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And the women said unto Naomi: "Blessed be the Lord, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath borne him."
And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbors gave it a name, saying, "There is a son born to Naomi ;" and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David.
Birth and Consecration of Samuel (1 Sam. i., ii. 11). Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite and he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah : and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no child. And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And Eli and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.
And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: but unto Hannah he gave a single portion, though he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb. And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. Then said Elkanah her husband to her: "Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?"
So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and stood before the Lord. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord. And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said: "O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head."
And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard therefore Eli thought she had been drunken. And Eli said unto her: "How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine, and go from the presence of Jehovah." And Hannah answered and said: "No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto." Then Eli answered and said: "Go in peace and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him." And she said: "Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight." So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.
And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah : and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel,' saying, "Because I have asked him of the Lord."
And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband: "I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord, and there abide forever." And Elkanah her husband said unto her: "Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the Lord establish thy word."
So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him. And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a skin of wine, and brought him unto the house of the Lord in Shiloh. And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said: "Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord. For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: therefore also I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord."
1 Samuel. Here taken as meaning 'Asked of God.'
And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.
Eli's Wicked Sons (1 Sam. ii. 12-36). Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they regarded not the Lord, nor the priest's due from the people. When any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither. Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed: "Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw." And if the man said unto him: "Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth;" then he would answer him: "Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force." Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod. Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said: "The Lord give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the Lord." And they went unto their own home. And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the Lord.
Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel. And he said unto them: "Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people. Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress. If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall
1 The ephod was perhaps originally a simple loin-cloth, such being doubtless the garment worn by Samuel, and by David (p. 273). The priest's ephod may have been a developed form of the loin-cloth, viz. an apron, described in Ex. xxviii. as having shoulder-straps fastened by brooches to the robe. It is more popularly understood, however, to have been a short tunic. As made by Gideon and Micah, the ephod was perhaps the gold casing of an image before which oracles were taken, although the language suggests that it was some sort of image itself. See pp. 234, 250, for its use in connection with the sacred lot.
intreat for him?" Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them. And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord, and also with men.
And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him: "Thus saith the Lord, I did plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house. And I did choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me, and I did give unto the house of thy father for food all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel. Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering which I have commanded in my habitation; and honorest thy sons above me to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the Lord saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever. And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. And I will raise me up a faithful priest,1 that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever. And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread."
The Call of Samuel (1 Sam. iii. 1-iv. 1). And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no open vision. And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place
1 Faithful priest. Zadok, whom Solomon made priest in place of Eli's greatgrandson Abiathar. See p. 311.
(now his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see), and ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep; that the Lord called Samuel: and he answered, "Here am I." And he ran unto Eli, and said: "Here am I; for thou calledst me." And he said: "I called not; lie down again." And he went and lay down. And the Lord called yet again: "Samuel." And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said: "Here am I; for thou didst call me." And he answered: "I called not, my son; lie down again." Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, neither was the word of the Lord yet revealed unto him. And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said: "Here am I; for thou didst call me." And Eli perceived that the Lord had called the child. Therefore Eli said unto Samuel: "Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth." So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And ord came, and stood, and called as at other times, "Samuel, Samuel." Then Samuel answered: "Speak; for thy servant heareth." And the Lord said to Samuel: "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house, from the beginning even unto the end. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth ; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever."
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision. Then Eli called Samuel, and said, "Samuel, my son." And he answered, "Here am I." And he said: "What is the thing that the Lord hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee,' and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee." And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said: "It is the Lord: let him do what seemeth him good."
1 The formula: God do so to thee was one used in the ceremony of slaying an animal to solemnize an oath.