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3
The Prophetic Call to Samuel
1 Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord #Lit before.under the supervision of Eli. The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.
2 Yet it happened at that time, as Eli was lying down in his own place (now his eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well).3 and the [oil] lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the ark of God was,4 that the Lord called Samuel, and he answered, “Here I am.”5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call you; lie down again.” So he went and lay down.6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But Eli answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.”7 Now Samuel did not yet know [or personally experience] the Lord, and the word of the Lord was not yet revealed [directly] to him.8 So the Lord called Samuel a third time. And he stood and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli understood that it was the Lord [who was] calling the boy.9 So Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and it shall be that if He calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Then the Lord came and stood and called as at the previous times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will ring.12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything that I have spoken concerning his house (family), from beginning to end.13 Now I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the sinful behavior which he knew [was happening], because his sons were bringing a curse on themselves [dishonoring and blaspheming God] and he did not rebuke them.14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the sinful behavior of Eli’s house (family) shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”
15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lords house. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli.16 But Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he answered, “Here I am.”17 Then Eli said, “What is it that He said to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do the same to you, and more also, if you hide from me anything of all that He said to you.”18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. And Eli said, “It is the Lord; may He do what seems good #Lit in His eyes.to Him.”
19 Now Samuel grew; and the Lord was with him and He let none of his words #Lit fall to the ground.fail [to be fulfilled]. 20 And all Israel from Dan [in the north] to Beersheba [in the south] knew that Samuel was appointed as a prophet of the Lord.21 And the Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.
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The Lord Appears to Samuel
1In those days, when the boy Samuel was serving the Lord under the direction of Eli, there were very few messages from the Lord, and visions from him were quite rare. 2One night Eli, who was now almost blind, was sleeping in his own room; 3Samuel was sleeping in the sanctuary, where the sacred Covenant Box was. Before dawn, while the lamp was still burning, 4the Lord called Samuel. He answered, “Yes, sir!” 5and ran to Eli and said, “You called me, and here I am.”
But Eli answered, “I didn't call you; go back to bed.” So Samuel went back to bed.
6-7The Lord called Samuel again. The boy did not know that it was the Lord, because the Lord had never spoken to him before. So he got up, went to Eli, and said, “You called me, and here I am.”
But Eli answered, “My son, I didn't call you; go back to bed.”
8The Lord called Samuel a third time; he got up, went to Eli, and said, “You called me, and here I am.”
Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy, 9so he said to him, “Go back to bed; and if he calls you again, say, ‘Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed.
10The Lord came and stood there, and called as he had before, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Samuel answered, “Speak; your servant is listening.”
11The Lord said to him, “Some day I am going to do something to the people of Israel that is so terrible that everyone who hears about it will be stunned. 12On that day I will carry out all my threats against Eli's family, from beginning to end. 13I have already told him#3.13: One ancient translation I have already told him; Hebrew I will tell him. that I am going to punish his family forever because his sons have spoken evil things against me. Eli knew they were doing this, but he did not stop them. 14So I solemnly declare to the family of Eli that no sacrifice or offering will ever be able to remove the consequences of this terrible sin.”
15Samuel stayed in bed until morning; then he got up and opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16Eli called him, “Samuel, my boy!”
“Yes, sir,” answered Samuel.
17“What did the Lord tell you?” Eli asked. “Don't keep anything from me. God will punish you severely if you don't tell me everything he said.” 18So Samuel told him everything; he did not keep anything back. Eli said, “He is the Lord; he will do whatever seems best to him.”
19As Samuel grew up, the Lord was with him and made come true everything that Samuel said. 20So all the people of Israel, from one end of the country to the other, knew that Samuel was indeed a prophet of the Lord. 21The Lord continued to reveal himself at Shiloh, where he had appeared to Samuel and had spoken to him. And when Samuel spoke, all Israel listened.