1 Samuel 2

1Hannah said: “My heart is happy in the Lord! I feel very strong in my God! I laugh at my enemies. I am very happy in my victory! 2There is no Holy God like the Lord. There is no God but you! There is no Rock like our God. 3Don’t continue bragging! Don’t speak proud words! Why? Because the Lord God knows everything. God leads and judges people. 4The bows of strong soldiers break! And weak people become strong! 5People who had plenty of food in the past must now work to get food. But people who were hungry in the past now grow fat on food! The woman who was not able to have children now has seven children! But the woman who had many children is sad because her children are gone. 6The Lord causes people to die, and he causes them to live. The Lord sends people down to the grave, and he can raise them up ˻to live again˼. 7The Lord makes some people poor, and he makes other people rich. The Lord humbles some people, and he honors other people. 8The Lord raises poor people from the dust. He takes away their sadness. The Lord makes poor people important. He seats them with princes and at the places for honored guests. The Lord made the whole world! And the whole world belongs to him! 9The Lord protects his holy people. He keeps them from stumbling. But bad people will be destroyed. They will fall in the darkness. Their power will not help them win. 10The Lord destroys his enemies. God Most High will thunder in heaven against people. The Lord will judge even the faraway lands. He will give power to his king. He will make his special king strong.” 11Elkanah ˻and his family˼ went home to Ramah. The boy stayed in Shiloh and served the Lord under Eli the priest. 12Eli’s sons were bad men. They did not care about the Lord. 13They did not care about how priests were supposed to treat people. This is what priests should do for people: Each time a person brings a sacrifice, the priests should put the meat in a pot of boiling water. Then the priest’s servant should get the special fork that has three points. 14The priest’s servant should use that fork to get some meat out of the pot or kettle. The priest should get only whatever meat the servant removes from the pot with the fork. That is what the priests should have done for all the Israelites who came ˻to offer sacrifices˼ at Shiloh. 15˻But Eli’s sons did not do that˼. Even before the fat was burned on the altar, their servant would go to the people offering sacrifices. The priest’s servant would say, “Give the priest some meat to roast. The priest won’t accept boiled meat from you.” 16Maybe the man offering the sacrifice would say, “Burn the fat first, and then you can take anything you want.” Then the priest’s servant would answer: “No, give me the meat now. If you don’t give it to me, I’ll take it from you!” 17In this way, Hophni and Phinehas showed that they did not respect the offerings made to the Lord. This was a very bad sin against the Lord! 18But Samuel served the Lord. Samuel was a helper who wore the linen ephod. 19Every year Samuel’s mother made a little robe for Samuel. She took the little robe to Samuel when she went up ˻to Shiloh˼ with her husband for the sacrifice every year. 20Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife. Eli would say, “May the Lord give you more children through Hannah. These children will take the place of the boy Hannah prayed for and gave to the Lord.” Elkanah and Hannah went home and 21the Lord was kind to Hannah. She had three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up ˻at the holy place˼ near the Lord. 22Eli was very old. He heard again and again about the things his sons were doing to all the Israelites at Shiloh. Eli also heard about his sons sleeping with the women who served at the door of the Meeting Tent. 23Eli said to his sons, “The people here told me about the bad things you have done. Why do you do these bad things? 24Sons, don’t do these bad things. The Lord’s people are saying bad things about you. 25If a person sins against another person, God may help him. But if a person sins against the Lord, then who can help that person?” But Eli’s sons refused to listen to Eli. So the Lord decided to kill Eli’s sons. 26The boy Samuel kept growing. He was pleasing to God and to the people. 27A man of God came to Eli and said, “The Lord says these things, 'Your ancestors were slaves of Pharaoh’s family. But I appeared to your ancestors at that time. 28I chose your family group from all the family groups of Israel. I chose your family group to be my priests. I chose them to offer sacrifices on my altar. I chose them to burn incense and wear the ephod. I also let your family group have the meat from the sacrifices that the people of Israel give to me. 29So why don’t you respect those sacrifices and gifts? You honor your sons more than me. You become fat on the best parts of the meat—and the people of Israel bring that meat to me.’ 30“The Lord God of Israel promised that your father’s family would serve him forever. But now the Lord says this, 'That will never be! I will honor people who honor me. But bad things will happen to people who refuse to respect me. 31The time is coming when I will destroy all your descendants. No one in your family will live to be an old man. 32Good things will happen to Israel, but you will see bad things happening at home. No one in your family will live to be an old man. 33There is one man that I will save to serve ˻as priest˼ at my altar. ˻He will live to be very old.˼ He will live until his eyes wear out and his strength is gone. All of your descendants will die by the sword. 34I will give you a sign ˻to show these things will come true˼. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will die on the same day. 35I will choose a faithful priest for myself. This priest will listen to me and do what I want. I will make this priest’s family strong. He will always serve before my chosen king. 36Then all the people who are left in your family will come and bow down before this priest. They will beg for a little money or a piece of bread. They will say, “Please give me a job as priest so I can have some food to eat.”‘”

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