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2
Hannah's Prayer
1And Hannah prayed and said,
"My heart exults in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord.
My mouth derides my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
2 "There is none holy like the Lord:
for there is none besides you;
there is no rock like our God.
3 Talk no more so very proudly,
let not arrogance come from your mouth;
for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken,
but the feeble bind on strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.
The barren has borne seven,
but she who has many children is forlorn.
6 The Lord kills and brings to life;
he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and he exalts.
8 He raises up the poor from the dust;
he lifts the needy from the ash heap
to make them sit with princes
and inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord's,
and on them he has set the world.
9 "He will guard the feet of his faithful ones,
but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness,
for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;
against them he will thunder in heaven.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;
he will give strength to his king
and exalt the horn of his anointed."
11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.
Eli's Worthless Sons
12Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord. 13The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw." 16And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force." 17Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.
18Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. 19And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord." So then they would return to their home.
21Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.
Eli Rebukes His Sons
22Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.
26Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.
The Lord Rejects Eli's Household
27And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the Lord, 'Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28Did 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? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?' 30Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out 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 shall be lightly esteemed. 31Behold, the days are 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. 32Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men. 34And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever. 36And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, "Please put me in one of the priests' places, that I may eat a morsel of bread."'"
2
Hannah's Prayer
1 # Lk 1.46-55 Hannah prayed:
“The Lord has filled my heart with joy;
how happy I am because of what he has done!
I laugh at my enemies;
how joyful I am because God has helped me!
2“No one is holy like the Lord;
there is none like him,
no protector like our God.
3Stop your loud boasting;
silence your proud words.
For the Lord is a God who knows,
and he judges all that people do.
4The bows of strong soldiers are broken,
but the weak grow strong.
5The people who once were well fed
now hire themselves out to get food,
but the hungry are hungry no more.
The childless wife has borne seven children,
but the mother of many is left with none.
6 # Ws 16.13; Tb 13.2 The Lord kills and restores to life;
he sends people to the world of the dead
and brings them back again.
7He makes some people poor and others rich;
he humbles some and makes others great.
8He lifts the poor from the dust
and raises the needy from their misery.
He makes them companions of princes
and puts them in places of honor.
The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord;
on them he has built the world.
9“He protects the lives of his faithful people,
but the wicked disappear in darkness;
a man does not triumph by his own strength.
10The Lord's enemies will be destroyed;
he will thunder against them from heaven.
The Lord will judge the whole world;
he will give power to his king,
he will make his chosen king victorious.”
11Then Elkanah went back home to Ramah, but the boy Samuel stayed in Shiloh and served the Lord under the priest Eli.
The Sons of Eli
12The sons of Eli were scoundrels. They paid no attention to the Lord 13or to the regulations concerning what the priests could demand from the people. Instead, when someone was offering a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork. While the meat was still cooking, 14he would stick the fork into the cooking pot, and whatever the fork brought out belonged to the priest. All the Israelites who came to Shiloh to offer sacrifices were treated like this. 15In addition, even before the fat was taken off and burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the one offering the sacrifice, “Give me some meat for the priest to roast; he won't accept boiled meat from you, only raw meat.”
16If the person answered, “Let us do what is right and burn the fat first; then take what you want,” the priest's servant would say, “No! Give it to me now! If you don't, I will have to take it by force!”
17This sin of the sons of Eli was extremely serious in the Lord's sight, because they treated the offerings to the Lord with such disrespect.
Samuel at Shiloh
18In the meantime the boy Samuel continued to serve the Lord, wearing a sacred linen apron. 19Each year his mother would make a little robe and take it to him when she accompanied her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say to Elkanah, “May the Lord give you other children by this woman to take the place of the one you dedicated to him.”
After that they would go back home.
21The Lord did bless Hannah, and she had three more sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up in the service of the Lord.
Eli and His Sons
22Eli was now very old. He kept hearing about everything his sons were doing to the Israelites and that they were even sleeping with the women who worked at the entrance to the Tent of the Lord's presence. 23So he said to them, “Why are you doing these things? Everybody tells me about the evil you are doing. 24Stop it, my sons! This is an awful thing the people of the Lord are talking about! 25If anyone sins against someone else, God can defend the one who is wrong; but who can defend someone who sins against the Lord?”
But they would not listen to their father, for the Lord had decided to kill them.
26 # Si 46.13; Lk 2.52 The boy Samuel continued to grow and to gain favor both with the Lord and with people.
The Prophecy against Eli's Family
27A prophet came to Eli with this message from the Lord: “When your ancestor Aaron and his family were slaves of the king of Egypt, I revealed myself to Aaron. 28#Ex 28.1-4; Lv 7.35,36 From all the tribes of Israel I chose his family to be my priests, to serve at the altar, to burn the incense, and to wear the ephod#2.28: Ephod: See Word List. to consult me. And I gave them the right to keep a share of the sacrifices burned on the altar. 29Why, then, do you look with greed#2.29: One ancient translation look with greed; Hebrew unclear. at the sacrifices and offerings which I require from my people? Why, Eli, do you honor your sons more than me by letting them fatten themselves on the best parts of all the sacrifices my people offer to me? 30I, the Lord God of Israel, promised in the past that your family and your clan would serve me as priests for all time. But now I say that I won't have it any longer! Instead, I will honor those who honor me, and I will treat with contempt those who despise me. 31Listen, the time is coming when I will kill all the young men in your family and your clan, so that no man in your family will live to be old. 32You will be troubled and look with envy#2.32: Probable text look with envy; Hebrew unclear. on all the blessings I will give to the other people of Israel, but no one in your family will ever again live to old age. 33Yet I will keep one of your descendants alive, and he will serve me as priest. But he#2.33: One ancient translation he; Hebrew you. will become blind and lose all hope, and all your other descendants will die a violent death. 34#1 S 4.11 When your two sons Hophni and Phinehas both die on the same day, this will show you that everything I have said will come true. 35I will choose a priest who will be faithful to me and do everything I want him to. I will give him descendants, who will always serve in the presence of my chosen king. 36Any of your descendants who survive will have to go to that priest and ask him for money and food, and beg to be allowed to help the priests, in order to have something to eat.”