1 Samuel 1-3 World English Bible

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The Birth of Samuel

1 1  Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite: 2  and he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3  This man went up out of his city from year to year to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of Armies in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests to Yahweh, were there. 4  When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: 5  but to Hannah he gave a double portion; for he loved Hannah, but Yahweh had shut up her womb. 6  Her rival provoked her sore, to make her fret, because Yahweh had shut up her womb. 7  as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of Yahweh, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. 8  Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why don’t you eat? Why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”

9  So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the temple of Yahweh. 10  She was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to Yahweh, and wept sore. 11  She vowed a vow, and said, “Yahweh of Armies, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your handmaid, and remember me, and not forget your handmaid, but will give to your handmaid a boy, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come on his head.” 12  It happened, as she continued praying before Yahweh, that Eli saw her mouth. 13  Now Hannah spoke in her heart. Only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. 14  Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunken? Put away your wine from you.” 15  Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I poured out my soul before Yahweh. 16  Don’t count your handmaid for a wicked woman; for I have been speaking out of the abundance of my complaint and my provocation.” 17  Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of him.” 18  She said, “Let your handmaid find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way, and ate; and her facial expression wasn’t sad any more.

19  They rose up in the morning early, and worshiped before Yahweh, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and Yahweh remembered her. 20  It happened, when the time had come, that Hannah conceived, and bore a son; and she named him Samuel, [1] saying, “Because I have asked him of Yahweh.” 21  The man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer to Yahweh the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. 22  But Hannah didn’t go up; for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before Yahweh, and stay there forever.” 23  Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems good to you. Wait until you have weaned him; only may Yahweh establish his word.”

So the woman waited and nursed her son, until she weaned him. 24  When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, and one ephah [2] of meal, and a bottle of wine, and brought him to Yahweh’s house in Shiloh. The child was young. 25  They killed the bull, and brought the child to Eli. 26  She said, “Oh, my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to Yahweh. 27  For this child I prayed; and Yahweh has given me my petition which I asked of him. 28  Therefore also I have granted him to Yahweh. As long as he lives he is granted to Yahweh.” He worshiped Yahweh there.

The Song of Hannah

2 1  Hannah prayed, and said:

“My heart exults in Yahweh!
My horn is exalted in Yahweh.
My mouth is enlarged over my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation. 2  There is no one as holy as Yahweh,
For there is no one besides you,
nor is there any rock like our God. 3  “Talk no more so exceeding proudly.
Don’t let arrogance come out of your mouth,
For Yahweh is a God of knowledge.
By him actions are weighed. 4  “The bows of the mighty men are broken.
Those who stumbled are girded with strength. 5  Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread.
Those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
Yes, the barren has borne seven.
She who has many children languishes. 6  “Yahweh kills, and makes alive.
He brings down to Sheol, and brings up. 7  Yahweh makes poor, and makes rich.
He brings low, he also lifts up. 8  He raises up the poor out of the dust.
He lifts up the needy from the dunghill,
To make them sit with princes,
and inherit the throne of glory.
For the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s.
He has set the world on them. 9  He will keep the feet of his holy ones,
but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness;
for no man shall prevail by strength. 10  Those who strive with Yahweh shall be broken to pieces.
He will thunder against them in the sky.

“Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king,
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”

11  Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. The child did minister to Yahweh before Eli the priest.

The Sins of Eli's Sons

12  Now the sons of Eli were base men; they didn’t know Yahweh. 13  The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand; 14  and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest took therewith. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15  Yes, before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat to roast for the priest; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw.” 16  If the man said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take as much as your soul desires;” then he would say, “No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force.” 17  The sin of the young men was very great before Yahweh; for the men despised the offering of Yahweh. 18  But Samuel ministered before Yahweh, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. 19  Moreover his mother made him a little robe, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20  Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, “Yahweh give you seed of this woman for the petition which was asked of Yahweh.” They went to their own home. 21  Yahweh visited Hannah, and she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew before Yahweh. 22  Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel, and how that they lay with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 23  He said to them, “Why do you do such things? for I hear of your evil dealings from all this people. 24  No, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: you make Yahweh’s people disobey. 25  If one man sin against another, God shall judge him; but if a man sin against Yahweh, who shall entreat for him?” Notwithstanding, they didn’t listen to the voice of their father, because Yahweh was minded to kill them. 26  The child Samuel grew on, and increased in favor both with Yahweh, and also with men.

27  A man of God came to Eli, and said to him, “Thus says Yahweh, ‘Did I reveal myself to the house of your father, when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house? 28  Did I choose 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? Did I give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 29  Why do you kick at my sacrifice and at my offering, which I have commanded in my habitation, and honor your sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel my people?’ 30  “Therefore Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, ‘I said indeed that your house, and the house of your father, should walk before me forever.’ But now Yahweh says, ‘Be it far from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31  Behold, the days come, that I will cut off your arm, and the arm of your father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in your house. 32  You shall see the affliction of my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel; and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33  The man of yours, whom I shall not cut off from my altar, shall be to consume your eyes, and to grieve your heart; and all the increase of your house shall die in the flower of their age. 34  “‘This shall be the sign to you, that shall come on your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall both die. 35  I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in my heart and in my mind. I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before my anointed forever. 36  It shall happen, that everyone who is left in your house shall come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread, and shall say, “Please put me into one of the priests’ offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread.”’”

The LORD Calls Samuel

3 1  The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before Eli. The word of Yahweh was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision. 2  It happened at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place (now his eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see), 3  and the lamp of God hadn’t yet gone out, and Samuel had laid down to sleep, in the temple of Yahweh, where the ark of God was; 4  that Yahweh called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5  He ran to Eli, and said, “Here I am; for you called me.”

He said, “I didn’t call; lie down again.”

He went and lay down. 6  Yahweh called yet again, “Samuel!”

Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; for you called me.”

He answered, “I didn’t call, my son; lie down again.” 7  Now Samuel didn’t yet know Yahweh, neither was the word of Yahweh yet revealed to him. 8  Yahweh called Samuel again the third time. He arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am; for you called me.”

Eli perceived that Yahweh had called the child. 9  Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Yahweh; for your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10  Yahweh came, and stood, and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”

Then Samuel said, “Speak; for your servant hears.”

11  Yahweh said to Samuel, “Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone who hears it shall tingle. 12  In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from the beginning even to the end. 13  For I have told him that I will judge his house forever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves, and he didn’t restrain them. 14  Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be removed with sacrifice nor offering forever.” 15  Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh. Samuel feared to show Eli the vision. 16  Then Eli called Samuel, and said, “Samuel, my son!”

He said, “Here I am.” 17  He said, “What is the thing that Yahweh has spoken to you? Please don’t hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the things that he spoke to you.” 18  Samuel told him every bit, and hid nothing from him.

He said, “It is Yahweh. Let him do what seems good to him.”

19  Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20  All Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of Yahweh. 21  Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh; for Yahweh revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Yahweh.

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Footnotes

[1] 1:20 Samuel sounds like the Hebrew for “heard by God.”

[2] 1:24 1 ephah is about 22 litres or about 2/3 of a bushel

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