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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.The state described in 1 Samuel 3:7 was henceforth reversed. Samuel now knew the Lord, and the Word of the Lord was revealed unto him. 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. Or, did use to reveal his mind to Samuel.

By the word of the Lord, i.e. by his word, the noun for the pronoun, which is frequent, as Leviticus 14:15, &c.; by his word of command, which he chose to deliver to Israel by his mouth, as it here follows; or by his word of prophecy concerning future events. And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh,.... In the tabernacle there; he had appeared before to Samuel, when he called him, and declared to him what he designed and resolved to do to Eli and his family, and now appeared again to him in the same place before the battle of the Israelites with the Philistines, of which there is an account in the following chapter. Such appearances had not been usual in Shiloh for a long time, but were now renewed and repeated:

for the Lord revealed himself to Samuel by the Word of the Lord; by Christ, the Word of the Lord, who appeared to him, it is probable, in an human form, as he was wont to do to the patriarchs and prophets, and by whom the Lord revealed his mind and will unto them, being the Angel of his presence, and the messenger of his covenant; or by giving him a word of command to be delivered by him to the children of Israel, and which is expressed and delivered, in the next chapter.

And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
21. appeared again] Manifested himself in visions. Cp. 1 Samuel 3:10; 1 Samuel 3:15; and the ancient prophetic title of Seer (1 Samuel 9:9).

by the word of the Lord] By the communication of prophetic messages to Samuel. The state of things described in 1 Samuel 3:1 was now reversed. The “word of Jehovah” was no longer “rare,” there were visions “published abroad.”

Ch. 1 Samuel 4:1. And the word of Samuel came to all Israel] Samuel communicated to all Israel the divine revelation which he had received. This clause should form the conclusion of ch. 3, not the commencement of ch. 4. In the latter position it would naturally mean that it was Samuel who summoned all Israel to the disastrous war against the Philistines. But he is never once mentioned in connexion with the war, and does not reappear on the scene for twenty years at least (1 Samuel 7:2-3), though in all probability his prophetic activity here recorded was in part contemporaneous with the Philistine oppression, during which his growing influence was marking him out as the future national deliverer.

The Sept. here differs considerably from the present Hebrew text. Omitting obvious repetitions, 1 Samuel 3:21 stands as follows: “And the Lord appeared again in Selom, for the Lord was revealed to Samuel. And Eli was very old, and his sons walked perversely, and their way was evil in the sight of the Lord.”Verse 21. - And Jehovah appeared again. Literally, "added to appear," i.e. revealed himself from time to time on all fit occasions. To appear, literally, "to be seen," is the verb used of waking vision (see on ver. 15). By the word of Jehovah. Many of the old commentators refer this to the second person of the Holy Trinity, but he is himself Jehovah, as we affirm in the Te Deum: "We believe thee to be the Lord," i.e. the Jehovah of the Old Testament, usually translated, in deference to a Jewish superstition, "the LORD." As the Word, Christ is "the Word of God." The phrase really means, "by prophetic inspiration" revealing to Samuel the truth (comp. Isaiah 51:16; Jeremiah 1:9).



Samuel then slept till the morning; and when he opened the doors of the house of Jehovah, he was afraid to tell Eli of the revelation which he had received. Opening the doors of the house of God appears to have been part of Samuel's duty. We have not to think of doors opening into the holy place, however, but of doors leading into the court. Originally, when the tabernacle was simply a tent, travelling with the people from place to place, it had only curtains at the entrance to the holy place and court. But when Israel had become possessed of fixed houses in the land of Canaan, and the dwelling-place of God was permanently erected at Shiloh, instead of the tents that were pitched for the priests and Levites, who encamped round about during the journey through the desert, there were erected fixed houses, which were built against or inside the court, and not only served as dwelling-places for the priests and Levites who were officiating, but were also used for the reception and custody of the gifts that were brought as offerings to the sanctuary. These buildings in all probability supplanted entirely the original tent-like enclosure around the court; so that instead of the curtains at the entrance, there were folding doors, which were shut in the evening and opened again in the morning. It is true that nothing is said about the erection of these buildings in our historical books, but the fact itself is not to be denied on that account. In the case of Solomon's temple, notwithstanding the elaborate description that has been given of it, there is nothing said about the arrangement or erection of the buildings in the court; and yet here and there, principally in Jeremiah, the existence of such buildings is evidently assumed. מראה, visio, a sign or vision. This expression is applied to the word of God which came to Samuel, because it was revealed to him through the medium of an inward sight or intuition.
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