Samuel Is Born
1A certain man from Ramathaim in the hill country of Ephraim was named Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham. Jeroham was the son of Elihu. Elihu was the son of Tohu. Tohu was the son of Zuph. Elkanah belonged to the family line of Zuph. Elkanah lived in the territory of Ephraim. 2Elkanah had two wives. One was named Hannah. The other was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah didn’t.
3Year after year Elkanah went up from his town to Shiloh. He went there to worship and sacrifice to the Lord who rules over all. Hophni and Phinehas served as priests of the Lord at Shiloh. They were the two sons of Eli. 4Every year at Shiloh, the day would come for Elkanah to offer a sacrifice. On that day, he would give a share of the meat to his wife Peninnah. He would also give a share to each of her sons and daughters. 5But he would give two shares of meat to Hannah. That’s because he loved her. He also gave her two shares because the Lord had kept her from having children. 6Peninnah teased Hannah to make her angry. She did it because the Lord had kept Hannah from having children. 7Peninnah teased Hannah year after year. Every time Hannah would go up to the house of the Lord, Elkanah’s other wife would tease her. She would keep doing it until Hannah cried and wouldn’t eat. 8Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why don’t you eat? Why are you so unhappy? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?”
9One time when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10Hannah was very sad. She wept and wept. She prayed to the Lord. 11She made a promise to him. She said, “Lord, you rule over all. Please see how I’m suffering! Show concern for me! Don’t forget about me! Please give me a son! If you do, I’ll give him back to the Lord. Then he will serve the Lord all the days of his life. He’ll never use a razor on his head. He’ll never cut his hair.”
12As Hannah kept on praying to the Lord, Eli watched her lips. 13She was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving. But she wasn’t making a sound. Eli thought Hannah was drunk. 14He said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Stop drinking your wine.”
15“That’s not true, sir,” Hannah replied. “I’m a woman who is deeply troubled. I haven’t been drinking wine or beer. I was telling the Lord all my troubles. 16Don’t think of me as an evil woman. I’ve been praying here because I’m very sad. My pain is so great.”
17Eli answered, “Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you what you have asked him for.”
18She said, “May you be pleased with me.” Then she left and had something to eat. Her face wasn’t sad anymore.
19Early the next morning Elkanah and his family got up. They worshiped the Lord. Then they went back to their home in Ramah. Elkanah slept with his wife Hannah. And the Lord blessed her. 20So after some time, Hannah became pregnant. She had a baby boy. She said, “I asked the Lord for him.” So she named him Samuel.
Hannah Gives Samuel to the Lord
21Elkanah went up to Shiloh to offer the yearly sacrifice to the Lord. He also went there to keep a promise he had made. His whole family went with him. 22But Hannah didn’t go. She said to her husband, “When the boy doesn’t need me to breast-feed him anymore, I’ll take him to the Lord’s house. I’ll give him to the Lord there. He’ll stay there for the rest of his life.”
23Her husband Elkanah told her, “Do what you think is best. Stay here at home until Samuel doesn’t need you to breast-feed him anymore. May the Lord make his promise to you come true.” So Hannah stayed home. She breast-fed her son until he didn’t need her milk anymore.
24When the boy didn’t need her to breast-feed him anymore, she took him with her to Shiloh. She took him there even though he was still very young. She brought him to the Lord’s house. She brought along a bull that was three years old. She brought 36 pounds of flour. She also brought a bottle of wine. The bottle was made out of animal skin. 25After the bull was sacrificed, Elkanah and Hannah brought the boy to Eli. 26Hannah said to Eli, “Pardon me, sir. I’m the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. And that’s just as sure as you are alive. 27I prayed for this child. The Lord has given me what I asked him for. 28So now I’m giving him to the Lord. As long as he lives he’ll be given to the Lord.” And there Eli worshiped the Lord.
3以利加拿每年都從家鄉到示羅去敬拜萬軍之耶和華，獻上祭物。當時以利的兩個兒子何弗尼和非尼哈在那裡做耶和華的祭司。 4每當獻完祭後，以利加拿就會把祭肉分給毗尼娜和她的兒女。 5但他會給哈娜雙份祭肉，因為他愛哈娜，雖然耶和華使她不能生育。 6毗尼娜見她不能生育，便常常羞辱她、氣她。 7每年來到耶和華的殿時，毗尼娜總是惹她傷心哭泣，以致她吃不下飯。 8她的丈夫以利加拿對她說：「哈娜，你為什麼哭？為什麼不吃飯？為什麼心裡難過？有我不是比有十個兒子更好嗎？」
9一天，他們在示羅吃完飯後，哈娜起來禱告。當時，祭司以利正坐在耶和華殿門口的座位上。 10哈娜心中愁苦，一邊禱告一邊傷心地哭泣。 11她向上帝許願說：「萬軍之耶和華啊，如果你眷顧婢女的痛苦，不忘記婢女，賜給婢女一個兒子，我必讓他終生事奉你，永不剃他的頭1·11 參見民數記6章。。」 12哈娜在耶和華面前禱告，以利注視著她的嘴唇。 13哈娜在心中默禱，只動嘴唇，不出聲音，以利以為她喝醉了， 14便對她說：「你要醉到什麼時候呢？醒醒酒吧！」 15哈娜答道：「我主啊，我沒有喝醉，我淡酒和烈酒都沒有喝。我是心裡非常愁苦，在耶和華面前傾訴心事。 16請不要以為我是墮落的女人，我心中非常悲傷痛苦，所以一直在禱告。」 17以利說：「你安心地回去吧，願以色列的上帝答應你的祈求。」 18哈娜說：「謝謝你恩待婢女。」於是，她就去吃飯，不再愁容滿面了。
21第二年，以利加拿帶全家人前往示羅，向耶和華獻年祭並還所許的願。 22哈娜沒有跟他們同去，她告訴丈夫說：「孩子斷奶以後，我會把他帶去獻給耶和華，讓他永遠住在那裡。」 23以利加拿說：「就依你的意思吧。願耶和華成就祂的應許。」於是，她就留在家中哺養孩子，直到孩子斷奶。 24孩子斷奶以後，她就把他帶到示羅耶和華的殿，並帶去三頭公牛、十公斤麵粉和一袋酒。 25他們宰了一頭公牛後，就把孩子帶到以利面前。 26哈娜說：「我主啊，我敢在你面前起誓，我就是那一次站在你這裡向耶和華祈求的婦人。 27我求耶和華賜給我一個孩子，祂應允了我的祈求。 28現在，我將他獻給耶和華，讓他終身事奉耶和華。」