Elkanah and His Wives
1 Now there was a man named Elkanah who was from Ramathaim-zophim a in the hill country of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, b the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives, one named Hannah and the other Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3 Year after year Elkanah would go up from his city to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Hosts at Shiloh, where Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests to the LORD. 4 And whenever the day came for Elkanah to present his sacrifice, 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, c for he loved her even though the LORD had closed her womb.
6 Because the LORD had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival would provoke her and taunt her viciously. 7 And this went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the LORD, her rival taunted her until she wept and would not eat.
8 “Hannah, why are you crying?” her husband Elkanah asked. “Why won’t you eat? Why is your heart so grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”
Hannah Prays for a Son
9 So after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh, Hannah stood up. Now Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD.
10 In her bitter distress, Hannah prayed to the LORD and wept with many tears. 11 And she made a vow, pleading, “O LORD of Hosts, if only You will look upon the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, not forgetting Your maidservant but giving her a son, then I will dedicate him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall ever come over his head.”
So Eli thought she was drunk 14 and said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Put away your wine!”
15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman oppressed in spirit. I have not had any wine or strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the LORD. 16 Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; for all this time I have been praying out of the depth of my anguish and grief.”
17 “Go in peace,” Eli replied, “and may the God of Israel grant the petition you have asked of Him.”
18 “May your maidservant find favor with you,” said Hannah. Then she went on her way, and she began eating again, and her face was no longer downcast.
The Birth of Samuel
19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to bow in worship before the LORD, and then returned home to Ramah.
And Elkanah had relations with his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. 20 So in the course of time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, d saying, “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.”
21 Then Elkanah and all his house went up to make the annual sacrifice to the LORD and to fulfill his vow, 22 but Hannah did not go. “After the boy is weaned,” she said to her husband, “I will take him to appear before the LORD and to stay there permanently.” e
So Hannah stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him.
24 Once she had weaned him, Hannah took the boy with her, along with a three-year-old bull, g an ephah of flour, h and a skin of wine. Though the boy was still young, she brought him to the house of the LORD at Shiloh. 25 And when they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli.
26 “Please, my lord,” said Hannah, “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 has granted me what I asked of Him, 28 I now dedicate the boy to the LORD. For as long as he lives, he is dedicated to the LORD.”
So they worshiped i the LORD there.
1 a Or from Ramathaim, a Zuphite ; see LXX and 1 Chronicles 6:26 and 35.
1 b Elihu is also called Eliab and Eliel ; see 1 Chronicles 6:27 and 34.
5 c Or a choice portion
20 d Samuel sounds like the Hebrew for heard of God .
22 e MT; DSS include I will offer him as a Nazirite for all time.
23 f MT; DSS, LXX, and Syriac your word
24 g DSS, LXX, and Syriac; MT three bulls
24 h An ephah is approximately 20 dry quarts or 22 liters (probably about 25.5 pounds or 11.6 kilograms of flour).
28 i One DSS manuscript; MT he worshiped