The Message

1 Samuel 1:9–18

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9–11  So Hannah ate. Then she pulled herself together, slipped away quietly, and entered the sanctuary. The priest Eli was on duty at the entrance to God’s Temple in the customary seat. Crushed in soul, Hannah prayed to God and cried and cried—inconsolably. Then she made a vow:

Oh, God-of-the-Angel-Armies,

If you’ll take a good, hard look at my pain,

If you’ll quit neglecting me and go into action for me

By giving me a son,

I’ll give him completely, unreservedly to you.

I’ll set him apart for a life of holy discipline.

12–14  It so happened that as she continued in prayer before God, Eli was watching her closely. Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk. He approached her and said, “You’re drunk! How long do you plan to keep this up? Sober up, woman!”

15–16  Hannah said, “Oh no, sir—please! I’m a woman hard used. I haven’t been drinking. Not a drop of wine or beer. The only thing I’ve been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to God. Don’t for a minute think I’m a bad woman. It’s because I’m so desperately unhappy and in such pain that I’ve stayed here so long.”

17  Eli answered her, “Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.”

18  “Think well of me—and pray for me!” she said, and went her way. Then she ate heartily, her face radiant.

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