1 Then Hannah prayed and said,
“My heart exults in Yahweh, my strength is exalted in Yahweh; I grin#Literally “my mouth is broad” over my enemies, for I rejoice over your salvation.
2There is no one holy like Yahweh, for there is no one besides you,
and there is no rock like our God.
3Do not increase speaking very proud#Literally “proud, proud” words!
Let no arrogance go forth from your mouth,
for Yahweh is a God of knowledge
whose deeds are not weighed.#So Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib); the reading tradition (Qere) reads “and by him deeds are weighed”
4The bows of mighty warriors are shattered,
but those who stumble gird themselves with strength.
5Those who were full must hire themselves out for bread,
but those who are hungry will become fat.
As for the infertile, she will bear seven,
but she who has many sons withers away.
6Yahweh kills and restores alive,
he brings down to Sheol#“Sheol” is a Hebrew term for the place where the dead reside, i.e., the underworld. and raises up.
7Yahweh makes poor and makes rich;
he brings low and also exalts.
8He raises up the poor from the dust.
From the ash heap he lifts up the needy,
to cause them to sit with noble people
and to cause them to inherit a seat of honor.
For the pillars of the earth belong to Yahweh
and he has set the inhabited world on them.
9He will guard the feet of his faithful#Or “loyal” ones,
but the wicked will be destroyed#Or “will be silenced” in the darkness,
because a man will not prevail by his might.
10Yahweh will shatter#Singular verb supported by Syriac, Targums, Septuagint, and Old Latin versions. his adversaries;#The Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib) has the singular “adversary”; the reading tradition (Qere) reads the plural
he will thunder against them in the heavens.
Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king
and will exalt the might of his anointed one.
11Then Elkanah went to Ramah, to his house. Now the boy was serving Yahweh in the presence of#Literally “in the face of” Eli the priest.
The Family of Eli the Priest
12Now the sons of Eli were worthless scoundrels;#Literally “sons of Belial” they did not know#Or “acknowledge” Yahweh. 13And the custom of the priests with the people was this: When any man brought a sacrifice,#Literally “was sacrificing a sacrifice” and so throughout 1 & 2 Samuel as the meat was boiling, the servant of the priest would take a three-pronged meat fork in his hand 14and would thrust it into the pan or into the kettle or into the cauldron or into the cooking pot. All that the meat fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they used to do to all of the Israelites who came there at Shiloh. 15Also, before they offered up#Literally “caused to go up in smoke” the fat as a burnt offering, the servant of the priest would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest meat for roasting, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but only raw.”#Literally “with the life” 16And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat completely first,#Literally “as the day” then take for yourself as you#Literally “as your soul” desire,” then he would say to him, “No!#According to the reading tradition (Qere) Give it now! If not, I will take it by force!” 17So the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of Yahweh, because the men treated the offering of Yahweh with contempt.
Samuel’s Life in the Tabernacle
18Now Samuel was serving before Yahweh, as a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19His mother used to make for him a small robe and take it to him year by year#Literally “from days to days” whenever she came up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.#Literally “the sacrifice of days” 20And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and he said, “May Yahweh give you an offspring from this woman in place of the petitioned one that she requested from Yahweh.” Then they went to their home. 21Yahweh took note of Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters, while the young man Samuel grew up with Yahweh.
Eli Rebukes His Evil Sons
22Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel and that they were having sexual relations with the women who were serving at the entrance of the tent of assembly.#Or “meeting” 23And he asked them, “Why are you doing all these things that I am hearing, namely, your evil dealings with all these people? 24No, my sons, the report is not good that I am hearing the people of Yahweh spreading. 25If a man sins against a man, then God can intercede for him. But if a man sins against Yahweh, who can intercede for him?” But they did not obey#Literally “listen to the voice of” their father, because Yahweh wanted to kill them. 26But the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor#Literally “was going and being great and good” with Yahweh and with the people.
Yahweh Rebukes Eli
27Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him: “Thus says Yahweh: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself to the house of your ancestor#Or “father,” meaning Aaron when they were in Egypt under the house of Pharaoh? 28And I chose him from all the tribes of Israel to be a priest to me, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to bear an ephod before me. I gave to the house of your ancestor#Or “father” all the offerings made by fire by the Israelites.#Literally “sons/children of Israel” 29Why do you despise my sacrifice and my offering which I commanded for my dwelling place, while you honored your sons more than me by making yourselves fat from the best of all the offerings of my people Israel? 30Therefore,’ declares#Literally “the declaration of” Yahweh the God of Israel, ‘though I solemnly said that your house and the house of your ancestor#Or “father” would walk before me forever, but now,’ declares#Literally “the declaration of” Yahweh, ‘far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me, I will treat with contempt! 31Look, days are coming when I will cut off your strength#Literally “arm,” figurative of “strength” in the context of “descendants” and the strength#Literally “arm,” figurative of “strength” in the context of “descendants” of the house of your ancestor#Or “father” so that no one in your house will live to old age.#Literally “from being old in your house” 32You will look at the distress of my dwelling place, despite all the good caused for Israel, but there will never be an old man in your household forever!#Literally “all the days” 33The only one I will not cut off from my altar is you.#Understanding the beth preposition as a beth essentiae Rather, to cause your eyes to fail and to cause your soul to grieve, all the members of your household#Literally “all the abundance of your house” will die as men.#Or “in their prime”; some Greek and other manuscripts supply “sword” (“will die by the sword of men”) 34This is the sign for you that will come regarding your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: they will both die on the same day! 35But I will raise up for myself a reliable#Or “faithful” priest; he will do just according to what is in my heart and in my soul. I will build for him a lasting#Hebrew “faithful” or “reliable” house and he will walk continually before my anointed one forever.#Literally “all the days” 36All the remainder of your household will come to bow down before#Literally “to” him for a bit of silver or a loaf of bread and will say, “Please assign me to one of the priestly offices#Literally “priesthoods” so that I can eat a morsel of bread.” ’ ”