1 Samuel 1-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Elkanah and His Wives
1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the [a]hill country of Ephraim, named Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an [b]Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives, one named Hannah and the other named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3 This man went up from his city [c]each year to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh. Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests to the Lord there. 4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions [of the sacrificial meat] to Peninnah his wife and all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he would give a double portion, because he loved Hannah, but the Lord had [d]given her no children. 6 Hannah’s rival provoked her bitterly, to irritate and embarrass her, because the Lord had [e]left her childless. 7 So it happened year after year, whenever she went up to the house of the Lord, Peninnah provoked her; so she wept and would not eat. 8 Then Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you cry and why do you not eat? Why are you so sad and discontent? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”
9 So Hannah got up after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat beside the doorpost of the temple (tabernacle) of the Lord. 10 Hannah was [f]greatly distressed, and she prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish. 11 She made a vow, saying, “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction (suffering) of Your maidservant and remember, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life; a [g]razor shall never touch his head.”
12 Now it happened as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart (mind); only her lips were moving, and her voice was not heard, so Eli [h]thought she was drunk. 14 Eli said to her, “How long will you make yourself drunk? Get rid of your wine.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman with a despairing spirit. I have not been drinking wine or any intoxicating drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. 16 Do not regard your maidservant as a wicked and worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and [bitter] provocation.” 17 Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of Him.” 18 Hannah said, “Let your maidservant find grace and favor in your sight.” So the woman went on her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
Samuel Is Born to Hannah
19 The family got up early the next morning, worshiped before the Lord, and returned to their home in Ramah. Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her [prayer]. 20 It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; she named him [i]Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.”
21 Then the man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the [j]yearly sacrifice and pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “I will not go up until the child is [k]weaned; and then I will bring him, so that he may appear before the Lord and remain there as long as he lives.” 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you. Wait until you have weaned him; only may the Lord establish and confirm His word.” So the woman remained [behind] and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a [l]leather bottle of wine [to pour over the burnt offering for a sweet fragrance], and she brought Samuel to the Lord’s house in Shiloh, although the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the child to Eli. 26 Hannah said, “Oh, my lord! As [surely as] your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood beside you here, praying to the Lord. 27 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my request which I asked of Him. 28 Therefore I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.” And they worshiped the Lord there.
Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving
2 Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart rejoices and triumphs in the Lord;
11 Elkanah [and his wife Hannah] returned to Ramah to his house. But the child [Samuel] served the Lord [o]under the guidance of Eli the priest.
The Sin of Eli’s Sons
12 The sons of Eli [Hophni and Phinehas] were [p]worthless (dishonorable, unprincipled) men; they did not know [nor respect] the Lord 13 and the custom of the priests with [the sacrifices of] the people. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged [meat] fork in his hand; 14 then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; everything that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did in Shiloh to all [the sacrifices of] the [q]Israelites who came there. 15 Also, before they burned (offered) the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest meat to roast, since he will not accept boiled meat from you, only raw.” 16 If the man said to him, “[r]Certainly they are to burn (offer) the fat first, and then you may take as much as [s]you want,” then the priest’s servant would say, “No! You shall give it to me now or I will take it by force.” 17 So the sin of the [two] young men [Hophni and Phinehas] was very great before the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord disrespectfully.
Samuel before the Lord as a Boy
18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a child dressed in a linen ephod [a sacred item of priestly clothing]. 19 Moreover, his mother would make him a little robe and would bring it up to him each year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman in place of the one she asked for which was dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would return to their own home.
21 And [the time came when] the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.
Eli Rebukes His Sons
22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard about everything that his sons were doing to all [the people of] Israel, and how they were lying with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 23 Eli said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? 24 No, my sons; for the report that I keep hearing from the passers-by among the Lord’s people is not good. 25 If one man does wrong and sins against another, God will intercede (arbitrate) for him; but if a man does wrong to the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to their father, [t]for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.
26 But the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.
27 Then a man of God (prophet) came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not plainly reveal Myself to the house of your father (ancestor) when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house? 28 Moreover, [u]I selected him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me. And [from then on] I gave to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel. 29 Why then do you kick at (despise) My sacrifice and My offering which I commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, by fattening yourselves with the choicest part of every offering of My people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and that of [Aaron] your father would walk [in priestly service] before Me forever.’ But now the Lord declares, ‘Far be it from Me—for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be insignificant and contemptible. 31 Behold, the time is coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 You will look at the distress of My [v]house (the tabernacle), in spite of all the good which God will do for Israel, and there will never again be an old man in your house. 33 Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar; your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul will grieve, and all those born in your house will die as men [in the prime of life]. 34 This will be the sign to you which shall come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day both of them shall die. 35 But I will raise up for Myself a [w]faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him a permanent and enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed [x]forever. 36 And it will happen that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and say, “Please assign me to one of the priest’s offices so I may eat a piece of bread.”’”
The Prophetic Call to Samuel
3 Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord [y]under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
2 Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well). 3 and the [oil] lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, 4 that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.” 5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know [or personally experience] the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed [directly] to him. 8 So the Lord called Samuel a third time. And he stood and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli understood that it was the Lord [who was] calling the boy. 9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Then the Lord came and stood and called as at the previous times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will ring. 12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything that I have spoken concerning his house (family), from beginning to end. 13 Now I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the sinful behavior which he knew [was happening], because his sons were bringing a curse on themselves [dishonoring and blaspheming God] and he did not rebuke them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the sinful behavior of Eli’s house (family) shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he answered, “Here I am.” 17 Then Eli said, “What is it that He said to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do the same to you, and more also, if you hide from me anything of all that He said to you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. And Eli said, “It is the Lord; may He do what seems good [z]to Him.”
19 Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words [aa]fail [to be fulfilled]. 20 And all Israel from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south] knew that Samuel was appointed as a prophet of the Lord. 21 And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
Philistines Take the Ark in Victory
4 And the word of [the Lord through] Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and they camped beside Ebenezer while the Philistines camped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines assembled in battle formation to meet Israel, and when the battle was over, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield. 3 When the people (soldiers) came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the Lord here from Shiloh, so that He may come among us and save us from the hand of our enemies.” 4 So the people sent word to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts who sits above the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 So it happened that as the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all [the people of] Israel shouted with a great shout, and the earth resounded. 6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp. 7 The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” And they said, “Woe [disaster is coming] to us! For nothing like this has happened before. 8 Woe to us! Who will rescue us from the hand of these mighty [ab]gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. 9 Take courage, and be men, O Philistines, so that you do not become servants to the Hebrews, as they have been servants to you; act like men and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought; Israel was defeated and every man fled to his tent. It was a very great defeat, for thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel fell. 11 Also the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were killed.
12 Now a man [from the tribe] of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh that same day with his clothes torn and dust on his head [as signs of mourning over the disaster]. 13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road, keeping watch, because his heart was anxious about the ark of God. When the man arrived to report [the news] in the city, everyone in the city cried out [to God, for help]. 14 When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he asked, “What is the noise of this uproar?” And the man came hurriedly and told Eli. 15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old; his eyes were dim so that he could not see. 16 The man said to Eli, “I have come from the battle line. Indeed, I escaped from the battle line today.” Eli said, “How did things go, my son?” 17 The messenger replied, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great slaughter among the people. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken.” 18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backwards by the side of the [city] gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was old and heavy. He had judged Israel for forty years.
19 Now his daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant, and was about to give birth; so when she heard the news that the ark of God had been taken and that her father-in-law and her husband had died, she kneeled down and gave birth, because her [labor] pains began. 20 And about the time of her death [following the sudden birth] the women attending her said to her, “Do not be afraid, for you have given birth to a son.” But she did not answer or pay any attention. 21 And she named the boy [ac]Ichabod, saying, “The glory has left Israel,” because the ark of God had been taken and because of [the deaths of] her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The glory has left Israel, for the ark of God has been taken.”
Capture of the Ark Provokes God
5 Then the Philistines took the ark of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to [ad]Ashdod. 2 They took the ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it beside [the image of] Dagon [their chief idol]. 3 When the people of Ashdod got up early the next day, behold, Dagon had fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord. So they took Dagon and returned him to his place. 4 But when they got up early the next morning, behold, Dagon had [again] fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord, and his head and both palms of his hands were [lying] cut off on the threshold; only the trunk [portion] of [the idol of] Dagon was left on him. 5 This is the reason neither the priests of Dagon nor any who enter Dagon’s house step on the threshold of Dagon in Ashdod to this day.
6 Then the hand of the Lord was heavy on the people of Ashdod, and He caused them to be dumbfounded and struck them with [ae]tumors, both Ashdod and its territory. 7 When the men of Ashdod saw what had happened, they said, “The ark of the God of Israel must not remain with us, for His hand is heavy on us and on Dagon our god.” 8 So they sent word and gathered all the lords (governors) of the Philistines to them and said, “What shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel?” They answered, “Let the ark of the God of Israel be brought around to [af]Gath.” So they took the ark of the God of Israel there. 9 But it happened that after they had taken it to Gath, the hand of the Lord was against the city, causing an extremely great panic [because of the deaths from the plague], for He struck the people of the city, both young and old, and tumors broke out on them. 10 So they sent the ark of God to [ag]Ekron. And as the ark of God came to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, “They have brought the ark of the God of Israel [from Gath] to [ah]us, to kill us and [ai]our people.” 11 So they sent word and gathered all the lords of the Philistines and said, “Send away the ark of the God of Israel; let it be returned to its own place, so that it will not kill us and our people.” For there was a deadly panic throughout the city; the hand of God was very heavy (severe) there. 12 The men who had not died were stricken with tumors and the cry of the city [for help] went up to heaven.
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