1 Samuel 3:10-21
3:10 The LORD came and stood there, calling [whether voice was inner or auditory is not made clear] as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel! [cf. Gen. 22:11 and Ex. 3:4 re: other double expressions; God could not speak to Eli’s sons because they had no regard for the Lord (2:12)]” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant [indicates willingness to hear and obey] is listening [Samuel’s attitude was different than that of Eli’s two sons; his heart was open and attentive to God’s words].”
3:11 And the LORD said [what God said became Samuel’s first prophetic message] to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle [cf. 2 Kings 21:12; Jer. 19:3 re: use of this phrase to introduce prophecies of disaster].
3:12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke [cf. 1 Sam. 2:27-36] against his family – from beginning to end [an idiom implying the accomplishment of God’s full purpose].
3:13 For I told him [Eli] that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about [cf. 2:22]; his sons [Hophni and Phineas: wicked and immoral sons who had no regard for the Lord (2:12,22); they used the sacrificial system for their personal gain, engaged in sexual sins at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, and refused to heed their father’s warnings (cf. 2:12-17,22-25)] made themselves contemptible [means “to make light of something or someone that deserves honor or respect”], and he [as both a father and a priest, Eli was responsible for stopping any abuse of the tabernacle; Eli rebuked his sons (2:22-25) but failed to take sterner measures against them; honored his sons (by failing to relieve them of their duties as priests) more than God (2:29)] failed to restrain them.
3:14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned [to cover] for by sacrifice or offering [cf. Lev. 4:3-12 re: restoration of priest who sinned unintentionally; Hophni and Phineas sinned intentionally and repeatedly; these rebellious priests deserved death (cf. Num. 15:30-31)].’”
3:15 Samuel lay down until morning [probably restless as he thought about the message he had received re: Eli’s sons] and then opened the doors of the house of the LORD. He was afraid [perhaps because of his love for Eli] to tell Eli the vision,
3:16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son [Eli’s son in the faith].” Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
3:17 “What was it he [the Lord] said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide [to his credit, Eli wanted to know the complete message Samuel had received from God] it from me. [Samuel invoked an oath] May God deal with you, be it ever so severely, if you hide from me anything he told you.”
3:18 So Samuel told him everything [the complete message he had received from the Lord], hiding nothing from him. Then Eli [accepted God’s judgment upon his family; Eli trusted God to do what was just and right] said, “He is the LORD; let him do what is good in his eyes [cf. David’s words in Ps. 51:4].”
3:19 The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up [both physical and spiritual growth (cf. 2:21,26); protected him from the evil influence of Eli’s sons], and he let none of his words fall to the ground [phrase means that Samuel’s words as a prophet came true; everything Samuel said with divine authorization came true; cf. Deut. 18:22; confirmed Samuel’s call].
3:20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba [from the northern to the southern border of the nation; indicates the scope of Samuel’s ministry] recognized that Samuel was attested [true] as a prophet [from Hebrew word that means “to speak”] of the LORD.
3:21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh [located 30 miles north of Jerusalem; Joshua erected tabernacle there after conquest of Canaan (cf. Josh. 18:1)], and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.