1 Samuel 1; 1 Samuel 2; 1 Samuel 3

1 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. 2 Elkanah had two wives. One was named Hannah. The other was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah didn't. 3 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. 4 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. 5 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. 6 Peninnah teased Hannah to make her angry. She did it because the LORD had kept Hannah from having children. 7 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. 8 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?" 9 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. 10 Hannah was very bitter. She sobbed and sobbed. She prayed to the Lord. 11 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." 12 As Hannah kept on praying to the Lord, Eli watched her lips. 13 She was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving. But she wasn't making a sound. Eli thought Hannah was drunk. 14 He said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine." 15 "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. 16 Don't think of me as an evil woman. I've been praying here because I'm very sad. My pain is so great." 17 Eli answered, "Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you have asked him for." 18 She said, "May you be pleased with me." Then she left and had something to eat. Her face wasn't sad anymore. 19 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. 20 After some time, Hannah became pregnant. She had a baby boy. She said, "I asked the LORD for him." So she named him Samuel. 21 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. 22 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." 23 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. 24 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. 25 After the bull was killed, Elkanah and Hannah brought the boy to Eli. 26 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. 27 I prayed for this child. The LORD has given me what I asked him for. 28 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.
1 Then Hannah prayed. She said, "The LORD has filled my heart with joy. He has made me strong. I can laugh at my enemies. I'm so glad he saved me. 2 "There isn't anyone holy like the Lord. There isn't anyone except him. There isn't any Rock like our God. 3 "Don't keep talking so proudly. Don't let your mouth say such proud things. The LORD is a God who knows everything. He judges everything people do. 4 "The bows of great heroes are broken. But those who trip and fall are made strong. 5 Those who used to be full have to work for food. But those who used to be hungry aren't hungry anymore. The woman who couldn't have children has seven of them now. But the woman who has had many children is sad now because hers have died. 6 "The LORD causes people to die. He also gives people life. He brings people down to the grave. He also brings people up. 7 The LORD makes people poor. He also makes people rich. He brings people down. He also lifts people up. 8 He raises poor people up from the trash pile. He lifts needy people out of the ashes. He lets them sit with princes. He gives them places of honor. "The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord. On them he has set the world. 9 He guards the paths of those who are faithful to him. But evil people will lie silent in their dark graves. "People don't win just because they are strong. 10 Those who oppose the LORD will be totally destroyed. He will thunder against them from heaven. He will judge the earth from one end to the other. "He will give power to his king. He will give honor to his anointed one." 11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. But the boy Samuel served the LORD under the direction of the priest Eli. 12 Eli's sons were evil men. They didn't know the Lord. 13 When anyone came to offer a sacrifice, here is what the priests would do. While the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a large fork in his hand. 14 He would stick it into the pan or pot or small or large kettle. Then the priest would take for himself everything the fork brought up. That's how Eli's sons treated all of the people of Israel who came to Shiloh. 15 Even before the fat was burned, the servant of the priest would come over. He would speak to the man who was offering the sacrifice. He would say, "Give the priest some meat to cook. He won't accept boiled meat from you. All he'll accept is raw meat." 16 Sometimes the man would say to him, "Let the fat be burned up first. Then take what you want." But the servant would answer, "No. Hand it over right now. If you don't, I'll take it away from you by force." 17 That sin of Eli's sons was very great in the LORD's sight. That's because they were making fun of his offering. 18 But the boy Samuel served the Lord. He wore a sacred linen apron. 19 Each year his mother made him a little robe. She took it to him when she went up to Shiloh with her husband. She did it when her husband went to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife. He would say, "May the LORD give you children by this woman. May they take the place of the boy she prayed for and gave to him." Then they would go home. 21 The LORD was gracious to Hannah. She became pregnant. Over a period of years she had three more sons and two daughters. During that whole time the boy Samuel grew up serving the Lord. 22 Eli was very old. He kept hearing about everything his sons were doing to all of the people of Israel. He also heard how they were having sex with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 23 So Eli said to his sons, "Why are you doing those things? All of the people are telling me about the evil things you are doing. 24 No, my sons. The report I hear isn't good. And it's spreading among the LORD's people. 25 If a man sins against someone else, God can help that sinner. But if a man sins against the Lord, who can help him?" In spite of what their father Eli said, his sons didn't pay any attention to his warning. That's because the LORD had already decided to put them to death. 26 The boy Samuel continued to grow stronger. He also became more and more pleasing to the LORD and to people. 27 A man of God came to Eli. He told him, "The LORD says, 'I made myself clearly known to your relatives who lived long ago. I did it when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh. 28 I chose your father Aaron to be my priest. I chose him out of all of the tribes of Israel. I told him to go up to my altar. I told him to burn incense. I chose him to wear a linen apron when he served me. I also gave his family all of the offerings that are made with fire by the people of Israel. 29 " 'Why do all of you laugh at my sacrifices and offerings? I require them to be brought to the house where I live. Why do you honor your sons more than me? Why do you fatten yourselves on the best parts of every offering that is made by my people Israel?' 30 "The LORD is the God of Israel. He announced, 'I promised that your family and the family of Aaron would serve me as priests forever.' "But now the LORD announces, 'I will not let that happen! I will honor those who honor me. But I will turn away from those who look down on me. 31 The time is coming when I will cut your life short. I will also cut short the lives of those in your family. No man in your family line will grow old. 32 " 'You will see nothing but trouble in the house where I live. Good things will still happen to Israel. But no man in your family line will ever grow old. 33 A member of your family will serve me at my altar. But what he does will bring tears to your eyes. Your heart will be sad. And the rest of the men in your family line will die while they are still young. 34 " 'Something is going to happen to your two sons Hophni and Phinehas. When it does, it will show you that what I am saying is true. They will both die on the same day. 35 " 'I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what my heart and mind want him to do. I will make his family line very secure. They will always serve as priests to my anointed king. 36 Everyone who is left in your family line will come and bow down to him. They will beg him for a piece of silver and a crust of bread. They will say, "Please give me a place to serve among the priests. Then I can have food to eat." ' "
1 The boy Samuel served the LORD under the direction of Eli. In those days the LORD didn't give many messages to his people. He didn't give them many visions. 2 One night Eli was lying down in his usual place. His eyes were becoming so weak he couldn't see very well. 3 Samuel was lying down in the LORD's house. That's where the ark of God was kept. The lamp of God was still burning. 4 The LORD called out to Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am." 5 He ran over to Eli. He said, "Here I am. You called out to me." But Eli said, "I didn't call you. Go back and lie down." So he went and lay down. 6 Again the LORD called out, "Samuel!" Samuel got up and went to Eli. He said, "Here I am. You called out to me." "My son," Eli said, "I didn't call you. Go back and lie down." 7 Samuel didn't know the LORD yet. That's because the LORD still hadn't given him a message. 8 The LORD called out to Samuel for the third time. Samuel got up and went to Eli. He said, "Here I am. You called out to me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down. If someone calls out to you again, say, 'Speak, Lord. I'm listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 The LORD came and stood there. He called out, just as he had done the other times. He said, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel replied, "Speak. I'm listening." 11 The LORD said to Samuel, "Pay attention! I am about to do something terrible in Israel. It will make the ears of everyone who hears about it ring. 12 "At that time I will do everything to Eli and his family that I said I would. I will finish what I have started. 13 I told Eli I would punish his family forever. He knew his sons were sinning. He knew they were making fun of me. In spite of that, he failed to stop them. 14 "So I took an oath and made a promise to the family of Eli. I said, 'The sins of Eli's family will never be paid for by bringing sacrifices or offerings.' " 15 Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the LORD's house. He was afraid to tell Eli about the vision he had received. 16 But Eli called out to him. He said, "Samuel, my son." Samuel answered, "Here I am." 17 "What did the LORD say to you?" Eli asked. "Don't hide from me anything he told you. If you do, may God punish you greatly." 18 So Samuel told him everything. He didn't hide anything from him. Then Eli said, "He is the Lord. Let him do what he thinks is best." 19 As Samuel grew up, the LORD was with him. He made everything Samuel said come true. 20 So all of the people of Israel recognized that Samuel really was a prophet of the Lord. Everyone from Dan all the way to Beersheba knew it. 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh. There he made himself known to Samuel through the messages he gave him.
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