The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place.
The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the LORD, where the ark of God was.
Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
A third time the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.
So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.
At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end.
For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God, and he failed to restrain them.
Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ”