1 Samuel 3:1-4:12
New International Version
The Lord Calls Samuel
2 One night Eli, whose eyes(D) were becoming so weak that he could barely see,(E) was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp(F) of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house(G) of the Lord, where the ark(H) of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.(I)” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
6 Again the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
8 A third time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!(M)”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
11 And the Lord said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle.(N) 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything(O) I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons blasphemed God,[a] and he failed to restrain(P) them. 14 Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned(Q) for by sacrifice or offering.’”
15 Samuel lay down until morning and then opened the doors of the house of the Lord. He was afraid to tell Eli the vision, 16 but Eli called him and said, “Samuel, my son.”
Samuel answered, “Here I am.”
17 “What was it he said to you?” Eli asked. “Do not hide(R) it from me. May God deal with you, be it ever so severely,(S) if you hide from me anything he told you.” 18 So Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him. Then Eli said, “He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”(T)
19 The Lord was with(U) Samuel as he grew(V) up, and he let none(W) of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba(X) recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord.(Y) 21 The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed(Z) himself to Samuel through his word.
4 And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.
The Philistines Capture the Ark
Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer,(AA) and the Philistines at Aphek.(AB) 2 The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. 3 When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why(AC) did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark(AD) of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh,(AE) so that he may go with us(AF) and save us from the hand of our enemies.”
4 So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim.(AG) And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
5 When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout(AH) that the ground shook. 6 Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew(AI) camp?”
When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, 7 the Philistines were afraid.(AJ) “A god has[b] come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. 8 We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck(AK) the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues(AL) in the wilderness. 9 Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they(AM) have been to you. Be men, and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated(AN) and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.(AO)