1 Samuel 1:9-20

Hannah and Eli

9 One day they had offered sacrifices at Shiloh. They had finished eating and drinking. Hannah stood up to pray to God. Eli the priest was sitting on his chair beside the door of the Lord's temple. 10 Hannah was very upset as she prayed to the Lord. She could not stop weeping. 11 She made a promise to God. She prayed, ‘Lord Almighty, you can see how sad I am. Please be kind to me, your servant. Remember me and do not forget me. Please give a son to me, your servant. If you do that, I will give him to serve you for all of his life. Nobody will ever cut his hair.’

1:9At this time, the temple where people worshipped the Lord was a tent.
1:11‘Nobody will ever cut his hair.’ This is a sign of the Nazirite promise (Numbers 6:1-21). The person promised to give his life to God.

12 Hannah continued to pray to the Lord. Eli watched her mouth while it moved. 13 Hannah was praying quietly inside herself. Her lips moved but Eli could not hear her voice. So he thought that she was drunk. 14 He said to her, ‘Are you always drunk like that? Throw away your wine.’

15 Hannah replied, ‘No, sir, I have not drunk any wine or strong drink. I have much trouble deep inside myself. I have told the Lord about all my problems. 16 Please sir, do not think that I am a bad woman. I am praying like this because I am very sad and upset.’

17 Eli said to Hannah, ‘Go and let your mind have peace. I pray that Israel's God will give you what you have asked him for.’

18 Hannah said to him, ‘I will try to do what pleases you, sir.’

Then Hannah went away and she ate some food. Her face was not sad now.

19 Elkanah and his family got up early the next morning and they worshipped the Lord. Then they went back to their home in Ramah. Elkanah had sex with his wife Hannah. The Lord remembered what she had asked him for. 20 Hannah became pregnant. Later, she gave birth to a son. She gave him the name Samuel. She said, ‘His name is Samuel because I asked the Lord for him.’

1:20The name Samuel means ‘God's gift’.