What does 1 Samuel 2:2 mean?
ESV: "There is none holy like the Lord: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.
NIV: "There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
NASB: There is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
CSB: There is no one holy like the Lord. There is no one besides you! And there is no rock like our God.
NLT: No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
KJV: There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.
NKJV: “No one is holy like the Lord, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.
Verse Commentary:
Hannah's song of praise to the Lord begins with a focus on personal rejoicing. This followed the birth and dedication of her son, Samuel. She quickly shifts the focus of the song to praise to God for who He is.

Three negative statements in this verse describe how great God truly is. First, there is none holy as He is. Moses put a similar idea in the form of questions in his song to the Lord in Exodus 15, asking the Lord who among the gods is as majestic in holiness as the Lord (Exodus 15:11).

Holiness describes God's quality of being unlike anything or anyone else, completely free of impurity or any kind of wrongdoing. He is set apart, unique in His being. He is also set apart from all that is unclean or unworthy, but not in the sense of being sterile, distant, or inactive. He is majestic and powerful and active in His perfect holiness. No other being in the universe is holy as He is.

Hannah adds that there is simply none besides the Lord, meaning that no other gods even exist. It's not that the Lord is "the best" of a wide variety of actual beings. There is no pantheon of lesser gods. He alone is God—the only deity which exists—in all the universe. This foundational truth about God was taught to Israel from the very beginning (Deuteronomy 4:35), but many generations of Israelites simply refused to believe that the gods of all the other nations were, in fact, non-existent. Hannah understood it.

Finally, Hannah adds that there is no rock like our God. The idea of God being a rock means that He is a place of safety and security, especially in times of trouble. He is the place to run and hide when the storm comes. David will write, "The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge" (2 Samuel 22:2–3).

No place is safer than being with the Lord.
Verse Context:
First Samuel 2:1–11 contains Hannah's poetic prayer of praise to the Lord in response to His gift of a son, Samuel. She offers the prayer after delivering Samuel into Eli's care at the sanctuary in keeping with her vow to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:11, 24–28). The main emphasis of the prayer is that God is holy and sovereign. He can reverse life situations, bringing the rich and powerful down and lifting the poor, hungry, and barren. The one who controls life and death guards those faithful to Him.
Chapter Summary:
After delivering Samuel to the Lord, Hannah offers a poetic prayer of praise. The sons of Eli the priest are evil, depraved men who abuse their power as priests. They coerce worshippers to give them additional meat. They sleep with women who serve at the sanctuary. In contrast, Samuel grows in favor with God and others as he grows up physically. Hannah and Elkanah continue to go to Shiloh yearly; they also have more children. Eli rebukes his sons, but they don't repent. The Lord tells Eli that all his descendants will die young and his two rebellious sons will die on the same day. The Lord will raise up a faithful priest to do His will.
Chapter Context:
The prior chapter explained how Hannah cried out to God for a son, and that her request was granted. First Samuel 2 begins with Hannah's praise to the Lord in response. Samuel remains in Shiloh where he ministers and matures. By contrast, Eli's sons are wicked and abuse their power as priests. A prophet reveals that God will cause all Eli's descendants to die young and his two sons to die on the same day. The Lord will raise up a faithful priest from another part of the family line. This provides background for Samuel's call from God in chapter 3.
Book Summary:
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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