The birth of Samuel
1There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite1:1 See Septuagint and 1 Chron. 6:26-27,33-35; or from Ramathaim Zuphim. 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. 6Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s 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. 8Her husband Elkanah 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 his chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s house. 10In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. 11And she made a vow, saying, ‘Lord Almighty, if you will only look on 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 drunk 14and said to her, ‘How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away 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 favour 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 worshipped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,1:20 Samuel sounds like the Hebrew for heard by God. saying, ‘Because I asked the Lord for him.’
Hannah dedicates Samuel
21When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the Lord and to fulfil 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.’1:22 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls always. I have dedicated him as a Nazirite – all the days of his life.’
23‘Do what seems best to you,’ her husband Elkanah told her. ‘Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the Lord make good his1:23 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint and Syriac your 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,1:24 Dead Sea Scrolls, Septuagint and Syriac; Masoretic Text with three bulls an ephah1:24 That is, probably about 16 kilograms of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh. 25When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26and she said to him, ‘Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, 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 shall be given over to the Lord.’ And he worshipped the Lord there.
3以利加拿每年都从家乡到示罗去敬拜万军之耶和华，献上祭物。当时以利的两个儿子何弗尼和非尼哈在那里做耶和华的祭司。 4每当献完祭后，以利加拿就会把祭肉分给毗尼娜和她的儿女。 5但他会给哈娜双份祭肉，因为他爱哈娜，虽然耶和华使她不能生育。 6毗尼娜见她不能生育，便常常羞辱她、气她。 7每年来到耶和华的殿时，毗尼娜总是惹她伤心哭泣，以致她吃不下饭。 8她的丈夫以利加拿对她说：“哈娜，你为什么哭？为什么不吃饭？为什么心里难过？有我不是比有十个儿子更好吗？”
9一天，他们在示罗吃完饭后，哈娜起来祷告。当时，祭司以利正坐在耶和华殿门口的座位上。 10哈娜心中愁苦，一边祷告一边伤心地哭泣。 11她向上帝许愿说：“万军之耶和华啊，如果你眷顾婢女的痛苦，不忘记婢女，赐给婢女一个儿子，我必让他终生事奉你，永不剃他的头1:11 参见民数记6章。。” 12哈娜在耶和华面前祷告，以利注视着她的嘴唇。 13哈娜在心中默祷，只动嘴唇，不出声音，以利以为她喝醉了， 14便对她说：“你要醉到什么时候呢？醒醒酒吧！” 15哈娜答道：“我主啊，我没有喝醉，我淡酒和烈酒都没有喝。我是心里非常愁苦，在耶和华面前倾诉心事。 16请不要以为我是堕落的女人，我心中非常悲伤痛苦，所以一直在祷告。” 17以利说：“你安心地回去吧，愿以色列的上帝答应你的祈求。” 18哈娜说：“谢谢你恩待婢女。”于是，她就去吃饭，不再愁容满面了。
21第二年，以利加拿带全家人前往示罗，向耶和华献年祭并还所许的愿。 22哈娜没有跟他们同去，她告诉丈夫说：“孩子断奶以后，我会把他带去献给耶和华，让他永远住在那里。” 23以利加拿说：“就依你的意思吧。愿耶和华成就祂的应许。”于是，她就留在家中哺养孩子，直到孩子断奶。 24孩子断奶以后，她就把他带到示罗耶和华的殿，并带去三头公牛、十公斤面粉和一袋酒。 25他们宰了一头公牛后，就把孩子带到以利面前。 26哈娜说：“我主啊，我敢在你面前起誓，我就是那一次站在你这里向耶和华祈求的妇人。 27我求耶和华赐给我一个孩子，祂应允了我的祈求。 28现在，我将他献给耶和华，让他终身事奉耶和华。”