1 Samuel 1 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)
Elkanah’s Family Worships at Shiloh
1 There was a man named Elkanah from the Zuph family who lived in Ramah in the hill country of Ephraim. Elkanah was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph from the tribe of Ephraim.
2 Elkanah had two wives. One wife was named Hannah and the other wife was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.
3 Every year Elkanah left his town of Ramah and went up to Shiloh. He worshiped the Lord All-Powerful at Shiloh and offered sacrifices to the Lord there. Shiloh was where Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, served as priests of the Lord. 4 Whenever Elkanah offered his sacrifices, he always gave one share of the food to his wife Peninnah and a share of the food to each of Peninnah’s children. 5 Elkanah always gave an equal share[a] of the food to Hannah. He did this because he loved her very much, even though the Lord had not let Hannah have any children.
Peninnah Upsets Hannah
6 Peninnah always upset Hannah and made her feel bad because the Lord had not made her able to have children. 7 This happened every year when their family went to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. Peninnah would upset Hannah so much that she would begin to cry and would not eat anything. One year when this happened, 8 her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why are you so sad? You have me. Isn’t that better than having even ten sons?”
9 After eating and drinking, Hannah quietly got up and went to pray to the Lord.[b] Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the door of the Lord’s Holy Building.[c] 10 Hannah was so sad that she cried the whole time she was praying to the Lord. 11 She made a special promise to God and said, “Lord All-Powerful, you can see how sad I am. Remember me. Don’t forget me. If you will give me a son, I will give him to you. He will be yours his whole life, and as a Nazirite, he will not drink wine or strong drink,[d] and no one will ever cut his hair.”
12 Hannah prayed to the Lord a long time. Eli was watching her mouth while she was praying. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving, but since she did not say the words out loud, Eli thought she was drunk. 14 He said to her, “You have had too much to drink. It is time to put away the wine.”
15 Hannah answered, “Sir, I have not drunk any wine or beer. I am deeply troubled, and I was telling the Lord about all my problems. 16 Don’t think I am a bad woman. I have been praying so long because I have so many troubles and am very sad.”
17 Eli answered, “Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you asked for.”
18 Hannah said, “May you be happy with me.” Then she left and ate something. She was not sad anymore.
19 Early the next morning Elkanah’s family got up. They worshiped the Lord and then went back home to Ramah.
Elkanah had sexual relations with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered Hannah. 20 By that time the following year, Hannah had become pregnant and had a son. She named him Samuel.[e] She said, “His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him.”
21 Elkanah went to Shiloh to offer the sacrifice for that year and the gift he had promised to the Lord. He took his family with him. 22 But Hannah did not go. She told Elkanah, “When the boy is old enough to eat solid food, I will take him to Shiloh. Then I will give him to the Lord. He will become a Nazirite.[f] He will stay there at Shiloh.”
23 Hannah’s husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what you think is best. You may stay home until the boy is old enough to eat solid food. May the Lord do what you[g] have said.” So Hannah stayed at home to nurse her son until he was old enough to eat solid food.
Hannah Takes Samuel to Eli at Shiloh
24 When the boy was old enough to eat solid food, Hannah took him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. She also took a bull that was three years old, 20 pounds[h] of flour, and a bottle of wine.
25 They went before the Lord. Elkanah killed the bull as a sacrifice to the Lord as he usually did.[i] Then Hannah gave the boy to Eli. 26 She said to him, “Pardon me, sir. I am the same woman who stood near you praying to the Lord. I promise that I am telling the truth. 27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord answered my prayer. He gave me this child. 28 And now I give this child to the Lord. He will serve[j] the Lord all his life.”
Then Hannah left the boy there[k] and worshiped the Lord.