Bible Commentaries
1 Samuel 1

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 27


‘For this child I prayed.’

1 Samuel 1:27

I. Home religion has often proved the salvation of a nation.—When Eli was weak, and his sons were wicked, Elkanah and Hannah prayed. Therefore deliverance came to God’s people from the little village home, and not from the sacred Tabernacle. So in the higher sphere of the new dispensation. The world’s Redeemer came from the manger at Bethlehem, not from the Temple at Jerusalem.

II. The vows of parents lay responsibilities on their children.—Samuel’s name was intended to be a lifelong reminder to him that he was the Lord’s. So Lemuel was spoken to as the son of his mother’s vows. How many have been dedicated to God in their infancy! God has special claims on such.

III. Our home duties may be as sacred as our public religious services.—Hannah stayed at home with her baby-boy, and served God as well by that as if she had gone up to Shiloh, as she had done before his birth. This may encourage some whose duties keep them at home for part of the Lord’s Day. Only we must put the spirit of Hannah into our home work, and never make it an excuse for carelessness about religious worship.

IV. We cannot begin to serve God too young.—Think of little Samuel knowing something about worship at three years old! We should carefully foster child-religion. The tender blade must precede the full corn in the ear.

V. We should let others know the benefits we have received of the Lord.—Hannah spoke to Eli of her answered prayers. We readily speak well of a friend who does us a kindness, but how seldom do we testify to God’s goodness towards us!

VI. Let us commemorate our blessings and accompany our vows with songs of praise.—Cheerfulness characterised this mother even when she was giving up her child. She did it with songs, not with sighs. ‘I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.’ A beautiful ode it is, showing that Hannah was a true prophetess, as well as almost a Nazarite in practice ( 1 Samuel 1:15). It was the precursor of other songs; e.g., of Zechariah’s, and especially of the Virgin Mary’s, with which it should be carefully compared. The song, like all others truly inspired, is prophetic and Messianic; for she regarded her deliverance and blessedness as being typical of that of the nation which needed, even more than she did, Divine interposition to roll away the burden of its reproach. She believed that God Who had seen her bowed down, and had raised her up, would do this for her people too, and she regarded Samuel’s birth as a pledge that the nation would be lifted up from its degradation under the Philistines.


(1) ‘A party of English tourists, desirous of obtaining a certain flower growing in a somewhat dangerous part of the Alps, offered a sum of money to any one who should procure it for them. They were astonished one morning by the entrance of a little Swiss boy, holding in his hand a bunch of the coveted flowers. Having learnt from his artless answers to their questions that he was fatherless, and that he worked hard to aid in the support of his ailing mother and two little brothers, one of the party said to him, “Were you not afraid to clamber up among these rocks?” “No, sir.” “Why not?” asked the gentleman. “Because,” simply spoke the child, “I knew my mother was praying for me all the time.” ’

(2) ‘Samuel Budgett was nine years of age, when, one day passing his mother’s door, he heard his mother engaged in earnest prayer for her family and for himself by name. He thought, “My mother is more earnest about my soul than I am.” In that hour he became decided to serve Christ, and the impressions thus made were never effaced.’

(3) ‘Sir Walter Scott’s mother was a superior woman, well educated, and a great lover of poetry and painting. Byron’s mother was proud, ill-tempered, and violent. The mother of Napoleon Bonaparte was noted for her beauty and energy. Lord Bacon’s mother was a woman of superior mind and deep piety. The mother of Nero was a murderess. The mother of Washington was pious, pure, and true. The mother of Patrick Henry was marked by her superior conversational powers. The mother of John Wesley was remarkable for her intelligence, piety, and executive ability, so that she has been called “the mother of Methodism.” It will be observed that, in each of these examples, the son inherited the prominent traits of the mother.’

(4) ‘ “She continued praying before the Lord.” If there is abundance of complaint and provocation, let there be abundance of supplication. The overcharged spirit will not need to defend its case with men, if it has committed it to God. And when once the burden is rolled off on God, the peace of God fills the heart. We go away in assured faith, and eat, and our countenances are no more sad. And God does not fail. What we have asked of God should be given to God, devoted to His service, and held as His trust.’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 1". The Church Pulpit Commentary. 1876.