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.