1[1-6] Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah, son of Jeroham, of Elihu, of Tohu, of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives who were named Hannah and Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. Elkanah went up out of his city each year to worship and sacrifice to Yahweh, the God of All Creation, in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, preachers of Yahweh, were there. When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he gave some to Peninnah his wife, and to all her children; but to Hannah he gave twice as much because he loved her, but Yahweh hadn’t let her have children. Her rival troubled her very much to upset her, because Yahweh hadn’t let her have children.
[7-9] As Elkanah did this each year, when she went up to the Place of Worship of Yahweh, so Peninnah troubled Hannah; so she cried, and didn’t eat. Elkanah her husband said to her, Hannah, Why are you crying? And why don’t you eat? And why are you so upset? Am I not better to you than ten children? So Hannah got up after they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh. Now Eli the preacher was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of the Place of Worship of Yahweh.
[10-16] She was so sad in her soul that she prayed to Yahweh, and cried very much. She made a promise, saying, “Yahweh, God of All Creation, if you’ll truly look on my trouble, and remember me, and not forget me, but will give me a boy, then I’ll give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and no razor will come on his head.” As she continued praying before Yahweh, Eli saw her mouth move. Now Hannah talked in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice wasn’t heard; so Eli thought she was drunk. He said to her, “How long will you stay drunk? Put your alcohol away from you.” But Hannah answered, “No, sir, I’m a sorrowful woman; I’ve drunk no wine nor alcoholic drink, but I poured out my troubles to Yahweh. Don’t think of me as a sinful woman, because out of my great complaint and my frustration have I spoken up to now.”
[17-20] Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel give you what you’ve asked.” She said, “Let me be approved in your sight.” So the woman went away, and ate; and her face wasn’t sad any more. They got up early in the morning, and worshiped before Yahweh, and went back home, and came to their house in Ramah; and Elkanah had sex with Hannah his wife; and Yahweh remembered her. When the time had come, Hannah got pregnant, and had a son; and named him Samuel, saying, “Because I’ve asked him of Yahweh.”
[21-23] Elkanah and all his family went up to offer to Yahweh the yearly sacrifice, and make a promise. But Hannah didn’t go up because she said to her husband, I won’t go up until the child is weaned; and then I’ll bring him, that he may appear before Yahweh, and stay there forever. Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what you want; wait until you’ve weaned him; only let Yahweh’s Word stand. So the woman waited and breastfed her son, until she weaned him.
[24 -27] When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with three cows, and 8 gallons of meal, and a bottle of wine, and brought him to the Place of Worship of Yahweh in Shiloh; and the child was still young (about 3-5). They killed the bull, and brought the child to Eli. She said, “Oh, sir, as your soul lives, sir, I’m the woman who stood by you here, praying to Yahweh. I prayed for this child; and Yahweh has given me what I asked; so I’ve also given him to Yahweh; as long as he lives he is given to Yahweh. So he worshiped Yahweh, staying there.
2[1-6] Hannah prayed, saying, “My heart triumphs in Yahweh! I blow my horn in praise to Yahweh. My words have won out over my enemies, and I’m happy in Your saving grace. There is no one as holy as Yahweh, for there’s no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. Don’t talk so proudly anymore. Don’t let bragging come out of your mouth, for Yahweh is a God who knows and weighs our actions. The weapons of the soldiers are broken. Those who stumbled are strongly tied. Those who were full have gone to work for their bread. Those who were hungry aren’t hungry anymore. Yes, those who had no children will have seven children. Those who have many children will suffer. Yahweh brings death, and Yahweh brings life, who brings down to hell, and brings up to heaven.
[7-10] Yahweh makes poor and makes rich, who brings low, and also lifts up, and raises up the poor out of the dust. Yahweh lifts up the needy from the pile of ruins, to make them sit with high leaders, and be well known, for the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s, who has set the world on them. You‘ll keep those who are holy safe, but the sinful will be put to silence in darkness because no one will triumph by their own strength. Those who struggle with Yahweh will be broken to pieces. You’ll thunder against them in the sky. Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth. You’ll give strength to Your ruler, and raise the horn of Your chosen one.”
[11-17] Elkanah went home to Ramah and the child stayed to minister to Yahweh with Eli the preacher. Now the sons of Eli were evil and didn’t know God. It was the practice of the preachers, that when anyone offered a sacrifice, the preacher’s worker came with a three toothed fork in his hand while the meat was boiling; and he stuck it into the pot; and whatever the fork brought up the preacher took with it. They did this in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Yes, before they burnt the fat, the preacher’s worker came, saying to those who sacrificed, “Give us meat to roast for the preacher because he won’t take boiled meat from you, but raw. If the person said to him, “Burn the fat first, and then take as much as you want;” then he would say, “No, give it to me now; and if you won’t, I’ll take it by force.” So their sin was very bad to Yahweh because they hated the offering Yahweh had given them.
[18-21] But Samuel ministered before Yahweh, being a child, tied with a linen breastplate. Besides this, his mother made him a little robe, and brought it to him each year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, saying, Yahweh will give you more children of this woman for the prayer she asked of Yahweh. Then they went home. Yahweh visited Hannah, and she got pregnant, and had three sons and two daughters. Samuel, her first child, grew up before Yahweh.
[22-26] Now Eli was very old; and he heard what his sons did to all Israel, and how they had sex with the women who served at the door of the Place of Worship. He said to them, “Why do you do these things? I hear of the evil you do from all these people. No, my sons, it’s not good what I hear; you make Yahweh’s people disobedient. If one person sins against another, God will judge them; but if anyone sins against Yahweh, who will pray for them? They didn’t listen to the words of their father, because Yahweh thought to kill them. But the child Samuel kept growing, and was thought well of by both Yahweh and people.
[27-36] A follower of God came to Eli, saying to him, “Yahweh says, ‘Did I reveal myself to your ancestors when they were in Egypt in slavery to Ruler of Egypt’s house? And did I choose them out of all the family groups of Israel to be My preachers, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to wear a golden breastplate before Me? And did I give to them all the offerings the people of Israel made by fire? Why do you turn your nose up at My sacrifices and offerings which I’ve told them to make in My Place of Worship, and honor your sons above Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel, My people? So Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, I said truly that your family would walk before Me forever; but now Yahweh says, Be it far from Me! Those who respect me I’ll respect, and those who hate me I’ll hate. See, the days come, that I’ll put an end to your power, and to the power of your ancestor’s house, that there won’t be an old man in your family. You’ll see the trouble this causes in My Place of Worship, in spite of all the wealth which I give to Israel; and there won’t be an old man in your family forever. Your children, whom I won’t stop from coming to My altar, will be there to blind your eyes, and to upset your heart; and all your descendants will die at a young age. This will be a sign to you, which will come on your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they’ll both die. I’ll raise Me up a faithful preacher, who will do what’s in My heart and mind; and I’ll build him a safe house; and he’ll minister to My chosen ones forever. Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him to ask for money and a loaf of bread, and will say, ‘Please put me into one of the preachers’ offices, so that I may buy food to eat.’”
3[1 -6] The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh under Eli. The word of Yahweh was rare in those days; there were hardly any visions. At that time, when Eli had laid down to sleep (now his eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he couldn’t see), and the lamp of God hadn’t gone out yet, and Samuel had laid down to sleep in the Place of Worship of Yahweh, where the Chest of God was; Yahweh called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” He ran to Eli, saying, “Here I am, you called me?” He said, “I didn’t call you; go lie down again.” So he went and laid down again. Then Yahweh called again, “Samuel.” Samuel got up and went to Eli, saying, “Here I am, you called me!” He answered, “I didn’t call, my child; go lie down again.”
[7-14] Now Samuel still didn’t know Yahweh, nor was the word of Yahweh revealed to him yet. Yahweh called Samuel again a third time. He got up and went to Eli, saying, “Here I am, you called me.” Then Eli understood that Yahweh had called the child. So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if God calls you, say, ‘Speak, Yahweh, Your follower hears You.” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Yahweh came and stood, and called as at other times, “Samuel, Samuel.” Then Samuel said, “Speak, Your follower hears You.” Then Yahweh said to Samuel, “See, I’ll do something in Israel, at which both the ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day, I’ll do against Eli what I’ve said about his house, from the beginning to the end. For I’ve told him that I’ll judge his house forever, for the sin which he knew, because his sons brought punishment on themselves, and he didn’t stop them. So I’ve promised to the house of Eli, that the sin of Eli’s house won’t be covered up with sacrifice nor offering forever.”
[15-21 ] Samuel lay until morning, and opened the doors of the Place of Worship of Yahweh. Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the vision. Then Eli called Samuel, saying, “Samuel, my child.” Samuel said, “Here I am.” Then Eli said, “What did Yahweh say to you? Please don’t hide it from me. God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all that God said to you.” So Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him. He said, “It’s truly Yahweh; let God do what’s right.” So Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him, and everything he said came true. All Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was called to be a preacher of Yahweh. Yahweh was seen again in Shiloh because God revealed to Samuel the Word of Yahweh in Shiloh.
4[1 -4] The word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to fight, and camped beside Ebenezer; and the Philistines camped in Aphek. The Philistines got ready to fight against Israel; and when they started fighting, Israel was losing to the Philistines; and they killed 4,000 soldiers of the troops in the field. When the people had come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “Why has Yahweh defeated us today with the Philistines? Let us bring the Chest of the promised agreement of Yahweh out of Shiloh to us, so that it may come among us, and save us out of the hand of our enemies. So the people sent to Shiloh; and they brought the Chest of the promised agreement of Yahweh, the God of All Creation, who sits above the cherubim (angelic winged creatures); and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas were there with the Chest of the promised agreement of God.
[5 -9] When the Chest of the promised agreement of Yahweh came into the camp, all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that it echoed. When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does all this noise of shouting mean in the camp of the Hebrews? They understood that the Chest of Yahweh had come into the camp. The Philistines were afraid, and they said, “God is in the camp. We’ll be sorry! Nothing like this has ever happened before! We’’ll be sorry! Who will save us out of the hand of these Israelites? These are the ones that killed the Egyptians with all kinds of troubles in the countryside. Be strong, and behave yourselves like men, you Philistines, that you won’t be workers to the Hebrews, as they’ve been to you; behave yourselves like men, and fight.”
[10 -14] The Philistines fought, and Israel lost, and everyone ran to their tent; and there was a very great slaughter because Israel had lost 30,000 foot soldiers. The Chest of God was taken by the Philistines; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas were killed. A man of Benjamin ran out of the troops, and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn, and with earth on his head in mourning. When he came, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road, watching, because his heart feared for the Chest of God. When the man came into the city, and told it, the whole city cried out. When Eli heard the noise of the crying, he said, “What does this great noise of crying mean?” So the man hurried, and came and told Eli.
[15-18] Now Eli was 98 years old; and his eyes were blinded, so that he couldn’t see. The man said to Eli, “I’m the one who came out of the troops, and I ran today out of the troops.” He said, “How went the matter, my child?” The one who brought the news answered, “Israel has been defeated by the Philistines, and there has been a great slaughter among the people also, and your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, too, and the Chest of God has been taken.” When he mentioned the Chest of God, Eli fell from off his seat backward by the side of the gate; and his neck broke, and he died because he was a very fat old man. He had judged Israel for 40 years.
[19-22] His daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife was pregnant, near to be delivered and when she heard the news that the Chest of God was taken, and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and had the child because her pains came on her. About the time of her death, the women who stood by her said to her, “Don’t be scared because you’ve had a son.” But she didn’t answer, nor know it. She named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is gone from Israel; because the Chest of God was taken, and because of her father-in-law and her husband. She said, “The glory is gone from Israel because the Chest of God is taken.”
5[1 -5] Now the Philistines had taken the Chest of God, and they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. The Philistines took the Chest of God, and brought it into the place of worship of Dagon, and set it by their false god Dagon. When the people of Ashdod got up early the next morning, Dagon had fallen on its face to the ground before the Chest of Yahweh. They picked Dagon up, and set it in its place again. When they got up early the next morning, Dagon had fallen on its face to the ground before the Chest of Yahweh; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of its hands lay broken on the doorway; only the stump of Dagon was left. So neither the preachers of Dagon, nor any who come into Dagon’s house, tread on the doorway of Dagon in Ashdod, to today.
[6-9] But the hand of Yahweh was hard on the people of Ashdod, who destroyed them, and punished them with swelling sores, Ashdod and its outskirts. When the people of Ashdod saw that, they said, The Chest of the God of Israel won’t stay with us because God’s hand is very hard on us, and on Dagon, our god. So they sent and gathered all the leaders of the Philistines to them, saying, “What should we do with the Chest of the God of Israel?” They answered, “Let the Chest of the God of Israel be carried out to Gath.” So they carried the Chest of the God of Israel there. After they had carried it out, the hand of Yahweh was against that city, causing a deadly disease; and God punished the people of that city, both small and great; and swelling sores broke out on them.
[10 -12] So they sent the Chest of God to Ekron, and as the Chest of God came to Ekron, the Ekronites cried out, saying, “They’ve brought the Chest of the God of Israel to us, to kill us and our people.” So they sent and gathered together all the leaders of the Philistines, and they said, “Send the Chest of the God of Israel away, and let it go back to its own place, that it not kill us and our people. For there was a deadly disease throughout the whole city; the hand of God was very hard on them there. The men who didn’t die were punished with the swelling sores; and the cry of the city went up to heaven.
6[1 -9] The Chest of Yahweh was in the country of the Philistines seven months. The Philistines called for their preachers and fortune tellers, saying, “What should we do with the Chest of Yahweh? Show us how to send it back to where it belongs.” They answered, “If you send the Chest of the God of Israel back, don’t send it back empty; but return it to God with a sin offering, of course; then you’ll be healed, and it will be known to you why God’s hand hasn’t lifted from off you.” Then they said, “What should be the sin offering which we’ll return to God?” They answered, “Make five golden sores, and five golden mice, according to the number of the leaders of the Philistines because one disease was on you all, and on your leaders. So make likenesses of your sores, and of the mice that hurt the land; and you’ll give glory to the God of Israel, who will remove this trouble from you and your gods, and from your land. So why are you stubborn, as the Egyptians and Ruler of Egypt was so stubborn? When God had done amazing things to them, didn’t they let the people go, and they left? So now make a new cart, and take two milk cows, which have never been yoked; and tie the cows to the cart, and bring their calves home from them; and take the Chest of Yahweh, and lay it on the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which you send God for a sin offering, in a box beside it; and send it away, that it may go. If it goes toward its own border to Beth Shemesh, then God has done us this great evil; but if not, then we’ll know that it’s not God’s hand that troubled us; it was only a coincidence.”
[10-12] So they did this, and took two milk cows, and tied them to the cart, and shut up their calves at home; and they put the Chest of Yahweh on the cart, and the box with the golden mice and the likenesses of their sores. The cows took the straight road toward Beth Shemesh; they went along the highway, lowing as they went, and didn’t turn aside right or left; and the leaders of the Philistines followed them to the border of Beth Shemesh.
[13-15] The people of Beth Shemesh were harvesting their wheat crop in the valley; and they looked up, and saw the Chest, and were happy to see it. The cart came into the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh, and stood there where there was a great stone; and they split the wood of the cart, and offered up the cows for a burnt offering to Yahweh. The Levites took down the Chest of Yahweh, and its box, in which the jewels of gold were, and put them on the great stone; and the people of Beth Shemesh offered burnt offerings and made sacrifices the same day to Yahweh.
[16-18] When the five leaders of the Philistines had seen it, they went back to Ekron the same day. These are the golden sores which the Philistines sent back for a sin offering to Yahweh, one for Ashdod, one for Gaza, one for Ashkelon, one for Gath, one for Ekron; and the golden mice, according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines belonging to the five leaders, both of protected cities and their outskirts, all the way to the great stone where they set down the Chest of Yahweh, which stone is still there today in the field of Joshua of Beth Shemesh.
[19 -21] God punished the people of Beth Shemesh, because they had looked into the Chest of Yahweh, and killed 50,070 men; and the people mourned, because Yahweh had killed the people with a great slaughter. The people of Beth Shemesh said, “Who is able to face Yahweh, this holy God? and to whom will God go up from us? They sent messengers to the people of Kiriath Jearim, saying, “The Philistines have brought back the Chest of Yahweh; come down and get it.”