Hannah’s Song of Thanksgiving
1Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart rejoices and triumphs in the Lord;
My horn (strength) is lifted up in the Lord,
My mouth has opened wide [to speak boldly] against my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
“There is no one holy like the Lord,
There is no one besides You,
There is no Rock like our God.
“Do not go on boasting so very proudly,
Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth;
For the Lord is a God of knowledge,
And by Him actions are weighed (examined).
“The bows of the mighty are [a]broken,
But those who have stumbled equip themselves with strength.
“Those who were full hire themselves out for bread,
But those who were hungry cease [to hunger].
Even the barren [woman] gives birth to seven,
But she who has many children withers away.
“The Lord puts to death and makes alive;
He brings down to Sheol (the grave) and raises up [from the grave].
“The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and He lifts up.
“He raises up the poor from the dust,
He lifts up the needy from the ash heap
To make them sit with nobles,
And inherit a seat of honor and glory;
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He set the land on them.
“He guards the feet of His godly (faithful) ones,
But the wicked ones are silenced and perish in darkness;
For a man shall not prevail by might.
“The adversaries of the Lord will be broken to pieces;
He will thunder against them in the heavens,
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
And He will give strength to His [b]king,
And will exalt the horn (strength) of His anointed.”
11 Elkanah [and his wife Hannah] returned to Ramah to his house. But the child [Samuel] served the Lord [c]under the guidance of Eli the priest.
The Sin of Eli’s Sons
12 The sons of Eli [Hophni and Phinehas] were [d]worthless (dishonorable, unprincipled) men; they did not know [nor respect] the Lord 13 and the custom of the priests with [the sacrifices of] the people. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged [meat] fork in his hand; 14 then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; everything that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did in Shiloh to all [the sacrifices of] the [e]Israelites who came there. 15 Also, before they burned (offered) the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest meat to roast, since he will not accept boiled meat from you, only raw.” 16 If the man said to him, “[f]Certainly they are to burn (offer) the fat first, and then you may take as much as [g]you want,” then the priest’s servant would say, “No! You shall give it to me now or I will take it by force.” 17 So the sin of the [two] young men [Hophni and Phinehas] was very great before the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord disrespectfully.
Samuel before the Lord as a Boy
18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord, as a child dressed in a linen ephod [a sacred item of priestly clothing]. 19 Moreover, his mother would make him a little robe and would bring it up to him each year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman in place of the one she asked for which was dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would return to their own home.
21 And [the time came when] the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the Lord.
Eli Rebukes His Sons
22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard about everything that his sons were doing to all [the people of] Israel, and how they were lying with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting (tabernacle). 23 Eli said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? 24 No, my sons; for the report that I keep hearing from the passers-by among the Lord’s people is not good. 25 If one man does wrong and sins against another, God will intercede (arbitrate) for him; but if a man does wrong to the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to their father, [h]for it was the Lord’s will to put them to death.
26 But the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.
27 Then a man of God (prophet) came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not plainly reveal Myself to the house of your father (ancestor) when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house? 28 Moreover, [i]I selected him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before Me. And [from then on] I gave to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel. 29 Why then do you kick at (despise) My sacrifice and My offering which I commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, by fattening yourselves with the choicest part of every offering of My people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and that of [Aaron] your father would walk [in priestly service] before Me forever.’ But now the Lord declares, ‘Far be it from Me—for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be insignificant and contemptible. 31 Behold, the time is coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 You will look at the distress of My [j]house (the tabernacle), in spite of all the good which God will do for Israel, and there will never again be an old man in your house. 33 Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar; your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul will grieve, and all those born in your house will die as men [in the prime of life]. 34 This will be the sign to you which shall come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day both of them shall die. 35 But I will raise up for Myself a [k]faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him a permanent and enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed [l]forever. 36 And it will happen that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and say, “Please assign me to one of the priest’s offices so I may eat a piece of bread.”’”
- 1 Samuel 2:4 Or filled with terror.
- 1 Samuel 2:10 This would first apply to Saul, whom Samuel would anoint as king of Israel (10:1), and then to David (16:13) and other earthly kings. Ultimately it can be applied to Christ, who will rule over Israel and the world.
- 1 Samuel 2:11 Lit in the presence of.
- 1 Samuel 2:12 Lit sons of Belial.
- 1 Samuel 2:14 In general, sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites refers to all the people (males and females) of the various tribes descended from the twelve sons (Gen 35:23-26) of Jacob (later renamed Israel by God). In verses concerning things such as warfare or circumcision sons of Israel or Israel or Israelites usually refers only to the males. Tribes of ancient people were identified by the name of their founding ancestor. Therefore, this same general rule applies when referring to individual tribal groups, e.g. sons of Reuben, Reuben, Reubenites and so throughout.
- 1 Samuel 2:16 The Law of Moses required all the fat to be burned on the altar as an offering to God (Lev 3:16), so the worshiper would be reluctant to agree to the priest’s demand.
- 1 Samuel 2:16 Lit your soul wants.
- 1 Samuel 2:25 Sometimes, when a person has deliberately and repeatedly violated God’s law, God may allow him to be even more determined to continue his sinful ways.
- 1 Samuel 2:28 From the tribe of Levi God designated Aaron and his descendants to serve as priests.
- 1 Samuel 2:32 Lit dwelling.
- 1 Samuel 2:35 This person is not identified by name, but most scholars consider this prophecy fulfilled by Zadok, a priest during the reign of King David, who became high priest under Solomon. His descendants continued in service to God for many generations.
- 1 Samuel 2:35 Lit all the days.