1 Samuel 3:19
And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
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(19) And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him.—Again in a brief sentence the life of Samuel was contrasted with another: this time with that of his predecessor in the judgeship. As the boy grew up to manhood, we hear that while, on the one hand, as, no doubt, in earlier days with Eli, so now with Samuel, the Lord was with His servant, giving him strength and wisdom, guiding him and guarding him; and, on the other, different from Eli, we hear how the young prophet let none of the Divine words fall to the ground. In those dark days of sin and shame at Shiloh, in the midst of scenes of temptation, the boy stood firm; his early life was a perpetual protest against covetousness and iniquity.

1 Samuel 3:19. The Lord was with him — There were manifest tokens of God’s presence with him, and favour toward him. See Genesis 31:2. Or, he revealed his mind more and more to him: so that Israel knew God intended him for the prophetic office. Let none of his words fall to the ground — That is, want their proper effect: God made good all his predictions. It is a metaphor taken from precious liquors, which, when they are spilt upon the ground, are altogether useless. Or rather, it is taken from arrows shot out of a bow; which, when directed by a good archer, fail not to arrive at their intended mark.

3:19-21 All increase in wisdom and grace, is owing to the presence of God with us. God will graciously repeat his visits to those who receive them aright. Early piety will be the greatest honour of young people. Those who honour God he will honour. Let young people consider the piety of Samuel, and from him they will learn to remember their Creator in the days of their youth. Young children are capable of religion. Samuel is a proof that their waiting upon the Lord will be pleasing to him. He is a pattern of all those amiable tempers, which are the brightest ornament of youth, and a sure source of happiness.It is the Lord ... - Compare the devout submission of Aaron Leviticus 10:3, and of Hezekiah 2 Kings 20:19. And, for the highest conceivable submission to the will of God, compare Luke 22:42. 5-18. he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me—It is evident that his sleeping chamber was close to that of the aged high priest and that he was accustomed to be called during the night. The three successive calls addressed to the boy convinced Eli of the divine character of the speaker, and he therefore exhorted the child to give a reverential attention to the message. The burden of [the Lord's message] was an extraordinary premonition of the judgments that impended over Eli's house; and the aged priest, having drawn the painful secret from the child, exclaimed, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good." Such is the spirit of meek and unmurmuring submission in which we ought to receive the dispensations of God, however severe and afflictive. But, in order to form a right estimate of Eli's language and conduct on this occasion, we must consider the overwhelming accumulation of judgments denounced against his person, his sons, his descendants—his altar, and nation. With such a threatening prospect before him, his piety and meekness were wonderful. In his personal character he seems to have been a good man, but his sons' conduct was flagrantly bad; and though his misfortunes claim our sympathy, it is impossible to approve or defend the weak and unfaithful course which, in the retributive justice of God, brought these adversities upon him. Samuel grew, as in stature, so in wisdom and piety, and God’s favour, and reputation with the people.

Fall to the ground, i.e. want its effect or success; God made good all his predictions. A metaphor from precious liquors, which when they are spilt upon the ground, are altogether useless and ineffectual. This phrase is oft used, as Joshua 21:45 Esther 6:10, &c.

And Samuel grew,.... Not only in years and stature, but in grace and goodness, in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, both with respect to things natural and spiritual, and in esteem, credit, and reputation among men:

and the Lord was with him; he was not only in favour with men, but with God; and had fresh and repeated tokens of the grace and good will of God towards him; he indulged him with his presence, and assisted him in his service, and prospered and succeeded him in all things in which he was engaged. The Targum is,"the Word of the Lord was his help;''the essential Word of God, the Messiah:

and did let none of his words fall to the ground (x); in allusion either to water that falls to the ground, and becomes useless, or to an arrow falling out of the bow, and to the ground, before it reaches the mark, and so unsuccessful (y); or to any weapon of war, sword or spear, falling out of the hand of the soldier, whereby he is disarmed and rendered unserviceable: and these words, according to Kimchi, and in which he is followed by Abarbinel, are to be understood, not only of the words which he spake by the Holy Ghost under a spirit of prophecy, and had their exact accomplishment; but his common words, which were spoken by weight and measure, as the last expresses it, and which were delivered out according to the rules of justice, probity, and truth; and so he failed not of performing that which he had said, or of doing what was right, whereby Israel knew he was fit, prepared, and designed to be a prophet of the Lord, as in the following verse; but it seems rather to have respect to the things predicted by him under a spirit of prophecy concerning Eli and his house, which soon began to be fulfilled.

(x) , Pindar. Pythia, Ode 6. (y) Vid. Homer. Iliad. 17. ver. 633.

And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words {l} fall to the ground.

(l) The Lord accomplished whatever he had said.

1 Samuel 3:19 to 1 Samuel 4:1. Samuel established as a Prophet in Israel

19. The Lord was with him] This was the one source of strength for all the “heroes of Hebrew history;” for Abraham, Genesis 21:22; Jacob, Genesis 28:15; Joseph, Genesis 39:2; Moses, Exodus 3:12; Joshua, Joshua 1:5; Gideon, Jdg 6:16; David, 1 Samuel 16:18; 1 Samuel 18:14.

did let none of his words fall to the ground] The fulfilment of his prophetic utterances was the attestation of his divine mission. Cp. Deuteronomy 18:21-22. ‘Falling’ is a natural metaphor in all languages for ‘failing.’ Comp. Gk. πίπτειν, Lat. cadere. The word rendered ‘perform’ in 1 Samuel 3:12 is the exact opposite, literally meaning ‘to raise up.’

Verse 19. - And Samuel grew. His childhood up to this time has been carefully kept before our view; now he passes from youth to manhood. And Jehovah was with him. By special gifts, but especially by establishing his words. Spoken by Divine inspiration, they were all fulfilled. So in Ecclesiastes 12:11 the words of the wise are compared to "nails fastened" securely, and which may therefore be depended upon. But in their case it is experience and sound judgment that makes them foresee what is likely to happen; it was a higher gift which made Samuel's words remain safe and sure, and capable of firmly holding up all enterprises that were hung upon them. 1 Samuel 3:19Thus Samuel grew, and Jehovah was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground, i.e., left no word unfulfilled which He spoke through Samuel. (On הפּיל, see Joshua 21:45; Joshua 23:14; 1 Kings 8:56.) By this all Israel from Dan to Beersheba (see at Judges 20:1) perceived that Samuel was found trustworthy, or approved (see Numbers 12:7) as a prophet of Jehovah. And the Lord continued to appear at Shiloh; for He revealed himself there to Samuel "in the word of Jehovah," i.e., through a prophetic announcement of His word. These three verses form the transition from the call of Samuel to the following account of his prophetic labours in Israel. At the close of 1 Samuel 3:21, the lxx have appended a general remark concerning Eli and his sons, which, regarded as a deduction from the context, answers no doubt to the paraphrastic treatment of our book in that version, but in a critical aspect is utterly worthless.
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