What does 1 Samuel 2:3 mean?
ESV: Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
NIV: Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.
NASB: Do not go on boasting so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.
CSB: Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by him.
NLT: 'Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions.
KJV: Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.
Hannah has declared that none is holy like God, no deity exists besides Him, and there is no rock like Him (1 Samuel 2:2). Now she turns to speak, apparently, to all those who might read or hear her words, including those reading this song today.
She tells us to stop speaking to each other and about the Lord with pride and arrogance. Once we establish in our minds the great holiness and power of Yahweh, God of Israel, our self-glorifying pride should melt away into humility. How much can we possibly know in comparison to the One Hannah calls the God of knowledge (Job 38:4–7; Psalm 139:1–4, 7–12, 15–18; Isaiah 46:10; 55:8–9)?
When standing before Him, we won't be able to use intellect or clever perspectives to talk our way out of judgment. He knows everything, and He will weigh our actions based on His perfect understanding of all things (Matthew 6:4, 6, 18; Hebrews 4:13). The only response is to speak and act with humility. This is often described as the fear of the Lord.
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.
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.
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.
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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