The LORD Calls Samuel
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 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. Then the LORD called Samuel. Samuel answered, here I am. And he ran to Eli and said, here I am; you called me. But Eli said, I did not call; go back and lie down. So he went and lay down. Again the LORD called, Samuel. And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, Here I am; you called me. My son, Eli said, I did not call; go back and lie down. Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, Here I am; you called me. Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening. So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, Samuel! Samuel! Then Samuel said, Speak, for your servant is listening. And the LORD said to Samuel: See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family?from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for
by sacrifice or offering. Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, but Eli called him and said, Samuel, my son. Samuel answered, Here I am. What was it he said to you? Eli asked. Do not hide it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you. So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes.
Then Samuel took a flask of oil and poured it on Saul's head and kissed him, saying, Has not the LORD anointed you leader over his inheritance? When you leave me today, you will meet two men near Rachel's tomb, at Zelzah on the border of Benjamin. They will say to you, 'The donkeys you set out to look for have been found. And now your father has stopped thinking about them and is worried about you. He is asking, What shall I do about my son? Then you will go on from there until you reach the great tree of Tabor. Three men going up to God at Bethel will meet you there. One will be carrying three young goats, another three loaves of bread, and another a skin of wine. They will greet you and offer you two loaves of bread, which you will accept from them. After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you. Go down ahead of me to Gilgal. I will surely come down to you to sacrifice burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, but you must wait seven days until I come to you and tell you what you are to do.
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