1 Samuel 2:2-4
New English Translation
2 No one is holy[a] like the Lord!
There is no one other than you!
There is no rock[b] like our God!
3 Don’t keep speaking[c] so arrogantly.[d]
Proud talk should not[e] come out of your mouth,
for the Lord is a God who knows;
he[f] evaluates what people do.
4 The bows of warriors are shattered,
but those who stumbled have taken on strength.[g]
- 1 Samuel 2:2 sn In this context God’s holiness refers primarily to his sovereignty and incomparability. He is unique and distinct from all other so-called gods.
- 1 Samuel 2:2 tn The LXX has “and there is none righteous like our God.” The Hebrew term translated “rock” refers to a rocky cliff where one can seek refuge from enemies. Here the metaphor depicts God as a protector of his people. Cf. TEV “no protector like our God”; CEV “We’re safer with you than on a high mountain.”
- 1 Samuel 2:3 tn Heb “Do not do a lot; do [not] speak.” The two verbs are understood together to refer to abundant speaking.
- 1 Samuel 2:3 tn Heb “proudly, proudly.” If MT is original, the repetition of the word is for emphasis, stressing the arrogance of those addressed. However, a few medieval Hebrew manuscripts and some other textual witnesses do not reflect the repetition, suggesting that the Hebrew text may be dittographic.
- 1 Samuel 2:3 tn The negative element, “not,” is understood to reapply from the first sentence through the poetic technique of ellipsis and double duty.
- 1 Samuel 2:3 tc The translation assumes the reading of the Qere וְלוֹ (velo, “and by him”), which is supported by many medieval Hebrew mss, is correct, rather than the reading of the Kethib וְלוֹא (veloʾ, “and not”).tn HALOT cites three possibilities for the phrase. Reading the Niphal verb as passive to the Qal meaning (“to examine, check”) and reading the Qere וְלוֹ (velo, “and by him”): “actions [are] tested by him.” Taking the Niphal verb to mean “to measure up, be in order, be correct” (cf. Ezek 18:25, 29; 33:17, 20) and reading the Qere וְלוֹ (velo): “his [God’s] actions are in order.” Taking the verb as in the previous case but reading the Kethiv וְלֹא (veloʾ) and taking the noun עֲלִלוֹת (ʿalilot) as a pejorative: “[disgraceful] actions have no place.” (HALOT s.v. תכן). The translation agrees with the first option and translates the verb with active instead of passive voice.
- 1 Samuel 2:4 tn Heb “stumblers have put on strength.” Because of the contrast between the prior and current condition, the participle has been translated with past tense. The Hebrew metaphor is a picture of getting dressed with (“putting on”) strength like clothing.