Theme: When God Calls

    • Interesting Facts
      • Samuel's birth, youth and God's call upon his life.
  • Text: 1 Samuel 1:4-8 NLT
    • There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. [2] Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. [3] Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the LORD at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas.
    • [4] On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. [5] And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the LORD had given her no children. [6] So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. [7] Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat. [8] “Why are you crying, Hannah?” Elkanah would ask. “Why aren’t you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me— isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
  • Chiastic Structure
    1. Prologue Of Samuel's Birth (1 Sam 1:1-8)
      1. A (1:1) Genealogy of Elkanah
        • B (1:2) Hannah was childless
          • C (1:3a) Every year
      2. A' (1:3b) Sons of Eli
        • B' (1:4-6) "The LORD had made her barren" (1:5)
          • C' (1:7-8) Every year
  • Cross-References
    • Deuteronomy 12:17-19 Sacrifices
      • You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your wine or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, or any of your vow offerings that you vow, or your freewill offerings or the contribution that you present, 18 but you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place that the Lord your God will choose, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, and the Levite who is within your towns. And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you undertake. 19 Take care that you do not neglect the Levite as long as you live in your land.
    • Ruth 4:14-15 Blessings
      • Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel! 15 He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age, for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sons, has given birth to him.”
  • Discovery
    • Who was Elkanah's first wife?
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    • According to verse 5 why was Hannah sad?
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    • To whom did Hannah to find help?
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    • The "barren woman" motif is common in God's word. Find several other bible references that would confirm this assertion to be valid.
      • Genesis 25:21 CSB
        • Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The LORD was receptive to his prayer, and his wife Rebekah conceived.
      • Judges 13:2 CSB
        • There was a certain man from Zorah, from the family of Dan, whose name was Manoah; his wife was unable to conceive and had no children.
      • Isaiah 54:1 CSB
        • “Rejoice, childless one, who did not give birth; burst into song and shout, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of the married woman,” says the LORD.
      • Luke 1:5-7 CSB
        • In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. [6] Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. [7] But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.
      • Galatians 4:26-28 CSB
        • But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. [27] For it is written, Rejoice, childless woman, unable to give birth. Burst into song and shout, you who are not in labor, for the children of the desolate woman will be many, more numerous than those of the woman who has a husband. [28] Now you too, brothers and sisters, like Isaac, are children of promise.
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    • In verses 6-7 why are Peninnah and Hannah described as "rivals"?
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    • What other well known wife in the bible shared Hannah's plight?
      • Genesis 16:1-5 CSB
        • Abram’s wife Sarai had not borne any children for him, but she owned an Egyptian slave named Hagar. [2] Sarai said to Abram, “Since the LORD has prevented me from bearing children, go to my slave; perhaps through her I can build a family.” And Abram agreed to what Sarai said. [3] So Abram’s wife Sarai took Hagar, her Egyptian slave, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife for him. This happened after Abram had lived in the land of Canaan ten years. [4] He slept with Hagar, and she became pregnant. When she saw that she was pregnant, her mistress became contemptible to her. [5] Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for my suffering! I put my slave in your arms, and when she saw that she was pregnant, I became contemptible to her. May the LORD judge between me and you.”
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    • Verse 4. What are the "portions" mentioned in verse 4? (See Leviticus 3:1-17; 7:11-21)
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    • Why did Elkanah give his wife Hannah a "double portion"?
      • The NLT gets it wrong here. It speaks of but one portion while most other reliable sources call it a "double portion". 1 Samuel 1:5 CSB But he gave a double portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the LORD had kept her from conceiving.
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    • Comment: Elkanah loves Hannah so much that he gives her a “double portion” of the sacrifice to eat. This act is comparable to the inheritance laws of the Torah in which the firstborn son receives a double portion of the goods of his father. Deuteronomy 21:17 CSB He must acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved wife, by giving him two shares of his estate, for he is the firstfruits of his virility; he has the rights of the firstborn.
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    • Why didn't Elkanah truly understand why Hannah was so heartbroken?
    • For many married women the inability to have children is a source of considerable grief.
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    • Verse 8. Is there any significance to the number "10" where Elkanah says; "Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me— isn’t that better than having ten sons?”
    • 10 often signifies completion in Hebrew culture (e.g., ten plagues, ten commandments).
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  • Questions and Thoughts
    • Why is it important to remind ourselves that God is the source of all good gifts? What are the implications of forgetting that?
    • What vow or promise to God do you need to see through to completion?
    • Are you satisfied with the praise you give God? Why or why not?
    • What are you actively doing to elevate your praise to God for who God is and what God continued to do in your life?
    • In your personal life how valuable a quality is faithfulness?
    • Why is faithfulness such a valuable quality to God?