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1 And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

15 And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.

18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.

20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

21 And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

Commentary for 1 Samuel 3

The word of the Lord first revealed to Samuel. (1-10) God tells Samuel the destruction of Eli's house. (11-18) Samuel established to be a prophet. (19-21)1-10 The call which Divine grace designs shall be made effectual; will be repeated till it is so, till we come to the call. Eli, perceiving that it was the voice of God that Samuel heard, instructed him what to say. Though it was a disgrace to Eli, for God's call to be directed to Samuel, yet he told him how to meet it. Thus the elder should do their utmost to assist and improve the younger that are rising up. Let us never fail to teach those who are coming after us, even such as will soon be preferred before us, #Joh 1:30|. Good words should be put into children's mouths betimes, by which they may be prepared to learn Divine things, and be trained up to regard them.

11-18 What a great deal of guilt and corruption is there in us, concerning which we may say, It is the iniquity which our own heart knoweth; we are conscious to ourselves of it! Those who do not restrain the sins of others, when it is in their power to do it, make themselves partakers of the guilt, and will be charged as joining in it. In his remarkable answer to this awful sentence, Eli acknowledged that the Lord had a right to do as he saw good, being assured that he would do nothing wrong. The meekness, patience, and humility contained in those words, show that he was truly repentant; he accepted the punishment of his sin.

19-21 All increase in wisdom and grace, is owing to the presence of God with us. God will graciously repeat his visits to those who receive them aright. Early piety will be the greatest honour of young people. Those who honour God he will honour. Let young people consider the piety of Samuel, and from him they will learn to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. Young children are capable of religion. Samuel is a proof that their waiting upon the Lord will be pleasing to him. He is a pattern of all those amiable tempers, which are the brightest ornament of youth, and a sure source of happiness.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Samuel 3

  • Stephen Excel Osakue
    God speaks again and again, once I have spoken, and twice you will hear it. God is still speaking to His children today. If only we could pay attention, and listen, we will hear what the Lord is saying to us. Can you pray this prayer with me : "Lord, speak for your servant is listening." May you hear His voice today.
  • April
    When I think of all the scriptures pertaining to listening to GOD,he is our FATHER and like our parents in this life on Earth they have tried to get us NOT to do certain things or want us to OBEY,and GOD IS our FATHER,and when we don't listen there IS consequences for our actions,a grounding of some sort,or we are led astray,he is our FATHER,do we harken to our parents,if not will we to GOD?Amen.
  • Peter A. Okebukola
    Verse 19 is particularly instructive. "None of His words fall to the ground". God will say what He says He will do.
  • Oshane
    This is a very powerful scripture it shows us that we should live a holy life or there will be consequences.
  • Lorna
    Eli didn't take Samuel's message from the Lord seriously he could pray to the lord for his son's wayward living and he him self should seek God for giveness ,this chapter tells us to be careful of the ways we live our lives because God sees everything we do. Also to teach our children how to live godly at a young age so that when they are old it will not depart from them.
  • Vince
    When the lord speaks it will come to pass and with fire
  • Fidel
    We have to position ourselves to be able to hear from God. When we are pure God can speak and use us to the advancement of His glory.
  • Rev. Wanda M. Shoap
    "Kenneth Burgess" about 1 Samuel Chapter 3...
    "Did Ezekiel physically see GOD?" Though 1 Samuel 3 is not speaking about Ezekiel-- but Samuel-- neither of them physically saw God. The word of the LORD came (spoke) to Ezekiel. He looked and he saw a vision as the LORD's hand was upon him. Ezekiel 1:3 They both are excellent examples as to how the Lord speaks to us, beside through scriptures.
  • Kenneth Burgess
    Did Ezekiel physically see GOD?
  • Cosmas
    We have a responsibility to make sure our children do not do that which does not please God, even if we are to use coercion to achieve the same, otherwise God will hold it against us that we saw knew what evil our children are doing and didn't stop them.

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Bible Trivia

What child ministered unto the Lord with Eli?
  • Job
  • Mark
  • Samuel
  • Elisha