Then Hannah aprayed and said, "My heart exults in the Lord; bMy horn is exalted in the Lord, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because cI rejoice in Your salvation.
"aThere is no one holy like the Lord, Indeed, bthere is no one besides You, cNor is there any rock like our God.
"Boast no more so very proudly, aDo not let arrogance come out of your mouth; bFor the Lord is a God of knowledge, cAnd with Him actions are weighed.
"aThe bows of the mighty are shattered, bBut the feeble gird on strength.
"Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to hunger. aEven the barren gives birth to seven, But bshe who has many children languishes.
"aThe Lord kills and makes alive; bHe brings down to Sheol and raises up.
"aThe Lord makes poor and rich; bHe brings low, He also exalts.
"aHe raises the poor from the dust, bHe lifts the needy from the ash heap cTo make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; dFor the pillars of the earth are the Lord'S, And He set the world on them.
"aHe keeps the feet of His godly ones, bBut the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; cFor not by might shall a man prevail.
"aThose who contend with the Lord will be shattered; bAgainst them He will thunder in the heavens, cThe Lord will judge the ends of the earth; dAnd He will give strength to His king, eAnd will exalt the horn of His anointed."
Then Elkanah went to his home at aRamah. bBut the boy ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest.
Now the sons of Eli were aworthless men; they did not know the Lord
aand the custom of the priests with the people. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand.
Then 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. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
Also, before athey burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw."
If the man said to him, "They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire," then he would say, "No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force."
Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for the men adespised the offering of the Lord.
Now aSamuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy bwearing a linen ephod.
And his mother would make him a little arobe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer bthe yearly sacrifice.
Then Eli would abless Elkanah and his wife and say, "May the Lord give you children from this woman in place of the one she bdedicated to the Lord." And they went to their own home.
aThe Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And bthe boy Samuel grew before the Lord.
Now Eli was very old; and he heard aall that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with bthe women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.
He said to them, "Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people?
"No, my sons; for the report is not good awhich I hear the Lord'S people circulating.
"If one man sins against another, aGod will mediate for him; but bif a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the cLord desired to put them to death.
Now the boy aSamuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.
Then aa man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the Lord, 'bDid I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house?
'aDid I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me; and did I not bgive to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel?
'Why do you akick at My sacrifice and at My offering bwhich I have commanded in My cdwelling, and dhonor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?'
"Therefore the Lord God of Israel declares, 'aI did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever'; but now the Lord declares, 'Far be it from Me--for bthose who honor Me I will honor, and those cwho despise Me will be lightly esteemed.
'Behold, athe days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father's house so that there will not be an old man in your house.
'You will see athe distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that I do for Israel; and an bold man will not be in your house forever.
'Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life.
'This will be athe sign to you which will come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: bon the same day both of them will die.
'But aI will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and bI will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before cMy anointed always.
'Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and say, "Please assign me to one of the priest's offices so that I may eat a piece of bread."'"