1The boy Samuel served the Lord under Eli. At that time, the Lord did not speak directly to people very often. There were very few visions. 2Eli’s eyes were so weak he was almost blind. One night he lay down in bed. 3Samuel lay in bed in the Lord’s Holy Building. God’s Holy Box was in that Holy Building. The Lord’s lamp was still burning. 4The Lord called Samuel. Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5˻Samuel thought Eli was calling him. So˼ Samuel ran to Eli. Samuel said to Eli, “Here I am. You called me.” But Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” Samuel went back to bed. 6Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” Again Samuel ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.” Eli said, “I didn’t call you. Go back to bed.” 7Samuel did not yet know the Lord. The Lord had not spoken directly to him yet. 8The Lord called Samuel the third time. Again Samuel got up and went to Eli. Samuel said, “Here I am. You called me.” Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the boy. 9Eli told Samuel, “Go to bed. If he calls you again, say, 'Speak, Lord. I am your servant, and I am listening.’” So Samuel went back to bed. 10The Lord came and stood there. He called as he did before. He said, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel said, “Speak. I am your servant, and I am listening.” 11The Lord said to Samuel, “I will soon do something in Israel. People who hear about it will be shocked. 12I will do everything I said I would do against Eli and his family. I will do everything from the beginning to the end. 13I told Eli I would punish his family forever. I will do that because Eli knew that his sons were saying and doing bad things against God but Eli failed to control them. 14That is why I swore ˻(promised)˼ that sacrifices and grain offerings will never take away the sins of the people in Eli’s family.” 15Samuel lay down in bed until the morning came. He got up early and opened the doors of the Lord’s house. Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16But Eli said to Samuel, “Samuel, my son!” Samuel answered, “Yes, sir.” 17Eli asked, “What did the Lord say to you? Don’t hide it from me. God will punish you if you hide anything from the message God spoke to you.” 18So Samuel told Eli everything. Samuel did not hide anything from Eli. Eli said, “He is the Lord. Let him do whatever he thinks is right.” 19The Lord was with Samuel while he grew up. The Lord did not let any of Samuel’s messages prove false. 20Then all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba, knew that Samuel was a true prophet of the Lord. 21And the Lord continued to appear to Samuel at Shiloh. The Lord revealed himself to Samuel as the word of the Lord.
1 Samuel 3