1st Samuel – Samuel & Eli The birth and dedication of priest and prophet

1 Samuel 2
We are now around the year 1085 BC. We are in Shilo, the place of Jehovah’s tabernacle, and Eli the priest, the descendant of Ithamar, the son of Aaron. It is about 35 years before Saul becomes king, and some 45 years before David is born. (So we know the prophet Samuel was about 45 when he David was born). Samson is presently a judge of 1 Sam 1:9-11 has Hannah praying and making a vow at the tabernacle in Shilo, that if the Lord would give her a son she would sanctify and dedicate him to the Lord, and especially sanctify him from birth as a Nazirite (Num 6:1-8). V12-18 has Eli interacting with and blessing Hannah. V19-23 is the conception, birth and toddler age of Hannah’ss son, Samuel. V24-end is Hannah keeping her vow to the Lord and handing Samuel at around 4 years of age to Eli at Shilo.

It is important to note that though Samuel’s family resided in the tribal area of Ephraim, and would have identified that as their home, they were of the lineage of Aaron and were genealogically Levites. This is important because Samuel would not only grow to be a prophet of the Lord (God could call a man from any tribe), he also served as a priest, and only those of priestly lineage could do so. We’ll explain his priestly lineage next time.