The Prophetic Call to Samuel
3 Now the boy Samuel was attending to the service of the Lord before Eli. And word from the Lord was rare in those days; [a]visions were infrequent.
2 But it happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now his eyesight had begun to be [b]poor and he could not see well), 3 and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, 4 that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.” 5 Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 6 And the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, my son, go back and lie down.” 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him. 8 So the Lord called Samuel again for the third time. And he got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Then the Lord came and stood, and called as at the other times: “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.” 11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, I am going to do a thing in Israel, and both ears of everyone who hears about it will ring. 12 On that day I will carry out against Eli everything that I have spoken in regard to his house, from beginning to end. 13 For I have told him that I am going to judge his house forever for the wrongdoing that he knew, because his sons were bringing a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the wrongdoing of Eli’s house shall never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.”
15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord. But Samuel was afraid to tell the vision to Eli. 16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.” 17 He said, “What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. May God do the same to you, and more so, if you hide a single word from me of all the words that He spoke to you!” 18 So Samuel told him [c]everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “He is the Lord; let Him do [d]what seems good to Him.”
19 Now Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and He let none of his words [e]fail. 20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord. 21 And the Lord appeared again at Shiloh, because the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.