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Elkanah’s Household

I Samuel 1:1-8

Victor M. Eskew


1.      Outline the text


i.                    The Home of Elkanah (I Samuel 1:1-3)


ii.                  The Honor Given to Hannah (I Samuel 1:4-5)


iii.                The Hostility of Peninnah (I Samuel 1:6-8)


2.      What is the meaning of the name “Elkanah”? (v. 1)


Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, and his name was Elkanah…


A.    Strong (669):  double fruit


B.      Brown, Driver, Briggs (BDB):  double ash-heap, I shall be doubly fruitful


C.     www.biblestudytools.com:  God (El) created (kanah)


3.      List three things that we learn about Elkanah in verses 1-3.


A.    He lived in Ramathaim-zophim


B.      His father was Jehoram


C.     He was an Ephrathite


D.    Tracing his lineage back will prove that he is of the tribe of Levi through Levi’s son Kohath.


E.      He had two wives:  Peninnah and Hannah


F.      He was a man of worship


4.      Where is Ramathaim-zophim? (v. 1)


A.    Meaning:  double height of the watchers (Strong, 7436)


B.      It was located in the mountains of Ephraim that extended into the territory of Benjamin.


C.     It derived from the Levitical family of Zuph or Zophai from which Elkanah descended.

Image result for ramathaim zophim


5.      What do we know about Elkanah’s ancestors? (v. 1)


…and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, and son of Zuph, an Ephrathite.


A.    Jeroham: 

1.      Meaning of his name:  compassionate (Strong, 3395) or having pity (BDB)

2.      I Chronical 6:27


B.      Elihu

1.      Meaning of his name:  God of him (Strong, 453) or He is my God (BDB).

2.      Also called Eliel (I Chron. 6:24) and Eliab (I Chron. 6:27).


C.     Tohu

a.      Meaning of his name:  to depress, abasement (Strong, 8459) or lowly (BDB).

b.      Called Nahath (I Chron. 6:26) and Toah (I Chron. 6:34).


D.    Zuph

a.      Meaning of his name:  honeycomb (Strong, 6689)

b.      Also called Zophai (I Chron 6:26).

c.       He sprang from Kohath, the son of Levi.  (NOTE:  The lineage would prove that Samuel could occupy the position of a priest in Israel since he sprang from the lineage of Levi).


6.      What is the meaning of “Hannah”? (v. 2)


And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah…


A.    Strong (2584):  favored


B.      BDB:  grace


C.     NOTE:  She was the favored one of Elkanah (See I Sam. 1:5, 8).


7.      What is the meaning of “Peninnah”? (v. 2)


…and the name of the other was Peninnah…


A.    BDB:  jewel


B.      www.biblehub.com:  pearl, coral, precious stone


8.      Why is it significant to note that Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not? (v. 2)


…and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.


This sets up the strife that develops between the two women.  Having children was a blessing form God, but being barren was a curse.


9.      To which “yearly” celebration did Elkanah go every year? (v. 3)


And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh…


A.    Jewish males were required to go to worship at the tabernacle three times each year:  Passover, Pentecost, Day of Atonement (Exo. 34:23).


B.      It could have been any one of these three feasts that is being referenced.    Some believe that it was the Passover Feast since it was the one most often attended by families as well.


10.  Define:  worship (v. 3)


A.    Strong (7812):  to depress, to prostrate (in homage to God)


B.      BDB:  to bow down, to prostrate oneself.


11.  Define:  sacrifice (v. 3)


A.    Strong (2076):  to slaughter an animal (usually in sacrifice)


B.      BDB:  to slaughter, kill, sacrifice, slaughter for sacrifice


12.  To which city did Elkanah go to worship? (v. 3)


…unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh…


A.    Shiloh


B.      It was here that the tabernacle was erected once the Israelites had subdued the land of Canaan (Josh. 18:1).

And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of the congregation there.  And the land was subdued before them.


C.     The meaning of the word:  a place of rest (BDB)  Tranquility, Fair Haven, Pleasantville


D.    Location

1.      Central Palestine on the east slope of Mount Ephraim

2.      Map


Related image


E.      It is interesting to note that the ark will remain in Shiloh, except for a brief period of time, until it is moved permanently to the city of Jerusalem in the days of David.  Thus, it was in Shiloh for a period of about 500 years.


13.  Who was Eli? (v. 3)


And the two sons of Eli…


A.    Eli was the high priest of Israel, as well as, their judge (I Sam. 1:9; 4:18).


B.      “Eli was a descendant of Ithamar, the fourth and youngest son of Aaron the High Priest. He became High Priest (Kohen Godol) after the death of Pinehas, the son of Elazar, Ithamar's older brother. We are not told why Eli succeeded to the High Priesthood, instead of Pinehas's son” (https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112391/jewish/Eli-The-High-Priest.htm).


14.  What were the names of Eli’s two sons? (v. 3)


…And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.


A.    Hophni:  his name means “pugilist” or “a person who fights with his fists, a boxer”


B.      Phinehas:  his name means “mouth of a serpent” (Strong, 6372) or “mouth of brass”


15.  When Elkanah offered, what did he give to Peninnah and her children? (v. 4)


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


A.    He gave them “portions.”


B.      Definition:

1.      Strong (4490):  something that is weighed out, division

2.      BDB:  part, portion


C.     “The sacrifices which were made were probably peace-offerings, of which the blood was poured out at the foot of the altar; the fat was burnt on the fire; the breast and right shoulder were the portion of the priest, and the rest belonged to him who made the offering; on it he and his family feasted, each receiving his portion” (e-sword, Adam Clarke)


16.  What did Elkanah give to Hannah? (v. 5)


But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion…


A.    Elkanah gave Hannah a worthy portion.


17.  What is the meaning of “worthy”? (v. 5)


A.    Strong (639):  nose or nostril, hence, face


B.      BDB:  nostril, nose, face


C.     Two thoughts:

1.      Elkanah not only gave Hannah her due portion, he also gave her the portion that appeared before his face.

2.      He gave her one portion for two faces, thus, a double portion.


18.  Why did Elkanah give Hannah a “worthy portion”? (v. 5)


…for he loved Hannah…


A.    Elkanah loved Hannah.


B.      Loved: 

1.      Strong (157):  to have affection for

2.      BDB:  love, human love, love of family

3.      NOTE:  This seems to be a special affection for her

a.      Due to her as a person (See Gen. 43:34)

b.      Due to her predicament of having no children


19.  Who shut up Hannah’s womb? (v. 5)


…because the Lord had shut up her womb.


A.    The Lord

B.      We might as the question:  “Why would God do this?

1.      To put Hannah to a test

2.      Because He wanted to work His plan

3.      NOTE:  Had Hannah had this child in a normal way, she might not have dedicated him to the Lord as she did.


20.  What did Peninnah do to Hannah? (v. 6)


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


A.    She provoked Hannah sore.  (Literally:  she vexed her to vexation, she angered her to anger)


B.      Two words:

1.      Provoked:

a.      Strong (3707):  to trouble, to rage, to be indignant

b.      BDB:  to provoke to anger

2.      Sore

a.      Strong (3708):  to vexation, anger

b.      BDB:  vexation, grief, anger, frustration


21.  Define:  fret (v. 6)


A.    Strong (7481):  to tumble, to be violently agitated

B.      BDB:  to thunder, to cause to tremble


22.  How did Hannah react to Peninnah’s actions each year at the feast? (v. 7)


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


A.    She wept and did not eat.


B.      Lessons:

1.      Others can become our adversary (See I Sam. 1:6).

2.      Others can have some control over us.

3.      Others can and do take advantage of our weakness.

4.      Others are not satisfied with taking advantage of our weaknesses just once.  They continue their evil actions over and over and over.

5.      The evil that others cause us can adversely impact our well-being, both emotionally (she wept) and physically (did not eat).  (Some have been impacted spiritually).


23.  T – F    Elkanah understood Hannah’s grief. (v. 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?


A.    False


B.      He did not understand.  Three times he asked the “why” question.  He was definitely confused.



24.  In what way was Elkanah mistaken about his gifts to Hannah? (v. 8)


A.    Our outward goodness to others does not heal the emotional hurt inside.


B.      Gifts do not always heal emotional wounds.


C.     Only two things would enable Hannah to have happiness.

1.      A child

2.      Acceptance of her condition


25.  What are some of the things that we learn about polygamy from this section of Scripture?


A.    It is possible to love one person more than another.  Elkanah loved Hannah more than Peninnah.


B.      Circumstances cannot always be perfectly fair in a family.  Peninnah had children, but Hannah was barren.


C.     A mate can favor one spouse more than another.  Elkanah gave Hannah a “worthy portion” and was better to her than ten sons.


D.    The two wives can have struggles.  Peninnah provoked Hannah year after year.


E.      It is possible for one wife to take advantage of the weakness of the other wife.  Peninnah made Hannah fret “because the Lord had shut up her womb.”































Hannah’s Prayer

I Samuel 1:9-18

Victor M. Eskew




1.      Outline the text


i.                    I Samuel 1:9-11


ii.                  I Samuel 1:12-16


iii.                I Samuel 1:17-18


2.      Is there any importance to the “seat” upon which Eli sat “by a post of the temple of the Lord”? (v. 9)



3.      Define:  bitterness (v. 10)



4.      T – F    Hannah’s prayer was fervent (v. 10)


5.      Define:  vow (v. 11)


6.      How did Hannah describe the Lord as she addressed Him in her payer?  (v. 11)


7.      For what did Hannah specifically pray?  (v. 11)


8.      What promise did Hannah make to God is she were granted her request? (v. 11)



9.      What did Eli see about Hannah that caught his attention? (v. 12)


10.  What did Eli falsely assume about Hannah? (v. 13)


11.  What did Eli charge Hannah to do because of his mistaken judgment? (v. 14)


12.  T – F    Hannah defended herself against the false charge made by Eli. (v. 15)


13.  How did Hannah describe her prayer to God? (v. 15)


14.  What was “a daughter of Belial”? (v. 16)


15.  Define:  complaint (v. 16)


16.  Define:  grief (v. 17)




17.  After learning the truth, what four things did Eli desire for Hannah? (v. 17)










18.  What was different about Hannah AFTER she prayed? (v. 18)



19.  Go back through the section and list all of the words and phrases that are associated with Hannah’s prayer.


A.    Verse 10:  bitterness of soul

prayed unto the Lord

wept sore