1 Samuel 1
1. Verses 1-16. List the phrases describing Hannah’s distress. Do you find her retaliating against her rival? How did she dispel her grief? Cf. Pss. 62:8; 142:1-3; 1 Pet. 2:23.
2. According for the change of verse 18b. How can a similar experience be mine? Cf. Mark 11:24; John 5:15.
3. With verses 26-28 compare Ps. 116:12-14; Eccles. 5:4, 5. Do you find all the encouragement you ought in the faithfulness and UN forgetfulness of the Lord?
1 Samuel 2:1-11
This Old Testament ‘Magnificat’ (cf. Luke 1:46-55) possesses an astonishing range of ideas concerning the character of God, his dealings with all sorts of men even to the ends of the earth, and the coming of his anointed king.
- Compare the exaltation of verse 1 with the dejection of 1:6-10. What or who should be the object of our joy? Cf. Pss. 9:1, 2; 5:11, 12; 1 Pet. 1:8.
- What does Hannah say about: (a) God’s character, and (b) the way in which time and again he reverses the lot of men? What will be the final end as described in verses 9, 10? What warning and what encouragement do you take from these truths? Cf. Ps. 2:11.12.
Note. Verse 6. ‘Grave’ (=sheol’) was the Hebrew name for the place where the dead go.
1 Samuel 2:12-36
1. What aspects of the sins of Eli’s sons were specially grievous in God’s sight
2. How did Eli fail? Cf. Prov. 29:17; Matt. 10:37. Over against 2:31 and 3:14 set 2:35. What can we learn from all this concerning the ways of God? Cf. 16:1.
- Verses 12-17. The misappropriation of Eli’s sons (‘the men’ of verse 17) was twofold. They took what they wanted rather than what was offered them; and they insisted on receiving their raw portion, before the Lord’s portion – the fat (Lev. 3:3-5) – was burned on the alter.
- Verses 18, 28. The ‘ephod’ was an item of priestly dress or equipment.
- Verse 25. The tense shows that Eli’s sons habitually did not listen to their father. Notice that it was the Lord’s will to slay them for disobedience, but not the Lord’s will that they should be disobedient.
- Verse 30. ‘Minister before me for ever’: a phrase describing the enjoyment of God’s favour. Cf. verse 35.
1 Samuel 3:1-4:1
1. Notice the expressions used about Samuel in 2:18, 21; 3:1, 7, 19. What new thing came into Samuel’s life in the experience described in 3:1-14? Why did Samuel have to tell the vision (3:15-18)? Cf. 1 Cor. 9:16.
2. What was lacking in Israel at this time, and what did God do to meet the need? 3:2, 3; Rom. 10:14, 15.
1. 3:1. In those days there was no prophet regularly active to give the people messages from God; contract 3:20 – 4:1a.
2. 3:10. ‘The Lord came and stood there’. This vivid language is paralleled in Job 4:15, 16.