1 Samuel 1:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 1:23, NIV: Do what seems best to you,' her husband Elkanah told her. 'Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word.' So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.

1 Samuel 1:23, ESV: Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him.

1 Samuel 1:23, KJV: And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him.

1 Samuel 1:23, NASB: Elkanah her husband said to her, 'Do what seems best to you. Stay until you have weaned him; only may the LORD confirm His word.' So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she weaned him.

1 Samuel 1:23, NLT: 'Whatever you think is best,' Elkanah agreed. 'Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise.' So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned.

1 Samuel 1:23, CSB: Her husband, Elkanah, replied, "Do what you think is best, and stay here until you've weaned him. May the Lord confirm your word." So Hannah stayed there and nursed her son until she weaned him.

What does 1 Samuel 1:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord has granted Hannah's request, and the time has come to pay the vow she made to the Lord. She had told the Lord she would dedicate the child to God's service for his entire life if He would allow her to conceive and give birth to a son (1 Samuel 1:11). Now the time has come to pay the vow. Hannah's husband Elkanah takes the vow very seriously and plans to take the boy to the temple at Shiloh during the annual sacrifice (Numbers 30:10–15; 1 Samuel 1:21).

It is possible Elkanah had made an additional vow to the Lord, which he planned to fulfill at this annual feast. Regardless, Hannah does not go to the feast at this time. She told her husband she would wait until the baby was weaned and could therefore survive without her. That process could take as long as three years. Hannah insists that when the time comes, she will personally deliver the boy to the priest and leave him there in the presence of the Lord at the temple (1 Samuel 1:22).

Now her husband agrees that this is best. He remains serious about it, though, and adds to his agreement the phrase "may the LORD establish his word." This seems to be a request for the Lord not to take the child away because the delay in keeping the vow is reasonable and done in good faith. With that understanding, Hannah and Samuel did not travel to Shiloh until the boy was fully weaned.