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 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 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 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.”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 36 pounds or 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 will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
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。」