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The Lord Speaks to Samuel

Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the Lord by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the Lord were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.

One night Eli, who was almost blind by now, had gone to bed. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was sleeping in the Tabernacle[a] near the Ark of God. Suddenly the Lord called out, “Samuel!”

“Yes?” Samuel replied. “What is it?” He got up and ran to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So he did.

Then the Lord called out again, “Samuel!”

Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

“I didn’t call you, my son,” Eli said. “Go back to bed.”

Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before. So the Lord called a third time, and once more Samuel got up and went to Eli. “Here I am. Did you call me?”

Then Eli realized it was the Lord who was calling the boy. So he said to Samuel, “Go and lie down again, and if someone calls again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.

10 And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.”

11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am about to do a shocking thing in Israel. 12 I am going to carry out all my threats against Eli and his family, from beginning to end. 13 I have warned him that judgment is coming upon his family forever, because his sons are blaspheming God[b] and he hasn’t disciplined them. 14 So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.”

Samuel Speaks for the Lord

15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then got up and opened the doors of the Tabernacle[c] as usual. He was afraid to tell Eli what the Lord had said to him. 16 But Eli called out to him, “Samuel, my son.”

“Here I am,” Samuel replied.

17 “What did the Lord say to you? Tell me everything. And may God strike you and even kill you if you hide anything from me!” 18 So Samuel told Eli everything; he didn’t hold anything back. “It is the Lord’s will,” Eli replied. “Let him do what he thinks best.”

19 As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him, and everything Samuel said proved to be reliable. 20 And all Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh and gave messages to Samuel there at the Tabernacle.

Footnotes

  1. 3:3 Hebrew the Temple of the Lord.
  2. 3:13 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads his sons have made themselves contemptible.
  3. 3:15 Hebrew the house of the Lord.

The Lord Calls Samuel

The boy Samuel ministered(A) before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare;(B) there were not many visions.(C)

One night Eli, whose eyes(D) were becoming so weak that he could barely see,(E) was lying down in his usual place. The lamp(F) of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house(G) of the Lord, where the ark(H) of God was. Then the Lord called Samuel.

Samuel answered, “Here I am.(I) 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(J) the Lord: The word(K) of the Lord had not yet been revealed(L) 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.

10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!(M)

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”

11 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.(N) 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything(O) I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain(P) them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned(Q) for by sacrifice or offering.’”

15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”

Samuel answered, “Here I am.”

17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide(R) it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely,(S) if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”(T)

19 The Lord was with(U) Samuel as he grew(V) up, and he let none(W) of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba(X) recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.(Y) 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed(Z) himself to Samuel through his word.

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 3:13 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text sons made themselves contemptible

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