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CHAPTER 3 Jun. 24 
Samuel Called by the Lord
The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before Eli. The word of Yahweh was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision. 2At that time, when Eli was laid down in his place (now his eyes had begun to grow dim, so that he could not see), 3and the lamp of God hadn’t yet gone out, and Samuel had laid down in Yahweh’s sanctuary where the ark of God was, 4Yahweh called Samuel, and he said Here I am. 5He ran to Eli, and said, Here I am, for you called me. He said, I didn’t call; lie down again. He went and lay down. 6Yahweh called again, Samuel! Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am; for you called me. He answered, I didn’t call my son; lie down again. 7Now Samuel didn’t yet know Yahweh, neither was the word of Yahweh yet revealed to him. 8Yahweh called Samuel again the third time. He arose and went to Eli and said, Here I am; for you called me. Eli perceived that Yahweh had called the child. 9Therefore Eli said to Samuel, Go, lie down, and if He calls you, say, ‘Speak, Yahweh, for Your servant hears’. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10Yahweh came and stood and called as at other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel said, Speak; for Your servant hears. 11Yahweh said to Samuel, Behold, I will do something in Israel which will make both the ears of everyone who hears it tingle. 12In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he didn’t rebuke them. 14Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the guilt of Eli’s house shall not be removed with sacrifice nor offering forever. 15Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of Yahweh. Samuel feared to show Eli the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel and said, Samuel, my son! He said, Here I am. 17He said, What was it that He said to you? Please don’t hide it from me. May God deal with you severely if you hide anything from me of all the things that He said to you. 18Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. He said, It is Yahweh. Let Him do what seems good to Him. 19Samuel grew, and Yahweh was with him, and he let none of His words fall to the ground. 20All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of Yahweh. 21Yahweh appeared again in Shiloh, for Yahweh revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of Yahweh.


3:13 Eli did rebuke his sons; but in God’s eyes he didn’t (cp.  2:24). He said words for the sake of saying words, but in his heart he didn’t mean them. He honoured his sons above God, to make himself “fat with the best of all the offerings”. The description of Eli as being fat surely reflects his guilt (2:29; 4:18). And yet he appeared on the surface to run his family life on a spiritual footing. Eli is presented as a kindly old man who had a heart for God but was too soft on his children; but God’s judgment of him is much harsher, teaching us the serious consequence of sins of omission, and of allowing abuse to continue when it is in our power to stop it. Because Eli wouldn't restrain the abuse, he was seen as committing those very things which he failed to rebuke. Likewise the man who wouldn’t discipline his wayward ox was to be treated like as if he had committed the crime the ox did, and therefore must die if the ox killed a man (Ex. 21:29).
3:18 When Samuel told Eli of the prophetic vision which he had received, Eli commented: “It is Yahweh”. He meant ‘It is the word of the Lord’; but he saw God as effectively His word. “The word”, the “word of the Kingdom”, “the Gospel”, “the word of God” are all parallel expressions throughout the Gospels. Our attitude to God’s word is our attitude to Him.