1 Samuel 2:18

18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod.

1 Samuel 2:18 Meaning and Commentary

1 Samuel 2:18

But Samuel ministered before the Lord
The ministration of Samuel, though a child, is observed both before and after the account of the ill behaviour and wickedness of Eli's sons; partly to the shame and disgrace of them, and as serving to aggravate their sin, and make it appear the more black and heinous; and partly to his honour and reputation, that he was not corrupted and turned aside from God by their evil practices. The phrase here used is different from that in ( 1 Samuel 2:11 ) there he is said to minister before Eli, under his direction and guidance, but here before the Lord; being now engaged in higher services, and which he could perform without the assistance of Eli, as in the presence of God more immediately; it seems to have respect to him when more grown in age, stature, knowledge, and experience, though here related: yet still being "a child"; not got out of his childhood, or arrived to manhood:

girded with a linen ephod;
such as priests used to wear, but not Levites in common, nor extraordinary persons on extraordinary occasions, see ( 1 Samuel 22:18 ) ( 2 Samuel 6:14 ) . This seems to be a peculiar favour, and a special honour which Eli granted to Samuel when so very young, on account of the grace of God bestowed on him in a wonderful manner; and because brought up in the tabernacle as a holy person, and a Nazarite; and because his birth was foretold, and he asked of God, as his name signified, as Procopius Gazaeus observes.

1 Samuel 2:18 In-Context

16 And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force."
17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord; for they treated the offerings of the Lord with contempt.
18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy wearing a linen ephod.
19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the Lord repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the Lord"; and then they would return to their home.