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7 May 2017 Bible Reading

Today’s reading takes us into First Samuel – congratulations on keeping up!

Elkanah was a devout man and would take his family on period pilgrimages to the holy site of Shiloh. On one of these occasions Hannah went the sanctuary and prayed for a child. In tears, she vowed that she were granted a child, she would dedicate him to God. Eli saw her apparently mumbling and thought she was drunk, but is soon assured of her motivation and sobriety. Eli was the priest of Shiloh and one of the last Judges before the rule of kings began. He blessed her and she returned home. Hannah became pregnant and named her child Samuel. After he was weaned, she left him in Eli’s care.

1 Samuel 1-2:21
1 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 Ephraimite. 2 He had two wives. The name of one was Hannah, and the name of other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 This man went up out of his city from year to year to worship and to sacrifice to Yahweh of Armies in Shiloh. The two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, priests to Yahweh, were there. 4 When the day came that Elkanah sacrificed, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions; 5 but to Hannah he gave a double portion, for he loved Hannah, but Yahweh had shut up her womb. 6 Her rival provoked her severely, to irritate her, because Yahweh had shut up her womb. 7 As he did so year by year, when she went up to Yahweh’s house. Her rival provoked her; therefore she wept, and didn’t eat. 8 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why don’t you eat? Why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?”
9 So Hannah rose up after they had finished eating and drinking in Shiloh. Now Eli the priest was sitting on his seat by the doorpost of Yahweh’s temple. 10 She was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to Yahweh, weeping bitterly. 11 She vowed a vow, and said, “Yahweh of Armies, if you will indeed look at the affliction of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a boy, then I will give him to Yahweh all the days of his life, and no razor shall come on his head.”
12 As she continued praying before Yahweh, Eli saw her mouth. 13 Now Hannah spoke in her heart. Only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14 Eli said to her, “How long will you be drunk? Get rid of your wine!”
15 Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit. I have not been drinking wine or strong drink, but I poured out my soul before Yahweh. 16 Don’t consider your servant a wicked woman; for I have been speaking out of the abundance of my complaint and my provocation.”
17 Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; and may the God of Israel grant your petition that you have asked of him.”
18 She said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” So the woman went her way, and ate; and her facial expression wasn’t sad any more.
19 They rose up in the morning early, and worshiped before Yahweh, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah. Then Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and Yahweh remembered her.
20 When the time had come, Hannah conceived, and bore a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked him of Yahweh.”
21 The man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer to Yahweh the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. 22 But Hannah didn’t go up; for she said to her husband, “Not until the child is weaned; then I will bring him, that he may appear before Yahweh, and stay there forever.”
23 Elkanah her husband said to her, “Do what seems good to you. Wait until you have weaned him; only may Yahweh establish his word.”
So the woman waited and nursed her son, until she weaned him. 24 When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bulls, and one ephah of meal, and a bottle of wine, and brought him to Yahweh’s house in Shiloh. The child was young. 25 They killed the bull, and brought the child to Eli. 26 She said, “Oh, my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood by you here, praying to Yahweh. 27 I prayed for this child; and Yahweh has given me my petition which I asked of him. 28 Therefore I have also given him to Yahweh. As long as he lives he is given to Yahweh.” He worshiped Yahweh there.
2 Hannah prayed, and said:
“My heart exults in Yahweh!
My horn is exalted in Yahweh.
My mouth is enlarged over my enemies,
because I rejoice in your salvation.
2 There is no one as holy as Yahweh,
For there is no one besides you,
nor is there any rock like our God.
3 “Don’t keep talking so exceedingly proudly.
Don’t let arrogance come out of your mouth,
For Yahweh is a God of knowledge.
By him actions are weighed.
4 “The bows of the mighty men are broken.
Those who stumbled are armed with strength.
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread.
Those who were hungry are satisfied.
Yes, the barren has borne seven.
She who has many children languishes.
6 “Yahweh kills, and makes alive.
He brings down to Sheol, and brings up.
7 Yahweh makes poor, and makes rich.
He brings low, he also lifts up.
8 He raises up the poor out of the dust.
He lifts up the needy from the dunghill,
To make them sit with princes,
and inherit the throne of glory.
For the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s.
He has set the world on them.
9 He will keep the feet of his holy ones,
but the wicked shall be put to silence in darkness;
for no man shall prevail by strength.
10 Those who strive with Yahweh shall be broken to pieces.
He will thunder against them in the sky.
“Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth.
He will give strength to his king,
and exalt the horn of his anointed.”
11 Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. The child served Yahweh before Eli the priest. 12 Now the sons of Eli were wicked men. They didn’t know Yahweh. 13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when anyone offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant came while the flesh was boiling, with a fork of three teeth in his hand; 14 and he stabbed it into the pan, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot. The priest took all that the fork brought up for himself. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Yes, before they burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat to roast for the priest; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw.”
16 If the man said to him, “Let the fat be burned first, and then take as much as your soul desires”; then he would say, “No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 The sin of the young men was very great before Yahweh; for the men despised the offering of Yahweh. 18 But Samuel ministered before Yahweh, being a child, clothed with a linen ephod. 19 Moreover his mother made him a little robe, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. 20 Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, “May Yahweh give you offspring from this woman for the petition which was asked of Yahweh.” Then they went to their own home. 21 Yahweh visited Hannah, and she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters. The child Samuel grew before Yahweh.

John 5:1-23
5 After these things, there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2 Now in Jerusalem by the sheep gate, there is a pool, which is called in Hebrew, “Bethesda”, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of those who were sick, blind, lame, or paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; 4 for an angel went down at certain times into the pool, and stirred up the water. Whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. 5 A certain man was there, who had been sick for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had been sick for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to be made well?”
7 The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I’m coming, another steps down before me.”
8 Jesus said to him, “Arise, take up your mat, and walk.”
9 Immediately, the man was made well, and took up his mat and walked.
Now it was the Sabbath on that day. 10 So the Jews said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath. It is not lawful for you to carry the mat.”
11 He answered them, “He who made me well, the same said to me, ‘Take up your mat, and walk.’”
12 Then they asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your mat, and walk’?”
13 But he who was healed didn’t know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a crowd being in the place.
14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “Behold, you are made well. Sin no more, so that nothing worse happens to you.”
15 The man went away, and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 For this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill him, because he did these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.” 18 For this cause therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus therefore answered them, “Most certainly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise. 20 For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom he desires. 22 For the Father judges no one, but he has given all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him.

Psalm 105:37-45
37 He brought them out with silver and gold.
There was not one feeble person among his tribes.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed,
for the fear of them had fallen on them.
39 He spread a cloud for a covering,
fire to give light in the night.
40 They asked, and he brought quails,
and satisfied them with the bread of the sky.
41 He opened the rock, and waters gushed out.
They ran as a river in the dry places.
42 For he remembered his holy word,
and Abraham, his servant.
43 He brought his people out with joy,
his chosen with singing.
44 He gave them the lands of the nations.
They took the labor of the peoples in possession,
45 that they might keep his statutes,
and observe his laws.
Praise Yaweh!

Proverbs 14:28-29
28 In the multitude of people is the king’s glory,
but in the lack of people is the destruction of the prince.
29 He who is slow to anger has great understanding,
but he who has a quick temper displays folly.

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