1 There was a man named Elkanah son of Jeroham from Ramathaim in the mountains of Ephraim. Elkanah was from the family of Zuph. (Jeroham was Elihu's son. Elihu was Tohu's son, and Tohu was the son of Zuph from the family group of Ephraim.) 2 Elkanah had two wives named Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. 3 Every year Elkanah left his town of Ramah and went up to Shiloh to worship the Lord All-Powerful and to offer sacrifices to him. Shiloh was where Hophni and Phinehas, the sons of Eli, served as priests of the Lord. 4 When Elkanah offered sacrifices, he always gave a share of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to her sons and daughters. 5 But Elkanah always gave a special share of the meat to Hannah, because he loved Hannah and because the Lord had kept her from having children. 6 Peninnah would tease Hannah and upset her, because the Lord had made her unable to have children. 7 This happened every year when they went up to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. Peninnah would upset Hannah until Hannah would cry and not eat anything. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, "Hannah, why are you crying and why won't you eat? Why are you sad? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?" 9 Once, after they had eaten their meal in Shiloh, Hannah got up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the entrance to the Lord's house. 10 Hannah was so sad that she cried and prayed to the Lord. 11 She made a promise, saying, "Lord All-Powerful, see how sad I am. Remember me and don't forget me. If you will give me a son, I will give him back to you all his life, and no one will ever cut his hair with a razor." 12 While Hannah kept praying, Eli watched her mouth. 13 She was praying in her heart so her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "Stop getting drunk! Throw away your wine!" 15 Hannah answered, "No, sir, I have not drunk any wine or beer. I am a deeply troubled woman, and I was telling the Lord about all my problems. 16 Don't think I am an evil woman. I have been praying because I have many troubles and am very sad." 17 Eli answered, "Go! I wish you well. May the God of Israel give you what you asked of him." 18 Hannah said, "May I always please you." When she left and ate something, she was not sad anymore. 19 Early the next morning Elkanah's family got up and worshiped the Lord. Then they went back home to Ramah. Elkanah had sexual relations with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 So Hannah became pregnant, and in time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him." 21 Every year Elkanah went with his whole family to Shiloh to offer sacrifices and to keep the promise he had made to God. 22 But one time Hannah did not go with him. She told him, "When the boy is old enough to eat solid food, I will take him to Shiloh. Then I will give him to the Lord, and he will always live there." 23 Elkanah, Hannah's husband, said to her, "Do what you think is best. You may stay home until the boy is old enough to eat. May the Lord do what you have said." So Hannah stayed at home to nurse her son until he was old enough to eat. 24 When Samuel was old enough to eat, Hannah took him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh, along with a three-year-old bull, one-half bushel of flour, and a leather bag filled with wine. 25 After they had killed the bull for the sacrifice, Hannah brought Samuel to Eli. 26 She said to Eli, "As surely as you live, sir, I am the same woman who stood near you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord answered my prayer and gave him to me. 28 Now I give him back to the Lord. He will belong to the Lord all his life." And he worshiped the Lord there.
1 Hannah prayed: "The Lord has filled my heart with joy; I feel very strong in the Lord. I can laugh at my enemies; I am glad because you have helped me! 2 "There is no one holy like the Lord. There is no God but you; there is no Rock like our God. 3 "Don't continue bragging, don't speak proud words. The Lord is a God who knows everything, and he judges what people do. 4 "The bows of warriors break, but weak people become strong. 5 Those who once had plenty of food now must work for food, but people who were hungry are hungry no more. The woman who could not have children now has seven, but the woman who had many children now is sad. 6 "The Lord sends death, and he brings to life. He sends people to the grave, and he raises them to life again. 7 The Lord makes some people poor, and others he makes rich. He makes some people humble, and others he makes great. 8 The Lord raises the poor up from the dust, and he lifts the needy from the ashes. He lets the poor sit with princes and receive a throne of honor. "The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord, and the Lord set the world upon them. 9 He protects those who are loyal to him, but evil people will be silenced in darkness. Power is not the key to success. 10 The Lord destroys his enemies; he will thunder in heaven against them. The Lord will judge all the earth. He will give power to his king and make his appointed king strong." 11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy continued to serve the Lord under Eli the priest. 12 Now Eli's sons were evil men; they did not care about the Lord. 13 This is what the priests would normally do to the people: Every time someone brought a sacrifice, the meat would be cooked in a pot. The priest's servant would then come carrying a fork that had three prongs. 14 He would plunge the fork into the pot or the kettle. Whatever the fork brought out of the pot belonged to the priest. But this is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh to offer sacrifices. 15 Even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come to the person offering sacrifices and say, "Give the priest some meat to roast. He won't accept boiled meat from you, only raw meat." 16 If the one who offered the sacrifice said, "Let the fat be burned up first as usual, and then take anything you want," the priest's servant would answer, "No, give me the meat now. If you don't, I'll take it by force." 17 The Lord saw that the sin of the servants was very great because they did not show respect for the offerings made to the Lord. 18 But Samuel obeyed the Lord. As a boy he wore a linen holy vest. 19 Every year Samuel's mother made a little coat for him and took it to him when she went with her husband to Shiloh for the sacrifice. 20 When Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, he would say, "May the Lord repay you with children through Hannah to take the place of the boy Hannah prayed for and gave back to the Lord." Then Elkanah and Hannah would go home. 21 The Lord was kind to Hannah, so she became the mother of three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up serving the Lord. 22 Now Eli was very old. He heard about everything his sons were doing to all the Israelites and how his sons had sexual relations with the women who served at the entrance to the Meeting Tent. 23 Eli said to his sons, "Why do you do these evil things that the people tell me about? 24 No, my sons. The Lord's people are spreading a bad report about you. 25 If you sin against someone, God can help you. But if you sin against the Lord himself, no one can help you!" But Eli's sons would not listen to him, because the Lord had decided to put them to death. 26 The boy Samuel grew physically. He pleased the Lord and the people. 27 A man of God came to Eli and said, "This is what the Lord says: 'I clearly showed myself to the family of your ancestor Aaron when they were slaves to the king of Egypt. 28 I chose them from all the tribes of Israel to be my priests. I wanted them to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the holy vest. I also let the family of your ancestor have part of all the offerings sacrificed by the Israelites. 29 So why don't you respect the sacrifices and gifts? You honor your sons more than me. You grow fat on the best parts of the meat the Israelites bring to me.' 30 "So the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I promised that your family and your ancestor's family would serve me always.' But now the Lord says: 'This must stop! I will honor those who honor me, but I will dishonor those who ignore me. 31 The time is coming when I will destroy the descendants of both you and your ancestors. No man will grow old in your family. 32 You will see trouble in my house. No matter what good things happen to Israel, there will never be an old man in your family. 33 I will not totally cut off your family from my altar. But your eyes will cry and your heart be sad, because all your descendants will die. 34 "'I will give you a sign. Both your sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will die on the same day. 35 I will choose a loyal priest for myself who will listen to me and do what I want. I will make his family continue, and he will always serve before my appointed king. 36 Then everyone left in your family will come and bow down before him. They will beg for a little money or a little food and say, "Please give me a job as priest so I can have food to eat."' "
2 There was a man named Manoah from the tribe of Dan, who lived in the city of Zorah. He had a wife, but she could not have children.