Question:

In I Samuel 1:3, Elkanah worships God in Shiloh yearly (KJV, NKJV, etc.), while in general, men are required to do this three times a year (Exodus 34:23, Deuteronomy 16:16). Is Elkanah doing less than what is required by God? I Samuel 1:3 (ASV) says from year to year; could this include more than once per year?


Answer:

The literal phrase in I Samuel 1:3 is miyamim yamimah "from days to days." It can be translated "at the appointed times," "from time to time," or "yearly." Since the feasts are each held once a year, "yearly" or "from year to year" are the more popular ways to translate this phrase.

In I Samuel 1:7 it is different. Here we have shanah veshanah "a year in a year." This one is translated "year by year" or "year after year."

Neither phrase limits the visits to once a year, only that each of the visits were done on an annual basis.