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.
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.