1 Samuel 3:1-10

Samuel's Call

1 The boy Samuel served the Lord in Eli's presence.[a] In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.
2 One day Eli, whose eyesight was failing,[b] was lying in his room.
3 Before the lamp of God had gone out,[c] Samuel was lying down in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was located.
4 Then the Lord called Samuel,[d] and he answered, "Here I am."
5 He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "I didn't call," Eli replied. "Go and lie down." So he went and lay down.
6 Once again the Lord called, "Samuel!" Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me." "I didn't call, my son," he replied. "Go and lie down."
7 Now Samuel had not yet experienced the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy.
9 He told Samuel, "Go and lie down. If He calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel responded, "Speak, for Your servant is listening."

1 Samuel 3:1-10 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 3

This chapter gives an account of the Lord's calling to Samuel in the night season, which he first took for the voice of Eli, but being instructed by him, made answer to the voice, 1Sa 3:1-10, and of a message sent from him by Samuel to Eli, foretelling the destruction of his family, 1Sa 3:11-14 and of the delivery of it to him, which Samuel was first fearful of doing, but, encouraged by Eli, he delivered it to him, to which he patiently submitted, 1Sa 3:15-18 and the chapter is closed with the establishment of Samuel as a prophet of the Lord, who continued to appear and reveal himself to him, 1Sa 3:19-21.

1 Samuel 3:1-10 In-Context

1 The boy Samuel served the Lord in Eli's presence. In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.
2 One day Eli, whose eyesight was failing, was lying in his room.
3 Before the lamp of God had gone out, Samuel was lying down in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was located.
4 Then the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, "Here I am."
5 He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am; you called me." "I didn't call," Eli replied. "Go and lie down." So he went and lay down.
6 Once again the Lord called, "Samuel!" Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me." "I didn't call, my son," he replied. "Go and lie down."
7 Now Samuel had not yet experienced the Lord, because the word of the Lord had not yet been revealed to him.
8 Once again, for the third time, the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am; you called me." Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy.
9 He told Samuel, "Go and lie down. If He calls you, say, 'Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, "Samuel, Samuel!" Samuel responded, "Speak, for Your servant is listening."
11 The Lord said to Samuel, "I am about to do something in Israel that everyone who hears about it will shudder.
12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything I said about his family, from beginning to end.
13 I told him that I am going to judge his family forever because of the iniquity he knows about: his sons are defiling the sanctuary, and he has not stopped them.
14 Therefore, I have sworn to Eli's family: The iniquity of Eli's family will never be wiped out by either sacrifice or offering."

Footnotes 4

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