0 Samuel's miraculous birth and childhood (1 Sam 1-3)

Episode 101: Samuel's miraculous birth and Eli's sons of Belial

(1 Samuel 1-3)

Samuel's miraculous birth

1 1-2 Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah.

5 He loved Hannah, but God had shut up her womb.

6 Peninnah (Hannah's adversary) made fun of Hannah because the Lord had shut her womb.

7 Each year that God kept Hannah's womb shut, she wept, prayed, and didn't eat.

8 Elkanah said to her,

Why are you crying and not eating? Aren't I better than ten sons?

11 Hannah wept and said to God,

If you give me a son, I'll give him back to you and never cut his hair.

12-13 The priest, Eli, saw her mouth moving while she prayed and thought she was drunk.

14 So he said, "How long will you be drunk? Put away your wine."

15-16 "I'm not drunk, I'm praying," she said, "I'm not a daughter of Belial."


17 Eli said, "OK. God will give you whatever you asked."

18 So Hannah ate again and wasn't sad anymore.

19 Elkanah and Hannah got up early the next morning, worshipped God, and had sex.

And the Lord remembered Hannah.

20 She conceived and had a son, who she named Samuel.

Hannah's prayer

2 1 Hannah prayed to God, saying:

My horn is exalted; my mouth is enlarged over my enemies.

2 There's no rock like God.

6 The Lord kills people. Then he brings them back to life.

8 He set the earth on pillars.

9 He keeps the feet of his saints.

10 His enemies will be broken in pieces. He will thunder upon them.

Eli's sons

12 Eli's sons were sons of Belial.

Top: Hophni and Phinehas took sacrifices before the fat had been burned
Bottom: When Samuel was weaned, Hannah and Elkanah brought him to the temple.

13 They didn't know God, and they stole from people who were making animal sacrifices to God.

15 They wanted the meat for themselves, and they didn't want any sodden flesh.

22 When Eli was old, he heard stories about how his sons were having sex with women at the door of the tabernacle. He said to them,

23 Why do you do things like that?

25 But they didn't listen to their father, because God had already decided to kill them.

God's message to Eli

27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him,

This is what God says,

33 I’ll consume your eyes, grieve your heart, and everyone in your family will die young.

34 And this will be a sign to you: I'll kill your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

3 1-2 When Samuel was a child, he ministered to God for Eli, whose eyesight was beginning to fail.

3-4 Once, when the lamp went out in the temple and Samuel was asleep, God called to Samuel.

5 Samuel ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. Why did you call me?"

Eli answered, "I didn't call you. Go back to sleep."

6 God called Samuel again, and he ran back to Eli and said, "Here I am."

"I didn't call you. Go back to sleep," Eli said.

8 God called Samuel for the third time. Samuel ran to Eli again and said, "Here I am."

Then Eli figured out that it was God who was calling Samuel.

9 He said to Samuel,

Go lie down. If God calls, say, "Speak for your servant hears you."

So Samuel lay down again.

10 This time God came and stood in front of Samuel and said, "Samuel, Samuel." Samuel answered, "Speak for your servant hears you."

11 God said,

I'll do something that will cause everyone's ears to tingle.

12 I'll do the things to Eli that I promised to do to him.

13 I'll judge his descendants for the things his sons did.

14 No animal sacrifices will prevent me from carrying out my threat.

15 Samuel was afraid to tell Eli the bad news from God.

16-17 But Eli called Samuel, and said,

What did God say to you?

God will do even worse things to you if you don't tell me.

18 Samuel told Eli what God said. Eli said,

Okay, whatever God wants is fine with me.

19 After that, Samuel grew, God was with him, and he let none of God's words fall to the ground.

20 And everyone knew that Samuel was a prophet.

A few more words about this episode

Eli's sons were sons of Belial (2:12)
What the Bible says about sons of Belial (SOBs)
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