1:1 There was a man from Ramathaim Zophim, 1 from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah. He was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 1:2 He had two wives; the name of the first was Hannah and the name of the second was Peninnah. Now Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless.
1:3 Year after year 2 this man would go up from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh. It was there that the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phineas, served as the Lord’s priests. 1:4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he used to give meat portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 1:5 But he would give a double 3 portion to Hannah, because he especially loved her. 4 Now the Lord had not enabled her to have children. 5 1:6 Her rival wife used to upset her and make her worry, 6 for the Lord had not enabled her to have children. 1:7 Peninnah 7 would behave this way year after year. Whenever Hannah 8 went up to the Lord’s house, Peninnah 9 would upset her so that she would weep and refuse to eat. 1:8 Finally her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep and not eat? Why are you so sad? 10 Am I not better to you than ten 11 sons?”
1:9 On one occasion in Shiloh, after they had finished eating and drinking, Hannah got up. 12 (Now at the time Eli the priest was sitting in his chair 13 by the doorpost of the Lord’s temple.) 1:10 She was very upset 14 as she prayed to the Lord, and she was weeping uncontrollably. 15 1:11 She made a vow saying, “O Lord of hosts, if you will look with compassion 16 on the suffering of your female servant, 17 remembering me and not forgetting your servant, and give a male child 18 to your servant, then I will dedicate him to the Lord all the days of his life. His hair will never be cut.” 19
1:12 As she continued praying to 20 the Lord, Eli was watching her mouth. 1:13 Now Hannah was speaking from her heart. Although her lips were moving, her voice was inaudible. Eli therefore thought she was drunk. 1:14 So he 21 said to her, “How often do you intend to get drunk? Put away your wine!”
1:15 But Hannah replied, “That’s not the way it is, 22 my lord! I am under a great deal of stress. 23 I have drunk neither wine nor beer. Rather, I have poured out my soul to 24 the Lord. 1:16 Don’t consider your servant a wicked woman, 25 for until now I have spoken from my deep pain and anguish.”
1:17 Eli replied, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request that you have asked of him.” 1:18 She said, “May I, your servant, find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way and got something to eat. 26 Her face no longer looked sad.
1:19 They got up early the next morning and after worshiping the Lord, they returned to their home at Ramah. Elkanah had marital relations with 27 his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered 28 her. 1:20 After some time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, thinking, “I asked the Lord for him. 29
1:21 This man Elkanah went up with all his family to make the yearly sacrifice to the Lord and to keep his vow, 1:22 but Hannah did not go up with them. 30 Instead she told her husband, “Once the boy is weaned, I will bring him and appear before the Lord, and he will remain there from then on.”
So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. 1:24 Once she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three bulls, an ephah 33 of flour, and a container 34 of wine. She brought him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh, even though he was young. 35 1:25 Once the bull had been slaughtered, they brought the boy to Eli. 1:26 She said, “Just as surely as you are alive, my lord, I am the woman who previously stood here with you in order to pray to the Lord. 1:27 I prayed for this boy, and the Lord has given me the request that I asked of him. 1:28 Now I dedicate him to the Lord. From this time on he is dedicated to the Lord.” Then they 36 worshiped the Lord there.
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn 38 is exalted high because of the Lord.
I loudly denounce 39 my enemies,
for I am happy that you delivered me. 40
There is no one other than you!
There is no rock 42 like our God!
letting proud talk come out of your mouth!
For the Lord is a God who knows;
he 44 evaluates what people do.
2:4 The bows of warriors are shattered,
but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.
2:5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food,
but the hungry no longer lack.
but the one with many children withers away. 47
2:6 The Lord both kills and gives life;
he brings down to the grave 48 and raises up.
2:7 The Lord impoverishes and makes wealthy;
he humbles and he exalts.
he raises 50 the poor from the ash heap
to seat them with princes
and to bestow on them an honored position. 51
The foundations of the earth belong to the Lord,
and he has placed the world on them.
but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness,
for it is not by one’s own strength that one prevails.
he thunders against them from 56 the heavens.
The Lord executes judgment to the ends of the earth.
He will strengthen 57 his king
2:12 The sons of Eli were wicked men. 61 They did not recognize the Lord’s authority. 62 2:13 Now the priests would always treat the people in the following way: 63 Whenever anyone was making a sacrifice, while the meat was boiling, the priest’s attendant would come with a three-pronged fork 64 in his hand. 2:14 He would jab it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or pot, and everything that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they used to do to all the Israelites 65 when they came there to Shiloh.
2:15 Even before they burned the fat, the priest’s attendant would come and say to the person who was making the sacrifice, “Hand over some meat for the priest to roast! He won’t take boiled meat from you, but only raw.” 66 2:16 If the individual said to him, “First let the fat be burned away, and then take for yourself whatever you wish,” he would say, “No! 67 Hand it over right now! If you don’t, I will take it forcibly!”
2:18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord. The boy was dressed in a linen ephod. 2:19 His mother used to make him a small robe and bring it up to him at regular intervals when she would go up with her husband to make the annual sacrifice. 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, “May the Lord raise up for you descendants 69 from this woman to replace the one that she 70 dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would go to their 71 home. 2:21 So the Lord graciously attended to Hannah, and she was able to conceive and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up at the Lord’s sanctuary. 72
2:22 Now Eli was very old when he heard about everything that his sons used to do to all the people of Israel 73 and how they used to have sex with 74 the women who were stationed at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 2:23 He said to them, “Why do you behave in this way? For I hear about these evil things from all these 75 people. 2:24 This ought not to be, 76 my sons! For the report that I hear circulating among the Lord’s people is not good. 2:25 If a man sins against a man, one may appeal to God on his behalf. But if a man sins against the Lord, who then will intercede for him?” But Eli’s sons 77 would not listen to their father, for the Lord had decided 78 to kill them.
2:26 Now the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the Lord and with people.
2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Did I not plainly 79 reveal myself to your ancestor’s 80 house when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh? 2:28 I chose your ancestor 81 from all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifice on my altar, to burn incense, and to bear the ephod before me. I gave to your ancestor’s house all the fire offerings made by the Israelites. 2:29 Why are you 82 scorning my sacrifice and my offering that I commanded for my dwelling place? 83 You have honored your sons more than you have me by having made yourselves fat from the best parts of all the offerings of my people Israel.’
2:30 Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I really did say 84 that your house and your ancestor’s house would serve 85 me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May it never be! 86 For I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed! 2:31 In fact, days are coming when I will remove your strength 87 and the strength 88 of your father’s house. There will not be an old man in your house! 2:32 You will see trouble in my dwelling place! 89 Israel will experience blessings, 90 but there will not be an old man in your 91 house for all time. 92 2:33 Any one of you that I do not cut off from my altar, I will cause your 93 eyes to fail 94 and will cause you grief. 95 All of those born to your family 96 will die in the prime of life. 97 2:34 This will be a confirming sign for you that will be fulfilled through your two sons, 98 Hophni and Phinehas: in a single day they both will die! 2:35 Then I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what is in my heart and soul. I will build for him a secure dynasty 99 and he will serve my chosen one for all time. 100 2:36 Everyone who remains in your house will come to bow before him for a little money 101 and for a scrap of bread. Each will say, ‘Assign me to a priestly task so I can eat a scrap of bread.’”
1 tc The translation follows the MT. The LXX reads “a man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite”; this is followed by a number of recent English translations. It is possible the MT reading צוֹפִים (tsofim) arose from dittography of the mem (מ) at the beginning of the following word.
2 tn Heb “from days to days.”
3 tn The exact sense of the Hebrew word אַפָּיִם (’appayim, “two faces”) is not certain here. It is most likely used with the preceding expression (“one portion of two faces”) to mean a portion double than normally received. Although evidence for this use of the word derives primarily from Aramaic rather than from Hebrew usage, it provides an understanding that fits the context here better than other suggestions for the word do. The meaning “double” is therefore adopted in the present translation. Other possibilities for the meaning of the word include the following: “heavily” (cf. Vulg., tristis) and “worthy” or “choice” (cf. KJV and Targum). Some scholars have followed the LXX here, emending the word to אֶפֶס (’efes) and translating it as “but” or “however.” This seems unnecessary. The translators of the LXX may simply have been struggling to make sense of the word rather than following a Hebrew text that was different from the MT here.
4 tn Heb “for Hannah he loved.” Repetition of the proper name would seem redundant in contemporary English, so the pronoun (“her”) has been used here for clarity. The translation also adds the adverb “especially” to clarify the meaning of the text. Without this addition one might get the impression that only Hannah, not Peninnah, was loved by her husband. But the point of the text is that Hannah was his favorite.
6 tn Heb “and her rival wife grieved her, even [with] grief so as to worry her.”
7 tn The MT has a masculine form of the verb here יַעֲשֶׂה (ya’aseh, “he used to do”); the subject in that case would presumably be Elkanah. But this leads to an abrupt change of subject in the following part of the verse, where the subject is the rival wife who caused Hannah anxiety. In light of v. 6 one expects the statement of v. 7 to refer to the ongoing actions of the rival wife: “she used to behave in this way year after year.” Some scholars have proposed retaining the masculine form but changing the vocalization of the verb so as to read a Niphal rather than a Qal (i.e., יֵעֲשֶׂה, ye’aseh, “so it used to be done”). But the problem here is lack of precedent for such a use of the Niphal of this verb. It seems best in light of the context to understand the reference to be to Hannah’s rival Peninnah and to read here, with the Syriac Peshitta, a feminine form of the verb (“she used to do”). In the translation the referent (Peninnah) has been specified for clarity.
8 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Hannah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
9 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Peninnah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
10 tn Heb “why is your heart displeased?”
12 tc The LXX adds “and stood before the Lord,” but this is probably a textual expansion due to the terseness of the statement in the Hebrew text.
13 tn Or perhaps, “on his throne.” See Joüon 2:506-7 §137.f.
14 tn Heb “she [was in] bitterness of soul.”
15 tn Heb “and weeping, she was weeping.” The infinitive absolute emphasizes the extent of her sorrow. The imperfect verbal form emphasizes the continuation of the action in past time.
16 tn Heb “if looking you look.” The expression can refer, as here, to looking favorably upon another, in this case with compassion.
18 tn Heb “seed of men.”
19 tn Heb “a razor will not go up upon his head.”
20 tc Heb “before.” Many medieval Hebrew manuscripts read “to.”
21 tn Heb “Eli.” The pronoun (“he”) has been used in the translation in keeping with contemporary English style.
22 tn Heb “No.”
23 tn Heb “I am a woman difficult of spirit.” The LXX has “for whom the day is difficult,” apparently mistaking the Hebrew word for “spirit” רוּחַ (ruakh) to be the word for “day” יוֹם (yom).
24 tn Heb “before.”
25 tn Heb “daughter of worthlessness.”
26 tc Several medieval Hebrew
27 tn Heb “Elkanah knew his wife.” The Hebrew expression is a euphemism for sexual relations.
28 sn The Lord “remembered” her in the sense of granting her earlier request for a child. The Hebrew verb is often used in the OT for considering the needs or desires of people with favor and kindness.
29 tn Heb “because from the
30 tn The disjunctive clause is contrastive here. The words “with them” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
31 tn Heb “what is good in your eyes.”
33 sn The ephah was a standard dry measure in OT times; it was the equivalent of one-tenth of the OT measure known as a homer. The ephah was equal to approximately one-half to two-thirds of a bushel.
34 tn The Hebrew term translated “container” may denote either a clay storage jar (cf. CEV “a clay jar full of wine”) or a leather container (cf. NAB, NIV, NRSV “a skin of wine”; NCV “a leather bag filled with (full of TEV) wine.”
35 tc Heb “and the boy was a boy.” If the MT is correct the meaning apparently is that the boy was quite young at the time of these events. On the other hand, some scholars have suspected a textual problem, emending the text to read either “and the boy was with them” (so LXX) or “and the boy was with her” (a conjectural emendation). In spite of the difficulty it seems best to stay with the MT here.
36 tn Heb “he,” apparently referring to Samuel (but cf. CEV “Elkanah”). A few medieval manuscripts and some ancient versions take the verb as plural (cf. TEV, NLT).
37 tn Heb “prayed and said.” This is somewhat redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation.
38 sn Horns of animals have always functioned as both offensive and defensive weapons for them. As a figure of speech the horn is therefore often used in the Bible as a symbol of human strength (see also in v. 10). The allusion in v. 1 to the horn being lifted high suggests a picture of an animal elevating its head in a display of strength or virility.
39 tn Heb “my mouth opens wide against.”
40 tn Heb “for I rejoice in your deliverance.”
41 sn In this context God’s holiness refers primarily to his sovereignty and incomparability. He is unique and distinct from all other so-called gods.
42 tn The LXX has “and there is none righteous like our God.” The Hebrew term translated “rock” refers to a rocky cliff where one can seek refuge from enemies. Here the metaphor depicts God as a protector of his people. Cf. TEV “no protector like our God”; CEV “We’re safer with you than on a high mountain.”
43 tn Heb “proudly, proudly.” If MT is original, the repetition of the word is for emphasis, stressing the arrogance of those addressed. However, a few medieval Hebrew manuscripts and some other textual witnesses do not reflect the repetition, suggesting that the Hebrew text may be dittographic.
44 tc The MT (Qere) reads “and by him actions are weighed.” The translation assumes that reading of the Qere וְלוֹ (vÿlo, “and by him”), which is supported by many medieval Hebrew
46 sn The number seven is used here in an ideal sense. Elsewhere in the OT having seven children is evidence of fertility as a result of God’s blessing on the family. See, for example, Jer 15:9, Ruth 4:15.
47 tn Or “languishes.”
48 tn Heb “Sheol”; NAB “the nether world”; CEV “the world of the dead.”
49 tn Or “lowly”; Heb “insignificant.”
50 tn The imperfect verbal form, which is parallel to the participle in the preceding line, is best understood here as indicating what typically happens.
51 tn Heb “a seat of honor.”
52 tn Heb “guards the feet of.” The expression means that God watches over and protects the godly in all of their activities and movements. The imperfect verbal forms in v. 9 are understood as indicating what is typically true. Another option is to translate them with the future tense. See v. 10b.
53 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew
55 tc The present translation follows the Qere, many medieval Hebrew manuscripts, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Vulgate in reading the plural (“his adversaries,” similarly many other English versions) rather than the singular (“his adversary”) of the Kethib.
56 tn The Hebrew preposition here has the sense of “from within.”
57 tn The imperfect verbal forms in this and the next line are understood as indicating what is anticipated and translated with the future tense, because at the time of Hannah’s prayer Israel did not yet have a king.
58 tn Heb “the horn,” here a metaphor for power or strength. Cf. NCV “make his appointed king strong”; NLT “increases the might of his anointed one.”
sn The anointed one is the anticipated king of Israel, as the preceding line makes clear.
60 tn Heb “with [or “before”] the face of.”
61 tn Heb “sons of worthlessness.”
62 tn Heb “they did not know the
63 tn Heb “the habit of the priests with the people [was this].”
64 sn The Hebrew word occurs only twice in the OT, here and again in v. 14. Its exact meaning is not entirely clear, although from the context it appears to be a sacrificial tool used for retrieving things from boiling water.
65 tn Heb “to all Israel.”
66 tn Heb “living.”
67 tc The translation follows the Qere and many medieval Hebrew
68 tc Heb “the men,” which is absent from one medieval Hebrew
69 tn Heb “seed.”
70 tn The MT has a masculine verb here, but in light of the context the reference must be to Hannah. It is possible that the text of the MT is incorrect here (cf. the ancient versions), in which case the text should be changed to read either a passive participle or better, the third feminine singular of the verb. If the MT is correct here, perhaps the masculine is to be understood in a nonspecific and impersonal way, allowing for a feminine antecedent. In any case, the syntax of the MT is unusual here.
71 tn Heb “his.”
72 tn Heb “with the
73 tn Heb “to all Israel.”
74 tn Heb “lie with.”
75 tc For “these” the LXX has “of the Lord” (κυρίου, kuriou), perhaps through the influence of the final phrase of v. 24 (“the people of the
76 tn Heb “no.”
77 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Eli’s sons) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
78 tn Heb “desired.”
79 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.
81 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Eli’s ancestor, i.e., Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
82 tc The MT has a plural “you” here, but the LXX and a Qumran
83 tn Heb “which I commanded, dwelling place.” The noun is functioning as an adverbial accusative in relation to the verb. Since God’s dwelling place/sanctuary is in view, the pronoun “my” is supplied in the translation.
84 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.
85 tn Heb “walk about before.”
86 tn Heb “may it be far removed from me.”
87 tn Heb “chop off your arm.” The arm here symbolizes strength and activity.
88 tn Heb “arm.”
90 tn Heb “in all which he does good with Israel.”
91 tc The LXX and a Qumran manuscript have the first person pronoun “my” here.
92 tn Heb “all the days.”
93 tc The LXX, a Qumran
94 tn Heb “to cause your eyes to fail.” Elsewhere this verb, when used of eyes, refers to bloodshot eyes resulting from weeping, prolonged staring, or illness (see Lev 26:16; Pss 69:3; 119:82; Lam 2:11; 4:17).
95 tn Heb “and to cause your soul grief.”
96 tn Heb “and all the increase of your house.”
97 tc The text is difficult. The MT literally says “they will die [as] men.” Apparently the meaning is that they will be cut off in the prime of their life without reaching old age. The LXX and a Qumran
98 tn Heb “and this to you [is] the sign which will come to both of your sons.”
99 tn Heb “house.”
100 tn Heb “and he will walk about before my anointed one all the days.”
101 tn Heb “a piece of silver” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).