Samuel's Birth and Dedication
1There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.2He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.3Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord.4On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters;5but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb.6Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb.7So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.8Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”9After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord.10She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly.11She made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.”12As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth.13Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk.14So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.”15But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.”17Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.”18And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.19They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her.20In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.”21The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow.22But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there forever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.”23Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him.24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young.25Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli.26And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord.27For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him.28Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.”
She left him there for the Lord.Chapter 2Hannah's Prayer
1Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in the Lord;
my strength is exalted in my God.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in my victory.
2“There is no Holy One like the Lord,
no one besides you;
there is no Rock like our God.3Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.4The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble gird on strength.5Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are fat with spoil.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.6The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.7The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low, he also exalts.8He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap,
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's,
and on them he has set the world.
9“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;
for not by might does one prevail.10The Lord! His adversaries shall be shattered;
the Most High will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king,
and exalt the power of his anointed.”Eli's Wicked Sons
11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy remained to minister to the Lord, in the presence of the priest Eli.12Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they had no regard for the Lord13or for the duties of the priests to the people. When anyone offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,14and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.15Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.”16And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force.”17Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for they treated the offerings of the Lord with contempt.The Child Samuel at Shiloh
18Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod.19His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord”; and then they would return to their home.21And the Lord took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.Prophecy against Eli's Household
22Now Eli was very old. He heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.23He said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.24No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad.25If one person sins against another, someone can intercede for the sinner with the Lord; but if someone sins against the Lord, who can make intercession?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the Lord to kill them.26Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with the people.27A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus the Lord has said, ‘I revealed myself to the family of your ancestor in Egypt when they were slaves to the house of Pharaoh.28I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to offer incense, to wear an ephod before me; and I gave to the family of your ancestor all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.29Why then look with greedy eye at my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’30Therefore the Lord the God of Israel declares: ‘I promised that your family and the family of your ancestor should go in and out before me forever’; but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt.31See, a time is coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestor's family, so that no one in your family will live to old age.32Then in distress you will look with greedy eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed upon Israel; and no one in your family shall ever live to old age.33The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep out his eyes and grieve his heart; all the members of your household shall die by the sword.34The fate of your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you—both of them shall die on the same day.35I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed one forever.36Everyone who is left in your family shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and shall say, Please put me in one of the priest's places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.’ ”Chapter 3Samuel's Calling and Prophetic Activity
1Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord under Eli. The word of the Lord was rare in those days; visions were not widespread.2At that time Eli, whose eyesight had begun to grow dim so that he could not see, was lying down in his room;3the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was.4Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” and he said, “Here I am!”5and ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.6The Lord called again, “Samuel!” Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”7Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, and the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.8The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And he got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.10Now the Lord came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”11Then the Lord said to Samuel, “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make both ears of anyone who hears of it tingle.12On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.13For I have told him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them.14Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated by sacrifice or offering forever.”15Samuel lay there until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli.16But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” He said, “Here I am.”17Eli said, “What was it that he told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that he told you.”18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. Then he said, “It is the Lord; let him do what seems good to him.”19As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.20And all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was a trustworthy prophet of the Lord.21The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.