1 Samuel 1:25
And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
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1 Samuel 1:25-27. They slew a bullock — The three bullocks mentioned 1 Samuel 1:22, the singular number being put for the plural, which is frequent. As thy soul liveth — As surely as thou livest. Which asseveration she thought necessary, because this was some years after the fact which she here mentions. For this child I prayed — She had told him nothing of what she prayed for when he reproved her; but only, in general, that she was extremely afflicted for want of something, which she then earnestly begged of God. But now she acquaints him with it, and with the vow she had made if God would grant her desire, which vow she was now come to fulfil.

1:19-28 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.Until the child be weaned - Hebrew mothers, as elsewhere in the East, usually suckled their children until the age of two complete years, sometimes until the age of three. 24. three bullocks—The Septuagint renders it "a bullock of three years old"; which is probably the true rendering. A bullock; either, first, One of the three at the present, reserving the rest for the future. Or, secondly, The three bullocks mentioned 1 Samuel 1:24, to which the article here added, in the Hebrew, seems manifestly to relate; there being no one bullock there, singled out, to which it can belong. And so it is only an enallage of the singular number for the plural, which is frequent.

And they slew a bullock,.... One of the three Hannah brought, unless the singular is put for the plural, and so all three were slain, some for sacrifice, and some for food perhaps; or if only one was slain, it might be offered as a sacrifice previous to the presentation of Samuel; or else was made a present of to Eli, at the introduction of Samuel to him, as follows:

and brought the child to Eli: to be under his care, to he instructed and trained up by him in the service of the tabernacle; from hence it appears that Elkanah the husband of Hannah came along with her at this time.

And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.
25. they slew a bullock] The bullock; viz. the one which had been brought as a dedicatory offering with the child: the sacrifice of the others is taken for granted. We may try to picture the scene. Elkanah leads the bullock to the north side of the altar of burnt-offering, in the court before the door of the tabernacle, and binds it to the horns of the altar. Hannah brings her child, and lays his hand on the head of the victim in token that it is his representative; at that moment Elkanah or one of the priests slays it (Leviticus 1:5). Its blood is sprinkled and its limbs burnt upon the altar, as an emblem of the complete dedication of the child to Jehovah.

The Sept. version differs widely from our present Heb. text, and describes the presentation of Samuel as combined with the yearly sacrifice. “And she went up with him to Selom with a bullock of three years old, and bread, and an ephah of fine flour, and a bottle of wine; and entered into the house of the Lord in Selom: and the child was with them. And they brought him near before the Lord: and his father slew the sacrifice, which he used to offer year by year unto the Lord. And he brought the child near and slew the bullock. And Anna the mother of the child brought him near to Heli, and said,” &c. This may represent a different original text, or be a loose paraphrase.

1 Samuel 1:25As soon as the boy was weaned, Hannah brought him, although still a נער, i.e., a tender boy, to Shiloh, with a sacrifice of three oxen, an ephah of meal, and a pitcher of wine, and gave him up to Eli when the ox (bullock) had been slain, i.e., offered in sacrifice as a burnt-offering. The striking circumstance that, according to 1 Samuel 1:24, Samuel's parents brought three oxen with them to Shiloh, and yet in 1 Samuel 1:25 the ox (הפּר) alone is spoken of as being slain (or sacrificed), may be explained very simply on the supposition that in 1 Samuel 1:25 that particular sacrifice is referred to, which was associated with the presentation of the boy, that is to say, the burnt-offering by virtue of which the boy was consecrated to the Lord as a spiritual sacrifice for a lifelong service at His sanctuary, whereas the other two oxen served as the yearly festal offering, i.e., the burnt-offerings and thank-offerings which Elkanah presented year by year, and the presentation of which the writer did not think it needful to mention, simply because it followed partly from 1 Samuel 1:3 and partly from the Mosaic law.

(Note: The interpretation of שׁלשׁה בּפרים by ἐν μόσχῳ τριετίζοντι (lxx), upon which Thenius would found an alteration of the text, is proved to be both arbitrary and wrong by the fact that the translators themselves afterwards mention the θυσία, which Elkanah brought year by year, and the μόσχος, and consequently represent him as offering at least two animals, in direct opposition to the μόσχῳ τριετίζοντι. This discrepancy cannot be removed by the assertion that in 1 Samuel 1:24 the sacrificial animal intended for the dedication of the boy is the only one mentioned; and the presentation of the regular festal sacrifice is taken for granted, for an ephah of meal would not be the proper quantity to be offered in connection with a single ox, since, according to the law in Numbers 15:8-9, only three-tenths of an ephah of meal were required when an ox was presented as a burnt-offering or slain offering. The presentation of an ephah of meal presupposes the offering of three oxen, and therefore shows that in 1 Samuel 1:24 the materials are mentioned for all the sacrifices that Elkanah was about to offer.)

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