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1 Samuel 1-2Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Hannah’s Vow

There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in[a] the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts at Shiloh, where Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the Lord’s priests.

Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. But he gave a double[b] portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the Lord had kept her from conceiving. Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. Whenever she went up to the Lord’s house, her rival taunted her in this way every year. Hannah wept and would not eat. “Hannah, why are you crying?” her husband Elkanah asked. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than 10 sons?”

Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh.[c] Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s tabernacle. 10 Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. 11 Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son,[d] I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”[e]

12 While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her lips. 13 Hannah was praying silently,[f] and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and scolded her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!”

15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. 16 Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”

17 Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the petition you’ve requested from Him.”

18 “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.[g]

Samuel’s Birth and Dedication

19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to bow in worship before the Lord. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 After some time,[h] Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[i] because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”

21 When Elkanah and all his household went up to make the annual sacrifice and his vow offering to the Lord, 22 Hannah did not go and explained to her husband, “After the child is weaned, I’ll take him to appear in the Lord’s presence and to stay there permanently.”

23 Her husband Elkanah replied, “Do what you think is best,[j] and stay here until you’ve weaned him. May the Lord confirm your[k] word.” So Hannah stayed there and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull,[l] half a bushel[m] of flour, and a jar of wine. Though the boy was still young,[n] she took him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.

26 “Please, my lord,” she said, “as sure as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he[o] bowed in worship to the Lord there.[p]

Hannah’s Triumphant Prayer

Hannah prayed:

My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn is lifted up by the Lord.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
because I rejoice in Your salvation.
There is no one holy like the Lord.
There is no one besides You!
And there is no rock like our God.
Do not boast so proudly,
or let arrogant words come out of your mouth,
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and actions are weighed by Him.
The bows of the warriors are broken,
but the feeble are clothed with strength.
Those who are full hire themselves out for food,
but those who are starving hunger no more.
The woman who is childless gives birth to seven,
but the woman with many sons pines away.
The Lord brings death and gives life;
He sends some to Sheol, and He raises others up.
The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth;
He humbles and He exalts.
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile.
He seats them with noblemen
and gives them a throne of honor.[q]
For the foundations of the earth are the Lord’s;
He has set the world on them.
He guards the steps[r] of His faithful ones,
but the wicked perish in darkness,
for a man does not prevail by his own strength.
10 Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered;[s]
He will thunder in the heavens against them.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give power to His king;
He will lift up the horn of His anointed.

11 Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy served the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.

Eli’s Family Judged

12 Eli’s sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the Lord 13 or for the priests’ share of the sacrifices from the people. When any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork while the meat was boiling 14 and plunge it into the container or kettle or cauldron or cooking pot. The priest would claim for himself whatever the meat fork brought up. This is the way they treated all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15 Even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest some meat to roast, because he won’t accept boiled meat from you—only raw.” 16 If that man said to him, “The fat must be burned first; then you can take whatever you want for yourself,” the servant would reply, “No, I insist that you hand it over right now. If you don’t, I’ll take it by force!” 17 So the servants’ sin was very severe in the presence of the Lord, because they treated the Lord’s offering with contempt.

18 The boy Samuel served in the Lord’s presence and wore a linen ephod. 19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife: “May the Lord give you children by this woman in place of the one she[t] has given to the Lord.” Then they would go home.

21 The Lord paid attention to Hannah’s need, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.

22 Now Eli was very old. He heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 He said to them, “Why are you doing these things? I have heard about your evil actions from all these people. 24 No, my sons, the report I hear from the Lord’s people is not good. 25 If a man sins against another man, God can intercede for him, but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to their father, since the Lord intended to kill them. 26 By contrast, the boy Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.

27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Didn’t I reveal Myself to your ancestral house when it was in Egypt and belonged to Pharaoh’s palace? 28 Out of all the tribes of Israel, I selected your house[u] to be priests, to offer sacrifices on My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in My presence. I also gave your house all the Israelite fire offerings. 29 Why, then, do all of you despise My sacrifices and offerings that I require at the place of worship? You have honored your sons more than Me, by making yourselves fat with the best part of all of the offerings of My people Israel.’

30 “Therefore, this is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Israel:

‘Although I said
your family and your ancestral house
would walk before Me forever,
the Lord now says, “No longer!”
I will honor those who honor Me,
but those who despise Me will be disgraced.

31 “‘Look, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestral family, so that none in your family will reach old age. 32 You will see distress in the place of worship, in spite of all that is good in Israel, and no one in your family will ever again reach old age. 33 Any man from your family I do not cut off from My altar will bring grief[v] and sadness to you. All your descendants will die violently.[w][x] 34 This will be the sign that will come to you concerning your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: both of them will die on the same day.

35 “‘Then I will raise up a faithful priest for Myself. He will do whatever is in My heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will walk before My anointed one for all time. 36 Anyone who is left in your family will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread. He will say: Please appoint me to some priestly office so I can have a piece of bread to eat.’”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 1:1 Or from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from
  2. 1 Samuel 1:5 Or gave only one; Hb obscure
  3. 1 Samuel 1:9 LXX adds and presented herself before the Lord
  4. 1 Samuel 1:11 Lit a seed of men
  5. 1 Samuel 1:11 Lit and no razor will go up on his head
  6. 1 Samuel 1:13 Lit praying to her heart
  7. 1 Samuel 1:18 Lit and her face was not to her again
  8. 1 Samuel 1:20 Lit In the turning of the days
  9. 1 Samuel 1:20 In Hb, the name Samuel sounds like the phrase “requested from God.”
  10. 1 Samuel 1:23 Lit what is good in your eyes
  11. 1 Samuel 1:23 DSS, LXX, Syr; MT reads His
  12. 1 Samuel 1:24 DSS, LXX, Syr; MT reads Shiloh with three bulls
  13. 1 Samuel 1:24 Lit bull and an ephah
  14. 1 Samuel 1:24 Lit And the youth was a youth
  15. 1 Samuel 1:28 DSS read she; some Hb mss, Syr, Vg read they
  16. 1 Samuel 1:28 LXX reads Then she left him there before the Lord
  17. 1 Samuel 2:8 DSS, LXX add He gives the vow of the one who makes a vow and He blesses the years of the just
  18. 1 Samuel 2:9 Lit feet
  19. 1 Samuel 2:10 DSS, LXX read The Lord shatters those who dispute with Him
  20. 1 Samuel 2:20 DSS; MT reads he
  21. 1 Samuel 2:28 Lit selected him
  22. 1 Samuel 2:33 Lit grief to your eyes
  23. 1 Samuel 2:33 DSS, LXX read die by the sword of men
  24. 1 Samuel 2:33 Lit die men

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