Old Testament

1 Samuel 2
Hannah's Song
21Hannah prayed and said:
My heart rejoices in the Lord!
In the Lord, my horn[] is raised high.
My mouth is opened wide against my enemies,
because I find joy in your salvation.
2There is no one holy like the Lord.
Yes, there is no one but you,
and there is no rock like our God.
3Do not talk so high and mighty.
Do not let proud words come out of your mouth,
because the Lord is a God who knows.
By him actions are weighed.[]
4The bows of powerful warriors are broken.
Those who were staggering are now armed with strength.
5Those who once were full now hire themselves out for bread,
but those who were hungry are satisfied.
Yes, the childless woman has given birth to seven children,
but she who had many children is weak with sorrow.
6The Lord puts to death, and he makes alive.
He brings down to the grave, and he raises up.
7The Lord makes some people poor, and he makes others wealthy.
He brings some low. He raises others up.
8He raises the poor out of the dust.
He lifts up the needy from the garbage pile.
He makes them sit with nobles.
He gives them a glorious throne as a possession.
The pillars of the earth belong to the Lord.
He has set the world upon them.
9He will guard the feet of his favored ones,
but the wicked will be put to silence in darkness,
because a person does not prevail by his own strength.
10Those who oppose the Lord will be broken to pieces.
He will thunder against them in the heavens.
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king.
He will raise up the horn of his anointed one.[]
11Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the young boy served the Lord as an attendant to Eli the priest.
Eli's Wicked Sons Contrasted With Samuel
12Now the sons of Eli were wicked scoundrels. They did not know the Lord.
13The practice of the priests with the people was that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, while the meat was still boiling, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand. 14He would thrust it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or cooking pot. The priest would then take for himself everything that the fork brought up. This is the way they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15Before the people had even burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and tell the person who was making the sacrifice, “Give me meat for the priest to roast, because he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw meat.”
16If the man said to him, “Let us burn the fat first. Then take as much as you want,” the servant would say, “No, you must give it to me right now. If you do not, I will take it by force.” 17So the sin of the young men was very serious in the sight of the Lord, because the men were treating the Lord's offerings with contempt.
18But Samuel ministered before the Lord while he was still a young boy, dressed in a special vest[] made of linen. 19His mother would make a little robe for him and bring it to him whenever she came up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you offspring[] from this woman in place of the son she asked for, whom she loaned to the Lord.” Then they would go back to their home. 21The Lord came to Hannah with his blessing,[] and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
22Now Eli was very old. He heard about everything that his sons were doing to all Israel and how they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. 23So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I keep hearing from all these people about your evil actions. 24No, my sons, it is not a good report that I hear! The people are spreading this report everywhere.[] 25If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will mediate for him?” But they did not listen to the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to put them to death.[]
26The young man Samuel continued to grow, and he increased in favor both with the Lord and with men.
The Lord's Warning to Eli
27A man of God came to Eli and told him this:
This is what the Lord says. Didn't I clearly reveal myself to the house of your father[] when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28Out of all the tribes of Israel I chose him to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the special vest before me. I also gave the house of your father all the food offerings[] from the people of Israel. 29Why do all of you kick at my sacrifice and at my offering, which I have commanded for my dwelling place?[] Why do you, Eli, honor your sons more than me? Why do you fatten yourselves with the best of all the offerings from my people Israel?
30Therefore, this is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Israel: I stated solemnly that your house[] and the house of your father would walk before me forever. But now the Lord declares, “This will never be! Yes, I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed.” 31Look, the days are coming, when I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father's house, so that there will never be an old man in your house. 32You will see the distress of the dwelling place. Even when things are good for Israel, there shall never be an old man in your house. 33Any man of yours whom I do not cut off from my altar will only wear out your eyes with tears and your heart with grief, and all the future generations of your house will die before they reach old age.[]
34This will be the sign for you that will come on your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: In one day they will both die. 35I will raise up a faithful priest for myself, one who will act according to what is in my heart and in my soul. I will build an enduring house for him, and he will walk before my anointed one forever. 36Then anyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to the faithful priest to receive a piece of silver and a loaf of bread. The one who is left will say, “Please appoint me to one of the priests' offices, so that I can eat a scrap of bread.”


  • 2:1 A horn is a symbol of power.
  • 2:3 The translation follows the Hebrew reading in the margin (qere). The main Hebrew text (kethiv) reads actions are not weighed.
  • 2:10 Or Messiah. The text points first to David and the coming kings of Judah but ultimately to Christ.
  • 2:18 Hebrew ephod
  • 2:20 Literally seed
  • 2:21 Literally visited Hannah. In the Bible visit means to come with blessing or judgment.
  • 2:24 Or you cause the Lord's people to transgress
  • 2:25 Or it was the Lord's will to put them to death
  • 2:27 That is, his ancestor Aaron
  • 2:28 Or offerings made by fire
  • 2:29 Not the common Hebrew name for the Dwelling, but a different word
  • 2:30 House here refers to the family line of the priests.
  • 2:33 The structure and wording of the verse are difficult, and the translation is uncertain.