The Lord calls Samuel twice as he is laying down in the temple, and both times he thinks it is Eli calling him. But when he runs to him to see what he wants, Eli sends him back to bed. But the third time, Eli finally gets it, and tells Samuel what to say when the Lord calls him again. This time, God calls his name twice (verse 10). The Lord does not waste words. When we read of Him calling someone’s name twice, it is of great importance. he did so to Abraham when he was being tested with Isaac (Genesis 22:11), to Jacob to let him know it was OK to go to Egypt (Genesis 46:2), and to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:4).
Then the Lord told Samuel that he was about to punish Eli’s house forever for his son’s blasphemy and Eli’s own failure to restrain them (verses 13-14). The corruption of Eli’s sons and Eli’s failure to deal with it were very public sins – all the people would know of it. And their sexual use of women at the temple (1 Samuel 2:22) defiled the temple of the Lord, as that was the sort of thing that went on at idol worship. This public “high-handed” sin was warned about in scripture (Numbers 15:30, for example), and Eli was not exactly shocked when Samuel reluctantly told him of the Lord’s plans for him and his house (verse 18).
Verse 19-21 tell how Samuel’s growth and establishment as a prophet became known to Israel because the Lord revealed himself by His word there – meaning that what Samuel prophesied came to pass (see Deuteronomy 18:21-22) there at Shiloh.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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