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New Living Translation

    

1 Samuel 1

Elkanah and His Family
 1  There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph [1]  in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim.  2  Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.
   3  Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Heaven's Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the LORD at that time were the two sons of Eli—Hophni and Phinehas.  4  On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children.  5  And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion [5]  because the LORD had given her no children.  6  So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children.  7  Year after year it was the same—Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. [7]  Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.
   8  "Why are you crying, Hannah?" Elkanah would ask. "Why aren't you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me—isn't that better than having ten sons?"

Hannah's Prayer for a Son
 9  Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. [9]   10  Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD.  11  And she made this vow: "O LORD of Heaven's Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the LORD, his hair will never be cut. [11] "
   12  As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her.  13  Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking.  14  "Must you come here drunk?" he demanded. "Throw away your wine!"
   15  "Oh no, sir!" she replied. "I haven't been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD.  16  Don't think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow."
   17  "In that case," Eli said, "go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him."
   18  "Oh, thank you, sir!" she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.

Samuel's Birth and Dedication
 19  The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the LORD once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the LORD remembered her plea,  20  and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, [20]  for she said, "I asked the LORD for him."
   21  The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the LORD.  22  But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, "Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the LORD permanently. [22] "
   23  "Whatever you think is best," Elkanah agreed. "Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise." So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned.
   24  When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull [24]  for the sacrifice and a basket [24]  of flour and some wine.  25  After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli.  26  "Sir, do you remember me?" Hannah asked. "I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the LORD.  27  I asked the LORD to give me this boy, and he has granted my request.  28  Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life." And they [28]  worshiped the LORD there.

1 Samuel 2

Hannah's Prayer of Praise
 1  Then Hannah prayed:

"My heart rejoices in the LORD!
  The LORD has made me strong. [1] 
Now I have an answer for my enemies;
  I rejoice because you rescued me.
 2  No one is holy like the LORD!
  There is no one besides you;
  there is no Rock like our God.

 3  "Stop acting so proud and haughty!
  Don't speak with such arrogance!
For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done;
  he will judge your actions.
 4  The bow of the mighty is now broken,
  and those who stumbled are now strong.
 5  Those who were well fed are now starving,
  and those who were starving are now full.
The childless woman now has seven children,
  and the woman with many children wastes away.
 6  The LORD gives both death and life;
  he brings some down to the grave [6]  but raises others up.
 7  The LORD makes some poor and others rich;
  he brings some down and lifts others up.
 8  He lifts the poor from the dust
  and the needy from the garbage dump.
He sets them among princes,
  placing them in seats of honor.
For all the earth is the LORD's,
  and he has set the world in order.

 9  "He will protect his faithful ones,
  but the wicked will disappear in darkness.
No one will succeed by strength alone.
 10    Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered.
He thunders against them from heaven;
  the LORD judges throughout the earth.
He gives power to his king;
  he increases the strength [10]  of his anointed one."

   11  Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the LORD by assisting Eli the priest.

Eli's Wicked Sons
 12  Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD  13  or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli's sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling,  14  the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli's sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way.  15  Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal's fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.
   16  The man offering the sacrifice might reply, "Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first." Then the servant would demand, "No, give it to me now, or I'll take it by force."  17  So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD's sight, for they treated the LORD's offerings with contempt.
   18  But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the LORD. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest. [18]   19  Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice.  20  Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, "May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD. [20] "  21  And the LORD gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.
   22  Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. [22]   23  Eli said to them, "I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning?  24  You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the LORD's people are not good.  25  If someone sins against another person, God [25]  can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede?" But Eli's sons wouldn't listen to their father, for the LORD was already planning to put them to death.
   26  Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.

A Warning for Eli's Family
 27  One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the LORD: "I revealed myself [27]  to your ancestors when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt.  28  I chose your ancestor Aaron [28]  from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest [28]  as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests.  29  So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!
   30  "Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi [30]  would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.  31  The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age.  32  You will watch with envy as I pour out prosperity on the people of Israel. But no members of your family will ever live out their days.  33  Those who survive will live in sadness and grief, and their children will die a violent death. [33]   34  And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day!
   35  "Then I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire. I will establish his family, and they will be priests to my anointed kings forever.  36  Then all of your surviving family will bow before him, begging for money and food. `Please,' they will say, `give us jobs among the priests so we will have enough to eat.'"
<<  1:1 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads in Ramathaim-zophim; compare 1:19.
<<  1:5 Or And because he loved Hannah, he would give her a choice portion. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
<<  1:7 Hebrew the house of the L<%=ftSC%>ORD; also in 1:24.
<<  1:9 Hebrew the Temple of the L<%=ftSC%>ORD.
<<  1:11 Some manuscripts add He will drink neither wine nor intoxicants.
<<  1:20 Samuel sounds like the Hebrew term for "asked of God" or "heard by God."
<<  1:22 Some manuscripts add I will offer him as a Nazirite for all time.
<<  1:24a As in Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek and Syriac versions; Masoretic Text reads three bulls. 1:24b Hebrew and an ephah [20 quarts or 22 liters].
<<  1:28 Hebrew he.
<<  2:1 Hebrew has exalted my horn.
<<  2:6 Hebrew to Sheol.
<<  2:10 Hebrew he exalts the horn.
<<  2:18 Hebrew He wore a linen ephod.
<<  2:20 As in Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version; Masoretic Text reads this one he requested of the L<%=ftSC%>ORD.
<<  2:22 Hebrew Tent of Meeting. Some manuscripts lack this entire sentence.
<<  2:25 Or the judges.
<<  2:27 As in Greek and Syriac versions; Hebrew reads Did I reveal myself.
<<  2:28a Hebrew your father. 2:28b Hebrew an ephod.
<<  2:30 Hebrew that your house and your father's house.
<<  2:33 As in Dead Sea Scrolls, which read die by the sword; Masoretic Text reads die like mortals.
    

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