GOD'S WORD® Translation
1The boy Samuel was serving the LORD under Eli. In those days a prophecy from the LORD was rare; visions were infrequent.
2One night Eli was lying down in his room. His eyesight had begun to fail so that he couldn't see well. 3The lamp in God's temple hadn't gone out yet, and Samuel was asleep in the temple of the LORD where the ark of God was kept. 4Then the LORD called Samuel. "Here I am," Samuel responded. 5He ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." "I didn't call [you]," Eli replied. "Go back to bed." So Samuel went back and lay down. 6The LORD called Samuel again. Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am. You called me." "I didn't call [you], son," he responded. "Go back to bed." 7Samuel had no experience with the LORD, because the word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 8The LORD called Samuel a third time. Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, "Here I am. You called me." Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9"Go, lie down," Eli told Samuel. "When he calls you, say, 'Speak, LORD. I'm listening.' " So Samuel went and lay down in his room.
10The LORD came and stood there. He called as he had called the other times: "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel replied, "Speak. I'm listening." 11Then the LORD said to Samuel, "I am going to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears it ring. 12On that day I am going to do to Eli and his family everything I said from beginning to end. 13I told him that I would hand down a permanent judgment against his household because he knew about his sons' sin-that they were cursing God-but he didn't try to stop them. 14That is why I have taken an oath concerning Eli's family line: No offering or sacrifice will ever [be able to] make peace for the sins that Eli's family committed."
15Samuel remained in bed until morning. Then he opened the doors of the LORD's house. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision. 16Then Eli called Samuel. "Samuel, my son!" he said. "Here I am," he responded. 17"What did the LORD tell you?" he asked. "Please don't hide anything from me. May God strike you dead if you hide anything he told you from me." 18So Samuel told Eli everything. Eli replied, "He is the LORD. May he do what he thinks is right."
19Samuel grew up. The LORD was with him and didn't let any of his words go unfulfilled. 20All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew Samuel was the LORD's appointed prophet. 21The LORD continued to appear in Shiloh, since the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh through the word of the LORD. And Samuel spoke to all Israel.