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Hannah’s Prayer

I Samuel 1:9-18

Victor M. Eskew



1.      Outline the text


i.                    THE HANDMAID’S REQUEST (I Samuel 1:9-11)


ii.                  THE HIGH PRIEST’S REBUKE (I Samuel 1:12-16)


iii.                THE HANDMAID’S RELIEF (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)


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.


A.    The word “seat” can be translated throne, that is, a throne of judgment (See I Sam. 4:13).


And when he came, lo, Eli sat upon a seat by the wayside watching:  for his heart trembled for the ark of God.


B.      It was a seat that could be carried by several individuals, whether the high priest sat in the chair or was absent from it.


C.     At this time, it was placed at the gate of the court of the temple.  (NOTE:  Keil and Delitzsch believe that his may have been a seat that was permanently constructed on a porch at the entrance to the tabernacle once the ark came to rest at Shiloh).


3.      Define:  bitterness (v. 10)


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


A.    Strong (4751): 

1.      It is the Hebrew word “marah”   (See Ruth 1:20)

2.      It means bitter or bitterness.


B.      BDB:  bitter, bitterness, bitterness of pain


C.     Hannah’s bitterness came from two sources:  the fact that she was barren and the constant provocation from Peninnah.


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


A.    True


B.      Proofs

1.      Within, she was in bitterness

2.      Without, she was crying while she prayed.

3.      Her distress took her before the throne of God.


C.     James 5:16


…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.


5.      Define:  vow (v. 11)


And she vowed a vow, and said…


A.    Strong (5087):  to promise (positively, to do or give something to God)


B.      BDB:  to vow a vow


C.     A vow was very important (Eccl. 5:4-5).


When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools:  pay that which thou hast vowed.  Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.


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


…and said, O Lord of hosts…


A.    The word “hosts” refers to the myriads of angels who populate Heaven and wait to serve the Lord at His bidding (I Kings 22:19).


And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the Lord:  I saw the Lord sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.


B.      In Daniel 4:35, they are referred to as the “army of heaven.”


And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing:  and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth:  and none can stay his hand, or say unto whim What doest thou?


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


…if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and forget not thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child…


A.    She prayed for a man child, that is, a son.


B.      All children were gifts from God, but a male child was of more valuable as the firstborn and could be dedicated to the service of the Lord.


C.     Lesson:  Very specific prayers can be prayed to God for consideration.


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


…then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

A.    She would give him to the service of the Lord and consecrate him with a Nazarite vow.


B.      See Numbers 6:1-21 for the Nazarite vow.  (esp. v. 5)


All the days of the vow of his separation there shall no razor come upon his head:  until the days be fulfilled, in the which he separateth himself unto the Lord, he shall be holy, and shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.


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


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


A.    Hannah’s prayer was a silent prayer.


B.      But, as she prayed, her lips moved as she mouthed the words to God.  Eli saw only the movement of her lips.


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


A.    Eli did not know this woman.  


B.      He had perhaps witnessed many drunkards who seemed to be talking to no one.  Thus, he assumed that she was drunk.


C.     See John 7:24


Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.


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


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


A.    He exhorted her to put away her wine.  This was an exhortation for her to become sober.


B.      Cf:  I Samuel 25:37


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


A.    True


B.      Lesson:  It is acceptable for us to defend our name when it is being slander by the misconceptions of others.


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


…but have poured out my soul before the Lord.


A.    Poured out

1.      Strong (8210):  to spill forth, to expend one’s complaint, to sprawl out

2.      BDB:  to pour, pour out, to spill


B.      Psalm 62:8


Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him:  God is a refuge for us.  Selah.


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


Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial…


A.    Belial

1.      Strong (1100)

a.      The Hebrew word is “bêya‛al.”

b.      It means without profit, worthlessness, and evil.

2.      BDB:  worthless, good for nothing, unprofitable, base fellow


B.      Lesson:  Sinners and evil people are living lives that are meaningless and worthless.  They are not fulfilling the purpose which God has required of them (Eccl. 12:13).


Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:  Fear God, and keep his commandments:  for this is the whole duty of man.


15.  Define:  complaint (v. 16)


…for out of the abundance of my complaint…


A.    Strong (7879):  a contemplation


B.      BDB:  meditation, complaint, anxiety, trouble


16.  Define:  grief (v. 17)


…and grief have I spoken hitherto.


A.    Strong (3708):  vexation


B.      BDB:  anger, vexation, provocation, grief, frustration


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


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


A.    Go


B.      Go in peace


C.     That she be heard by the God of Israel


D.    Not only that she be heard, but that her petition be granted to her


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


A.    Before, she could not eat (I Sam. 1:7).  She was also wept  (I Sam. 1:7) and was in bitterness of soul (I Sam. 1:10).


B.      After her prayer she ate and was no more sad.


C.     Question:  How can a simple prayer radically alter the inner state of one’s being?


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


B.      Verse11:  vowed a vow


C.     Verse 12:  praying


D.    Verse 13:  she spake in her heart; only her lips moved


E.      Verse 15:  poured out my soul before the Lord


F.      Verse 16:  out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken


G.     Verse 17:  petition

            thou hast asked of him























A Son Named Samuel Given by God

I Samuel 1:19-28

Victor M. Eskew




1.      Outline the text:


i.                    I Samuel 1:19-20


ii.                  I Samuel 1:21-23


iii.                I Samuel 1:24-28



2.      What does the phrase, “and the Lord remembered her,” mean?  (v. 19)




3.      T – F    God answered Hannah’s prayer specifically.  (v. 20)


4.      What is the meaning of the name “Samuel”? (v. 20)



5.      Explain the meaning of the words, “and his vow” (v. 21).




6.      Why didn’t Hannah go up to the yearly sacrifice? (v. 22)



7.      What is the meaning of Elkanah’s words which state:  “only the Lord establish his word”? (v. 23)



8.      What three things did Hannah take with her when she dedicated Samuel to the Lord? (v. 24)


A.                                                        B.                                             C.


9.      How much is an ephah? (v. 24)



10.  Three bullocks were brought to Shiloh (v. 24), but we read of only one being slain (v. 25).  What is the explanation?




11.  T – F    Hannah hoped Eli would remember her as the woman who prayed for a child.


12.  T – F    The Lord is a God who answers prayer. (v. 27)

13.  T – F    Hannah kept her vow which she made to God. (v. 28)


14.  In what sense did Hannah “lend” her son to the Lord? (v. 28)


15.  How did Samuel begin his residency with Eli at Shiloh? (v. 28)


16.  Define:  worshiped (v. 28)