What does 1 Samuel 1:24 mean?
ESV: And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. And the child was young.
NIV: After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.
NASB: Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull, one ephah of flour, and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young.
CSB: When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull, half a bushel of flour, and a clay jar of wine. Though the boy was still young, she took him to the Lord's house at Shiloh.
NLT: When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine.
KJV: And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.
The time has come to take Samuel, now a young boy, to the temple in Shiloh and dedicate Him to the Lord for lifelong service. This was Hannah's vow, should the Lord grant her the ability to conceive and give birth to a son (1 Samuel 1:11; Numbers 30:10–15). She has delayed in paying the vow until Samuel was fully weaned and could eat independently of her (1 Samuel 1:22-23). Samuel might be three or four years old at this point.
It was common to offer sacrifices along with paying a vow to the Lord. The expensive sacrifices mentioned here show that Elkanah was wealthy and that the couple placed a high value on the gift God had given to them in Samuel. Throughout the narrative we see that Elkanah and Hannah regularly honored the Lord (1 Samuel 1:3, 15–16, 19–20, 21, 23). They seemed to worship Him in "spirit and truth" (John 4:23). Their sacrifices show not only the value they placed on God having given them a son but on God Himself.
Hannah is said to be the one to bring the sacrifices, but Elkanah was likely with her, as well. He had taken her vow as his own (Numbers 30:10–15; 1 Samuel 1:21). Together, they brought either a three-year-old bull or three bulls, depending on how the Hebrew is translated. They also brought an ephah of flour, which would have been around three-fifths of a bushel or twenty-two liters. They also brought a "skin" of wine, which scholars suggest was around six gallons or twenty-two liters. All of this would be offered to the Lord through the priests as part of dedicating Samuel to the Lord. It is possible some of these offerings were also part of the annual feast.
First Samuel 1:21–28 tells of how Hannah and her husband Elkanah kept their vow to give a son back to the Lord if she could conceive and give birth to one. Hannah suggests they wait to take the child to Shiloh and give him to the priest until Samuel is weaned. Once he is, they take a large offering to the temple. Hannah tells Eli the priest that this is the boy she was praying for on the night they met. The Lord granted her request. She gives the boy over to the Lord for as long as he lives.
Elkanah lives in Ephraim with two wives. Hannah is barren, while his other wife has many children. At the annual family sacrifice and feast in Shiloh, Hannah weeps and pours out her grief before the Lord. She vows to give a son to Him for lifelong service if the Lord gives her a boy. After confronting Hannah for drunkenness and then seeing that she was praying from her depth of emotion, Eli the priest blesses Hannah and affirms her prayer. Elkanah and Hannah conceive, and she gives birth to a son that she names Samuel. Once he is weaned, she presents him to Eli at the temple and gives him over to the Lord as long as he lives.
First Samuel 1 begins the story of Samuel with the account of his unlikely-seeming birth. Samuel's mother Hannah is barren. During a family trip to temple of the Lord in Shiloh, she weeps bitterly before the Lord and pours out her grief. She vows to give a son back to the Lord if He will allow her to bear one. Eli the priest blesses her and affirms her prayer. Before long, Samuel is conceived and born. Once he is weaned, Hannah brings the boy and a large sacrifice to the temple. She gives Samuel over to the Lord.
First Samuel introduces the key figures who led Israel after the era of the judges. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally part of a single text, split in certain translations shortly before the birth of Christ. Some of the Bible’s most famous characters are depicted in this book. These including the prophet Samuel, Israel’s first king, Saul, her greatest king, David, and other famous names such as Goliath and Jonathan. By the end of this book, Saul has fallen; the book of 2 Samuel begins with David’s ascension to the throne.
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