Hannah Exalts the Lord in Prayer
2:1 Hannah prayed, 1
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn 2 is exalted high because of the Lord.
I loudly denounce 3 my enemies,
for I am happy that you delivered me. 4
2:2 No one is holy 5 like the Lord!
There is no one other than you!
There is no rock 6 like our God!
2:3 Don’t keep speaking so arrogantly, 7
letting proud talk come out of your mouth!
For the Lord is a God who knows;
he 8 evaluates what people do.
2:4 The bows of warriors are shattered,
but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
2:5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food,
but the hungry no longer lack.
Even 9 the barren woman gives birth to seven, 10
but the one with many children withers away. 11
2:6 The Lord both kills and gives life;
he brings down to the grave 12 and raises up.
2:7 The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy;
he humbles and he exalts.
2:8 He lifts the weak 13 from the dust;
he raises 14 the poor from the ash heap
to seat them with princes
and to bestow on them an honored position. 15
The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord,
and he has placed the world on them.
2:9 He watches over 16 his holy ones, 17
but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness,
for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.
2:10 The Lord shatters 18 his adversaries; 19
he thunders against them from 20 the heavens.
The Lord executes judgment to the ends of the earth.
He will strengthen 21 his king
and exalt the power 22 of his anointed one.” 23
2:11 Then Elkanah went back home to Ramah. But the boy was serving the Lord under the supervision of 24 Eli the priest.
Eli’s Sons Misuse Their Sacred Office
2:12 The sons of Eli were wicked men. 25 They did not recognize the Lord’s authority. 26 2:13 Now the priests would always treat the people in the following way: 27 Whenever anyone was making a sacrifice, while the meat was boiling, the priest’s attendant would come with a three-pronged fork 28 in his hand. 2:14 He would jab it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or pot, and everything that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they used to do to all the Israelites 29 when they came there to Shiloh.
2:15 Even before they burned the fat, the priest’s attendant would come and say to the person who was making the sacrifice, “Hand over some meat for the priest to roast! He won’t take boiled meat from you, but only raw.” 30 2:16 If the individual said to him, “First let the fat be burned away, and then take for yourself whatever you wish,” he would say, “No! 31 Hand it over right now! If you don’t, I will take it forcibly!”
2:17 The sin of these young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they 32 treated the Lord’s offering with contempt.
2:18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord. The boy was dressed in a linen ephod. 2:19 His mother used to make him a small robe and bring it up to him at regular intervals when she would go up with her husband to make the annual sacrifice. 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, “May the Lord raise up for you descendants 33 from this woman to replace the one that she 34 dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would go to their 35 home. 2:21 So the Lord graciously attended to Hannah, and she was able to conceive and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up at the Lord’s sanctuary. 36
2:22 Now Eli was very old when he heard about everything that his sons used to do to all the people of Israel 37 and how they used to have sex with 38 the women who were stationed at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 2:23 He said to them, “Why do you behave in this way? For I hear about these evil things from all these 39 people. 2:24 This ought not to be, 40 my sons! For the report that I hear circulating among the Lord’s people is not good. 2:25 If a man sins against a man, one may appeal to God on his behalf. But if a man sins against the Lord, who then will intercede for him?” But Eli’s sons 41 would not listen to their father, for the Lord had decided 42 to kill them.
2:26 Now the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the Lord and with people.
The Lord Judges the House of Eli
2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Did I not plainly 43 reveal myself to your ancestor’s 44 house when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh? 2:28 I chose your ancestor 45 from all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifice on my altar, to burn incense, and to bear the ephod before me. I gave to your ancestor’s house all the fire offerings made by the Israelites. 2:29 Why are you 46 scorning my sacrifice and my offering that I commanded for my dwelling place? 47 You have honored your sons more than you have me by having made yourselves fat from the best parts of all the offerings of my people Israel.’
2:30 Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I really did say 48 that your house and your ancestor’s house would serve 49 me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May it never be! 50 For I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed! 2:31 In fact, days are coming when I will remove your strength 51 and the strength 52 of your father’s house. There will not be an old man in your house! 2:32 You will see trouble in my dwelling place! 53 Israel will experience blessings, 54 but there will not be an old man in your 55 house for all time. 56 2:33 Any one of you that I do not cut off from my altar, I will cause your 57 eyes to fail 58 and will cause you grief. 59 All of those born to your family 60 will die in the prime of life. 61 2:34 This will be a confirming sign for you that will be fulfilled through your two sons, 62 Hophni and Phinehas: in a single day they both will die! 2:35 Then I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what is in my heart and soul. I will build for him a secure dynasty 63 and he will serve my chosen one for all time. 64 2:36 Everyone who remains in your house will come to bow before him for a little money 65 and for a scrap of bread. Each will say, ‘Assign me to a priestly task so I can eat a scrap of bread.’”
The Call of Samuel
3:1 Now the boy Samuel continued serving the Lord under Eli’s supervision. 66 Word from the Lord was rare in those days; revelatory visions were infrequent.
3:2 Eli’s eyes had begun to fail, so that he was unable to see well. At that time he was lying down in his place, 3:3 and the lamp of God had not yet been extinguished. Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord as well; the ark of God was also there. 3:4 The Lord called to Samuel, and he replied, “Here I am!” 3:5 Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli 67 said, “I didn’t call you. Go back and lie down.” So he went back and lay down. 3:6 The Lord again called, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli 68 said, “I didn’t call you, my son. Go back and lie down.”
3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord; the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him. 3:8 Then the Lord called Samuel a third time. So he got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me!” Eli then realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 3:9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go back and lie down. When he calls you, say, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” So Samuel went back and lay down in his place.
3:10 Then the Lord came and stood nearby, calling as he had previously done, “Samuel! Samuel!” Samuel replied, “Speak, for your servant is listening!” 3:11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Look! I am about to do something in Israel; 69 when anyone hears about it, both of his ears will tingle. 3:12 On that day I will carry out 70 against Eli everything that I spoke about his house – from start to finish! 3:13 You 71 should tell him that I am about to judge his house forever because of 72 the sin that he knew about. For his sons were cursing God, 73 and he did not rebuke them. 3:14 Therefore I swore an oath to the house of Eli, ‘The sin of the house of Eli can never be forgiven by sacrifice or by grain offering.’”
3:15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 3:16 However, Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!” He replied, “Here I am.” 3:17 Eli 74 said, “What message did he speak to you? Don’t conceal it from me. God will judge you severely 75 if you conceal from me anything that he said to you!”
3:18 So Samuel told him everything. He did not hold back anything from him. Eli 76 said, “The Lord will do what he pleases.” 77 3:19 Samuel continued to grow, and the Lord was with him. None of his prophecies fell to the ground unfulfilled. 78 3:20 All Israel from Dan to Beer Sheba realized that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. 3:21 Then the Lord again appeared in Shiloh, for it was in Shiloh that the Lord had revealed himself to Samuel 79 through the word of the Lord. 80