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1 Samuel chapter 1

New International Version

1 There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3 Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the LORD Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the LORD. 4 Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. 6 Because the LORD had closed Hannah's womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. 7 This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 8 Her husband Elkanah would say to her, 'Hannah, why are you weeping? Why don't you eat? Why are you downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?'
9 Once when they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his chair by the doorpost of the LORD's house. 10 In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly. 11 And she made a vow, saying, 'LORD Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."
12 As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, 'How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.'
15 Not so, my lord,' Hannah replied, 'I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.'
17 Eli answered, 'Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.'
18 She said, 'May your servant find favor in your eyes.' Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast.
19 Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I asked the LORD for him.'
21 When her husband Elkanah went up with all his family to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow, 22 Hannah did not go. She said to her husband, 'After the boy is weaned, I will take him and present him before the LORD, and he will live there always.'
23 Do what seems best to you,' her husband Elkanah told her. 'Stay here until you have weaned him; only may the LORD make good his word.' So the woman stayed at home and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
24 After he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour and a skin of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. 25 When the bull had been sacrificed, they brought the boy to Eli, 26 and she said to him, 'Pardon me, my lord. As surely as you live, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD. 27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.' And he worshiped the LORD there.
English Standard Version

1 There was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim whose name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephrathite. 2 He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 Now this man used to go up year by year from his city to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the LORD. 4 On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to Peninnah his wife and to all her sons and daughters. 5 But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the LORD had closed her womb. 6 And her rival used to provoke her grievously to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 So it went on year by year. As often as she went up to the house of the LORD, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8 And Elkanah, her husband, said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? And why do you not eat? And why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”
9 After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah rose. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10 She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11 And she vowed a vow and said, “O LORD of hosts, if you will indeed look on the affliction of your servant and remember me and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall touch his head.”
12 As she continued praying before the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. 13 Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman. 14 And Eli said to her, “How long will you go on being drunk? Put your wine away from you.” 15 But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman troubled in spirit. I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for all along I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.” 17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition that you have made to him.” 18 And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then the woman went her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the LORD.”
21 The man Elkanah and all his house went up to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, so that he may appear in the presence of the LORD and dwell there forever.” 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems best to you; wait until you have weaned him; only, may the LORD establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. And the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the LORD. 27 For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my petition that I made to him. 28 Therefore I have lent him to the LORD. As long as he lives, he is lent to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.
King James Version

1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there. 4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb. 6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. 7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. 8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD. 10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. 11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head. 12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth. 13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. 14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee. 15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto. 17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. 20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD. 21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. 22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever. 23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. 24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. 25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. 26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. 27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.
New American Standard Bible

1 Now there was a man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 And he had two wives: the name of one was Hannah and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
3 Now this man would go up from his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice to the LORD of armies in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the LORD there. 4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5 but to Hannah he would give a double portion, because he loved Hannah, but the LORD had closed her womb. 6 Her rival, moreover, would provoke her bitterly to irritate her, because the LORD had closed her womb. 7 And it happened year after year, as often as she went up to the house of the LORD, that she would provoke her; so she wept and would not eat. 8 Then Elkanah her husband would say to her, 'Hannah, why do you weep, and why do you not eat, and why is your heart sad? Am I not better to you than ten sons?'
9 Then Hannah got up after eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 10 She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 11 And she made a vow and said, 'LORD of armies, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your bond-servant and remember me, and not forget Your bond-servant, but will give Your bond-servant a son, then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.'
12 Now it came about, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli was watching her mouth. 13 As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were quivering, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought that she was drunk. 14 Then Eli said to her, 'How long will you behave like a drunk? Get rid of your wine!' 15 But Hannah answered and said, 'No, my lord, I am a woman despairing in spirit; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not consider your bond-servant a useless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and provocation.' 17 Then Eli answered and said, 'Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have asked of Him.' 18 She said, 'Let your bond-servant find favor in your sight.' So the woman went on her way and ate, and her face was no longer sad.
19 Then they got up early in the morning and worshiped before the LORD, and returned again to their house in Ramah. And Elkanah had relations with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. 20 It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, 'Because I have asked for him of the LORD.'
21 Then the man Elkanah went up with all his household to offer to the LORD the yearly sacrifice and to pay his vow. 22 But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, 'I will not go until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, so that he may appear before the LORD and stay there for life.' 23 Elkanah her husband said to her, 'Do what seems best to you. Stay until you have weaned him; only may the LORD confirm His word.' So the woman stayed and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull, one ephah of flour, and a jug of wine, and brought him to the house of the LORD in Shiloh, although the child was young. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull, and brought the boy to Eli. 26 And she said, 'Pardon me, my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the LORD. 27 For this boy I prayed, and the LORD has granted me my request which I asked of Him. 28 So I have also dedicated him to the LORD; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the LORD.' And he worshiped the LORD there.
New Living Translation

1 There was a man named Elkanah who lived in Ramah in the region of Zuph in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, of Ephraim. 2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not.
3 Each year Elkanah would travel to Shiloh to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Heaven's Armies at the Tabernacle. The priests of the LORD at that time were the two sons of Eli--Hophni and Phinehas. 4 On the days Elkanah presented his sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to Peninnah and each of her children. 5 And though he loved Hannah, he would give her only one choice portion because the LORD had given her no children. 6 So Peninnah would taunt Hannah and make fun of her because the LORD had kept her from having children. 7 Year after year it was the same--Peninnah would taunt Hannah as they went to the Tabernacle. Each time, Hannah would be reduced to tears and would not even eat.
8 'Why are you crying, Hannah?' Elkanah would ask. 'Why aren't you eating? Why be downhearted just because you have no children? You have me--isn't that better than having ten sons?'
9 Once after a sacrificial meal at Shiloh, Hannah got up and went to pray. Eli the priest was sitting at his customary place beside the entrance of the Tabernacle. 10 Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the LORD. 11 And she made this vow: 'O LORD of Heaven's Armies, if you will look upon my sorrow and answer my prayer and give me a son, then I will give him back to you. He will be yours for his entire lifetime, and as a sign that he has been dedicated to the LORD, his hair will never be cut. '
12 As she was praying to the LORD, Eli watched her. 13 Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking. 14 'Must you come here drunk?' he demanded. 'Throw away your wine!'
15 'Oh no, sir!' she replied. 'I haven't been drinking wine or anything stronger. But I am very discouraged, and I was pouring out my heart to the LORD. 16 Don't think I am a wicked woman! For I have been praying out of great anguish and sorrow.'
17 'In that case,' Eli said, 'go in peace! May the God of Israel grant the request you have asked of him.'
18 'Oh, thank you, sir!' she exclaimed. Then she went back and began to eat again, and she was no longer sad.
19 The entire family got up early the next morning and went to worship the LORD once more. Then they returned home to Ramah. When Elkanah slept with Hannah, the LORD remembered her plea, 20 and in due time she gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, 'I asked the LORD for him.'
21 The next year Elkanah and his family went on their annual trip to offer a sacrifice to the LORD. 22 But Hannah did not go. She told her husband, 'Wait until the boy is weaned. Then I will take him to the Tabernacle and leave him there with the LORD permanently.'
23 'Whatever you think is best,' Elkanah agreed. 'Stay here for now, and may the LORD help you keep your promise.' So she stayed home and nursed the boy until he was weaned.
24 When the child was weaned, Hannah took him to the Tabernacle in Shiloh. They brought along a three-year-old bull for the sacrifice and a basket of flour and some wine. 25 After sacrificing the bull, they brought the boy to Eli. 26 'Sir, do you remember me?' Hannah asked. 'I am the woman who stood here several years ago praying to the LORD. 27 I asked the LORD to give me this boy, and he has granted my request. 28 Now I am giving him to the LORD, and he will belong to the LORD his whole life.' And they worshiped the LORD there.
Christian Standard Bible

1 There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3 This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Armies at Shiloh, where Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the Lord's priests.
4 Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. 5 But he gave a double portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the Lord had kept her from conceiving. 6 Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. 7 Year after year, when she went up to the Lord's house, her rival taunted her in this way. Hannah would weep and would not eat. 8 "Hannah, why are you crying? " her husband, Elkanah, would ask. "Why won't you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than ten sons? "
9 On one occasion, Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh. The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord's temple. 10 Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. 11 Making a vow, she pleaded, "Lord of Armies, if you will take notice of your servant's affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut."
12 While she continued praying in the Lord's presence, Eli watched her mouth. 13 Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, "How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine! "
15 "No, my lord," Hannah replied. "I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven't had any wine or beer; I've been pouring out my heart before the Lord. 16 Don't think of me as a wicked woman; I've been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment."
17 Eli responded, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you've made of him."
18 "May your servant find favor with you," she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.
19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to worship before the Lord. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, "I requested him from the Lord."
21 When Elkanah and all his household went up to make the annual sacrifice and his vow offering to the Lord, 22 Hannah did not go and explained to her husband, "After the child is weaned, I'll take him to appear in the Lord's presence and to stay there permanently."
23 Her husband, Elkanah, replied, "Do what you think is best, and stay here until you've weaned him. May the Lord confirm your word." So Hannah stayed there and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull, half a bushel of flour, and a clay jar of wine. Though the boy was still young, she took him to the Lord's house at Shiloh. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.
26 "Please, my lord," she said, "as surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord." Then he worshiped the Lord there.

What does 1 Samuel chapter 1 mean?

Leading up to this point in Israel's history, there has been no central government: Israel has no "king." This point was made several times in the book of Judges (Judges 19:1; 21:25). Another meaning for those statements is that Israel has been faithless and lawless, resulting in subjugation to her enemies. God sent rescuers to break those cycles (Judges 2:16–19), though Israel continued to sink deeper and deeper into sin.

The last man to serve solely as a judge, Samson, only "began" to break Israel out from oppression (Judges 13:5). His efforts against the Philistines (Judges 16:30–31) paved the way for this book's namesake, Samuel, to complete the task (1 Samuel 7:14). Their lives likely overlapped, though it's never stated that they met. Samuel will serve as Israel's last legitimate judge (1 Samuel 7:15–17) and the first prophet of Israel's new monarchy (1 Samuel 3:20; 9:15–16; 16:13).

The story of Samuel begins with the poignant story of Samuel's mother Hannah. Like the mothers of several significant men in the story of Israel, Hannah was barren (Genesis 21:1–3; 25:21; 30:22–24; Judges 13; Luke 1:5–25). She could not have children until the Lord blessed her with a son, and that son was meant to change the course of Israel's history. These birth narratives demonstrate God's sovereignty over His people and His faithfulness to His promises.

Hannah's husband, Elkanah, lived in the hill country of Ephraim and had two wives. He may have married the second wife, Peninnah, because of Hannah's infertility (1 Samuel 1:1–2).

Every year, the family traveled to Shiloh, to the temple of the Lord, to worship and sacrifice offerings to the Lord and have a feast. Their sacrifice was a peace offering shared between the Lord, the priests, and those bringing the offering. Elkanah would divide the meat given to him into equal portions to distribute to Peninnah and all her children. He would give a double portion to Hannah, whom he loved, to honor her. Apparently jealous, Peninnah would then torment Hannah because she could not have children. Then Elkanah would try to comfort Hannah. This entire process became an annual tradition (1 Samuel 1:3–8).

One year, though, Hannah refuses to eat and goes to the temple to pray. Deeply distressed, she weeps and pours her heart out to the Lord. She makes a vow to the Lord to give a son to Him for a lifetime of service if He will allow Hannah to conceive and give birth to that son. She includes in the vow that no razor will ever touch his head, suggesting this is the Nazirite vow from Numbers 6 (1 Samuel 1:9–11).

Hannah is so overwhelmed with emotion that she catches the attention of the priest over the temple at Shiloh. Eli watches as Hannah's lips move in prayer but no sound comes out. The priest assumes she is drunk and reprimands her. Hannah, though, assures the priest she hasn't been drinking. She has been praying to God out of her deep anger and worry (1 Samuel 1:12–16).

Eli sees that she is telling the truth. He blesses Hannah, affirms her prayer, and possibly even prophesies that God will grant her petition. Hannah leaves the temple no longer sad. After worshipping, Hannah and the rest of the family return home. The Lord "remembers" Hannah—He acts on her behalf. Before long, Hannah and Elkanah conceive, and she bears a son, whom she names Samuel (1 Samuel 1:17–20).

Elkanah takes Hannah's vow as his own (Numbers 30:10-15) and possibly makes an additional vow. The next time he goes to Shiloh for the annual sacrifice, he plans to pay that vow. Hannah, however, does not go to that sacrifice, saying that their son needs to first be weaned—no longer reliant on her for nutrition—before he can be given to lifelong temple service. Elkanah agrees and prays that the Lord will establish His word, meaning the gift of the child, despite the delay in keeping the vow (1 Samuel 1:21–23).

When Samuel is weaned, they take a large sacrifice to the temple in Shiloh, including a bull, flour, and wine. Hannah presents Samuel to Eli and tells the priest that this is the boy she was praying for on the night of their encounter. She tells Eli that she is giving the boy over to the Lord for as long as he lives (1 Samuel 1:24–28).