3:1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD a before Eli. And the word of the LORD was b precious in those days; [there was] no open vision.
(a) The Chaldee text reads "while Eli lived". 3:2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli [was] laid down in his c place, and his eyes began to wax dim, [that] he could not see;
(b) Because there were very few prophets to declare it.
(c) In the court next to the tabernacle. 3:3 And ere the d lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God [was], and Samuel was laid down [to sleep];
(d) That is, the lamps which burnt in the night. 3:4 That the LORD e called Samuel: and he answered, Here [am] I.
(e) Josephus writes that Samuel was 12 years old when the Lord appeared to him. 3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know f the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.
(f) By vision. 3:8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here [am] I; for thou didst call me. And Eli g perceived that the LORD had called the child.
(g) Such was the corruption of those times that the chief priest had become dull and negligent to understand the Lords appearing. 3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall h tingle.
(h) God declares that sudden fear will come on men when they hear that the ark is taken, and see Elis house destroyed. 3:14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Elis house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for i ever.
(i) Meaning that his posterity would never enjoy the chief priests office. 3:17 And he said, What [is] the thing that [the LORD] hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide [it] not from me: God k do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide [any] thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.
(k) God punish you after this and that sort, unless you tell me the truth, ( Ruth 1:17 ). 3:19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words l fall to the ground.
(l) The Lord accomplished whatever he had said.