1 # Luke 1.46–55. Hannah prayed:
You make me strong
and happy, LORD.
You rescued me.
Now I can be glad
and laugh at my enemies.
2No other god#2.2 god: The Hebrew text has “holy one”, a term for supernatural beings or gods. is like you.
We're safer with you
than on a high mountain.#2.2 mountain: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 2.
3I can tell those proud people,
“Stop your boasting!
Nothing is hidden from the LORD,
and he judges what we do.”
4Our LORD, you break
the bows of warriors,
but you give strength
to everyone who stumbles.
5People who once
had plenty to eat
must now hire themselves out
for only a piece of bread.
But you give the hungry more
than enough to eat.
A woman did not have a child,
and you gave her seven,
but a woman who had many
was left with none.
6You take away life,
and you give life.
You send people down
to the world of the dead
and bring them back again.
7Our LORD, you are the one
who makes us rich or poor.
You put some in high positions
and bring disgrace on others.
8You lift the poor and homeless
out of the rubbish dump
and give them places of honour
in royal palaces.
You set the world on foundations,
and they belong to you.
9You protect your loyal people,
but everyone who is evil
will die in darkness.
We cannot win a victory
by our own strength.
10Our LORD, those who attack you
will be broken in pieces
when you fight back
with thunder from heaven.
You will judge the whole earth
and give power and strength
to your chosen king.
Samuel at the sacred tent
Samuel stays with Eli
11Elkanah and Hannah went back home to Ramah, but the boy Samuel stayed to help Eli serve the LORD.
Eli's sons
12-13Eli's sons were priests, but they were dishonest and refused to obey the LORD. So, while people were boiling the meat from their sacrifices, these priests would send over a servant with a large, three-pronged fork. 14The servant would stick the fork into the cooking pot, and whatever meat came out on the fork was taken back to the priests. That is how these two priests treated every Israelite who came to offer sacrifices in Shiloh. 15Sometimes, when people were offering sacrifices, the servant would come over, even before the fat had been cut off and sacrificed to the LORD.#2.15 sacrificed to the LORD: The fat belonged to the LORD and was supposed to be burnt as a sacrifice before the rest of the animal was cooked and eaten (see Leviticus 3.3,4,9,10,14,15).
Then the servant would tell them, “The priest doesn't want his meat boiled! Give him some raw meat that he can roast!”
16Usually the people answered, “Take what you want. But first, let us sacrifice the fat to the LORD.”
“No,” the servant would reply. “If you don't give it to me now, I'll take it by force.”
17Eli's sons did not show any respect for the sacrifices that the people offered. This was a terrible sin, and it made the LORD very angry.
Hannah visits Samuel
18The boy Samuel served the LORD and wore a special linen garment#2.18 a special linen garment: Either a loin cloth or a jacket or an apron worn only by priests. 19and the clothes#2.19 clothes: The Hebrew word means a sleeveless coat or robe that was worn by priests. Samuel was a small child, but his mother made him clothes just like those worn by priests. his mother made for him. She would bring new clothes every year, when she and her husband came to offer sacrifices at Shiloh.
20Eli would always bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “Samuel was born in answer to your prayers. Now you have given him to the LORD. I pray that the LORD will bless you with more children to take his place.” After Eli had blessed them, Elkanah and Hannah would return home.
21The LORD was kind to Hannah, and she had three more sons and two daughters. But Samuel grew up at the LORD's house in Shiloh.
Eli warns his sons
22Eli was now very old, and he heard what his sons were doing to the people of Israel.#2.22 Israel: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text adds “He heard that his sons were even sleeping with the women who worked at the entrance to the sacred tent.” 23-24“Why are you doing these awful things?” he asked them. “I've been hearing nothing but complaints about you from all the LORD's people. 25If you harm another person, God can help make things right between the two of you. But if you commit a crime against the LORD, no one can help you!”
But the LORD had already decided to kill them. So he kept them from listening to their father.
A prophet speaks to Eli
26 # Luke 2.52. Each day the LORD and his people liked Samuel more and more.
27One day a prophet came to Eli and gave him this message from the LORD:
When your ancestors were slaves of the king of Egypt, I came and showed them who I am. 28-29#Exod 28.1–4; Lev 7.35,36.Out of all the tribes of Israel, I chose your family to be my priests. I wanted them to offer sacrifices and burn incense to me and to find out from me what I want my people to do. I commanded everyone to bring their sacrifices here where I live, and I allowed you and your family to keep those that were not offered to me on the altar.
But you honour your sons instead of me! You don't respect#2.28,29 don't respect: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation “are greedy for”. the sacrifices and offerings that are brought to me, and you've all got fat from eating the best parts.
30I am the LORD, the God of Israel. I promised to let your family serve me as priests for ever, but now I tell you that I cannot do this any longer! I honour anyone who honours me, but I put a curse on anyone who hates me. 31The time will come when I will kill you and everyone else in your family. Not one of you will live to an old age.
32Your family#2.32 Your family: Or “My house of worship”. will have a lot of trouble. I will be kind to Israel,#2.31,32 Not one … to Israel: The Standard Hebrew Text; the Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation do not have these words. but everyone in your family will die young. 33If I let anyone from your family be a priest, his#2.33 his: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text “your”. life will be full of sadness and sorrow. But most of the men in your family will die a violent death!#2.33 die a violent death: The Dead Sea Scrolls and one ancient translation; the Standard Hebrew Text “die”. 34#1 Sam 4.11.To prove to you that I will do these things, your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will die on the same day.
35I have chosen someone else to be my priest, someone who will be faithful and obey me. I will always let his family serve as priests and help my chosen king. 36But if anyone is left from your family, he will come to my priest and beg for money or a little bread. He may even say to my priest, “Please let me be a priest, so I will at least have something to eat.”