So in the course of time Hannah conceived and bore a son. And she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of Yahweh.” Bible see other translations

“in the course of time.” The Hebrew is an idiom, “at the revolutions (or “circuits”) of the days” and it is about the circuit of the days or the sun, or about a year later. The Hebrew idioms about the turning of days were a godly reminder of the “wheel of life”—birth, growth, death—that is the essence of life on earth (cp. James 3:6). Here, the days turn and Samuel is born. Eventually, he will grow, marry, and have children of his own, then age and die. Samuel’s godly mother Hannah also aged and died, but she is not mentioned again after 1 Sam. 2:21.

The context lets us know that here in 1 Samuel 1, the “course of time” (“circuits of days”) for Hannah to give birth was about a year, because the following year, when Elkanah and his family went to offer their yearly offering at the Tabernacle, Samuel was already born (1 Sam. 1:21). So it would have been very soon after Elkanah and Hannah got back to their hometown of Ramah that Hannah got pregnant, and when Elkanah took his family to the Tabernacle the following year, Samuel would have been only a few months old at best.

“Samuel.” There is much discussion on the name “Samuel.” Although in its present form in the Hebrew text it seems related to “God heard,” it is much more likely that it is related to the Hebrew shaal (“ask”) and el, God, thus “asked of God.”

Commentary for: 1 Samuel 1:20