Samuel’s First Encounter with Yahweh
1Now the boy Samuel was serving Yahweh in the presence#Literally “in the face of” of Eli. The word of Yahweh was rare in those days; visions were not widespread. 2And then#Literally “And it happened” one day when Eli was lying in his place (now his eyes had begun to grow weak so that he was not able to see) 3and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, Samuel was lying in the temple#Although the Hebrew text reads “temple,” this is a reference to the tabernacle (see 1:3, 9) of Yahweh where the ark of God was. 4Then Yahweh called out to Samuel and he said, “Here I am!” 5And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, because you called me.” But he said, “I did not call you. Go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6And Yahweh called Samuel again, so Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, because you called me.” And he said, “I did not call you, my son. Go back and lie down.” 7Now Samuel did not yet know Yahweh, and the word of Yahweh had not yet been revealed to him. 8Again Yahweh called Samuel a third time, so he got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, because you called me.” Then Eli realized that Yahweh was calling the boy. 9So Eli said to Samuel “Go lie down. If he calls#Literally “And it will happen that if he calls” to you, then you must say, ‘Speak Yahweh, because your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10Then Yahweh came and stood there and called out as before,#Literally “as an occurrence, in an occurrence” “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, because your servant is listening.” 11So Yahweh said to Samuel, “Look, I am doing something in Israel which will cause#Literally “about which” the two ears of everyone who hears it to tingle. 12On that day I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken against his household, from beginning to end.#Literally “begin and finish” 13I will make him know that I am about to judge his household forever because of the iniquity that he knew, for his sons were bringing curses on themselves,#LXX reads “were cursing God” but he did not rebuke them. 14Therefore I swore to the house of Eli that the iniquity of the house of Eli would not be atoned for#Or “be expiated” by sacrifice or by offering forever.”
15So Samuel lay down until morning; then he opened the doors of the house of Yahweh, but Samuel was afraid of telling the vision to Eli. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son!” And he said, “Here I am.” 17And he said, “What is the message#Or “word” that he spoke to you? Please do not conceal it from me. May God punish you severely#Literally “do to you and so may he add” if you conceal anything from me of all the words that he told you.” 18So Samuel told him all the words and did not conceal anything from him. And he#That is, Eli said, “He is Yahweh, he will do what is#Literally “the” good in his sight.”#Literally “eyes”
19And Samuel grew up, and Yahweh was with him. He did not allow any of his prophecies to go unfulfilled.#Literally “He let none from all of his words fall to the ground.” 20All Israel from Dan to Beersheba realized that Samuel was faithful#Or “reliable” or “trustworthy” as a prophet to Yahweh. 21And Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh, for Yahweh revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh through the word of Yahweh.