1 Samuel 2:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 2:9, NIV: He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. 'It is not by strength that one prevails;

1 Samuel 2:9, ESV: “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail.

1 Samuel 2:9, KJV: He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

1 Samuel 2:9, NASB: He watches over the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a person prevail.

1 Samuel 2:9, NLT: 'He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone.

1 Samuel 2:9, CSB: He guards the steps of his faithful ones, but the wicked perish in darkness, for a person does not prevail by his own strength.

What does 1 Samuel 2:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The cornerstone idea of Hannah's song is simple: God controls everything, and no human circumstances are beyond His ability to reverse. After all, Hannah experienced it herself. In great distress, she asked the Lord to change something unchangeable: her ability to have children. He had made what was impossible for her into reality (1 Samuel 1:5, 10–11, 19–20, 24–28).

Now Hannah says this is simply what the Lord does. People don't prevail by being stronger than everyone else; they will never be stronger than the Lord. He can cut off the wicked in darkness, likely meaning death, no matter how strong they appear to be from a human perspective. He can guard the feet of those faithful to Him to keep them from stumbling no matter how steep or rocky the path might be (Psalm 146; Habakkuk 3:19; Zechariah 4:6).