1There was a man named Elkanah from Ramah in the hill country of Ephraim. Elkanah was from the Zuph family. Elkanah was the son of Jeroham. Jeroham was Elihu’s son. Elihu was Tohu’s son. Tohu was the son of Zuph, from the family group of Ephraim. 2Elkanah had two wives. One wife was named Hannah and the other wife was named Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not. 3Every year Elkanah left his town of Ramah and went up to Shiloh. Elkanah worshiped the Lord All-Powerful at Shiloh and offered sacrifices to the Lord there. Shiloh was where Hophni and Phinehas served as priests of the Lord. Hophni and Phinehas were the sons of Eli. 4Every time Elkanah offered his sacrifices, he always gave one share of the food to his wife Peninnah. Elkanah also gave shares of the food to Peninnah’s children. 5Elkanah always gave an equal share of the food to Hannah. Elkanah did this even though the Lord had not let Hannah have any children. Elkanah did this because Hannah was the wife he really loved. 6Peninnah always upset Hannah and made her feel bad. Peninnah did this because Hannah was not able to have children. 7The same thing happened every year. Every time their family went to the Lord’s house at Shiloh, Peninnah made Hannah upset. One day Elkanah was giving sacrifices. Hannah became upset and began to cry. Hannah would not eat anything. 8Her husband, Elkanah, said to her, “Hannah, why are you crying? Why won’t you eat? Why are you sad? You have me—I am your husband. You should think I am better than ten sons.” 9After eating and drinking, Hannah quietly got up and went to pray to the Lord. Eli the priest was sitting on a chair near the door of the Lord’s Holy Building. 10Hannah was very sad. She cried very much while she prayed to the Lord. 11She made a special promise to God. She said, “Lord All-Powerful, see how very sad I am. Remember me! Don’t forget me. If you will give me a son, then I will give him to you. He will be a Nazirite: He will not drink wine or strong drink. And no one will ever cut his hair.” 12Hannah prayed to the Lord a long time. Eli was watching Hannah’s mouth while she was praying. 13Hannah was praying in her heart. Her lips were moving, but she did not say the words out loud. So Eli thought Hannah was drunk. 14Eli said to Hannah, “You have had too much to drink! It is time to put away the wine.” 15Hannah answered, “Sir, I have not drunk any wine or beer. I am deeply troubled. I was telling the Lord about all my problems. 16Don’t think I am a bad woman. I have been praying so long because I have so many troubles and I am very sad.” 17Eli answered, “Go in peace. May the God of Israel give you the things you asked.” 18Hannah said, “I hope you are happy with me.” Then Hannah left and ate something. She was not sad any more. 19Early the next morning Elkanah’s family got up. They worshiped the Lord and then went back home to Ramah. Elkanah had sexual relations with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered Hannah. 20By that time the following year, Hannah had become pregnant and had a son. Hannah named her son Samuel. She said, “His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him.” 21That year Elkanah went ˻to Shiloh˼ to offer sacrifices and to keep the promises he made to God. He took his family with him. 22But Hannah did not go. She told Elkanah, “When the boy is old enough to eat solid food, I will take him to Shiloh. Then I will give him to the Lord. He will become a Nazirite. He will stay there at Shiloh. 23Hannah’s husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what you think is best. You may stay home until the boy is old enough to eat solid food. May the Lord do what you have said.” So Hannah stayed at home to nurse her son until he was old enough to eat solid food. 24When the boy was old enough to eat solid food, Hannah took him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. Hannah also took a bull that was three years old, 20 pounds of flour, and a bottle of wine. 25They went before the Lord. Elkanah killed the bull as a sacrifice to the Lord like he usually did. Then Hannah gave the boy to Eli. 26Hannah said to Eli, “Pardon me, sir. I am the same woman that stood near you praying to the Lord. I promise that I am telling the truth. 27I prayed for this child, and the Lord answered my prayer. The Lord gave me this child. 28And now I give this child to the Lord. He will serve the Lord all his life.” Then Hannah left the boy there and worshiped the Lord.
1 Samuel Array