1 Samuel 2

1 Hannah prayed and she said,

‘I am very happy when I think about the Lord.

The Lord has made me very strong.

I can say that I am stronger than my enemies.

I am happy because you, Lord, have saved me.

2 Nobody else is holy like the Lord.

There is no other God except you.

You are the only powerful God.

3 You people must not say that you are very great.

Stop saying that you are important.

The Lord is a God who knows everything.

And he knows whether people are doing good things or bad things.

4 The bows of strong soldiers break.

But people who fall will become strong.

5 Now, the people who had plenty of food have to work for it.

But the people who were hungry are not hungry any longer.

The woman who could not have any children now has 7 children.

But the woman who had many children has become weak.

6 The Lord kills people and he makes people alive.

He causes people to die and he raises people up.

7 The Lord makes some people poor and he makes other people rich.

He makes some people not important and he makes other people great.

8 The Lord raises up the poor people from the ground.

He lifts up the people who need help.

He lets poor people be friends with king's sons.

And he puts poor people in places of honour.

The deep places of the earth are the Lord's.

He built the world on them.

9 He saves the people who obey him.

But he keeps bad people quiet in dark places.

Men will not win wars only because they are strong.

10 The Lord will beat his enemies completely.

His voice against them is like the noise of a storm from the sky.

The Lord will be the judge of all the earth.

He will give power to his king.

He will anoint a king and he will make him strong.’

11 Then Elkanah went to his home at Ramah. But Samuel stayed in Shiloh. He lived with Eli the priest and he became the Lord's servant.

Eli's bad sons

12 The sons of Eli were very bad men. They did not give honour to the Lord.

13 People brought sacrifices to Shiloh. And this is what these priests did. People boiled their meat in a pot. A priest's servant went to the pot. 14 He pushed a fork into the pot. And the priest kept whatever came out on the fork. They did that to all the Israelites when they came to Shiloh. 15 Often, the servant of the priest came to the people before they had burned the fat meat from the sacrifice. The servant said, ‘Give to the priest some meat to bake. He will not accept meat that you have boiled. He will only accept meat that is fresh.’

16 Sometimes, the person said, ‘You must burn the fat meat first. Then you can take what you want.’ The servant would reply, ‘No. Give the meat to me now. If you do not give it to me, I will take it from you.’

17 The Lord saw what the young men did. They thought that the people's sacrifices to the Lord were not important. The Lord saw that their sin was very bad.

Samuel at Shiloh

18 But Samuel was the Lord's servant. He was a young boy. He wore a linen ephod. 19 Every year, Samuel's mother made a little coat for him. She took it to him when she went to Shiloh. She and her husband went there every year to give their sacrifice to God. 20 Then Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife. He said, ‘Hannah prayed for a son and then she gave him back to the Lord. I pray that the Lord will give children to you and Hannah to take the place of Samuel.’ Then they returned to their own home. 21 The Lord was good to Hannah. She had three more sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up in the house of the Lord.

22 Eli was very old now. People told him about everything that his sons did in all Israel. Eli's sons had sex with some women servants. Those women worked at the door of the Lord's house. 23 Eli said to his sons, ‘I do not know why you do these evil things. People have told me what you do. 24 No, my sons, the Lord's people all give a bad report to me about you. 25 If you do something bad to another person, God can help you. But if you do something against the Lord, nobody can ask him to help you.’ Eli's sons did not listen to him because the Lord had decided to kill them.

26 The boy Samuel continued to grow bigger. And he continued to give pleasure to the Lord and to the people.

2:26The priests wore special white linen clothes when they were in God's house. An ephod was like a coat. Linen was a strong kind of cloth.

The prophecy against Eli's family

27 A man of God came and he spoke to Eli. This is what he said: ‘The Lord says, “A long time ago your ancestors lived in Egypt. They were slaves to the king of Egypt. I showed myself to your ancestor Aaron. 28 I chose him and his family from all of the tribes in Israel. I chose them to be priests. They go up to my altar to burn incense. They can wear the special ephod. I also let them eat part of the sacrifices and burnt offerings that the Israelites give. 29 I said that my people must give these sacrifices and offerings to me in my house. You should not want them for yourself. Eli, you give more honour to your sons than you give to me. You eat all the best parts of the offerings that the Israelites give to me. So you and your sons have become fat.”

2:27‘Man of God’ is another name for a prophet. A prophet hears God and he speaks on God's behalf. We do not know the name of this prophet but he came with a very important message about future events.

30 Because of what you have done, the Lord God of Israel says this to you: “I promised your family and your ancestors that they would be my priests for all time.” But the Lord says, “That will not happen now. If people give honour to me, I will give honour to them. But some people may think that I am worth nothing. I will give no honour to those people. 31 It will be the time soon when you will die. Also, I will let men kill the young men in your family. Nobody in your family will ever become old.

32 I will cause trouble for the Lord's house. I will do good things for (on behalf of) the Israelites, but there will never be an old man in your family. 33 But I will not completely stop your family working for me at my altar. Some of them will continue to be my servants. But you will cry and you will be sad. All your family will die when they are young. 34 Hophni and Phinehas, your two sons, will die on the same day. That will show everyone that I have spoken only true words.

35 I will choose a priest. And he will always do the things that give pleasure to me. He will do everything that I want him to do. I will cause his family to continue. They will always be the servants of the man that I anoint. 36 Everyone in your family who continues to live will bend his body down to this priest. They will have to ask him for food and money. ‘Please let me help the priests so that I can have a loaf of bread to eat,’ they will say”.’