1 Hannah prayed, “I'm so happy in the Lord! He has empowered me! Now I have plenty to say in answer to those who hate me. I celebrate your salvation! 2 There's no one holy like the Lord—no one apart from you, no Rock like our God!
3 Don't speak so conceitedly! Don't talk so arrogantly! For the Lord is a God who knows everything—doesn't he judge what you do?
of the powerful are shattered, while those who stumble along are made strong. 5
Those who used to have plenty of food now have to work to earn a crust, while those who used to be hungry now have become fat. The woman who was childless now has seven children, while the woman with many children fades away.
6 The Lord kills and he revives; he sends some down to the grave, but he raises others up. 7 The Lord makes some poor, but others rich; he brings some down, but he lifts others up. 8 He helps the poor up from the dust; he raises the lowborn from the trash pile and seats them with the upper class in places of honor. For the foundations of the earth belong to the Lord, and he has placed the world on them.
He will take care of those who trust him, but the wicked vanish into the darkness, for people don't succeed through their own strength. 10
The Lord crushes his enemies, he thunders against them from heaven. He rules†
the whole earth; he strengthens his king, and gives power to the one he has anointed.”
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah while the boy stayed with Eli the priest serving the Lord.
12 Eli's sons were worthless men who didn't have any time for the Lord 13 or their role as priests to the people. They would send one of their servants over with a fork when anyone came to offer a sacrifice. 14 The servant would stick the fork into the pot while the meat from the sacrifice was being boiled, and would take whatever meat came up on the fork to Eli's sons. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15 In fact even before the fat of the sacrifice was burned up the servant would come and would demand from the man sacrificing, “Give me meat to roast for the priest. He doesn't want boiled meat from you—he wants it raw.”
16 The man might answer, “Let me first burn up all the fat, and then you can have as much as you want.”
But the priest's servant would reply, “No, you must give it to me now. If you don't, I'll take it by force.” 17 The sins of these young men were extremely serious from the Lord's perspective because they were treating with contempt the Lord's offerings.
But Samuel served before the Lord—a boy dressed as a priest,‡
wearing a linen ephod. 19
Every year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20
Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, “May the Lord give you children by this woman to replace the one she prayed for and dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would return home. 21
The Lord blessed§
Hannah with three sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
22 Eli was very old, however he had heard about all the things his sons were doing to the people of Israel, and how they were seducing the women who were serving at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 23 He asked them, “Why are you doing all this? I keep on hearing from everyone about your evil actions. 24 No, my sons, the report I hear about you from the Lord's people isn't good. 25 If a man sins against someone, God can intercede for him; but if a man sin against the Lord, who is going to intercede for him?” But they didn't pay attention to what their father said, for the Lord was planning to put them to death.
26 The boy Samuel grew physically, and also grew in the approval of both the Lord and the people.
A man of God came to Eli and told him, “This is what the Lord says: Didn't I very clearly reveal myself to your forefather's family when they were ruled by Pharaoh in Egypt? 28
I chose him*
out of all the tribes of Israel as my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave to your forefather's family all the Israelites' offerings made with fire. 29
So why have you treated with contempt my sacrifices and offerings that I have ordered for my place of worship? You honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves with the best parts of all the offerings from my people Israel.
Consequently, this is the declaration of the Lord: I made a definite promise that your family and your father's family would always serve me as priests. But now the Lord declares: Not anymore! Instead I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me I will treat with contempt. 31
The time is coming when I will bring your family and your father's family to an end.†
No one will live to an old age. 32
You will see tragedy in the place of worship.‡
While Israel will prosper, no one in your family will ever again reach old age. 33
Anyone of your family not cut off from serving at my altar will make your eyes weep and cause you grief. All your descendants will die when full of life. 34
Here is a sign for you that this will happen regarding your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: both will die on the same day. 35
I will choose for myself a trustworthy priest who will do what I really want, what I have in mind. I will make sure he and his descendants are trustworthy and they will always serve my anointed one. 36
Every one of your descendants who is left will come and bow down to him, asking for money and food, saying, ‘Please give me work as a priest so that I can have food to eat.’ ”