May 20

1 Samuel 1

1Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite of the hill-country of Ephraim, named Elkanah; he was the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite:

2And he had two wives, one named Hannah and the other Peninnah: and Peninnah was the mother of children, but Hannah had no children.

3Now this man went up from his town every year to give worship and to make offerings to the Lord of armies in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.

4And when the day came for Elkanah to make his offering, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and daughters, their part of the feast:

5But to Hannah he gave one part, though Hannah was very dear to him, but the Lord had not let her have children.

6And the other wife did everything possible to make her unhappy, because the Lord had not let her have children;

7And year by year, whenever she went up to the house of the Lord, she kept on attacking her, so that Hannah gave herself up to weeping and would take no food.

8Then her husband Elkanah said to her, Hannah, why are you weeping? and why are you taking no food? why is your heart troubled? am I not more to you than ten sons?

9So after they had taken food and wine in the guest room, Hannah got up. Now Eli the priest was seated by the pillars of the doorway of the Temple of the Lord.

10And with grief in her soul, weeping bitterly, she made her prayer to the Lord.

11And she made an oath, and said, O Lord of armies, if you will truly take note of the sorrow of your servant, not turning away from me but keeping me in mind, and will give me a man-child, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.

12Now while she was a long time in prayer before the Lord, Eli was watching her mouth.

13For Hannah’s prayer came from her heart, and though her lips were moving she made no sound: so it seemed to Eli that she was overcome with wine.

14And Eli said to her, How long are you going to be the worse for drink? Put away the effects of your wine from you.

15And Hannah, answering him, said, No, my lord, I am a woman whose spirit is broken with sorrow: I have not taken wine or strong drink, but I have been opening my heart before the Lord.

16Do not take your servant to be a good-for-nothing woman: for my words have come from my stored-up sorrow and pain.

17Then Eli said to her, Go in peace: and may the God of Israel give you an answer to the prayer you have made to him.

18And she said, May your servant have grace in your eyes. So the woman went away, and took part in the feast, and her face was no longer sad.

19And early in the morning they got up, and after worshipping before the Lord they went back to Ramah, to their house: and Elkanah had connection with his wife; and the Lord kept her in mind.

20Now the time came when Hannah, being with child, gave birth to a son; and she gave him the name Samuel, Because, she said, I made a prayer to the Lord for him.

21And the man Elkanah with all his family went up to make the year’s offering to the Lord, and to give effect to his oath.

22But Hannah did not go, for she said to her husband, I will not go till the child has been taken from the breast, and then I will take him with me and put him before the Lord, where he may be for ever.

23And her husband Elkanah said to her, Do whatever seems right to you, but not till you have taken him from the breast; only may the Lord do as he has said. So the woman, waiting there, gave her son milk till he was old enough to be taken from the breast.

24Then when she had done so, she took him with her, with a three-year old ox and an ephah of meal and a skin full of wine, and took him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh: now the child was still very young.

25And when they had made an offering of the ox, they took the child to Eli.

26And she said, O my lord, as your soul is living, my lord, I am that woman who was making a prayer to the Lord here by your side:

27My prayer was for this child; and the Lord has given him to me in answer to my request:

28So I have given him to the Lord; for all his life he is the Lord’s. Then he gave the Lord worship there.

1 Samuel 2:1-10

1And Hannah, in prayer before the Lord, said, My heart is glad in the Lord, my horn is lifted up in the Lord: my mouth is open wide over my haters; because my joy is in your salvation.

2No other is holy as the Lord, for there is no other God but you: there is no Rock like our God.

3Say no more words of pride; let not uncontrolled sayings come out of your mouths: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, by him acts are judged.

4The bows of the men of war are broken, and the feeble are clothed with strength.

5Those who were full are offering themselves as servants for bread; those who were in need are at rest; truly, she who had no children has become the mother of seven; and she who had a family is wasted with sorrow.

6The Lord is the giver of death and life: sending men down to the underworld and lifting them up.

7The Lord gives wealth and takes a man’s goods from him: crushing men down and again lifting them up;

8Lifting the poor out of the dust, and him who is in need out of the lowest place, to give them their place among rulers, and for their heritage the seat of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s and he has made them the base of the world.

9He will keep the feet of his holy ones, but the evil-doers will come to their end in the dark night, for by strength no man will overcome.

10Those who make war against the Lord will be broken; against them he will send his thunder from heaven: the Lord will be judge of the ends of the earth, he will give strength to his king, lifting up the horn of him on whom the holy oil has been put.

Psalms 49

Alamoth. To the chief music-maker. Of the sons of Korah. A Psalm.

1 Give attention to this, all you peoples; let your ears be open, all you who are living in the world.

2High and low together, the poor, and those who have wealth.

3From my mouth will come words of wisdom; and in the thoughts of my heart will be knowledge.

4I will put my teaching into a story; I will make my dark sayings clear with music.

5What cause have I for fear in the days of evil, when the evil-doing of those who are working for my downfall is round about me?

6Even of those whose faith is in their wealth, and whose hearts are lifted up because of their stores.

7Truly, no man may get back his soul for a price, or give to God the payment for himself;

8(Because it takes a great price to keep his soul from death, and man is not able to give it.)

9So that he might have eternal life, and never see the underworld.

10For he sees that wise men come to their end, and foolish persons of low behaviour come to destruction together, letting their wealth go to others.

11The place of the dead is their house for ever, and their resting-place through all generations; those who come after them give their names to their lands.

12But man, like the animals, does not go on for ever; he comes to an end like the beasts.

13This is the way of the foolish; their silver is for those who come after them, and their children get the pleasure of their gold. (Selah.)

14Death will give them their food like sheep; the underworld is their fate and they will go down into it; their flesh is food for worms; their form is wasted away; the underworld is their resting-place for ever.

15But God will get back my soul; for he will take me from the power of death. (Selah.)

16Have no fear when wealth comes to a man, and the glory of his house is increased;

17For at his death, he will take nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.

18Though he might have pride in his soul in his life-time, and men will give you praise if you do well for yourself,

19He will go to the generation of his fathers; he will not see the light again.

20Man, like the animals, does not go on for ever; he comes to an end like the beasts.

Acts 26:19-32

19So, then, King Agrippa, I did not go against the vision from heaven;

20But I went about, first to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, and through all the country of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, preaching a change of heart, so that they, being turned to God, might give, in their works, the fruits of a changed heart.

21For this reason, the Jews took me in the Temple, and made an attempt to put me to death.

22And so, by God’s help, I am here today, witnessing to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moses said would come about;

23That the Christ would go through pain, and being the first to come back from the dead, would give light to the people and to the Gentiles.

24And when he made his answer in these words, Festus said in a loud voice, Paul, you are off your head; your great learning has made you unbalanced.

25Then Paul said, I am not off my head, most noble Festus, but my words are true and wise.

26For the king has knowledge of these things, to whom I am talking freely; being certain that all this is common knowledge to him; for it has not been done in secret.

27King Agrippa, have you faith in the prophets? I am certain that you have.

28And Agrippa said to Paul, A little more and you will be making me a Christian.

29And Paul said, It is my prayer to God that, in little or great measure, not only you, but all those hearing me today might be even as I am, but for these chains.

30And the king and the ruler and Bernice and those who were seated with them got up;

31And when they had gone away they said to one another, This man has done nothing which might give cause for death or prison.

32And Agrippa said to Festus, This man might have been made free, if he had not put his cause before Caesar.

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