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1Hannah also prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord;

my strength is exalted in the Lord.

My mouth derides my enemies,

because I rejoice in thy salvation.

2“There is none holy like the Lord,

there is none besides thee;

there is no rock like our God.

3Talk no more so very proudly,

let not arrogance come from your mouth;

for the Lord is a God of knowledge,

and by him actions are weighed.

4The bows of the mighty are broken,

but the feeble gird on strength.

5Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,

but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.

The barren has borne seven,

but she who has many children is forlorn.

6The Lord kills and brings to life;

he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

7The Lord makes poor and makes rich;

he brings low, he also exalts.

8He raises up the poor from the dust;

he lifts the needy from the ash heap,

to make them sit with princes

and inherit a seat of honor.

For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,

and on them he has set the world.

9“He will guard the feet of his faithful ones;

but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness;

for not by might shall a man prevail.

10The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces;

against them he will thunder in heaven.

The Lord will judge the ends of the earth;

he will give strength to his king,

and exalt the power of his anointed.”

11Then Elkaʹnah went home to Ramah. And the boy ministered to the Lord, in the presence of Eli the priest.

12Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they had no regard for the Lord. 13The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. So they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw.” 16And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.” 17Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.

18Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy girded with a linen ephod. 19And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20Then Eli would bless Elkaʹnah and his wife, and say, “The Lord give you children by this woman for the loan which she lent to the Lord”; so then they would return to their home.

21And the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.

22Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 23And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad. 25If a man sins against a man, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the Lord to slay them.

26Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men.

27And there came a man of God to Eli, and said to him, “Thus the Lord has said, ‘I revealed myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh. 28And I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me; and I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel. 29Why then look with greedy eye at my sacrifices and my offerings which I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves upon the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?’ 30Therefore the Lord the God of Israel declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me for ever’; but now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31Behold, the days are coming, when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity which shall be bestowed upon Israel; and there shall not be an old man in your house for ever. 33The man of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep out his eyes and grieve his heart; and all the increase of your house shall die by the sword of men. 34And this which shall befall your two sons, Hophni and Phinʹehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day. 35And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind; and I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed for ever. 36And every one who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and shall say, “Put me, I pray you, in one of the priest’s places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.” ’ ”

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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