GOD'S WORD® Translation
1There was a man named Elkanah from Ramathaim Zophim in the mountains of Ephraim. He was the son of Jeroham, grandson of Elihu, great-grandson of Tohu, whose father was Zuph from the tribe of Ephraim. 2Elkanah had two wives, one named Hannah, the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none.
3Every year this man would go from his own city to worship and sacrifice to the LORD of Armies at Shiloh. Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, served there as priests of the LORD. 4Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he would give portions of it to his wife Peninnah and all her sons and daughters. 5He would also give one portion to Hannah because he loved her, even though the LORD had kept her from having children. 6Because the LORD had made her unable to have children, her rival [Peninnah] tormented her endlessly in order to make her miserable. 7This happened year after year. Whenever Hannah went to the LORD's house, Peninnah would make her miserable, and Hannah would cry and not eat. 8Her husband Elkanah would ask her, "Hannah, why are you crying? Why haven't you eaten? Why are you so downhearted? Don't I mean more to you than ten sons?"
9One day, after Hannah had something to eat and drink in Shiloh, she got up. (The priest Eli was sitting on a chair by the door of the Lord's temple.) 10Though she was resentful, she prayed to the LORD while she cried. 11She made this vow, "LORD of Armies, if you will look at my misery, remember me, and give me a boy, then I will give him to you for as long as he lives. A razor will never be used on his head."
12While Hannah was praying a long time in front of the LORD, Eli was watching her mouth. 13She was praying silently. Her voice couldn't be heard; only her lips were moving. Eli thought she was drunk. 14"How long are you going to stay drunk?" Eli asked her. "Get rid of your wine." 15Hannah responded, "No, sir. I'm not drunk. I'm depressed. I'm pouring out my heart to the LORD. 16Don't take me to be a good-for-nothing woman. I was praying like this because I've been troubled and tormented." 17Eli replied, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your request." 18"May you continue to be kind to me," she said. Then the woman went her way and ate. She was no longer sad.
19Early in the morning Elkanah and his family got up and worshiped in front of the LORD. Then they returned home to Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the LORD remembered her. 20Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel [God Hears], because she said, "I asked the LORD for him."
21To keep his vow, Elkanah and his entire household again went to offer the annual sacrifice to the LORD. 22But Hannah didn't go. She told her husband, "I'll wait until the boy is weaned. Then I'll bring him and present him to the LORD, and he'll stay there permanently." 23"Do what you think is best," her husband Elkanah told her. "Wait until you've weaned him. May the LORD keep his word." The woman stayed and nursed her son until she had weaned him. 24As soon as she had weaned Samuel, she took him with her. She also brought a three-year-old bull, half a bushel of flour, and a full wineskin. She brought him to the LORD's house at Shiloh while the boy was [still] a child. 25Then the parents butchered the bull and brought the child to Eli. 26"Sir," Hannah said, "as sure as you live, I'm the woman who stood here next to you and prayed to the LORD. 27I prayed for this child, and the LORD granted my request. 28In return, I am giving him to the LORD. He will be dedicated to the LORD for his whole life." And they worshiped the LORD there.