This book contains the account of what happened in Israel from the birth of Samuel to the death of King Saul. We call this book
1 Samuel
Samuel was born
There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah town in the hilly area where the tribe of Ephraim lived. His father was Jeroham, his grandfather was Elihu, and his great-grandfather was Tohu. He belonged to the Zuph clan. He had two wives: Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had several children, but Hannah had no children.
Once every year Elkanah went up with his family from Ramah to Shiloh city. He went there to worship Yahweh, the commander of the armies of angels, and to offer sacrifices to him. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, helped their father to do the work as priests of Yahweh there. Each time Elkanah offered sacrifices there, he gave some of the meat to Peninnah and some to each of her sons and daughters. But even though he loved Hannah very much, he gave her only one special amount of meat because Yahweh had not permitted her to give birth to any children. And his other wife, Peninnah, would ridicule Hannah to make her feel miserable, because Yahweh had not allowed her to bear children. This happened every year. When they went up to the temple of Yahweh at Shiloh, Peninnah ridiculed Hannah so much that Hannah cried and would not eat. Then Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, ◄why are you crying?/please quit crying!► [RHQ] ◄Why are you not eating?/Please eat something!► [RHQ] Why are you so upset/sad? You have me; is that not more important to you than if you had ten sons? (OR, I love you more than your sons would love you, even if you had ten sons.)”
One year, after they had finished eating and drinking at Shiloh, Hannah stood up to pray. Eli the priest was nearby, sitting on a chair by the doorway of the sacred tent of Yahweh. 10 Hannah was very distressed, and she cried very sorrowfully as she prayed to Yahweh. 11 She made a vow saying, “O Almighty Commander of the armies of angels, if you will look at me and see how miserable I am, and think about me and allow me to give birth to a son, then I will dedicate him to you to serve you for the rest of his life. And to show that he is dedicated to you, ◄no one will ever be allowed to cut his hair/his hair will never be cut►.”
12 As she was praying like that to Yahweh, Eli the priest saw Hannah’s lips moving as she was praying. 13 But Hannah was only praying silently; she was not making any sound. So Eli thought that she was drunk. 14 He said to her, “How long will you continue to get drunk [RHQ]? ◄Throw away your wine/Quit drinking wine►!”
15 Hannah replied, “Sir, I am not drunk! I have not been drinking wine or any other alcoholic drink. I feel very distressed and I have been telling Yahweh about how I feel. 16 Do not think that I am a worthless/wicked woman! I have been praying like this because I am very distressed [DOU].”
17 Eli replied, “I wish/desire that things will go well for you. I desire that God, the one we Israeli people worship, will give you what you requested from him.”
18 She replied, “I want you to think highly/well about me.” Then she returned to her family and after she ate something, her face no longer looked sad.
19 Early the next morning, Elkanah and his family got up and worshiped Yahweh again, and then they returned to their home at Ramah. Elkanah ◄slept with/had sex with► Hannah. Then Yahweh answered her prayer, 20 and she became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, which sounds like the words in the Hebrew language that mean ‘heard by God’, because she said “Yahweh heard me when I requested from him a son.”
Hannah dedicated Samuel to Yahweh
21 The following year, Elkanah again went up to Shiloh with his family to make the kind of sacrifice he made each year, and also to give a special offering to God that he had promised to give him previously. 22 But Hannah did not go with them. She said to her husband, “After I have weaned the baby, I will take him to Shiloh and present him to Yahweh, and he will stay there for the rest of his life.”
23 Elkanah said, “Do what seems the best to you. Stay here until you have weaned him. What I desire is that Yahweh will enable you to do what you have promised.” So Hannah stayed at home and nursed her son until she weaned him.
24 After she weaned him, even though Samuel was very young, she took him to the temple/house of Yahweh at Shiloh. To offer as a sacrifice, she took along a three-year-old bull, a sack containing ◄20 pounds/9 kg.► of flour, and a container of wine. 25 After the priest had slaughtered the bull and offered it to Yahweh on the altar, Hannah and Elkanah brought the boy to Eli. 26 Then Hannah said to him, “Sir, ◄Do you remember me?/I solemnly affirm►, I am the woman who prayed as I stood here beside you several years ago. 27 I prayed that Yahweh would enable me to give birth to a child, and this is the child whom I requested Yahweh to give me. 28 So now I am presenting him to Yahweh. He will belong to Yahweh as long as he lives.” Then Elkanah and his family worshiped Yahweh there.