A certain man from Ramathaim in the hill country of Ephraim was named Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham. Jeroham was the son of Elihu. Elihu was the son of Tohu. Tohu was the son of Zuph. Elkanah belonged to the family line of Zuph. Elkanah lived in the territory of Ephraim.
Elkanah had two wives. One was named Hannah. The other was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah didn't.
Year after year Elkanah went up from his town to Shiloh. He went there to worship and sacrifice to the LORD who rules over all. Hophni and Phinehas served as priests of the LORD at Shiloh. They were the two sons of Eli.
Every time the day came for Elkanah to offer a sacrifice, he would give a share of the meat to his wife Peninnah. He would also give a share to each of her sons and daughters.
But he would give two shares of meat to Hannah. That's because he loved her. He also gave her two shares because the LORD had kept her from having children.
Peninnah teased Hannah to make her angry. She did it because the LORD had kept Hannah from having children.
Peninnah teased Hannah year after year. Every time Hannah would go up to the house of the Lord, Elkanah's other wife would tease her. She would keep doing it until Hannah cried and wouldn't eat.
Her husband Elkanah would speak to her. He would say, "Hannah, why are you crying? Why don't you eat? Why are you so angry and unhappy? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"
One time when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the LORD's house.
Hannah was very bitter. She sobbed and sobbed. She prayed to the Lord.
She made a promise to him. She said, "Lord, you rule over all. Please see how I'm suffering! Show concern for me! Don't forget about me! Please give me a son! If you do, I'll give him back to you. Then he will serve you all the days of his life. He'll never use a razor on his head. He'll never cut his hair."
As Hannah kept on praying to the Lord, Eli watched her lips.
She was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving. But she wasn't making a sound. Eli thought Hannah was drunk.
He said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."
"That's not true, sir," Hannah replied. "I'm a woman who is deeply troubled. I haven't been drinking wine or beer. I was telling the LORD all of my troubles.
Don't think of me as an evil woman. I've been praying here because I'm very sad. My pain is so great."
Eli answered, "Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you have asked him for."
She said, "May you be pleased with me." Then she left and had something to eat. Her face wasn't sad anymore.
Early the next morning Elkanah and his family got up. They worshiped the Lord. Then they went back to their home in Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah. And the LORD showed concern for her.
After some time, Hannah became pregnant. She had a baby boy. She said, "I asked the LORD for him." So she named him Samuel.
Elkanah went up to Shiloh to offer the yearly sacrifice to the Lord. He also went there to keep a promise he had made. His whole family went with him.
But Hannah didn't go. She said to her husband, "When the boy doesn't need me to nurse him anymore, I'll take him to the LORD's house. I'll give him to the LORD there. He'll stay there for the rest of his life."
Her husband Elkanah told her, "Do what you think is best. Stay here at home until Samuel doesn't need you to nurse him anymore. May the LORD make his promise to you come true." So Hannah stayed home. She nursed her son until he didn't need her milk anymore.
When the boy didn't need her to nurse him anymore, she took him with her to Shiloh. She took him there even though he was still very young. She brought him to the LORD's house. She brought along a bull that was three years old. She brought more than half a bushel of flour. She also brought a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin.
After the bull was killed, Elkanah and Hannah brought the boy to Eli.
Hannah said to Eli, "Sir, I'm the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. And that's just as sure as you are alive.
I prayed for this child. The LORD has given me what I asked him for.
So now I'm giving him to the Lord. As long as he lives he'll be given to the Lord." And all of them worshiped the LORD there.