24-12) 1 Samuel 3:1 . “The Word of the Lord Was Precious in Those Days”The word precious as used here means “scarce.” The word of God was seldom heard in all the land. Elder Harold B. Lee explained why as follows: “The story commences with a significant statement.
“‘And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.’ ( I Samuel 3:1 ) . . . That means that there was no prophet upon the earth through whom the Lord could reveal his will, either by personal experience, or by revelation. And it came to pass that Eli was laid down in his place and his eyes were dim, and Samuel the boy also lay down to his sleep, and you remember through that night there came a call, ‘Samuel,’ and thinking that Eli had called him he went to Eli’s room to be told that Eli had not called him. And he lay down the second time again to be called, and yet the third time. And by this time Eli, sensing the fact that he was being spoken to by an unseen speaker, said, ‘The next time that you hear, then you shall answer, “Here I am Lord, speak to me.”’ And so the next time when the call came, Samuel answered as he had been directed. Now it says, ‘Samuel (up to this time) did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord revealed unto him.’ And after he had recognized the Lord and said, ‘Thy servant heareth,’ then he was told that the Lord was to proceed to ‘do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone that heareth it, shall tingle.’ And then he explained the reason why Eli could not receive further messages from the Lord. ‘His sons make themselves vile, and he restrained them not,’ or in other words he allowed his sons to curse God and therefore were leading the people of Israel astray.” ( “But Arise and Stand upon Thy Feet”—and I Will Speak with Thee, Brigham Young University Speeches of the Year, Provo, 7 Feb. 1956, p. 2.)
Institute Old Testament Student Manual (Genesis - 2 Samuel) pp. 268-269