1 Samuel 1:17 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 1:17, NIV: Eli answered, 'Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.'

1 Samuel 1:17, ESV: Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.”

1 Samuel 1:17, KJV: Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

1 Samuel 1:17, NASB: Then Eli answered and said, 'Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have asked of Him.'

1 Samuel 1:17, NLT: 'In that case,' Eli said, 'go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.'

1 Samuel 1:17, CSB: Eli responded, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you've made of him."

What does 1 Samuel 1:17 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Eli accepts Hannah's assertion that her emotional state in the temple is not because she is drunk or a "worthless woman" (1 Samuel 1:16). She explains she has been pouring her heart out to the Lord, speaking to Yahweh with intensity out of her anger and anxiety. After this, Eli stops trying to correct her and blesses her, instead. Speaking out of his priestly authority, Eli tells Hannah to go in peace. More importantly, he affirms her prayer and his desire that God will grant her request. Some say that Eli's words are a prophecy that God will grant Hannah's petition.

Would the Lord have granted Hannah's request if Eli had not intervened and gave her his blessing? We can't know that. It's more likely the Lord wanted to connect Eli to the granting of Hannah's request. Eli did not know Hannah prayed for a son whom she would deliver to this very temple in a few years. Eli did not know the boy would be raised and trained by him. He could not know that Hannah's son would become one of the most important leaders in Israel's history. The Lord, though, did know all of that, and He wanted to include Eli from the beginning.

Some point out that Hannah and Elkanah speak of and to the Lord using the names "LORD of Hosts" (1 Samuel 1:11) and "YHWH" (LORD) (1 Samuel 1:15, 20, 23, 26–28), showing a more personal connection to their God. Eli, on the other hand, speaks of the "God of Israel," a more formal name that may show his more professional and process-oriented relationship to God. Serving God seems to have been Eli's job. It was Hannah's life.