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Then Hannah prayed out of her deepest feelings.

Hannah: My heart rejoices in the Eternal One;
        my strength grows strong in the Eternal.
    My mouth can mock my enemies
        because I celebrate how You have saved me!

    No one is holy like the Eternal One—
        no, no one but You;
        and there is no rock as solid as our True God.
    Stop talking so proudly,
        and don’t let such arrogance flow from your lips,
    For the Eternal One is a True God who knows,
        and He weighs the actions He sees.
    The bows of the mighty crack in two,
        but the feeble are given new strength.
    Those who were full have had to work hard so they can eat,
        but those who were starving have become fat with rich food.
    The one who was infertile has borne seven children,
        while the one who bore many sits alone in sadness.
    The Eternal One kills and brings to life;
        He sends down to the grave and raises up new life.
    The Eternal One makes both poor and rich;
        some He humbles, and others He honors.
    He lifts the poor up out of the dust,
        the needy from the trash heap.
    He raises them to sit with princes
        and seats them on a glorious throne.
    For the pillars of the earth are the Eternal One’s,
        and on them, He has set the world.

    He will watch over the footsteps of the faithful,
        but the wicked will be made silent in the darkness,
        for one does not win by strength alone.
10     The Eternal One will shatter His foes;
        from His throne in heaven, He will thunder with rage.
    The Eternal One will be judge to the ends of the earth;
        He gives strength to His king,
    And power to the one He chooses to rule.

11 So Elkanah and his family returned home to Ramah, while Samuel remained behind with Eli the priest to minister before the Eternal One.

12 Although Eli’s sons served as priests, they were really worthless men with no understanding of the Eternal 13-14 or of their priestly duties. When someone presented meat as a ritual offering to the Lord, the priest would send a servant with a three-pronged fork to probe around in the pot or kettle as the sacrifice boiled; and whatever he brought up with the fork, the priest would keep as his own. They did this at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came to sacrifice.

15 The priest’s servant would even tell those who were going to burn fat as a sacrifice,

Servant: Give the priest meat to roast. He won’t accept boiled meat from you, only raw meat.

16 And if the worshiper protested, saying the priest could take whatever he wanted after the fat was burned, the servant would say,

Servant: Give it to me now; if necessary, it will be taken from you by force.

17 Because they despised the Eternal’s ritual offerings, the Eternal One judged that the sons of Eli had sinned greatly.

18 Now Samuel was then a small boy, working in the house of the Eternal One. He wore a linen vest, one of the priestly garments. 19 His mother used to make him a new robe every year, and she would take it up to him when she and her husband came to perform the yearly sacrifice. 20 On that joyful occasion, Eli would bless Elkanah and Hannah.

Eli: May the Eternal One bless you with more children by this woman for the great gift she made to the Eternal.

Then they would return home.

21 The Eternal One showed his favor toward Hannah again, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters, and her son Samuel grew up in the presence of the Eternal One.

22 Eli, who had grown old and tired, heard what his sons were doing to all those Israelites who came to Shiloh to perform their sacrifices. He heard that they were even having sexual relations with the women who worked at the door of the meeting tent.

Eli (to his sons): 23 Why do you do such horrible things? The people have told me about all the evil you have done. 24 No, my sons, I do not hear good words spoken about you by the people of the Eternal. 25 If one person offends another, [at least someone can plead with the True God on the sinner’s behalf].[a] But if someone offends the Eternal One, then who will plead for that person?

But Eli’s sons did not listen to his words, for the Eternal One had already decided to destroy them.

26 The boy Samuel grew tall, wise in the ways of the Lord, and in favor with God and the people he served.

27 A man sent by the True God came to Eli.

Man: This is the message of the Eternal One: “I made Myself known to your family when Israel was enslaved under Pharaoh in Egypt. 28 I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be My priest: to serve at the altar, to offer incense, and to wear the priestly vest in My presence. And I repaid your family by presenting them with all the offerings made to Me by fire from all the people of Israel. 29 Why do you look with such greedy eyes on all the sacrifices and offerings I have directed the people to bring to My house? Why do you honor your sons more than you honor Me by feasting on the choicest parts of every single offering made by My people Israel?”

30 Therefore the Eternal God of Israel declares: “I promised that your family would go in and out of My presence forever. But now I surely declare, those who honor Me I will honor, but people who choose to despise Me, I, in turn, will consider contemptible: those who hate Me will not matter to Me. 31 Look, the time approaches when I will cut away your strength and the strength of your family, so that none of you will live to old age. 32 Then, in agony, you will see all the good things I do for Israel; there will be great distress, and no one in your family will live to old age ever again.

33 “Any of your family not cut off will grieve continually and will cry their eyes out. All the other members of your household will die violently in the prime of life. 34 The fate of your sons Hophni and Phinehas will be a sign of the future. Both of them will die on the very same day. 35 I will raise up a faithful priest who will do what I desire and purpose in My heart and mind. I will build him a secure house, and he will go in and out before My anointed one continually. 36 Those of your family who survive will come to him and bow down for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and they will beg him, ‘Please make me a priest so at least I can have a morsel of bread.’”


  1. 2:25 Hebrew manuscripts read, “God will mediate for him.”

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