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The First Book of Samuel

also called the First Book of the Kings


Chapters 1-7 | 8-13 | 14-17 | 18-24 | 25-end | Next Book


The 1st Chapter

      There was a man of Ramathaim Zophim, of mount Ephraim named Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Thohu, the son of Zuph an Ephrathite: which had two wives, the one called Hannah and the other Phenennah. And Phenennah had children, but Hannah had none. And the said man went out of his city every feastful day, to pray and to offer unto the Lord of hosts: where the two sons of Eli (Hophni and Phinehes) were the Lords priests. And it fell on a day as Elkanah had offered that he gave to Phenennah his wife and to all her sons and daughters portions. But unto Hannah he gave a portion with a heavy cheer, for he loved her, nevertheless the Lord had made her barren. And thereto her enemy Phenennah vexed her a good in casting her in the teeth how the Lord had made her barren. And so did she year by year as often as she went up to the house of the Lord. And so chafed her: wherefore Hannah wept and ate not. Then said Elkanah her husband to her: Hannah why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thine heart so troubled? am not I better to thee, than ten sons Then Hannah rose up after that they had eaten and drunk in Siloh. And Eli the priest sat upon a stool by one of the side posts of the temple of the Lord. And she was troubled in her spirits, and prayed unto the Lord and wept sore, and vowed a vow and said; Lord of hosts, if thou wilt look on the wretchedness of thine handmaid and shalt remember me and not forget thine handmaid, and shalt give unto thine handmaid a man child I will give him unto the Lord, all the days of his life and there shall neither razor or shears come upon his head. And as she continued praying before the Lord, Eli marked her mouth. For Hannah she spake in her heart, and her lips did but move only, but her voice was not heard. And therefore Eli took her for drunken and said unto her, how long wilt thou be drunken? put away from thee, the wine that thou hast. Hannah answered and said: not so my lord, I am a woman sorrowful in mine heart, and have drunk neither wine nor any strong drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. Count not thine handmaid to be like a daughter of unthriftiness: for out of the abundance of my meditation and grief have I spoken hitherto.
      Eli answered and said: go in peace, the God of Israel shall grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. Then she said, let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. And so the woman went her way, and did eat and looked no more so sad. And they rose up early and bowed themselves before the Lord, and then returned and went to their house to Ramath. And Elkanah lay by his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. And in process of time she conceived and bare a son and called his name Samuel: because she had asked him of the Lord. And Elkanah and all his house went up to offer unto the Lord, both the offerings due for the feast and also his vows: but Hannah went not up for she said unto her husband: I will tarry until the lad be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the Lord and there abide for ever. And Elkanah her husband said to her: do what seemeth thee best: tarry until thou hast weaned him, only the Lord make good his saying. And so the woman abode and gave her son suck, until she weaned him. And then she took him with her, when she had weaned him, with three bullocks and an Epha of flour and a bottle of wine, and brought him into the house of the Lord in Siloh, how be it the child was yet young. And they slew the bullocks and brought in the lad to Eli, and then she said: Oh my Lord: as truly as thy soul liveth my Lord: I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the Lord and for this lad I prayed, and the Lord hath given me my desire which I asked of him: and therefore I also lend him the Lord, as long as he may be lent the Lord. And so they prayed there unto the Lord.




The 2nd Chapter

      And Hannah prayed and said: mine heart rejoiceth in the Lord, mine horn is high in the Lord and my mouth is wide open over mine enemies, for I rejoice in thy saving. There is none so holy as the Lord: no there is none save thou. Neither is there any strength like unto our God. Talk not too much proudly: let old things depart out of your mouths, for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and Judgeth the thoughts. The *bones of the strong are broken: and the weak are endued with strength. They that were full, have hired out themselves for bread, and they that were hungry cease so to be: insomuch that the barren hath borne seven, and she that had many children is waxed feeble.
      The Lord killeth and maketh alive, bringeth down to hell and fetcheth up again. The Lord maketh poor, and maketh rich, bringeth low, and heaveth up on high. He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill: to set them among princes, and to inherit them with the seat of glory. For the pillars of the earth are the Lords, and he hath set the round world upon them. He will keep the feet of his saints but the wicked shall keep silence in darkness. For in his own might shall no man be strong. The Lords adversaries shall be made to fear him: and out of heaven he shall thunder upon them. The Lord shall judge the ends of the world, and shall give might unto his King, and exalt the horn of his anointed. And Elkanah went to Ramath to his house, and the lad did minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.
      But the sons of Eli were unthrifty children and knew not the Lord. For the manner of the priests with the people was, whensoever any man offered any offerings the priests lad came, while the flesh was in seething, and a flesh hook with three teeth in his hand, and thrust it into the pan, kettle, cauldron or pot. And all that the flesh hook brought up the priest took away. And so they did unto all Israel that came thither to Siloh. Yee: and thereto before they had offered the fat, the priests lad came and said to the man that offered: give flesh to roast for the priest, for he will not have *sodden flesh of thee, but raw. And if any man said unto him, let the fat be offered according to the day, and then take as much as thine heart desireth. The lad would answer him, thou shalt give it me now, or else I will take it with violence. And the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord. For they despised the people and also the offering of the Lord.
      But the lad Samuel ministered before the Lord girded about with a linen Ephod. Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from feast to feast when she came up with her husband to offer the offering of the said feast. And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said: the Lord give thee seed of this woman, for that she hath lent the Lord. And they went unto their own home. And the Lord visited Hannah for that she conceived and bare three sons and two daughters. But the boy Samuel grew dwelling still with the Lord.
      Eli was very old and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel, and how they slept with the women that waited in the door of the tabernacle of witness, and said unto them: why do ye such things? For I hear your wicked deeds of all these people. Oh, nay my sons: For it is no good report that I hear how that ye make the Lords people to trespass. If one man sin against another, daysmen may make his peace: but if a man sin against the Lord, who can be his daysman? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them. The child Samuel profited and grew, and was in favour 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 appeared unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaos house. And I chose thy father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest for to offer upon mine altar and to burn incense, and to wear an Ephod before me. And I gave unto the house of thy father all the offerings of the children of Israel. Wherefore kick ye against my sacrifice and against mine offering which I command in the tabernacle, and honourest thy children above me, and make yourselves fat of the first fruits of all the offerings of Israel my people? Wherefore the Lord God of Israel saith: I said that thine house and the house of thy father should have walked before me for ever. But now the Lord saith that be far from me: for them that worship me I will worship, and they that despise me, shall be despised, Behold the days will come that I will cut off thine arm and the arm of thy fathers house, that there shall not be an elder in thine house. And thou shalt see thine enemy in the tabernacle, in all that shall please Israel, and there shall not be an elder in thine house while the world standeth. Nevertheless I will not destroy all thy males from my altar, to daze thy sight with all and to make thine heart melt. And all the multitude of thine house shall die young.
      And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, Hophni and Phinehes: even in one day they shall die both of them. And I will stir me up a faithful priest that shall do as it 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 they that are left in thine house, shall come and crouch to him for a little piece of silver and a cake of bread, and shall say: put me I pray thee in one office or other among the priests, that I may eat a morsel of bread.


*bones: other places the Lord breaketh the bows of the mighty. *sodden (boiled)




The 3rd Chapter

      And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli: and the word of the Lord was precious in those days for there was none open vision. And it chanced at that time, that Eli lay in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim that he could not see. And before the lamp of God went out Samuel laid him down to sleep, in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was. And the Lord called Samuel: and he said, here am I, and he ran unto Eli and said here am I for thou called me. And he said I called thee not: go again and sleep. And he went and laid him down to sleep. And the Lord called once again: Samuel, and Samuel arose and went to Eli and said: I am here, thou didst call me. And he answered: I called thee not my son. Go again and take thy rest: but it was before Samuel knew the Lord and before the word of the Lord was opened unto him. And the Lord went and called Samuel the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said: I am here, for thou hast called me. Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the lad. And said unto him, go and lie down: and if he call thee again then say, speak on Lord, for thy servant heareth. And Samuel went and laid him down in his place. And the Lord came and stood and called as before, Samuel, Samuel. And Samuel said: speak on, for thy servant heareth thee. And the Lord said to Samuel: behold, I will do a thing in Israel, that the ears of as many as heareth it, shall tingle. In that day I will perform to Eli, all that I have spoken concerning his house: I will begin it and end it. For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever. For the wickedness which he knoweth, how his sons are ungracious, and he was not wroth therewith. And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the wickedness of Elis house, shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering, while the world standeth. And Samuel lay till morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord.
      But Samuel feared, to shew Eli the vision. Then Eli called Samuel and said: Samuel my son. And he answered here I am. And he said what is that he said unto thee? See ye hide it not from me. The Lord do so and so to thee, if thou hide anything from me, of all that he said unto thee. And Samuel told him every whit and hid it not from him. And he answered: it is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him best.
      And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and left none of his words unperformed. And all Israel from Dan to Bersabe knew that Samuel was truly made the Lords prophet. And the Lord appeared again in Siloh: for the Lord opened himself to Samuel in Siloh, through the word of the Lord.




The 4th Chapter

      And Samuel spake unto all Israel. And Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside the help stone. And the Philistines pitched in Aphek. And put themselves in array against Israel. And in the end of the battle Israel was put to the worse before the Philistines. And the Philistines slew in array along by the fields, about a four thousand men.
       And when the people were come into their tents, the elders of Israel said: wherefore hath the Lord beaten us this day before the Philistines? let us fetch the ark of the appointment of the Lord, out of Siloh unto us, and let it come among us and save us out of the hands of our enemies. And the people sent to Siloh, and fetched from thence the ark of the appointment of the Lord of hosts which dwelleth between the Cherubins. And there were the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehes with the ark of the appointment of God. And when the ark of the appointment of the Lord came into the host, all Israel shouted a mighty shout, so that the earth rang again.
      When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout they said: what meaneth the sound of this mighty shout in the host of the Hebrews? And they understood how that the ark of the Lord was come into the host. And the Philistines were afraid, when it was told how that God was come into the host and said: Woe unto us, for it was never so before this. Woe unto us, who shall deliver us out of the hand of this mighty God? This is the God that smote the Egyptians with all manner of plagues in the wilderness. Be strong and quit yourselves like men, ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men therefore and fight. And the Philistines fought, and Israel was put to the worse and fled, every man into his tent. And there was a mighty great slaughter, so that there were overthrown of Israel, thirty thousand footmen. And the ark of God was taken, and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehes were dead. And there ran a man of BenJamin out of the array and came to Siloh the same day, with his clothes rent and earth upon his head. And when the man came in, Eli sat upon a stool by the wayside looking: for his heart feared for the ark of God. And the man came in and told it in the city. And all the city cried.
      When Eli heard the noise of the crying, he asked what the noise of that rumor meant. And the man hasted and came in and told Eli. Eli was four score and eighteen year old, and his sight failed him that he could not see. And the man said unto Eli: I am he that came out of the array and fled out of the host this day. And he said how is it fortuned, my son? And the messenger answered and said: Israel is fled before the Philistines, and there is a great slaughter chanced among the people, and thy two sons, Hophni and Phinehes are dead, and thereto the ark of God is taken. And when he made mention of the ark of God, Eli fell from off his stool backward toward the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was old and unwieldy, and he had judged Israel forty years.
      And his daughter in law Phinehes wife was with child and nigh the birth. And when she heard the tidings of the taking of the ark of God, and that her father in law and her husband were dead, she bowed herself and travailed, for her pains came upon her. And about the time of her death, the women that stood about her, said unto her: fear not for thou hast borne a son. But she answered not nor regarded it. And she named the child Ichabod saying: honor is departed from Israel. Because the ark of God was taken, and her father in law and her husband were dead. And therefore she said, honor is gone from Israel, because the ark of God was taken.




The 5th Chapter

      And the Philistines took the ark of God and carried it from the help stone, unto Asdod, and brought it unto the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon. And when they of Asdod were up in the morning behold, Dagon lay grovelling upon the earth before the ark of the Lord. And they took Dagon and set him in his place again. And when they were up early in the next morning behold, Dagon lay grovelling upon the ground before the ark of the Lord, and his head and his two hands cut off upon the threshold, that the body only was left on him. Wherefore neither the priests of Dagon, neither any man that cometh into Dagons house might tread on the threshold of Dagon in Asdod, unto this day.
      But the hand of the Lord was heavy upon them of Asdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with *Emerods, both Asdod and all the coasts thereof. And when the men of Asdod saw that it was so, they said: the ark of the God of Israel shall not abide here with us, for his hand is sore upon us and upon Dagon our god. And so they sent and gathered all the Lords of the Philistines unto them and said: what shall we do with the ark of the God of Israel? Then said they of Geth let the ark of the God of Israel be carried about. And they carried the ark of the God of Israel about. And when they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was in the city with a mighty great plague, and he smote the men of the city both small and great: and they were smitten in their secret places, with the *Emerods. Then they sent the ark of God to Akaron. And as soon as the ark of God came to Akaron, the Akaronites cried out saying: they have brought the ark of the God of Israel unto us: to slay us and our people.
      Then they sent and fetched all the Lords of the Philistines unto them and said: send away the ark of the God of Israel, and let it go home again unto his own place, that it slay us not with our people. For there was a plague of death throughout all the city, and the hand of God was exceeding sore there, insomuch that they which died not, were smitten with the Emerods: so that the cry of the city went up to heaven.


*Emerods: tumors, boils, burning hemoroids




The 6th Chapter

      And so when ark of the Lord had been in the country of the Philistines seven months, the Philistines called for the priests and the soothsayers saying: what shall we do with the ark of the Lord? tell us wherewith we shall send it home again. They answered if you send the ark of the God of Israel home again send it not empty: But reward it with a trespass offering: and then ye shall be whole, and it shall be known to you, why his hand departeth not from you.
      Then said they, what shall be the trespass offering which we shall reward him with? And they answered: five golden *arses with Emerods and five golden mice, according to the number of the Lords of the Philistines. For it was one manner of plague that was on you all, and on your Lords too. Wherefore ye shall make images like to your *arses with Emerods and images like to your mice that destroyed your land, and shall give glory unto the God of Israel: that he may take his hand from off you, and from off your Gods, and from off your land. Wherefore should ye harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharao hardened their hearts, which for all that (when he had played his pageants with them) were *fain to let the people go and depart.
      Now therefore make a new cart and take two milch *kine, on whose neck never came yoke. And tie the kine in the cart, and bring the calves home from them. Then take the ark of the Lord and put it in the cart, and put the Jewels of gold (which ye reward him with for a trespass offering) in a forcer by the side thereof and send it away and let it go. And mark if he go up by the way that leadeth unto his own coast, to Bethsames, then it is he that did us this great evil. But and if he do not, then it is not his hand that smote us, but it was a chance that happened us. And the men did even so: they took two kine that gave milk and tied them in the cart, and kept the calves at home, and they laid the ark of the Lord upon the cart and the forcer with the mice of gold and the images of their arses with Emerods. And the kine took the straight way to Bethsames, both one way, and as they went, lowed, turning neither to the right hand nor to the left. And the Lords of the Philistines went after them until they came to the borders of Bethsames.
      And they of Bethsames were reaping their wheat harvest in the valley. And they lifted up their eyes and spied the ark. And rejoiced when they saw it. And the cart came into the grove of one Jehosua a Bethsamite, and stood still there. There was there also a great stone. And they cleaved the wood of the cart and offered the kine a burnt offering unto the Lord. And the Levites took down the ark of the Lord and the forcer that was thereby, wherein the Jewels of gold were and put them on the great stone. And the men of Bethsames sacrificed burnt sacrifice and offered offerings that same day unto the Lord. And when the five Lords of the Philistines had seen it, they returned to Akaron the same day. These are the golden arses with Emerods which the Philistines gave to amends for a trespass offering to the Lord: for Asdod one: for Gaza one: for Askalon one: for Geth one: and for Akaron one. And the golden mice were according to the number of all the cities of the Philistines through the five lordships: both of walled towns and of towns unwalled, even unto the great stone, whereon they set down the ark of the Lord: which stone remaineth unto this day in the field of Jehosua the Bethsamite. And he plagued the men of Bethsames, because they had seen the ark of the Lord. And he slew of the people fifty thousand and three score and ten persons. And the people lamented, because the Lord had slain so great a slaughter of them. And the men of Bethsames said who is able to stand before the Lord so holy a God and to whom shall he go from us? And they sent messengers to the inhabiters of Kariath Jarim saying: The Philistines have brought home again the Ark of the Lord: come down and fetch it up to you.


*arses: asses that is buttocks. *fain (happy/obliged) *kine (milk cows),




The 7th Chapter

      And the men of Kariathjarim came and set up the ark of the Lord, and brought it unto the house of Abinadab in Gabaah and sanctified Eleazar his son to wait upon the ark of the Lord. And while the ark abode in Kariathjarim, the days multiplied, that it was twenty years, and all Israel lamented after the Lord.
      And Samuel spake unto all Israel saying: if ye be come again unto the Lord with all your hearts, then put away the strange Gods from among you, and Astharoth, and prepare your hearts unto the Lord and serve him alone, and so shall he rid you out of the hands of the Philistines. And then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Astharoth, and served the Lord only. Then said Samuel: gather all Israel to Mazphah, that I may pray for you unto the Lord. And they gathered together to Mazphah, and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted the same day and said there: we have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the causes of the children of Israel in Mazphah. When the Philistines heard, that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mazphah, the Lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard that, they were afraid of the Philistines and said to Samuel: cease not to cry unto the Lord our God for us, that he may save us out of the hands of the Philistines. And Samuel took a sucking lamb and offered it altogether for a burnt offering, unto the Lord and cried unto the Lord for Israel: and the Lord heard him. And as Samuel offered the burnt offering, the Philistines came to fight against Israel. But the Lord thundered a great thunder the same day upon the Philistines, and turmoiled them, that they were beaten before Israel. And the men of Israel issued out of Mazphah and pursued the Philistines and slew them, until they came under Bethcar. And the Samuel took a stone and pitched it between Mazphah and Sen, and called the name thereof the stone of help, saying: thus far hath the Lord help us. And so the Philistines were brought under that they came no more into the coasts of Israel: for the hand of the Lord was upon the Philistines all the days of Samuel. Thereto the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel came again to Israel, even from Akaron to Geth, with the coasts of the same, which Israel plucked out of the hands of the Philistines. For there was peace between Israel and the Amorites. And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life, and went about year by year, to Bethel Galgal and Mazphah, and judged Israel in all those places, and came again to Ramath: for there was his house, and there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar unto the Lord.


Chapters 1-7 | 8-13 | 14-17 | 18-24 | 25-end | Next Book


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