1 Samuel 1:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 1:1, NIV: There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

1 Samuel 1:1, ESV: There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.

1 Samuel 1:1, KJV: Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

1 Samuel 1:1, NASB: Now there was a man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

1 Samuel 1:1, 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.

1 Samuel 1:1, CSB: There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

What does 1 Samuel 1:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Samuel's father Elkanah was a direct descendant of Levi, placing him and Samuel in the tribe of the Levites (1 Chronicles 6:33–38), which allowed Samuel to serve as a priest in Israel. However, Elkanah's people lived in the hill country of the tribe and region of Ephraim. The identification as an "Ephraimite" or "Ephrathite" refers to where he lived, rather than his lineage.

Depending on the translation, this either specifies Elkanah's hometown, or includes information about his ancestry. This might refer to a town called Ramathaim-zophim. Alternatively, he was a descendant of Zuph from Ramathaim, which was in the "land of Zuph" (1 Samuel 9:5). Scholars differ as to whether Ramathaim is the same town as Ramah, described as the place the family lived at this time (1 Samuel 1:19) and Samuel's hometown (1 Samuel 2:11; 8:4; 25:1; 28:3). There was a town called Ramah in the territory of Benjamin, between Jerusalem and Bethel. Most commentators believe both to be the same town in Ephraim.