Samuel’s call
1Now the boy Samuel was serving the Lord under Eli. The Lord’s word was rare at that time, and visions weren’t widely known. 2One day Eli, whose eyes had grown so weak he was unable to see, was lying down in his room. 3God’s lamp hadn’t gone out yet, and Samuel was lying down in the Lord’s temple, where God’s chest#Traditionally ark was.
4The Lord called to Samuel. "I’m here," he said.
5Samuel hurried to Eli and said, "I’m here. You called me?"
"I didn’t call you," Eli replied. "Go lie down." So he did.
6Again the Lord called Samuel, so Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, "I’m here. You called me?"
"I didn’t call, my son," Eli replied. "Go and lie down."
(7Now Samuel didn’t yet know the Lord, and the Lord’s word hadn’t yet been revealed to him.)
8A third time the Lord called Samuel. He got up, went to Eli, and said, "I’m here. You called me?"
Then Eli realized that it was the Lord who was calling the boy. 9So Eli said to Samuel, "Go and lie down. If he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.’" So Samuel went and lay down where he’d been.
10Then the Lord came and stood there, calling just as before, "Samuel, Samuel!"
Samuel said, "Speak. Your servant is listening."
11The Lord said to Samuel, "I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of all who hear it tingle! 12On that day, I will bring to pass against Eli everything I said about his household—every last bit of it!#Or the beginning and the end 13I told him that I would punish his family forever because of the wrongdoing he knew about—how his sons were cursing God,#LXX; MT to themselves, one of several intentional scribal corrections to avoid the phrase cursing God but he wouldn’t stop them. 14Because of that I swore about Eli’s household that his family’s wrongdoing will never be reconciled by sacrifice or by offering."
15Samuel lay there until morning, then opened the doors of the Lord’s house. Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16But Eli called Samuel, saying: "Samuel, my son!"
"I’m here," Samuel said.
17"What did he say to you?" Eli asked. "Don’t hide anything from me. May God deal harshly with you and worse still if you hide from me a single word from everything he said to you." 18So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him.
"He is the Lord, " Eli said. "He will do as he pleases."
19So Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not allowing any of his words to fail. 20All Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was trustworthy as the Lord’s prophet. 21The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh because the Lord revealed himself to Samuel at Shiloh through the Lord’s own word.
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