1There 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. 2He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. 3This 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.
4Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. 5But he gave a double portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the Lord had kept her from conceiving. 6Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. 7Year 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?”
9On 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. 10Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. 11Making 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.”
12While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her mouth. 13Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14and 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. 16Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
17Eli 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.
Samuel’s Birth and Dedication
19The 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. 20After some time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”
21When Elkanah and all his household went up to make the annual sacrifice and his vow offering to the Lord, 22Hannah 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.”
23Her 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. 24When 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. 25Then 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. 27I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, 28I 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.