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1 Samuel - Chapter 2

1 Hannah then prayed as follows: My heart exults in Yahweh, in my God is my strength lifted up, my mouth derides my foes, for I rejoice in your deliverance.

2 There is no Holy One like Yahweh, (indeed, there is none but you) no Rock like our God.

3 Do not keep talking so proudly, let no arrogance come from your mouth, for Yahweh is a wise God, his to weigh up deeds.

4 The bow of the mighty has been broken but those who were tottering are now braced with strength.

5 The full fed are hiring themselves out for bread but the hungry need labour no more; the barren woman bears sevenfold but the mother of many is left desolate.

6 Yahweh gives death and life, brings down to Sheol and draws up;

7 Yahweh makes poor and rich, he humbles and also exalts.

8 He raises the poor from the dust, he lifts the needy from the dunghill to give them a place with princes, to assign them a seat of honour; for to Yahweh belong the pillars of the earth, on these he has poised the world.

9 He safeguards the steps of his faithful but the wicked vanish in darkness (for human strength can win no victories).

10 Yahweh, his enemies are shattered, the Most High thunders in the heavens. Yahweh judges the ends of the earth, he endows his king with power, he raises up the strength of his Anointed.

11 Elkanah then went home to Ramah, but the child stayed in Yahweh's service, in the presence of Eli the priest.

12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they cared nothing for Yahweh

13 nor for what was due to the priests from the people. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being cooked;

14 he would thrust this into cauldron or pan, or dish or pot, and the priest claimed for his own whatever the fork brought up. That was how they behaved with all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh.

15 The priest's servant would even come up before the fat had been burnt and say to the person who was making the sacrifice, 'Give the priest some meat for him to roast. He will not accept boiled meat from you, only raw.'

16 Then, if the person replied, 'Let the fat be burnt first, and then take for yourself whatever you choose,' he would retort, 'No! You must give it to me now or I shall take it by force.'

17 The young men's sin was very great in Yahweh's eyes, because they treated with contempt the offering made to Yahweh.

18 Samuel was in Yahweh's service, a child wearing a linen loincloth.

19 His mother used to make him a little coat which she brought him each year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, 'May Yahweh grant you an heir by this woman in exchange for the one which she has made over to Yahweh,' and they would go home.

21 Yahweh visited Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the child Samuel grew up in Yahweh's presence.

22 Although very old, Eli heard about everything that his sons were doing to all Israel,

23 and said, 'Why are you behaving as all the people say you are?

24 No, my sons, what I hear reported by the people of Yahweh is not good.

25 If one person sins against another, God will be the arbiter, but if he sins against Yahweh, who will intercede for him?' But they did not listen to their father's words, for Yahweh was bent on killing them.

26 Meanwhile, the child Samuel went on growing in stature and in favour both with Yahweh and with people.

27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, 'This is what Yahweh says, "Did I not reveal myself to your father's family when they were in Egypt as slaves in Pharaoh's household?

28 Did I not single him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn the offering, to carry the ephod in my presence; and did I not grant all the burnt offerings made by the Israelites to your father's family?

29 Why do you trample on the offering and on the sacrifice which I have ordered for my Dwelling, and honour your sons more than me, by growing fat on the best of the offerings of Israel, my people?

30 Whereas -- this is what Yahweh, God of Israel, declares -- I had promised that your family and your father's family would walk in my presence for ever, now, however -- this is what Yahweh declares -- nothing of the sort! Those who honour me I honour in my turn, and those who despise me will be an object of contempt.

31 Be sure, the days are coming when I shall cut off your strength and the strength of your father's family, so that no one in your family will live to old age.

32 Beside the Dwelling, you will see all the benefits that I shall confer on Israel, but no one in your family will ever live to old age.

33 I shall keep one of you at my altar for his eyes to go blind and his soul to wither, but the bulk of your family will die by the sword.

34 ' "What happens to your two sons Hophni and Phinehas will be a sign for you: on the same day both will die.

35 I shall raise myself a faithful priest, who will do as I intend and as I desire. I shall build him an enduring House and he will walk in the presence of my Anointed for ever.

36 The members of your House who survive will come and beg him on their knees for a silver coin and a loaf of bread and say: Please give me some priestly work, so that I can have a scrap of bread to eat." '

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