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1 Samuel 3

God chooses Samuel

1 The boy Samuel became the LORD's servant. Eli the priest taught him. In those days, the LORD did not often speak to people. And he did not give many dreams to them.

2 Eli now had bad eyes and he could not see well. One night, he was lying down to sleep in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God was still burning. Samuel was lying down to sleep in the house of the LORD. He was near the covenant box. 4 Then the LORD said Samuel's name. Samuel said, ‘Here I am.’ 5 He ran to Eli and he said, ‘You said my name. Here I am.’ But Eli said, ‘I did not say your name. Lie down again.’ So Samuel lay down again. 6 Again the LORD said, ‘Samuel’. Samuel went to Eli and said, ‘You said my name. Here I am.’ Eli answered, ‘My son, I did not say your name. Lie down again.’

3:6The lamp of God is explained in Exodus 25:31-40.

7 Samuel did not know the LORD yet. He had not yet heard the LORD's voice. 8 Then the LORD said Samuel's name for the third time. Samuel got up. He went to Eli and he said, ‘You said my name. Here I am.’ Then Eli knew that the LORD was saying the boy's name. 9 So Eli said to Samuel, ‘Lie down again. If he says your name again, you must say, “Speak, LORD. I am your servant and I am listening”.’ So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 The LORD came and he stood there. He said Samuel's name as he had done before. He said, ‘Samuel, Samuel’. Samuel said, ‘I am your servant and I am listening.’

3:10This is the first time that God spoke to Samuel. It is the start of his work as a prophet of God.

11 This is what the LORD said to Samuel: ‘I will do something among the Israelite people. It will make everyone that people tell about it afraid. 12 I will do everything to Eli and his family that I have said. I will start at the beginning and I will go on to the end. 13 I told Eli that I would punish his family for all time. Eli knew that his sons were doing very bad things. He knew that they would cause me to punish them. But he still let them do those things. 14 So I decided to show them that I was very angry. I said to Eli's family, “I will never forgive you because you have done these things. Even if you give sacrifices and offerings they will never take away your sins”.’

15 Samuel lay down until the morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16 But Eli called Samuel and he said, ‘Samuel, my son.’ Samuel answered, ‘Here I am.’ 17 Eli asked, ‘What did the LORD say to you? You must tell me. Do not keep it a secret. If you do keep it a secret, God will punish you. You must tell me everything that he said to you.’ 18 So Samuel told Eli everything. He did not hide any of it. Then Eli said, ‘He is the LORD. He will do what is right.’

19 The LORD was with Samuel while he grew up. The LORD made sure that all of Samuel's messages from him became true. 20 All the Israelites knew that Samuel was a true prophet from the LORD. All the people from Dan (the north of the country) to Beersheba (the south) knew it. 21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh. He showed himself to Samuel and he spoke to him there.