22Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything
his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with
the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of
Meeting. 23So he said to them, “Why do you do such
things? I hear from all the people about these wicked
deeds of yours. 24No, my sons; it is not a good report
that I hear spreading among the LORD’s people. 25If a
man sins against another man, God b may mediate for
him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede
for him?” His sons, however, did not listen to their
father’s rebuke, for it was the LORD’s will to put them to
26And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature
and in favor with the LORD and with men.
Prophecy Against the House of Eli
27Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him,
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Did I not clearly reveal myself
to your father’s house when they were in Egypt under
Pharaoh? 28I chose your father out of all the tribes of
Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense,
and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave
your father’s house all the offerings made with fire by
the Israelites. 29Why do you c scorn my sacrifice and offering
that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you
honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves
on the choice parts of every offering made by my people
30“Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I
promised that your house and your father’s house
would minister before me forever.’ But now the LORD
declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will
honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.
31The time is coming when I will cut short your strength
and the strength of your father’s house, so that there
will not be an old man in your family line 32and you will
see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done
to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old
man. 33Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar
will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and
to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in
the prime of life.
34“ ‘And what happens to your two sons, Hophni
and Phinehas, will be a sign to you—they will both die
on the same day. 35I will raise up for myself a faithful
priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and
mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister
before my anointed one always. 36Then everyone
left in your family line will come and bow down before
him for a piece of silver and a crust of bread and plead,
“Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to
eat.” ’ ”
The LORD Calls Samuel
3 The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under
Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare;
there were not many visions.
2One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak
that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual
place. 3The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and
Samuel was lying down in the temple d of the LORD,
where the ark of God was. 4Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5And 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.
6Again 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
7Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD: The word of
the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
8The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel
got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy.
9So 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.
10The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the
other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11And 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. 12At that time I will carry out
against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from
beginning to end. 13For I told him that I would judge
his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his
sons made themselves contemptible, e and he failed to
restrain them. 14Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli,
‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice
or offering.’ ”
15Samuel lay down until morning and then opened
the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid to tell
Eli the vision, 16but Eli called him and said, “Samuel,
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17“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.” 18So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him.
Then Eli said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in
19The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he
let none of his words fall to the ground. 20And all Israel
from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested
as a prophet of the LORD. 21The LORD continued to
appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel
through his word.
4 1And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.
The Philistines Capture the Ark
Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines.
The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines