Hannah’s Vow

There was a man from Ramathaim-zophim in[a] the hill country of Ephraim. His name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, son of Elihu, son of Tohu, son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives, the first named Hannah and the second Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah was childless. This man would go up from his town every year to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of Hosts at Shiloh, where Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were the Lord’s priests.

Whenever Elkanah offered a sacrifice, he always gave portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to each of her sons and daughters. But he gave a double[b] portion to Hannah, for he loved her even though the Lord had kept her from conceiving. Her rival would taunt her severely just to provoke her, because the Lord had kept Hannah from conceiving. Whenever she went up to the Lord’s house, her rival taunted her in this way every year. Hannah wept and would not eat. “Hannah, why are you crying?” her husband Elkanah asked. “Why won’t you eat? Why are you troubled? Am I not better to you than 10 sons?”

Hannah got up after they ate and drank at Shiloh.[c] Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord’s tabernacle. 10 Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears. 11 Making a vow, she pleaded, “Lord of Hosts, if You will take notice of Your servant’s affliction, remember and not forget me, and give Your servant a son,[d] I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.”[e]

12 While she continued praying in the Lord’s presence, Eli watched her lips. 13 Hannah was praying silently,[f] and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk 14 and scolded her, “How long are you going to be drunk? Get rid of your wine!”

15 “No, my lord,” Hannah replied. “I am a woman with a broken heart. I haven’t had any wine or beer; I’ve been pouring out my heart before the Lord. 16 Don’t think of me as a wicked woman; I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”

17 Eli responded, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the petition you’ve requested from Him.”

18 “May your servant find favor with you,” she replied. Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.[g]

Samuel’s Birth and Dedication

19 The next morning Elkanah and Hannah got up early to bow in worship before the Lord. Afterward, they returned home to Ramah. Then Elkanah was intimate with his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20 After some time,[h] Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[i] because she said, “I requested him from the Lord.”

21 When Elkanah and all his household went up to make the annual sacrifice and his vow offering to the Lord, 22 Hannah did not go and explained to her husband, “After the child is weaned, I’ll take him to appear in the Lord’s presence and to stay there permanently.”

23 Her husband Elkanah replied, “Do what you think is best,[j] and stay here until you’ve weaned him. May the Lord confirm your[k] word.” So Hannah stayed there and nursed her son until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him with her to Shiloh, as well as a three-year-old bull,[l] half a bushel[m] of flour, and a jar of wine. Though the boy was still young,[n] she took him to the Lord’s house at Shiloh. 25 Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.

26 “Please, my lord,” she said, “as sure as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the Lord. 27 I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, 28 I now give the boy to the Lord. For as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” Then he[o] bowed in worship to the Lord there.[p]


  1. 1 Samuel 1:1 Or from Ramathaim, a Zuphite from
  2. 1 Samuel 1:5 Or gave only one; Hb obscure
  3. 1 Samuel 1:9 LXX adds and presented herself before the Lord
  4. 1 Samuel 1:11 Lit a seed of men
  5. 1 Samuel 1:11 Lit and no razor will go up on his head
  6. 1 Samuel 1:13 Lit praying to her heart
  7. 1 Samuel 1:18 Lit and her face was not to her again
  8. 1 Samuel 1:20 Lit In the turning of the days
  9. 1 Samuel 1:20 In Hb, the name Samuel sounds like the phrase “requested from God.”
  10. 1 Samuel 1:23 Lit what is good in your eyes
  11. 1 Samuel 1:23 DSS, LXX, Syr; MT reads His
  12. 1 Samuel 1:24 DSS, LXX, Syr; MT reads Shiloh with three bulls
  13. 1 Samuel 1:24 Lit bull and an ephah
  14. 1 Samuel 1:24 Lit And the youth was a youth
  15. 1 Samuel 1:28 DSS read she; some Hb mss, Syr, Vg read they
  16. 1 Samuel 1:28 LXX reads Then she left him there before the Lord