Then Hannah prayed and said:1 "My heart rejoices2 in the LORD; in the LORD my horn3 is lifted high. My mouth boasts4 over my enemies,5 for I delight in your deliverance.
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"There is no one holy6 like7 the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock8 like our God.
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"Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance,9 for the LORD is a God who knows,10 and by him deeds11 are weighed.12
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"The bows of the warriors are broken,13 but those who stumbled are armed with strength.14
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Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry15 are hungry no more. She who was barren16 has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.
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"The LORD brings death and makes alive;17 he brings down to the grave and raises up.18
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The LORD sends poverty and wealth;19 he humbles and he exalts.20
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He raises21 the poor22 from the dust23 and lifts the needy24 from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.25 "For the foundations26 of the earth are the LORD's; on them he has set the world.
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He will guard the feet27 of his faithful servants,28 but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness.29 "It is not by strength30 that one prevails;
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those who oppose the LORD will be broken.31 The Most High will thunder32 from heaven; the LORD will judge33 the ends of the earth. "He will give strength34 to his king and exalt the horn35 of his anointed."
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Then Elkanah went home to Ramah,36 but the boy ministered37 before the LORD under Eli the priest.
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Eli's sons were scoundrels; they had no regard38 for the LORD.
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Now it was the practice39 of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat40 was being boiled
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and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh.
But even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, "Give the priest some meat to roast; he won't accept boiled meat from you, but only raw."
If the person said to him, "Let the fat41 be burned first, and then take whatever you want," the servant would answer, "No, hand it over now; if you don't, I'll take it by force."
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This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD's sight, for they were treating the LORD's offering with contempt.42
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But Samuel was ministering43 before the LORD--a boy wearing a linen ephod.44
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Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual45 sacrifice.
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Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, "May the LORD give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed46 for and gave to the LORD." Then they would go home.
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And the LORD was gracious to Hannah;47 she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew48 up in the presence of the LORD.
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Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything49 his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women50 who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
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So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours.
No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD's people is not good.
If anyone sins against another human being, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will51 intercede52 for them?" His sons, however, did not listen to their father's rebuke, for it was the LORD's will to put them to death.
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And the boy Samuel continued to grow53 in stature and in favor with the LORD and with people.54
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Now a man of God55 came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Did I not clearly reveal myself to the family of your ancestor when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?
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I chose56 your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense,57 and to wear an ephod58 in my presence. I also gave your ancestor's family all the food offerings59 presented by the Israelites.
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Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering60 that I prescribed for my dwelling?61 Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?'
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"Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that the members of your family would minister before me forever.62' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor,63 but those who despise64 me will be disdained.65
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The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of the members of your family, so that no one in it will reach old age,66
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and you will see distress67 in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age.68
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Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants69 will die in the prime of life.
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" 'And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign70 to you--they will both die71 on the same day.72
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I will raise up for myself a faithful priest,73 who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his family line, and he will minister before my anointed74 one always.
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Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead,75 "Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.76" ' "
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