1 Samuel 1

Study the Inner Meaning

English: King James Version         

← Ruth 4   1 Samuel 2 →

1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.

4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.

7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.

10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no rasor come upon his head.

12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.

13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.

17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.

20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.

21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow.

22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever.

23 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.

24 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.

25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.

26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:

28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

← Ruth 4   1 Samuel 2 →
   Study the Inner Meaning
From Swedenborg's Works

Explanations or references:

Arcana Coelestia 66, 1408, 7836, 9391, 9849

Apocalypse Revealed 242


References from Swedenborg's unpublished works:

Apocalypse Explained 279, 750

Other New Christian Commentary

  Stories and their meanings:




Hop to Similar Bible Verses

Genesis 11:30, 21:8, 24:45, 28:20, 29:32, 30:1, 22, 32:6, 43:34

Leviticus 27:2

Numbers 6:8, 30:7, 8, 12

Deuteronomy 12:6, 13:14

Joshua 18:1, 25

Judges 4:5, 7:15, 12:5, 13:5

Ruth 2:2, 13, 4:15

1 Samuel 1:1, 19, 2:1, 11, 19, 20, 7:17, 8:4, 9:4, 14:36, 40, 15:34, 16:13, 17:12, 55, 19:18, 20:3, 42, 25:1, 26, 35, 29:7

2 Samuel 7:25, 11:11, 15:9

2 Kings 2:2, 4, 6

1 Chronicles 4:10, 6:12

Job 7:11

Psalms 20:5, 34:6, 62:9, 102:5, 120:1

Proverbs 14:10, 31:2

Matthew 7:7

Mark 5:34

Luke 1:7

Romans 12:12

Philippians 4:6

Hebrews 11:32

James 5:13

Word/Phrase Explanations

man
The relationship between men and women is deep and nuanced, and one entire book of the Writings – Conjugial Love or Love in Marriage –...

mount
'Mount Olivet' signifies the celestial church, or celestial good, which comes from love towards the Lord, and divine love.

Ephraim
Ephraim was the second son born to Joseph in Egypt and was, along with his older brother Manasseh, elevated by Jacob to the same status...

name
It's easy to see that names are important in the Bible. Jehovah changed Abram and Sarai to Abraham and Sarah, changed Jacob to Israel and...

Son
'A son,' as in Genesis 5:28, signifies the rise of a new church. 'Son,' as in Genesis 24:3, signifies the Lord’s rationality regarding good. 'A...

two
The number "two" has two different meanings in the Bible. In most cases "two" indicates a joining together or unification. This is easy to see...

wives
The Hebrew of the Old Testament has six different common words which are generally translated as "wife," which largely overlap but have different nuances. Swedenborg...

one
A company might have executives setting policy and strategy, engineers designing products, line workers building them, managers handling personnel and others handling various functions. They...

hannah
The prophecy of Hannah, as mentioned in 1 Samuel 2, concerns the deprivation of truth among those of the church who are in no affection...

city
Cities of the mountain and cities of the plain (Jer. 33:13) signify doctrines of charity and faith.

worship
To bow, as in Genesis 18:2 signifies to humble.

the Lord
The Bible refers to the Lord in many different ways, which from the text seem indistinguishable and interchangeable. Understood in the internal sense, though, there...

lord
The Lord, in the simplest terms, is love itself expressed as wisdom itself. In philosophic terms, love is the Lord's substance and wisdom is His...

Hosts
When the divine power of good or omnipotence is being discussed in the Word, then says 'Jehovah Zebaoth,' or 'Jehovah of hosts,' and also 'Lord,'...

Shiloh
The fourscore men who came from Schechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, as in Jeremiah 41:5, represented the profanations of good and truth.

sons
'Sons of the stranger' signify counterfeit truths, or falsities. 'Our sons' signify the doctrines of truth, and 'our daughters,' the doctrines of good, as in...

priests
Priests' represent the Lord regarding His divine good. When they do not acknowledge the Lord, they lose their signification of the Lord.

wife
It is because of a celestial and angelic proprium, or selfhood, that the church is called 'a woman,' 'a wife,' 'a bride,' 'a virgin,' and...

Daughters
"Behold I have two daughters,” etc. (Gen. 19:8), signifies the affections of good and truth, and the blessedness perceivable from the enjoyment thereof, by those...

loved
To some degree, there really is no spiritual meaning to the word “love” in the Bible. Why? Because if you truly love another, that is...

shut
There are only a couple of references in the Writings to "close" used as a verb, and both stem from Amos 9:11, which talks about...

Shut up
'To shut up' denotes what has been vastated, or is no more.

womb
'Matrix' signifies opening of the spiritual mind.

house
A "house" is essentially a container - for a person, for a family, for several families or even for a large group with shared interests...

house of the
'The house of the prison' denotes the vastation of falsity, and also falsity itself.

wept
'Weeping with a loud voice' signifies the ultimate of grief.

said
As with many common verbs, the meaning of “to say” in the Bible is highly dependent on context. Who is speaking? Who is hearing? What...

husband
In general, men are driven by intellect and women by affections, and because of this men in the Bible generally represent knowledge and truth and...

eatest
When we eat, our bodies break down the food and get from it both energy and materials for building and repairing the body. The process...

ten
Most places in Swedenborg identify “ten” as representing “all,” or in some cases “many” or “much.” The Ten Commandments represent all the guidance we get...

rose up
It is common in the Bible for people to "rise up," and it would be easy to pass over the phrase as simply describing a...

after
Behind, or after, (Gen. 16:13), signifies within or above, or an interior or superior principle.

drunk
To be drunken without wine (Isa. 29:9), are they who are unconcerned about the Word, and the truths of faith, and thus have no inclination...

sat
If you think about sitting, it seems fair to say that where you're sitting is more important than that you're sitting. Sitting in a movie...

seat
'The Lord's throne' signifies, in general, the whole heaven, and specifically, the spiritual heaven, and by extension, divine truth proceeding, and so, everything of heaven...

the temple
'Solomon's temple' represents heaven and the church.

temple
'A temple' represents heaven and the church. The sacred place where the ark was, represents the inmost, or third heaven, and the church among people...

temple of the Lord
The interior heavens are the temple of Jehovah.

soul
The nature of the soul is a deep and complicated topic, but it can be summarized as "spiritual life," who we are in terms of...

vow
In Genesis 28:20, 'he vowed a vow' denotes, in the internal sense, willing that the Lord will provide. In the highest sense, where the Lord...

Look
To look,' as in Genesis 18:22, signifies thinking, because seeing denotes understanding. Look not back behind thee,' as in Genesis 19:17, means that Lot, who...

affliction
An affliction "such as was not from the beginning of the world, no nor ever shall be", mentioned in 'Matthew 24:21', means the infestation from...

handmaid
'Maids' denote external affections serving the internal.

forget
To forget, in the internal sense, signifies nothing else but removal and apparent privation.

give
Like other common verbs, the meaning of "give" in the Bible is affected by context: who is giving what to whom? In general, though, giving...

days
The expression 'even to this day' or 'today' sometimes appears in the Word, as in Genesis 19:37-38, 22:14, 26:33, 32:32, 35:20, and 47:26. In a...

life
'Lives' is used in the plural, because of the will and understanding, and because these two lives make one.

head
The head is the part of us that is highest, which means in a representative sense that it is what is closest to the Lord....

before
In most cases, the meaning of "before" is pretty straightforward, both as a way of assessing relative time, and in its use meaning "in someone's...

mouth
In most cases, "mouth" in the Bible represents thought and logic, especially the kind of active, concrete thought that is connected with speech. The reason...

spake
Like "say," the word "speak" refers to thoughts and feelings moving from our more internal spiritual levels to our more external ones – and ultimately...

heart
The heart means love. A good heart means love to the Lord and to the neighbor while a hard or stony heart means the love...

lips
'A lip' signifies doctrine. A lip,' as in Isaiah 6:3, 7, signifies the interior parts of a person, consequently, internal worship, where adoration is grounded....

voice
In Genesis 27:22, 'voice' relates to truth, and 'hand,' to good.

heard
'To hearken to father and mother,' as mentioned in Genesis 28:7, signifies obedience from affection. 'To hearken,' as mentioned in Genesis 30:22, signifies providence. See...

long
'Long' and thence to prolong, refer to good.

Put
'To put' has reference to order, arrangement, application, and influx.

a
A help-meet for him,' or 'a help as before him,' as mentioned in Genesis 2:18, signifies proprium, or what is one's own. However, whereas the...

answered
To "answer" generally indicates a state of spiritual receptivity. Ultimately this means being receptive to the Lord, who is constantly trying to pour true ideas...

my lord
Characters in the Bible will often address others using the term “my lord,” and it seems to be no more than an expression of respect....

woman of
'The woman of Samaria' signifies the church which would be founded among the Gentiles.

woman
'Women,' as in Genesis 45:19, signify the affections of truth. But in Genesis 31:50, 'women' signify affections of not genuine truth, so not of the...

Strong drink
Strong drink' signifies the truth of the natural self.

Grief
Grief is anxiety of heart or will.

go
In the physical world, the places we inhabit and the distances between them are physical realities, and we have to get our physical bodies through...

peace
In ordinary life, we tend to think of "peace" as essentially "a lack of conflict." As a nation, if we're not at war, it's a...

god
The Lord is love itself, expressed in the form of wisdom itself. Love, then, is His essence, His inmost. Wisdom - the loving understanding of...

Israel
'Israel,' in Jeremiah 23:8, signifies the spiritual natural church. The children of Israel dispersed all the literal sense of the Word by falsities. 'The children...

Find
To not to be found any more, signifies not to rise again.

sight
The symbolic meaning of "seeing" is "understanding," which is obvious enough that it has become part of common language (think about it; you might see...

way
In John 14:6, 'the way is doctrine,' 'the truth' is every thing pertaining to doctrine, and 'the life' is the essential good which is the...

morning
Morning comes with the rising of the sun, and the sun – which gives life to the earth with its warmth and light – represents...

returned
Everyone knows the phrase "the natural order of things." It means that everything is in its proper place, occupying the niche it is meant to...

came
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “come” in the Bible is highly dependent on context – its meaning is determined largely by...

ramah
'Ramah' denotes things that pertain to spiritual truth derived from celestial truth.

knew
In a general sense, men represent things of the intellect – facts, ideas, knowledge, everything from the deepest truths to the most pernicious falsities about...

remembered
'To remember,' as in Genesis 41:9, signifies conjunction. 'Remembering' denotes conjunction because the remembrance of anyone in the other life joins them together, because as...

bare
In a general sense, being "born" in the Bible represents one spiritual state producing another, usually some form of love or affection producing or "giving...

called
'To proclaim' signifies exploration from influx of the Lord.

samuel
'Samuel' signifies the Word.

Go up
To go up and to go down: in the Word, mention is made of going up and going down when speaking of going from one...

weaned
'To wean,' as in Genesis 21:8, signifies separation, as infants are from their mother’s breasts.

bring
As with common verbs in general, the meaning of “bring” is highly dependent on context, but in general it represents an introduction to a new...

ever
'Perpetual' in the literal sense, means to the end of one’s life, after death, and eternity.

good
It seems rather circular to say that “good” in the Bible represents good, but in a general sense it’s true! The case is this: The...

tarry
'To tarry,' as in Genesis 27:44, signifies almost the same thing as 'to dwell,' except that 'to tarry' relates to the life of truth with...

word
'Word,' as in Psalms 119:6-17, stands for doctrine in general. 'The Word,' as in Psalms 147:18, signifies divine good united with divine truth. 'Word,' as...

suck
To 'suckle' denotes taking in good, because 'a nurse,' or 'one who suckles' signifies implanting good. To 'suckle,' as in Genesis 21:7, signifies implanting the...

three
The Writings talk about many aspects of life using the philosophical terms "end," "cause" and "effect." The "end" is someone’s goal or purpose, the ultimate...

ephah
The Bible uses a somewhat dizzying array of unfamiliar measurement, leaving translators a choice between being accurate and confusing or inaccurate and clear. Since they...

flour
In Revelation 18:13, 'wine, oil, flour, and wheat' signify celestial principles of worship.

young
"Youths" or "Young men" generally represent intelligence or the understanding of truth. This is fitting, since adolescent boys tend to be more advanced intellectually than...

Resources for parents and teachers

The items listed here are provided courtesy of our friends at the General Church of the New Jerusalem. You can search/browse their whole library at the New Church Vineyard website.


 Family Worship: The Birth of Samuel
Ideas for reading and discussing the story of Samuel’s birth.
Religion Lesson | Ages 3 - 12

 Hannah Prays for a Son
Make an accordion book showing key parts of the story of Samuel’s birth. Be sure to show Hannah with baby Samuel in one of the pictures!
Project | Ages 6 - 10

 Procreation Spiritual and Natural
Worship Talk | Ages over 18

 Quotes: The Love of Children
Teaching Support | Ages over 15

 Samuel
This lesson discusses a story from the Word and suggests projects and activities for young children.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 Samuel Is Born Review Questions
Choose words from a word blank to complete sentences about Samuel.
Activity | Ages 3 - 13

 The Birth of Samuel
A New Church Bible story explanation for teaching Sunday school. Includes lesson materials for Primary (3-8 years), Junior (9-11 years), Intermediate (12-14 years), Senior (15-17 years) and Adults.
Teaching Support | Ages over 3

 The Birth of Samuel
Family lessons provide a worship talk and a variety of activities for children and teens..
Religion Lesson | Ages 4 - 17

 The Birth of Samuel
A family talk about the meaning of the name "Samuel" and the importance of prayer.
Worship Talk | Ages 7 - 17

 The Birth of Samuel
Illustrate the story of baby Samuel by sliding him from the Lord to his mother, Hannah, and then back to the Lord.
Project | Ages 3 - 6

 The Birth of Samuel
A lesson for younger children with discussion ideas and a project.
Sunday School Lesson | Ages 4 - 6

 The Birth of Samuel (3-5 years)
Project | Ages 4 - 6

 The Birth of Samuel (6-8 years)
Project | Ages 7 - 10

 The Birth of Samuel (9-11 years)
Project | Ages 11 - 14

 The Story of the Birth of Samuel Retold
A retelling of the birth of Samuel for children.
Story | Ages 3 - 12


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