Bible: 1 Samuel 1-2

Hannah Gives Birth to Samuel

1:1 There was a man from Ramathaim Zophim, 1  from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 1:2 He had two wives; the name of the first was Hannah and the name of the second was Peninnah. Now Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless.

1:3 Year after year 2  this man would go up from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh. It was there that the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, served as the Lord’s priests. 1:4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he used to give meat portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 1:5 But he would give a double 3  portion to Hannah, because he especially loved her. 4  Now the Lord had not enabled her to have children. 5  1:6 Her rival wife used to upset her and make her worry, 6  for the Lord had not enabled her to have children. 1:7 Peninnah 7  would behave this way year after year. Whenever Hannah 8  went up to the Lord’s house, Peninnah 9  would upset her so that she would weep and refuse to eat. 1:8 Finally her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and not eat? Why are you so sad? 10  Am I not better to you than ten 11  sons?

1:9 On one occasion in Shiloh, after they had finished eating and drinking, Hannah got up. 12  (Now at the time Eli the priest was sitting in his chair 13  by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple.) 1:10 She was very upset 14  as she prayed to the Lord, and she was weeping uncontrollably. 15  1:11 She made a vow saying, “O Lord of hosts, if you will look with compassion 16  on the suffering of your female servant, 17  remembering me and not forgetting your servant, and give a male child 18  to your servant, then I will dedicate him to the Lord all the days of his life. His hair will never be cut.” 19 

1:12 As she continued praying to 20  the Lord, Eli was watching her mouth. 1:13 Now Hannah was speaking from her heart. Although her lips were moving, her voice was inaudible. Eli therefore thought she was drunk. 1:14 So he 21  said to her, “How often do you intend to get drunk? Put away your wine!”

1:15 But Hannah replied, “That’s not the way it is, 22  my lord! I am under a great deal of stress. 23  I have drunk neither wine nor beer. Rather, I have poured out my soul to 24  the Lord. 1:16 Don’t consider your servant a wicked woman, 25  for until now I have spoken from my deep pain and anguish.”

1:17 Eli replied, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request that you have asked of him.” 1:18 She said, “May I, your servant, find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and got something to eat. 26  Her face no longer looked sad.

1:19 They got up early the next morning and after worshiping the Lord, they returned to their home at Ramah. Elkanah had marital relations with 27  his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered 28  her. 1:20 After some time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, thinking, “I asked the Lord for him. 29 

Hannah Dedicates Samuel to the Lord

1:21 This man Elkanah went up with all his family to make the yearly sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow, 1:22 but Hannah did not go up with them. 30  Instead she told her husband, “Once the boy is weaned, I will bring him and appear before the Lord, and he will remain there from then on.”

1:23 So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what you think best. 31  Stay until you have weaned him. May the Lord fulfill his promise.” 32 

So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. 1:24 Once she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, an ephah 33  of flour, and a container 34  of wine. She brought him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh, even though he was young. 35  1:25 Once the bull had been slaughtered, they brought the boy to Eli. 1:26 She said, “Just as surely as you are alive, my lord, I am the woman who previously stood here with you in order to pray to the Lord. 1:27 I prayed for this boy, and the Lord has given me the request that I asked of him. 1:28 Now I dedicate him to the Lord. From this time on he is dedicated to the Lord.” Then they 36  worshiped the Lord there.

Hannah Exalts the Lord in Prayer

2:1 Hannah prayed, 37 

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;

my horn 38  is exalted high because of the Lord.

I loudly denounce 39  my enemies,

for I am happy that you delivered me. 40 

2:2 No one is holy 41  like the Lord!

There is no one other than you!

There is no rock 42  like our God!

2:3 Don’t keep speaking so arrogantly, 43 

letting proud talk come out of your mouth!

For the Lord is a God who knows;

he 44  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 45  the barren woman gives birth to seven, 46 

but the one with many children withers away. 47 

2:6 The Lord both kills and gives life;

he brings down to the grave 48  and raises up.

2:7 The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy;

he humbles and he exalts.

2:8 He lifts the weak 49  from the dust;

he raises 50  the poor from the ash heap

to seat them with princes

and to bestow on them an honored position. 51 

The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord,

and he has placed the world on them.

2:9 He watches over 52  his holy ones, 53 

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 54  his adversaries; 55 

he thunders against them from 56  the heavens.

The Lord executes judgment to the ends of the earth.

He will strengthen 57  his king

and exalt the power 58  of his anointed one.” 59 

2:11 Then Elkanah went back home to Ramah. But the boy was serving the Lord under the supervision of 60  Eli the priest.

Eli’s Sons Misuse Their Sacred Office

2:12 The sons of Eli were wicked men. 61  They did not recognize the Lord’s authority. 62  2:13 Now the priests would always treat the people in the following way: 63  Whenever anyone was making a sacrifice, while the meat was boiling, the priest’s attendant would come with a three-pronged fork 64  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 65  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.” 66  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! 67  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 68  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 69  from this woman to replace the one that she 70  dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would go to their 71  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. 72 

2:22 Now Eli was very old when he heard about everything that his sons used to do to all the people of Israel 73  and how they used to have sex with 74  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 75  people. 2:24 This ought not to be, 76  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 77  would not listen to their father, for the Lord had decided 78  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 79  reveal myself to your ancestor’s 80  house when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh? 2:28 I chose your ancestor 81  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 82  scorning my sacrifice and my offering that I commanded for my dwelling place? 83  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 84  that your house and your ancestor’s house would serve 85  me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May it never be! 86  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 87  and the strength 88  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! 89  Israel will experience blessings, 90  but there will not be an old man in your 91  house for all time. 92  2:33 Any one of you that I do not cut off from my altar, I will cause your 93  eyes to fail 94  and will cause you grief. 95  All of those born to your family 96  will die in the prime of life. 97  2:34 This will be a confirming sign for you that will be fulfilled through your two sons, 98  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 99  and he will serve my chosen one for all time. 100  2:36 Everyone who remains in your house will come to bow before him for a little money 101  and for a scrap of bread. Each will say, ‘Assign me to a priestly task so I can eat a scrap of bread.’

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