1 Samuel 1:26
And she said, Oh my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman that stood by you here, praying to the LORD.
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(26) O my lord, as thy soul liveth.—“This oath is peculiar to the Books of Samuel, in which it occurs six times, and to the Books of Kings, in which, however, it is found only once. The similar oath, as Pharaoh liveth (by the life of Pharaoh), occurs in Genesis 42:15; and as the Lord liveth is found almost exclusively in the books of which Judges is the first and 2 Kings the last, being especially frequent in the Books of Samuel. This accords with the fact of the age of the Judges and Saul being characteristically the age of vows.”—Speaker’s Commentary.

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.As thy soul liveth - This oath is unique to the Books of Samuel, in which it occurs six times, and to the Books of Kings, in which however, it is found only once. See the note to 1 Samuel 1:11. 24. three bullocks—The Septuagint renders it "a bullock of three years old"; which is probably the true rendering. Oh my lord; a form of speech to engage favourable attention.

As thy soul liveth; the usual form of an oath, as Genesis 42:15 1 Samuel 17:55 20:3; as surely as thou livest: which asseverations seem necessary, because this was some years after it, and was quite forgotten by him. And she said, O my lord,.... According to the Targum, it is a supplication or request, I beseech thee, my lord; that is, to look upon her son, and take him under his care as his disciple or scholar, to instruct him in the law of God, and enter him into his service; to which Eli might be very backward and indifferent, and even treat it with some degree of contempt, that such a young Levite should be brought to him, when the soonest the Levites were admitted was at twenty five years of age:

as thy soul liveth, my lord; which Ben Gersom takes for the form of an oath, as if she swore to the truth of what follows by the life of the high priest; but as it was forbidden to swear by any but by the living God, by his life, it cannot be thought so good a woman as Hannah would be guilty of such a sinful and Heathenish practice; this rather is a wish or prayer for his life and health, and the continuance thereof, to bring up her son in the exercise of true religion:

I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord: by which it appears that Eli was now at the tabernacle, and in the same place he was, 1 Samuel 1:9 when she was some years ago praying near him, at the distance of four cubits, as the Jews say: she takes no notice of his mistaking her for a drunken woman, nor of his censure on her, and the reproof he gave her; but puts him in mind only of her praying to the Lord standing near to him, which made him take the more notice of her; standing is a prayer posture; the Jews say there is no standing but what is prayer, or prayer is meant by it; See Gill on Matthew 6:5.

And she said, Oh my lord, as thy {k} soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

(k) That is, most certainly.

26. as thy soul liveth] An oath peculiar to the books of Samuel and Kings.

that stood by thee] Prayer was offered either (a) standing, as by Hannah and Abraham (Genesis 18:22), cp. Matthew 6:5, Mark 11:25, Luke 18:11 : (b) kneeling, as by Solomon (1 Kings 8:54), and by Daniel (Daniel 6:10), cp. Acts 9:40; Acts 20:36; Acts 21:5 : (c) prostrate, as by Moses and Aaron (Numbers 16:22), and by our Lord (Matthew 26:39).Samuel's birth, and dedication to the Lord. - 1 Samuel 1:19, 1 Samuel 1:20. The next morning Elkanah returned home to Ramah (see at 1 Samuel 1:1) with his two wives, having first of all worshipped before the Lord; after which he knew his wife Hannah, and Jehovah remembered her, i.e., heard her prayer. "In the revolution of the days," i.e., of the period of her conception and pregnancy, Hannah conceived and bare a son, whom she called Samuel; "for (she said) I have asked him of the Lord." The name שׁמוּאל (Σαμουήλ, lxx) is not formed from שׁמוּ equals שׁם and אל, name of God (Ges. Thes. p. 1434), but from אל שׁמוּע, heard of God, a Deo exauditus, with an elision of the ע (see Ewald, 275, a., Not. 3); and the words "because I have asked him of the Lord" are not an etymological explanation of the name, but an exposition founded upon the facts. Because Hannah had asked him of Jehovah, she gave him the name, "the God-heard," as a memorial of the hearing of her prayer.
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