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.
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;
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;
Before sun-rise: for it is probable the lamps were extinguished before the rising of the sun; see the Parallel Passages.
That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.
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.
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.
Or, Thus did Samuel before he knew the Lord, and before the word of the Lord was revealed unto him.
did not yet
Samuel was not destitute of the knowledge of God, in that sense which implies the total absence of true piety, as Eli's sons were; for he knew and worshipped the God of Israel: but he did not know him as communicating special revelations of his will to him, in the manner in which he made it known to the prophets.
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.
Job 33:14,15 Although Samuel did not apprehend the way in which God reveals himself to his servants the prophets--by the "still small voice"--yet when this direct communication from the Almighty was made the third time, in a way altogether new and strange to him, it seems astonishing that he did not immediately apprehend. Perhaps he would have been sooner aware of a divine revelation, had it come in a dream or a vision. Those who have the greatest knowledge of divine things, should remember the time when they were as babes, unskilful in the word of righteousness.; 1 Corinthians 13:11,12
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.
And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
the Lord came
This seems to imply a visible appearance, as well as an audible voice.
as at other
4-6,8 Samuel did not now rise and run as before, when thought he Eli called, but lay still and listened. All must be silent, when God speaks. Observe, however, Samuel in his reply left out one word: he did not say, Speak, Lord, but only Speak, for thy servant heareth; perhaps, as Bp. Patrick suggests, out of uncertainty, whether it was God that spake to him or not. However, by this answer way was made for the message he was now to receive, and Samuel was brought acquainted with the words of God and visions of the Almighty.
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.
I will do
both the ears
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.
I will perform
when I begin, etc
Heb. beginning and ending.
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.
For I have told him
or, And I will tell him, etc.
which he knoweth
or, accursed. restrained them not. Heb. frowned not upon them.
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.
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.
Samuel reverenced Eli as a father, and feared to distress him by shewing what God had purposed to do. It does not appear that God commanded Samuel to deliver this message; he therefore did not attempt it till adjured by Eli. It might be supposed that Samuel would have been so full of ecstasy as to have forgotten his ordinary service, and run amongst his friends to tell them of the converse he had with God in the night: but he modestly keeps it to himself. Our secret communion with God is not to be proclaimed on the house-top.
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.
I pray thee
Heb. so add. thing. or, word.
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.
Heb. all the things, or, words. Whit, or wid, comes from the Anglo-Saxon wiht, which signifies person, thing, etc.: every whit is every thing: equivalent to every jot.
It is the Lord
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.
And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
And the Lord
Wyyoseph yehowah lehairaˆh, "And Jehovah added to appear:" that is, He continued to reveal himself to Samuel at Shiloh.