1 Samuel 3:1
New International Version
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.

New Living Translation
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel served the LORD by assisting Eli. Now in those days messages from the LORD were very rare, and visions were quite uncommon.

English Standard Version
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.

Berean Study Bible
And the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. Now in those days the word of the LORD was rare and visions were scarce.

New American Standard Bible
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

King James Bible
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

Christian Standard Bible
The boy Samuel served the LORD in Eli's presence. In those days the word of the LORD was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.

Good News Translation
In those days, when the boy Samuel was serving the LORD under the direction of Eli, there were very few messages from the LORD, and visions from him were quite rare.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The boy Samuel served the LORD in Eli's presence. In those days the word of the LORD was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.

International Standard Version
Meanwhile the boy Samuel was serving the LORD before Eli. A word from the LORD was rare in those days, and visions were infrequent.

NET Bible
Now the boy Samuel continued serving the LORD under Eli's supervision. Word from the LORD was rare in those days; revelatory visions were infrequent.

New Heart English Bible
The child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. The word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no frequent vision.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The boy Samuel was serving the LORD under Eli. In those days a prophecy from the LORD was rare; visions were infrequent.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.

New American Standard 1977
Now the boy Samuel was ministering to the LORD before Eli. And word from the LORD was rare in those days, visions were infrequent.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

King James 2000 Bible
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no open vision.

American King James Version
And the child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

American Standard Version
And the child Samuel ministered unto Jehovah before Eli. And the word of Jehovah was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
And the child Samuel ministered to the Lord before Heli the priest: and the word of the Lord was precious in those days, there was no distinct vision.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now the child Samuel ministered to the Lord before Heli, and the word of the Lord was precious in those days, there was no manifest vision.

Darby Bible Translation
And the boy Samuel ministered to Jehovah before Eli. And the word of Jehovah was rare in those days; a vision was not frequent.

English Revised Version
And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

World English Bible
The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before Eli. The word of Yahweh was precious in those days; there was no frequent vision.

Young's Literal Translation
And the youth Samuel is serving Jehovah before Eli, and the word of Jehovah hath been precious in those days -- there is no vision broken forth.
Study Bible
The LORD Calls Samuel
1And the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. Now in those days the word of the LORD was rare and visions were scarce. 2And at that time Eli, whose eyesight had grown so dim that he could not see, was lying in his room.…
Cross References
1 Samuel 2:11
Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy began ministering to the LORD before Eli the priest.

1 Samuel 2:18
Now Samuel was ministering before the LORD--a boy wearing a linen ephod.

1 Samuel 2:35
Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest. He will do whatever is in My heart and mind. And I will build for him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed one for all time.

1 Samuel 2:36
And everyone left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a morsel of bread, pleading, "Please appoint me to some priestly office, so that I may eat a piece of bread."'"

Psalm 74:9
There are no signs for us to see. There is no longer any prophet. And none of us knows how long this will last.

Proverbs 29:18
Where there is no vision, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law.

Ezekiel 7:26
Disaster upon disaster will come, and rumor after rumor. Then they will seek a vision from a prophet, but instruction from the priests and counsel from the ancients will perish.

Amos 8:11
Behold, the days are coming," declares the Lord GOD, "when I will send a famine on the land--not a famine of bread or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.

Amos 8:12
People will stagger from sea to sea and roam from north to east, seeking the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.

Treasury of Scripture

And the child Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

the child

1 Samuel 3:15
And Samuel lay until the morning, and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to shew Eli the vision.

1 Samuel 2:11,18
And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest…

the word

1 Samuel 3:21
And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

Psalm 74:9
We see not our signs: there is no more any prophet: neither is there among us any that knoweth how long.

Isaiah 13:12
I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.







Lexicon
And the boy
וְהַנַּ֧עַר (wə·han·na·‘ar)
Conjunctive waw, Article | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5288: A boy, lad, youth, retainer

Samuel
שְׁמוּאֵ֛ל (šə·mū·’êl)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8050: Samuel -- 'name of God', a prophet of Israel

ministered
מְשָׁרֵ֥ת (mə·šā·rêṯ)
Verb - Piel - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 8334: To attend as a, menial, worshipper, to contribute to

to
אֶת־ (’eṯ-)
Direct object marker
Strong's Hebrew 853: Untranslatable mark of the accusative case

the LORD
יְהוָ֖ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

before
לִפְנֵ֣י (lip̄·nê)
Preposition-l | Noun - common plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 6440: The face

Eli.
עֵלִ֑י (‘ê·lî)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5941: Eli -- a priest at Shiloh

Now in those
הָהֵ֔ם (hā·hêm)
Article | Pronoun - third person masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 1992: They

days
בַּיָּמִ֣ים (bay·yā·mîm)
Preposition-b, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 3117: A day

the word
וּדְבַר־ (ū·ḏə·ḇar-)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 1697: A word, a matter, thing, a cause

of the LORD
יְהוָ֗ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

was
הָיָ֤ה (hā·yāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1961: To fall out, come to pass, become, be

rare
יָקָר֙ (yā·qār)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3368: Precious, rare, splendid, weighty

and visions
חָז֖וֹן (ḥā·zō·wn)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2377: A sight, a dream, revelation, oracle

were
אֵ֥ין (’ên)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 369: A non-entity, a negative particle

scarce.
נִפְרָֽץ׃ (nip̄·rāṣ)
Verb - Nifal - Participle - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6555: To break through
(1) The child Samuel ministered unto the Lord.--The writer of this history, although well aware of the great revolution accomplished in Israel by the prophet whose life and work the Holy Spirit bade him record, gives us but the simplest and shortest possible account of the child-days of him who was only second to Moses in his influence on the eventful story of the chosen people. But short and devoid of detail though the record be, it is enough to show us that the atmosphere in which the child lived was a pure and holy one; the boy was evidently kept apart from Hophni, Phinehas, and their impious self-seeking party. The high priestly guardian was evidently fully conscious of the importance of his charge, and he watched over his pupil with a tender watchful care. Perhaps his sad experiences with his evil headstrong sons had taught the old man wisdom; certainly the training he gave to Samuel was one that educated the boy well for his after-life of stirring public work. The notices of the childhood and boyhood are indeed brief. The first contrasts sharply the lawless profligacy of the priestly houses with the pure holy childhood passed in the sanctuary courts, probably always in the company of the old man. Hophni and Phinehas, the grown men prostituted the holy work to their own vile worldly ends: the child ministered before the Lord in his little white robe; and while in the home life of his own mother and father in Ramah, his brothers and sisters were growing up with the sorrows and joys of other Hebrew children, "the child Samuel grew before the Lord" amid the stillness and silence and the awful mystery of the Divine protection, which seems ever, even in the darkest days of the history of Israel, to have surrounded the home of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. It was amidst this silent, sacred mystery, apart from the disorders of his priestly sons, that Eli taught the boy the story of his ancestors, with only the dark curtains of the sanctuary hanging between master and pupil and the mystic golden throne of God, on which His glory was sometimes pleased to rest.

The writer wrote his gloomy recital of the wild unbridled life of the wicked priests, wrote down the weak, sorrowful remonstrances of the father and high priest, foreshadowing, however, their certain doom; and then, again, with their life of shame sharply contrasts the pure child-life of the little pupil of the old sorrow-stricken high priest--the boy whom all men loved. "And the boy Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men."

Once more Eli, now weak with age, is warned of the sure consequences which would follow the evil licence and the irreligion of his priestly sons; and again the boy Samuel and his life, guided by Eli, his guardian and teacher, is contrasted with the wild, unchecked lawlessness of the priestly sons of Eli perpetually dishonouring religion and the sanctuary--a lawlessness which had just been denounced by the nameless prophet (1Samuel 2:27-36).

Josephus tells us that Samuel, when the Lord first called him, was twelve years old. This was the age of the child Jesus when He disputed with the doctors in the Temple.

Was precious in those days.--Precious, that is, rare. "The word of the Lord" is the will of the Lord announced by a prophet, seer, or man of God. Between the days of Deborah and the nameless man of God who came with the awful message to Eli, no inspired voice seems to have spoken to the chosen people.

The "open vision" refers to such manifestations of the Divinity as were vouchsafed to Abraham, Moses, Joshua, and Manoah, and in this chapter to Samuel. There may possibly be some reference to the appearance of Divine glory which was connected with the Urim and Thummim which were worn by the high priest. This significant silence on the part of the invisible King the writer dwells on as a result of the deep corruption into which the priests and, through their evil example, a large proportion of the nation, had fallen.

Verse 1. - The word of the Lord was precious in those days. Or rather rare; it came but seldom, and there was no proper order of persons from whose ranks the "speakers for God" would naturally step forth. It was this which made the revelation of Jehovah's will to Samuel an event so memorable both for the Jewish nation and for the Church; for he was called by the providence of God to be the founder of prophecy as an established institution, and henceforward, side by side with the king and priest, the prophet took his place as one of the three factors in the preparation for the coming of him who is a king to rule, a Priest to make atonement, and also a Prophet to teach his people and guide them into all the truth. There was no open vision. Literally, "no vision that broke forth" (see 2 Chronicles 31:5, where it is used of the publication of a decree). The meaning is, that though prophecy was an essential condition of the spiritual life of Israel, yet that hitherto it had not been promulgated and established as a fact. The gift had not absolutely been withheld, but neither had it been permanently granted as a settled ordinance. There are in Hebrew two words for vision: the one used here, hazon, refers to such sights as are revealed to the tranced eye of the seer when in a state of ecstasy; while the other, march, is a vision seen by the natural eye. From the days, however, of Isaiah onward, hazon became the generic term for all prophecy. 3:1-10 The call which Divine grace designs shall be made effectual; will be repeated till it is so, till we come to the call. Eli, perceiving that it was the voice of God that Samuel heard, instructed him what to say. Though it was a disgrace to Eli, for God's call to be directed to Samuel, yet he told him how to meet it. Thus the elder should do their utmost to assist and improve the younger that are rising up. Let us never fail to teach those who are coming after us, even such as will soon be preferred before us, Joh 1:30. Good words should be put into children's mouths betimes, by which they may be prepared to learn Divine things, and be trained up to regard them.
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OT History: 1 Samuel 3:1 The child Samuel ministered to Yahweh before (1Sa iSam 1 Sam i sa) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
1 Samuel 2:36
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