1 Samuel Chapter 1 |
1There was a man from Ramathaim of the Zuphites, in the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives, one named Hannah and the other Peninnah; Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3This man used to go up from his town every year to worship and to offer sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts at Shiloh.—Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord there.
4One such day, Elkanah offered a sacrifice. He used to give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5but to Hannah he would give one portion only—though Hannah was his favorite—for the Lord had closed her womb. 6Moreover, her rival, to make her miserable, would taunt her that the Lord had closed her womb. 7This happened year after year: Every time she went up to the House of the Lord, the other would taunt her, so that she wept and would not eat. 8Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why are you crying and why aren’t you eating? Why are you so sad? Am I not more devoted to you than ten sons?”
9After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose.—The priest Eli was sitting on the seat near the doorpost of the temple of the Lord.— 10In her wretchedness, she prayed to the Lord, weeping all the while. 11And she made this vow: “O Lord of Hosts, if You will look upon the suffering of Your maidservant and will remember me and not forget Your maidservant, and if You will grant Your maidservant a male child, I will dedicate him to the Lord for all the days of his life; and no razor shall ever touch his head.”
12As she kept on praying before the Lord, Eli watched her mouth.
13Now Hannah was praying in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice could not be heard. So Eli thought she was drunk.
14Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Sober up!”
15And Hannah replied, “Oh no, my lord! I am a very unhappy woman. I have drunk no wine or other strong drink, but I have been pouring out my heart to the Lord.
16Do not take your maidservant for a worthless woman; I have only been speaking all this time out of my great anguish and distress.”
17“Then go in peace,” said Eli, “and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of Him.”
18She answered, “You are most kind to your handmaid.” So the woman left, and she ate, and was no longer downcast.
19Early next morning they bowed low before the Lord, and they went back home to Ramah.
Elkanah knew his wife Hannah and the Lord remembered her. 20Hannah conceived, and at the turn of the year bore a son. She named him Samuel, meaning, “I asked the Lord for him.” 21And when the man Elkanah and all his household were going up to offer to the Lord the annual sacrifice and his votive sacrifice, 22Hannah did not go up. She said to her husband, “When the child is weaned, I will bring him. For when he has appeared before the Lord, he must remain there for good.” 23Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do as you think best. Stay home until you have weaned him. May the Lord fulfill His word.” So the woman stayed home and nursed her son until she weaned him.
24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a jar of wine. And though the boy was still very young, she brought him to the House of the Lord at Shiloh. 25After slaughtering the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26She said, “Please, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you and prayed to the Lord. 27It was this boy I prayed for; and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. 28I, in turn, hereby lend him to the Lord. For as long as he lives he is lent to the Lord.” And they bowed low there before the Lord.