In 1 Sam 2.1-10 we have what is called “The Song of Hannah.” This is a psalm of thanksgiving and praise to God on the day that she left Samuel at the Mishkan. There is a similarity in 1 Sam 2.1 with what Zechariah prayed in Luke 1.69, it is very prophetic. Miriam, Yeshua’s mother, also said something similar in Luke 1.46. Hannah tells those who had been insulting her about being barren to “boast no more” and 1 Sam 2.4 is similar to Luke 1.51..
She says that those who are full in this life “hire themselves out for bread” meaning they have been stripped of everything (Luke 15.13; Lam 4.6). In verse 5 it says that “even the barren gives birth to seven” and Hannah will have five more children for a total of six in all (1 Sam 2.20-21). In 1 Sam 2.6 it says, “Yehovah kills and makes alive” is similar to what is said in Deut 32.39; Lam 3.37 and Exo 4.11.
In 1 Sam 2.8-10 it says the “pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and he sets the world on them” and this refers to the creation of the earth’s foundations, but it also alludes to the people who are leaders supporting the world and protecting the people (Gal 2.9; Zech 10.4). It also says that man will prevail because of the power of God and not on their own strength. Her song ends and she tells us that the Lord will judge the earth, give strength to his king (Messiah) and exalt the horn (power) of his anointed (Messiah). These are all Rosh Ha Shanah terms and that is why 1 Sam 1.1 to 2.10 is the Haftorah reading for Rosh Ha Shanah.
1 Sam 2.11 tells us that Elkanah went to his home in Ramah (“lofty place”), but Samuel went to serve the Lord before Eli the High Priest. This is similar to Yochanon who went to live in the wilderness until his ministry began (Luke 1.80). Then as a young adult Yochanon went to the Judean wilderness. He was not taught by any rabbinical school such as the School of Hillel or the School of Shammai.
1 Sam 2.12-17 tells us that Eli’s sons were “worthless men” (Hebrew “sons of Belial”) meaning they were lawless or did not follow the Torah. Belial comes from the words “beliy” meaning “not” and “ya’al meaning “profit or worth.” They did not know the Lord, but were priests. Now, this brings up an interesting concept. These sons knew who the Lord was, so knowing the Lord means something else. To know the Lord means that there is an intimate knowledge. The word for “know” is “yada” and it is translated as “relations” in Gen 4.1. Adam had relations with Chava and they had a son.
In Hos 2.20 it says, “And I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, then you will know (yada’at) Yehovah.” The word “da’at” (knowledge) is linked to “yada” and it means to “know by experience. Then in Hos 4.6 we have one of the most quoted verses of the Bible, but those who quote it leave out the most important part. Hos 4.6 says, “My people are destroyed for the lack of “the” knowledge(Hebrew “ha da’at”-to know the Lord by experience) because you have rejected “the” knowledge (ha da’at) I will also reject you from being my priest, since you have forgotten the Torah of your God, I will also forget your children.” Notice that in Hebrew it says “the knowledge” and one may ask, “What knowledge?” The verse tells you that this knowledge is the Torah. One who does not follow the Torah is seen as “lawless” or “without Torah” and they do not know the Lord. That’s why these sons were called the sons of no worth, or lawless.
How does this apply today? We know that the word “lawless” in the New Testament is “anomos” in Greek and it means “without Torah.” Matt 7. 21-23 tells us, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day (idiom for when the Lord returns) ‘Lord, Lord’, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons, and in your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” These verses tell us that when the Lord returns there will be a group of people who will say they knew the Lord and did many works. But Yeshua said he “never knew” them. He didn’t say “I once knew you, but don’t anymore” but “I never knew you.” They were never born again and they rejected the Torah, and that is why he said they were “lawless” or “without the Torah.” 1 John 2.3-4 says, “And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. The one who says, ‘I have come to know him’ and does not keep his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him.”
Eli’s sons were like that. They would take extra meat that did not belong to them from the korbanot (sacrifices). Before they burned the fat that only belonged to the Lord, the priest’s servants would come to a person offering korbanot and say to the, “Give the priest meat for roasting, as we will not take boiled meat from you, only raw.” If the worshiper said, “They must surely burn the fat first and then take the meat (portion for the priest)” the servant would say, “No, but you shall give it to me now, and if not, I will take it by force.” They would also take boiling meat from a worshiper that was for the Lord and take it for themselves. This was a great sin before the Lord.
1 Sam 2.18-20 says that Samuel was ministering before the Lord in his linen ephod (like the priests). His mother would also make an outer coat for him to wear over others like the priests every year (Exo 28.4). Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and the Lord gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. In 1 Sam 2.22 we learn that there was a group of women who served at the Mishkan (Judges 11.39-40; Luke 2.37) and Eli’s sons would have sexual relations with them. Eli rebuked them but they would not listen (v 23-25). Meanwhile, Samuel grew in stature and favor with the Lord and men.
In 1 Sam 2.27-36 a prophet of Yehovah came along and told Eli that God chose his house to serve him, yet they despised his korbanot. As a result, the Lord was going to change the high priesthood from the sons of Eleazar to Ithamar to Abiathar to Zadok as time went by, ultimately taking it from Abiathar of the line of Eli in 1 Kings 2.26-27, to fulfill this prophecy. 1 Sam 2.27-30 says that Eli’s house would serve the Lord “forever” (olam), but they were not faithful, and those conditions changed and that “world” ended (“olam”) and so the high priesthood was going to be taken from the house of Eli. God was not going to cut off every male of Eli’s from the altar (v 33) but they would die in the prime of life.
The sign to Eli that this would happen is Hophni and Pinchas would die on the same day (v 34). He would raise up a faithful priest, which would literally be a man named Zadok, the high priest under David and Solomon, but eschatologically, this also alludes to the Messiah (Zech 6.11-13; Psa 110.1-4; Heb 5.5-6). Eli’s sons would come to bow before this priest for assignment to a priestly course (1 Chr 24.1-19; Luke 1.5) just so they receive a piece of silver or a loaf of bread (v 36). This is how far they would fall because they were wicked priests.
We will pick up here in Part 3.