1 Samuel 1:1-4:22
1There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.2He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.3Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD.4Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters.5But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb.6And because the LORD had closed her womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her.7This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat.8Elkanah her husband would say to her, "Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"9Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord's temple.10In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD.11And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."12As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth.13Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk14and said to her, "How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine."15"Not so, my lord," Hannah replied, "I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD.16Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief."17Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him."18She said, "May your servant find favor in your eyes." Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.19Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her.20So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, "Because I asked the LORD for him."21When the man Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow,22Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, "After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always."23"Do what seems best to you," Elkanah her husband told her. "Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word." So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.24After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh.25When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli,26and she said to him, "As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD.27I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.28So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.==Chapter 2==1Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.2"There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.3"Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.4"The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.5Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.6"The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.7The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.8He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. "For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's; upon them he has set the world.9He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails;10those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.12Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD.13Now it was the practice of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand.14He would plunge it into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot, and the priest would take for himself whatever the fork brought up. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh.15But even before the fat was burned, the servant of the priest would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest some meat to roast; he won't accept boiled meat from you, but only raw."16If the man said to him, "Let the fat be burned up first, and then take whatever you want," the servant would then answer, "No, hand it over now; if you don't, I'll take it by force."17This sin of the young men was very great in the Lord's sight, for they were treating the Lord's offering with contempt.18But Samuel was ministering before the LORD--a boy wearing a linen ephod.19Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.20Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, "May the LORD give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the LORD." Then they would go home.21And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.22Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.23So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours.24No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the Lord's people.25If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" His sons, however, did not listen to their father's rebuke, for it was the Lord's will to put them to death.26And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.27Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Did I not clearly reveal myself to your father's house when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?28I chose your father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your father's house all the offerings made with fire by the Israelites.29Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?'30"Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.31The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line32and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old man.33Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.34"'And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you--they will both die on the same day.35I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.36Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a crust of bread and plead, "Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat."'"==Chapter 3==1The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.2One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place.3The 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.4Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, "Here I am."5And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." But Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down." So he went and lay down.6Again the LORD called, "Samuel!" And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "My son," Eli said, "I did not call; go back and lie down."7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.8The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.9So Eli told Samuel, "Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.10The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" Then Samuel said, "Speak, for your servant is listening."11And the LORD said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.12At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family--from beginning to end.13For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them.14Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, 'The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.'"15Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision,16but Eli called him and said, "Samuel, my son." Samuel answered, "Here I am."17"What was it he said to you?" Eli asked. "Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you."18So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, "He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes."19The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground.20And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD.21The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.==Chapter 4==1And Samuel's word came to all Israel. Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek.2The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield.3When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, "Why did the LORD bring defeat upon us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord's covenant from Shiloh, so that it may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies."4So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.5When the ark of the Lord's covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook.6Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, "What's all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?" When they learned that the ark of the LORD had come into the camp,7the Philistines were afraid. "A god has come into the camp," they said. "We're in trouble! Nothing like this has happened before.8Woe to us! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the desert.9Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!"10So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers.11The ark of God was captured, and Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.12That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh, his clothes torn and dust on his head.13When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.14Eli heard the outcry and asked, "What is the meaning of this uproar?" The man hurried over to Eli,15who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes were set so that he could not see.16He told Eli, "I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day." Eli asked, "What happened, my son?"17The man who brought the news replied, "Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured."18When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had led Israel forty years.19His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains.20As she was dying, the women attending her said, "Don't despair; you have given birth to a son." But she did not respond or pay any attention.21She named the boy Ichabod, saying, "The glory has departed from Israel"--because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband.22She said, "The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured."