(Note: C and C’ come either side of the two central parallel phrases D and D’. Hannah’s prayer centres on the truth that it is God that is in control of people’s lives – He commands fortune and misfortune, He gives and He takes away, He can tip the balance at any time. C and C’, although having few verbal connections, both illustrate this idea of a complete reversal of condition or circumstance governed by God. In C the barren give birth to many children and the hungry no longer need to work for food and in C’ the poor and beggars become like princes.
The word ‘poor’ in verse 8 literally means something that is dangling/limp/thin and hence its application in this context means a poor, weak, feeble person – a very similar concept to ‘waxed feeble’ in verse 5.)
(1a) And Hannah prayed, and said,
A (1b-2) My heart rejoiceth in the LORD,
mine horn is exalted in the LORD:
my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies;
because I rejoice in thy salvation.
There is none holy as the LORD:
for there is none beside thee:
neither is there any rock like our God.
B (3-4) 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.
The bows of the mighty men (gibbôr) are broken,
and they that stumbled are girded with strength.
C (5) They that were full have hired out themselves for bread;
and they that were hungry ceased:
so that the barren hath born seven;
and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.
D (6) The LORD killeth, and maketh alive:
he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
D’ (7) The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich:
he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
C’ (8) He raiseth up the poor out of the dust,
and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill,
to set them among princes,
and to make them inherit the throne of glory:
for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S,
and he hath set the world upon them.
B’ (9-10a) He will keep the feet of his saints,
and the wicked shall be silent in darkness;
for by strength shall no man prevail (gâbar).
The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces;
out of heaven shall he thunder upon them:
A’ (10b) the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth;
and he shall give strength unto his king,
and exalt the horn of his anointed.
One thought on “1 Samuel 2:1-10”
Fascinating! I had wondered if Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving was chiastic and had even considered your links A and B, but it didn’t get much further than that. Thank you.