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1 Samuel chapter 2

New International Version

1 Then Hannah prayed and said: 'My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.
2 There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
3 Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. 4 The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. 6 The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. 7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.
8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. 'For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; on them he has set the world.
9 He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. 'It is not by strength that one prevails;
10 those who oppose the LORD will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. 'He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.'
11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.
12 Eli's sons were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD. 13 Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled 14 and would plunge the fork into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot. Whatever the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. 15 But even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the person who was sacrificing, 'Give the priest some meat to roast; he won't accept boiled meat from you, but only raw.'
16 If the person said to him, 'Let the fat be burned first, and then take whatever you want,' the servant would answer, 'No, hand it over now; if you don't, I'll take it by force.'
17 This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD's sight, for they were treating the LORD's offering with contempt.
18 But Samuel was ministering before the LORD--a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up 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 take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the LORD.' Then they would go home. 21 And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.
22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 So he said to them, 'Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours. 24 No, my sons; the report I hear spreading among the LORD's people is not good. 25 If one person sins against another, God may mediate for the offender; but if anyone sins against the LORD, who will intercede for them?' His sons, however, did not listen to their father's rebuke, for it was the LORD's will to put them to death.
26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with people.
27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, 'This is what the LORD says: 'Did I not clearly reveal myself to your ancestor's family when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh? 28 I chose your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your ancestor's family all the food offerings presented by the Israelites. 29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?'
30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age, 32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, no one in your family line will ever reach old age. 33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from serving at my altar I will spare only to destroy your sight and sap your strength, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.
34 'And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you--they will both die on the same day. 35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his priestly house, and they will minister before my anointed one always. 36 Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a loaf of bread and plead, 'Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat.'''
English Standard Version

1 And Hannah prayed and said, “My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.
2 “There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength. 5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. 6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up. 7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts. 8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and on them he has set the world. 9 “He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” 11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli the priest.
12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
18 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the LORD.” So then they would return to their home.
21 Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.
22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people. 24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad. 25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death.
26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man.
27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh? 28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29 Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men. 34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed forever. 36 And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, “Please put me in one of the priests’ places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.”’”
King James Version

1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation. 2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. 3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength. 5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble. 6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them. 9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. 10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
11 And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest. 12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. 13 And the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; 14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. 15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw. 16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. 17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD. 18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. 19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home. 21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD. 22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. 24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress. 25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them. 26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.
27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? 28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? 29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? 30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house. 32 And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. 33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. 34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. 35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. 36 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.
New American Standard Bible

1 Then Hannah prayed and said, 'My heart rejoices in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. 2 There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God. 3 Do not go on boasting so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed. 4 The bows of the mighty are broken to pieces, But those who have stumbled strap on strength. 5 Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to be hungry. Even the infertile woman gives birth to seven, But she who has many children languishes. 6 The LORD puts to death and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and brings up. 7 The LORD makes poor and rich; He humbles, He also exalts. 8 He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the garbage heap To seat them with nobles, And He gives them a seat of honor as an inheritance; For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’S, And He set the world on them. 9 He watches over the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a person prevail.
10 Those who contend with the LORD will be terrified; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed.'
11 Then Elkanah went to his home at Ramah. But the boy continued to attend to the service of the LORD before Eli the priest.
12 Now the sons of Eli were useless men; they did not know the LORD. 13 And this was the custom of the priests with the people: when anyone was offering a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come while the meat was cooking, with a three-pronged fork in his hand. 14 And he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; everything that the fork brought up, the priest would take for himself. They did so in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, 'Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take cooked meat from you, only raw.' 16 And if the man said to him, 'They must burn the fat first, then take as much as you desire,' then he would say, 'No, but you must give it to me now; and if not, I am taking it by force!' 17 And so the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD disrespectfully.
18 Now Samuel was ministering before the LORD, as a boy wearing a linen ephod. 19 And his mother would make for him a little robe and bring it up to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, 'May the LORD give you children from this woman in place of the one she requested of the LORD.' And they went to their own home.
21 The LORD indeed visited Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up before the LORD.
22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard about everything that his sons were doing to all Israel, and that they slept with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. 23 So he said to them, 'Why are you doing such things as these, the evil things that I hear from all these people? 24 No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the LORD’S people circulating. 25 If one person sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a person sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?' But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.
26 Now the boy Samuel was continuing to grow and to be in favor both with the LORD and with people.
27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, 'This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house? 28 Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel? 29 Why are you showing contempt for My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded for My dwelling, and why are you honoring your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?’ 30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father was to walk before Me forever’; but now the LORD declares, ‘Far be it from Me—for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be insignificant. 31 Behold, the days are coming when I will eliminate your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 And you will look at the distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that I do for Israel; and there will never be an old man in your house. 33 Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar, so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life. 34 And this will be the sign to you which will come in regard to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day both of them will die. 35 But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always. 36 And everyone who is left in your house will come to bow down to him for a silver coin or a loaf of bread and say, 'Please assign me to one of the priest’s offices so that I may eat a piece of bread.'?’?'
New Living Translation

1 Then Hannah prayed: 'My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. 2 No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.
3 'Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don't speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions. 4 The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong. 5 Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away. 6 The LORD gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up. 7 The LORD makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up. 8 He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD's, and he has set the world in order.
9 'He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone. 10 Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the LORD judges throughout the earth. He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one.'
11 Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the LORD by assisting Eli the priest.
12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD 13 or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli's sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling, 14 the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli's sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way. 15 Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal's fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.
16 The man offering the sacrifice might reply, 'Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first.' Then the servant would demand, 'No, give it to me now, or I'll take it by force.' 17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD's sight, for they treated the LORD's offerings with contempt.
18 But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the LORD. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest. 19 Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice. 20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, 'May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD.' 21 And the LORD gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.
22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle. 23 Eli said to them, 'I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning? 24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the LORD's people are not good. 25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede?' But Eli's sons wouldn't listen to their father, for the LORD was already planning to put them to death.
26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.
27 One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the LORD: 'I revealed myself to your ancestors when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt. 28 I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests. 29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me--for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!
30 'Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me. 31 The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age. 32 You will watch with envy as I pour out prosperity on the people of Israel. But no members of your family will ever live out their days. 33 Those who survive will live in sadness and grief, and their children will die a violent death. 34 And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day!
35 'Then I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire. I will establish his family, and they will be priests to my anointed kings forever. 36 Then all of your surviving family will bow before him, begging for money and food. 'Please,' they will say, 'give us jobs among the priests so we will have enough to eat.''
Christian Standard Bible

1 Hannah prayed: My heart rejoices in the Lord; my horn is lifted up by the Lord. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation. 2 There is no one holy like the Lord. There is no one besides you! And there is no rock like our God. 3 Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by him. 4 The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength. 5 Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving hunger no more. The woman who is childless gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away. 6 The Lord brings death and gives life; he sends some down to Sheol, and he raises others up. 7 The Lord brings poverty and gives wealth; he humbles and he exalts. 8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the trash heap. He seats them with noblemen and gives them a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the Lord's; he has set the world on them. 9 He guards the steps of his faithful ones, but the wicked perish in darkness, for a person does not prevail by his own strength. 10 Those who oppose the Lord will be shattered; he will thunder in the heavens against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to his king; he will lift up the horn of his anointed.
11 Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy served the Lord in the presence of the priest Eli.
12 Eli's sons were wicked men; they did not respect the Lord 13 or the priests' share of the sacrifices from the people. When anyone offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork while the meat was boiling 14 and plunge it into the container, kettle, cauldron, or cooking pot. The priest would claim for himself whatever the meat fork brought up. This is the way they treated all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh. 15 Even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, "Give the priest some meat to roast, because he won't accept boiled meat from you--only raw." 16 If that person said to him, "The fat must be burned first; then you can take whatever you want for yourself," the servant would reply, "No, I insist that you hand it over right now. If you don't, I'll take it by force! " 17 So the servants' sin was very severe in the presence of the Lord, because the men treated the Lord's offering with contempt.
18 Samuel served in the Lord's presence--this mere boy was dressed in the linen ephod. 19 Each 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: "May the Lord give you children by this woman in place of the one she has given to the Lord." Then they would go home.
21 The Lord paid attention to Hannah's need, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the Lord.
22 Now Eli was very old. He heard about everything 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. 23 He said to them, "Why are you doing these things? I have heard about your evil actions from all these people. 24 No, my sons, the news I hear the Lord's people spreading is not good. 25 If one person sins against another, God can intercede for him, but if a person sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him? " But they would not listen to their father, since the Lord intended to kill them. 26 By contrast, the boy Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the Lord and with people.
27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the Lord says: 'Didn't I reveal myself to your forefather's family when they were in Egypt and belonged to Pharaoh's palace? 28 Out of all the tribes of Israel, I chose your house to be my priests, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your forefather's family all the Israelite food offerings. 29 Why, then, do all of you despise my sacrifices and offerings that I require at the place of worship? You have honored your sons more than me, by making yourselves fat with the best part of all of the offerings of my people Israel.'
30 "Therefore, this is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Israel: 'I did say that your family and your forefather's family would walk before me forever. But now,' this is the Lord's declaration, 'no longer! For those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disgraced. 31 Look, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your forefather's family, so that none in your family will reach old age. 32 You will see distress in the place of worship, in spite of all that is good in Israel, and no one in your family will ever again reach old age. 33 Any man from your family I do not cut off from my altar will bring grief and sadness to you. All your descendants will die violently. 34 This will be the sign that will come to you concerning your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: both of them will die on the same day.
35 " 'Then I will raise up a faithful priest for myself. He will do whatever is in my heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will walk before my anointed one for all time. 36 Anyone who is left in your family will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread. He will say: Please appoint me to some priestly office so I can have a piece of bread to eat.' "

What does 1 Samuel chapter 2 mean?

First Samuel 2 begins with Hannah's prayer to the Lord (1 Samuel 2:1–10) at the sanctuary in Shiloh. This poetic declaration of praise is Hannah's response to the Lord's gift. She obtained a son, then brought the boy to Eli the priest, to "lend" young Samuel to the Lord for as long as he lives (1 Samuel 1:24–28).

Hannah's prayer begins briefly with her own response to God: her emotions, her dependence on God, and her joy at knowing Him as her Savior. She appreciates that she, the one who was mocked (1 Samuel 1:6), now has a response for her enemies (1 Samuel 2:1).

After this, Hannah focuses completely on the Lord. She extols Him as unique, the ultimate refuge for all people. All must humble themselves because He knows and judges every action. He reverses human fortunes, becoming strength for the weak, providing abundance for the hungry, and giving children to the barren (1 Samuel 2:3–5).

The Lord has the power of life and death. He has control over wealth and status. He raises up the poor and puts them in places of honor. The entire world rests on His foundation. The Lord guards those faithful to Him, but human might and power are no protection from Him for those who are wicked. He judges all people everywhere. He gives strength—typified by the symbol of a horn—to His anointed one (1 Samuel 2:6–10).

The rest of the chapter reports on the wickedness of Eli's sons, and the Lord's judgment on their family for abusing their power as priests over Israel. Eli's boys, Hophni and Phinehas, are sinfully corrupt men who don't know the Lord (1 Samuel 2:12). Contrary to the law of Moses, Eli's sons demand the choicest cuts of meat for themselves from those bringing animals to sacrifice at the sanctuary. If the people will not give it, they threaten to take the meat they want by force. They do all of this before the animal is offered to the Lord. This abuse of their power, especially, is said to be a very great sin in the Lord's eyes because it treats the offering meant for the Lord with such contempt (1 Samuel 2:13–17).

Meanwhile, young Samuel is carrying out his duties in ministering before the Lord as a growing boy. Every year, Hannah makes a new priestly robe for him and brings it when they come for the annual family sacrifice. Each year, Eli blesses Hannah and Elkanah with a prayer that the Lord will give them more children. Hannah eventually gives birth to three more sons and two daughters while Samuel continues to grow up with God's presence in the sanctuary (1 Samuel 2:11, 18–21).

The chapter returns to Eli's sons, perhaps many years later. Eli is very old but continues to receive reports of Hophni's and Phinehas's wickedness. In addition to taking the best parts of the offerings to the Lord for themselves, they have also been having sex with the women who came to serve at the Lord's sanctuary (1 Samuel 2:22).

Eli questions why they are doing these evil things. Whether this is a single moment of rebuke, or a summary of many such criticisms, Scripture does not say. The Lord's people are spreading the news of Eli's corrupt sons everywhere. He tells them they are sinning willfully and directly against the Lord, pointing out that no one can intercede for someone who does that. The pair refuses to listen or change their ways because the Lord has already marked them for death for their sins (1 Samuel 2:23–25).

In contrast, Samuel continues to grow up physically and to grow in favor with God and with other people (1 Samuel 2:26).

Finally, the Lord sends an unnamed prophet to speak to Eli. Through that prophet, the Lord reminds Eli that He communicated with Eli's ancestors, starting with Aaron and his sons when Israel was still Egypt. God chose Aaron to be His priest for the nation, to go up to the altar and to burn incense and to wear the official ephod vest? The Lord also gave explicit instructions about specific portions of the offerings, and expected Aaron and the other priests to obey those? These are framed in the form of a question to highlight their obvious nature (1 Samuel 2:27–28).

Since the Lord did all these things for Aaron and his descendants down through to Eli, God is justified in saying there is no excuse for Eli to act as he has done. Eli's indifference, and his sons' overt sin, have insulted the worship God commanded His people to perform at the sanctuary. Eli has, in effect, given more respect to his sons than to God! As well, he has benefitted from their sin, getting some of the choicest cuts of meat they wrongly took from the people (1 Samuel 2:29).

Because Eli and his sons have done this, the Lord will drain the strength from Eli and his descendants. Even while the rest of Israel prospers, Eli's successors will die young. His family line will forever be cursed with premature death—yet Eli will live to old age simply so he can mourn the imminent deaths of his family (1 Samuel 2:30–33).

The sign from the Lord proving these long-term predictions will happen is that Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will die on the same day. Then, God will appoint a faithful priest who will do what the Lord wants. Instead of Eli's descendants, that priest and his family after him will serve under His anointed one. Eli's descendants will be left to beg for food and money and some priestly work that might allow them to share in the offerings to the Lord once more (1 Samuel 2:34–36).

First Samuel chapter 3 records God calling to Samuel, giving a similar message about His judgment against Eli and Eli's sons. As Samuel continues to grow, the Lord is so clearly with him that all Israel recognizes him as a prophet of the Lord. In 1 Samuel 4, the fulfillment of God's words of judgment is seen when Hophni and Phinehas die in a battle against the Philistines, who also capture the ark of the covenant. Eli hears the report and dies. His pregnant daughter-in-law goes into labor, gives birth to a son whose name means "the glory has departed," and dies. The stage is set for God to show His power over false gods and for Samuel to become the last judge of Israel, and the first prophet of her era of kings (1 Samuel 5—7).