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And she vowed a vow and said, “O Yahweh of Armies, if you will see, yes, see the affliction of your servant and will remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and no razor will come upon his head.” Bible

“see, yes, see.” The Hebrew text has the figure of speech polyptoton. Hannah wanted Yahweh to really see her and her situation and intervene on her behalf. [For more on the figure polyptoton and this style of translating the figure, see commentary on Gen. 2:16, “eat, yes, eat”].

“remember me.” In this context, “remember” is being used idiomatically, meaning to act on one’s behalf. Hannah was not asking for God to simply mentally remember her, but to support her and act on her behalf. [For more on the use of “remember,” see commentary on Gen. 8:1].

“male child.” The literal Hebrew is “seed of men.” While “male child” may be the correct meaning in this context, there may also be a deeper meaning: the use of the word “seed” can indicate that Hannah wanted a child who could then reproduce other children down through the generations.


Commentary for: 1 Samuel 1:11