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1 Samuel 2New Life Version (NLV)

Hannah’s Prayer

Then Hannah prayed and said, “My heart is happy in the Lord. My strength is honored in the Lord. My mouth speaks with strength against those who hate me, because I have joy in Your saving power. There is no one holy like the Lord. For sure, there is no one other than You. There is no rock like our God. Speak no more in your pride. Do not let proud talk come out of your mouth. For the Lord is a God Who knows. Actions are weighed by Him. The bows of the powerful are broken. But the weak are dressed in strength. Those who were full go out to work for bread. But those who were hungry are filled. She who could not give birth has given birth to seven. But she who has many children has become weak. The Lord kills and brings to life. He brings down to the grave, and He raises up. The Lord makes poor and makes rich. He brings low and He lifts up. He lifts the poor from the dust. He lifts those in need from the ashes. He makes them sit with rulers and receive a seat of honor. For what holds the earth belongs to the Lord. He has set the world in its place. He watches over the steps of His good people. But the sinful ones will be made quiet in darkness. For a man will not win by strength. 10 Those who fight with the Lord will be broken to pieces. He will thunder in heaven against them. The Lord will decide about all people to the ends of the earth. He will give strength to His king. He will give power to His chosen one.”

11 Elkanah went home to Ramah. But the boy served the Lord with Eli the religious leader.

Eli’s Sons

12 The sons of Eli were men of no worth. They did not know the Lord. 13 This is the way the religious leaders acted toward the people. When any man brought an animal to give to the Lord, the religious leader’s servant would come with a meat-hook in his hand, while the meat was hot. 14 Then he would put it in the pot. The religious leader would take for himself all that the meat-hook brought up. They did this to all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15 And before they burned the fat, the religious leader’s servant would come and say to the man who brought the gift in worship, “Give meat for the religious leader to make ready. For he will not take boiled meat from you, but only meat that has just been killed.” 16 But if the man says to him, “Let them burn the fat first, then take as much as you want,” then the religious leader’s servant would say, “No, give it to me now; and if not, I will take it from you against your will.” 17 So the sin of the young men was very bad before the Lord. For the men hated the gift of the Lord.

Samuel Serves the Lord at Shiloh

18 Now Samuel was serving the Lord, even as a boy, wearing a linen vest. 19 Each year his mother would make him a little coat. She would bring it to him when she came with her husband to bring the gift in worship each year. 20 Then Eli would pray that good would come to Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children from this woman in place of the one she gave to the Lord.” Then they would return to their home. 21 And the Lord visited Hannah. She gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up to serve the Lord.

The Future of Eli’s Sons

22 Now Eli was very old. He heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the door of the meeting tent. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things, the sinful things I hear from all these people? 24 No, my sons, the news is not good which I hear from the Lord’s people. 25 If one man sins against another, God will help make peace for him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who can make peace for him?” Yet they would not listen to what their father said, for it was the Lord’s will to kill them. 26 Now the boy Samuel grew and was in favor both with the Lord and with men.

27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says. ‘Did I not let Myself be known to those of your father’s family when they were in Egypt being made to work for Pharaoh’s house? 28 Did I not choose them from all the families of Israel to be My religious leaders, to go up to My altar, to burn special perfume, and to wear a linen vest before Me? Did I not give all the gifts made by fire of the people of Israel to the family of your father? 29 Why do you show no respect to My gifts which I have asked for, and honor your sons more than Me? You make yourselves fat with the best part of every gift given in worship by My people Israel.’ 30 So the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I did promise that those of your family and the family of your father should walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May this be far from Me. For I will honor those who honor Me. And those who hate Me will not be honored. 31 See, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father’s family. So there will not be an old man in your family. 32 You will see the trouble of My family, even in all the good I do for Israel. And an old man will not be in your family forever. 33 But I will not destroy every man of yours from My altar. Some will be left to cry and be filled with sorrow. But all the children of your family will die in their best years. 34 This will be the special thing that you will see. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will both die on the same day. 35 I will raise up for Myself a faithful religious leader who will act by what is in My heart and mind. I will build him a family to last. And he will walk before My chosen one forever. 36 Everyone who is left in your family will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and say, “I beg you, put me in one of the religious leader’s places so that I may eat a piece of bread.”’”

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969 by Christian Literature International

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