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1 Samuel

Hannah's song of praise.  1Sm.2.1-10

1Then Hannah offered this prayer:

Samuel ministers at Shiloh.  1Sm.2.11-26

11Then Elkanah went to Ramah with his household, but the boy remained behind in the service of the LORD under Eli the priest.

12Now Eli's sons were scoundrels and had no regard for the LORD. 13The custom of the priests in their dealings with the people was this: when a man offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come while the flesh was stewing 14and would thrust a three-pronged fork into the cauldron or pan or kettle or pot; and the priest would take whatever the fork brought out. This should have been their practice whenever Israelites came to sacrifice at Shiloh; but now under Eli's sons, 15even before the fat was burnt, the priest's servant came and said to the man who was sacrificing, 'Give me meat to roast for the priest; he will not accept what has been already stewed, only raw meat.' 16And if the man answered 'Let them burn the fat first, and then take what you want', he said, 'No, give it to me now, or I will take it by force.' 17The young men's sin was very great in the LORD's sight; for they brought the LORD's sacrifice into general contempt.

18Samuel continued in the service of the LORD, a mere boy with a linen ephod fastened round him. 19Every year his mother made him a little cloak and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. 20Eli would give his blessing to Elkanah and his wife and say, 'The LORD grant you children by this woman in place of the one for which you asked him for which ... him: or which you lent him.' Then they went home again.

21The LORD showed his care for Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters; meanwhile the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

22Eli, now a very old man, had heard how his sons were treating all the Israelites, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the Tent of the Presence. 23So he said to them, 'Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people how wickedly you behave. 24Have done with it, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear spreading among the LORD's people. 25If a man sins against another man, God will intervene; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?' For all this, they did not listen to their father's rebuke, for the LORD meant that they should die. 26But the young Samuel, as he grew up, commended himself to the LORD and to men.

Eli's prophet of doom.  1Sm.2.27-36

27Now a man of God came to Eli and said, 'This is the word of the LORD: You know that I revealed myself to your forefather when he and his family were in Egypt in slavery in the house of Pharaoh. 28You know that I chose him from all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to mount the steps of my altar, to burn sacrifices and to carry Or wear the ephod before me; and that I assigned all the food-offerings of the Israelites to your family. 29Why then do you show disrespect for my sacrifices and the offerings which I have ordained? What makes you resent them? Why do you honour your sons more than me by letting them batten on the choicest offerings of my people Israel? 30The LORD's word was, "I promise that your house and your father's house shall serve before me for all time"; but now his word is, "I will have no such thing: I will honour those who honour me, and those who despise me shall meet with contempt. 31The time is coming when I will lop off every limb of your own and of your father's family, so that no man in your house shall come to old age. 32You will even resent You ... resent: prob. rdg, Heb obscure the prosperity I give to Israel; never again shall there be an old man in your house. 33If I allow any to survive to serve my altar, his eyes will grow dim and his appetite fail, his issue will be weaklings and die off. 34The fate of your two sons shall be a sign to you: Hophni and Phinehas shall both die on the same day. 35I will appoint for myself a priest who will be faithful, who will do what I have in my mind and in my heart. I will establish his family to serve in perpetual succession before my anointed king. 36Any of your family that still live will come and bow humbly before him to beg a fee, a piece of silver and a loaf, and will ask for a turn of priestly duty to earn a crust of bread." '

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