The Family of Elkanah
1There was a certain man from Ramathaim Zophim, from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.#Or “Ephrathite” 2He had two wives; the name of the first was Hannah, and the name of the second was Peninnah. Now Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3Now this man used to go up from his town year by year#Literally “from days to days” to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of hosts in Shiloh, where#Literally “and there” the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to Yahweh. 4On#Literally “And it happened on” the day Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5But to Hannah he would give a double portion,#Literally “a portion of two faces” because he loved Hannah, though Yahweh had closed her womb. 6(Now her rival wife would provoke her severely in order to upset her because Yahweh had closed her womb.) 7And so he used to do#So Hebrew; because of the abrupt change of subject some revocalize the verb to read “it used to be” year after year; whenever#Or “as often as”; literally “from enough” she went up to the house of Yahweh, she#That is, Penninah would provoke her so that she#That is, Hannah would weep and would not eat. 8So Elkanah her husband would say to her: “Hannah, why do you weep and why do you not eat? And why are you heartsick?#Literally “why is your heart evil” Am I not better to you than ten sons?” 9Then Hannah got up after eating and drinking at Shiloh. (Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the temple#This is not the temple of Solomon (ca. 966 bc), but rather the tabernacle that first resided at Shiloh after the conquest of Joshua. of Yahweh.) 10She was deeply troubled,#Literally “bitter of soul” so she prayed to Yahweh and wept bitterly. 11She made a vow#Literally “vowed a vow” and said: “O Yahweh of hosts, if you will look with compassion on the misery of your female servant, and will remember me, and not forget your female servant, and will give to your female servant a male child#Literally “an offspring of men” then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and a razor will never pass over his head.”#“A razor will never pass over his head” indicates that Hannah promised to dedicate her son to Yahweh as a Nazirite, according to the terms of Num 6:1–21 12While#Literally “And it happened that when” she continued to pray before Yahweh, Eli was observing her mouth. 13Now Hannah had been speaking in her heart; her lips were moving, but her voice could not be heard, so Eli considered her to be drunk. 14Then Eli said to her, “How long will you behave like someone who is drunk? Put away your wine!” 15But Hannah answered and said, “No, my lord. I am a woman deeply distressed,#Literally “difficult of spirit” but I have not drunk wine or strong drink. Rather, I have poured out my soul before Yahweh. 16Do not regard your female servant as worthless,#Literally “as a daughter of Belial/daughter of worthlessness” but because of the extent of my worries and my provocation I have spoken all of this.” 17Then Eli answered and said, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have asked of him.” 18And she said, “May your female slave find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went on her way and ate something, and her face did not look sad any longer.#Literally “her faces were not for her any longer”
The Birth of Samuel
19Then they rose early in the morning and worshiped before Yahweh and returned#Literally “and they returned and went” to their house at Ramah. Then Elkanah had sexual relations with#Literally “knew” Hannah his wife, and Yahweh remembered her. 20In due time,#Literally “At the turning of the days” Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She called his name Samuel, for she said, “I requested him from Yahweh.”
21So the man Elkanah went up with all his household to make the annual sacrifice#Literally “to sacrifice the sacrifice of days” to Yahweh and to pay his vow. 22But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “Once the boy is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear before Yahweh; and he will remain there forever.” 23So her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems right to you;#Literally “do what is good in your eyes” stay until you wean him. Only may Yahweh fulfill his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24Then she brought him up with her when she had weaned him, along with three bulls, one ephah of flour, and a skin#Or “a clay jar” of wine. She brought him to the house of Yahweh at Shiloh while the boy was still young. 25They slaughtered the bull, and they brought the boy to Eli. 26She said, “Excuse me, my lord. As you live,#Literally “your soul lives” my lord, I am the woman who stood with you in this place to pray to Yahweh. 27I prayed for this boy, and Yahweh has given me my request that I asked from him. 28I in turn have lent him to Yahweh. As long as he lives#Literally “All the days that he lives” he is lent to Yahweh.” Then they worshiped Yahweh there.