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1 Samuel 2 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 2

And Hannah prayed:[a]

“My heart exults in the Lord,
    my horn is exalted by my God.
I have swallowed up my enemies;
    I rejoice in your victory.
There is no Holy One like the Lord;
    there is no Rock like our God.
Speak boastfully no longer,
    Do not let arrogance issue from your mouths.[b]
For an all-knowing God is the Lord,
    a God who weighs actions.

“The bows of the mighty are broken,
    while the tottering gird on strength.
The well-fed hire themselves out for bread,
    while the hungry no longer have to toil.
The barren wife bears seven sons,
    while the mother of many languishes.

“The Lord puts to death and gives life,
    casts down to Sheol and brings up again.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich,
    humbles, and also exalts.
He raises the needy from the dust;
    from the ash heap lifts up the poor,
To seat them with nobles
    and make a glorious throne their heritage.

“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
    and he has set the world upon them.
He guards the footsteps of his faithful ones,
    but the wicked shall perish in the darkness;
    for not by strength does one prevail.
10 The Lord’s foes shall be shattered;
    the Most High in heaven thunders;
    the Lord judges the ends of the earth.
May he give strength to his king,
    and exalt the horn of his anointed!”

11 When Elkanah returned home to Ramah, the child remained in the service of the Lord under the priest Eli.

Wickedness of Eli’s Sons. 12 Now the sons of Eli were wicked; they had respect neither for the Lord 13 nor for the priests’ duties toward the people. When someone offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fork, while the meat was still boiling, 14 and would thrust it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or pot. Whatever the fork brought up, the priest would take for himself. They treated all the Israelites who came to the sanctuary at Shiloh in this way. 15 In fact, even before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the one offering the sacrifice, “Give me some meat to roast for the priest. He will not accept boiled meat from you, only raw meat.” 16 And if this one protested, “Let the fat be burned first, then take whatever you wish,” he would reply, “No, give it to me now, or else I will take it by force.” 17 Thus the young men sinned grievously in the presence of the Lord, treating the offerings to the Lord with disdain.

The Lord Rewards Hannah. 18 Meanwhile the boy Samuel, wearing a linen ephod,[c] was serving in the presence of the Lord. 19 His mother used to make a little garment for him, which she would bring him each time she went up with her husband to offer the customary sacrifice. 20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, as they were leaving for home. He would say, “May the Lord repay you with children from this woman for the gift she has made to the Lord!” 21 The Lord favored Hannah so that she conceived and gave birth to three more sons and two daughters, while young Samuel grew up in the service of the Lord.

Eli’s Futile Rebuke. 22 When Eli was very old, he kept hearing how his sons were treating all Israel, and that they were behaving promiscuously[d] with the women serving at the entry of the meeting tent. 23 So he said to them: “Why are you doing such things? I hear from everyone that your behavior is depraved. 24 Stop this, my sons! The report that I hear the Lord’s people spreading is not good. 25 If someone sins against another, anyone can intercede for the sinner with the Lord; but if anyone sins against the Lord, who can intercede[e] for the sinner?” But they disregarded their father’s warning, since the Lord wanted them dead. 26 Meanwhile, young Samuel was growing in stature and in worth in the estimation of the Lord and the people.

The Fate of Eli’s House.[f] 27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him: “Thus says the Lord: I went so far as to reveal myself to your father’s house when they were in Egypt as slaves to the house of Pharaoh. 28 I chose them out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priests, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the ephod[g] in my presence; and I assigned all the fire offerings of the Israelites to your father’s house. 29 Why do you stare greedily at my sacrifices and at the offerings that I have prescribed? Why do you honor your sons more than you honor me, fattening yourselves with the choicest part of every offering of my people Israel? 30 This, therefore, is the oracle of the Lord, the God of Israel: I said in the past that your family and your father’s house should minister in my presence forever. But now—oracle of the Lord: Far be it from me! I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me shall be cursed. 31 Yes, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that no one in your family lives to old age. 32 You shall witness, like a disappointed rival, all the benefits enjoyed by Israel, but no member of your household shall ever grow old. 33 I will leave you one man at my altar to wear out his eyes and waste his strength, but the rest of your family shall die by the sword. 34 This is a sign for you—what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. Both of them will die on the same day. 35 I will choose a faithful priest who shall do what I have in heart and mind. I will establish a lasting house for him and he shall serve in the presence of my anointed forever. 36 Then whoever is left of your family will grovel before him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, saying: Please assign me a priestly function, that I may have a crust of bread to eat.”

Footnotes:

  1. 2:1–10 Hannah appeals to a God who maintains order by keeping human affairs in balance, reversing the fortunes of the arrogant, who, like Peninnah, boast of their good fortune (vv. 1, 3, 9) at the expense of those like Hannah who receive less from the Lord. Hannah’s admission places her among the faithful who trust that God will execute justice on their behalf. The reference “his king…his anointed” (v. 10) recalls the final sentence of the Book of Judges and introduces the kingship theme that dominates the Books of Samuel.
  2. 2:3 Speak…mouths: addressed to the enemies mentioned in v. 1.
  3. 2:18 Linen ephod: not the same as the high priest’s ephod (Ex 28:6–14) or the ephod used in divination (v. 28). Samuel wore the same kind of a ceremonial garment as the priests did (1 Sm 22:18). David also wore an ephod when he danced before the ark (2 Sm 6:14).
  4. 2:22 Behaving promiscuously: this part of the verse, which recalls Ex 38:8, is a gloss; it is lacking in the oldest Greek translation, and in 4QSama.
  5. 2:25 Who can intercede: Eli’s sons fail to understand that their crime is directly against God and that God will punish them for it. Their behavior is set in sharp contrast to Samuel’s, which meets with God’s approval.
  6. 2:27–36 These verses describe the punishment of Eli from a point of view contemporary with the reform of Josiah (2 Kgs 23:9; cf. v. 36); they hint at the events recorded in 1 Sm 22:18–23 and 1 Kgs 2:27. The older story of this divine warning occurs in 1 Sm 3:11–14. A man of God: often an anonymous figure whose speech foreshadows events in the near future. Cf. 1 Sm 9:6; 1 Kgs 13:1; 2 Kgs 23:16–17.
  7. 2:28 Ephod: a portable container, presumably of cloth, for the lots used in ritual consultation of God during the days of the Judges (Jgs 17:5; 18:14–15) and into the time of David (1 Sm 14:3; 23:6–9; 30:7–8). Attached to the ephod of the high priest described in Ex 28:6–8 is a “breastpiece of decision” which symbolized, but did not facilitate, such consultation. The Exodus text codifies a later form of the tradition.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

1 Samuel 2 New International Version (NIV)

Hannah’s Prayer

Then Hannah prayed and said:

“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
    in the Lord my horn[a] is lifted high.
My mouth boasts over my enemies,
    for I delight in your deliverance.

“There is no one holy like the Lord;
    there is no one besides you;
    there is no Rock like our God.

“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.

“The bows of the warriors are broken,
    but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
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.

“The Lord brings death and makes alive;
    he brings down to the grave and raises up.
The Lord sends poverty and wealth;
    he humbles and he exalts.
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.
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.

Eli’s Wicked Sons

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[b] 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[c] 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[d] 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.

Prophecy Against the House of Eli

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[e] 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.”’”

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 2:1 Horn here symbolizes strength; also in verse 10.
  2. 1 Samuel 2:17 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text people
  3. 1 Samuel 2:20 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text and asked from
  4. 1 Samuel 2:25 Or the judges
  5. 1 Samuel 2:29 The Hebrew is plural.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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