King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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1 Samuel 3

The word of the Lord first revealed to Samuel. (1-10) God tells Samuel the destruction of Eli’s house. (11-18) Samuel established to be a prophet. (19-21)

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The word of the Lord first revealed to Samuel

1 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.

2 And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;

3 And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

4 That the LORD called Samuel: and he answered, Here am I.

5 And he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me. And he said, I called not; lie down again. And he went and lay down.

6 And the LORD called yet again, Samuel. And Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And he answered, I called not, my son; lie down again.

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him.

8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

9 Therefore Eli said unto Samuel, Go, lie down: and it shall be, if he call thee, that thou shalt say, Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth. So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.

God tells Samuel the destruction of Eli’s house

11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

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.

16 Then Eli called Samuel, and said, Samuel, my son. And he answered, Here am I.

17 And he said, What is the thing that the LORD hath said unto thee? I pray thee hide it not from me: God do so to thee, and more also, if thou hide any thing from me of all the things that he said unto thee.

18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

Samuel established to be a prophet

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

20 And all Israel from Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.

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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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Before. Chal. “in the days of Heli.” The young Levite slept in an adjoining chamber, to wait on the high priest, not far from the sanctuary. — Precious; that is, rare: (Ch). as such things are generally more esteemed, (H.) which are granted to few. W. — Some prophets had appeared under the former judges: but they were not so common as they were from the days of Samuel, till a little after the captivity. S. Peter ranks Samuel in the first place. Act. iii. 24. C. — Vision. No prophet was publicly recognized, to whom the people might have recourse. M.

Ver. 3. Out, towards morning, (C. Ex. xxvii. 20.) when some of the lamps were to be extinguished. W. — Samuel slept. Some would transpose these words to the end of the verse, as they think it improbable that Samuel should be in the place where the high priest himself could enter only once a year. Vatab. &c. — But this change seems harsh and unnecessary, as Heli and Samuel might be in apartments contiguous to the holy place. Sanctius. M. C. — During the night none of the priests would be in the sanctuary, so that Heli might form a judgment that not of them had called Samuel. T.

Ver. 7. Him. He had not before an experimental knowledge of the manner in which God revealed his will to men. C.

Ver. 9. Heareth; ready to comply with whatever may be required. H.

Ver. 10. Times, (secundo:) a second time, or repeatedly, or mentioning the name twice, (M.) as God does sometimes in urgent cases. Gen. xxii. 11. H.

Ver. 11. Tingle, through astonishment and fright. Jer. xix. 3. 4 K. xxi. 12.

Ver. 12. House, by the prophet. C. ii. 27.

Ver. 13. Wickedly. Sept. “were cursing God.” This is one of the places which the Jews have corrected. D. — Judge; or condemn and punish. Prov. xix. 29. C. — Chastise them, not in words only, or in a soft manner, as he had done. Heb. “because his sons made themselves despicable, and he did not frown upon them.” H. — Ciha denotes, to correct with a wrinkled face. M. — Aquila, “he did not look black at them,” nor avert his eyes with horror. All this iniquity was done publicly, and in his presence; (C.) and he suffered his children to proceed without any restraint. It is not sufficient to reprove, when a father can correct. H.

Ver. 14. Sworn. We read not of an express oath; (C.) but the denunciation of God was equivalent. H. — Iniquity, or punishment. Nothing could withhold the indignation of the Lord, in correcting the sinner, though he would shew mercy eternally to the penitent. But he saw the obstinacy of these priests, and their unhappy end. The sacrifices of the old law always presupposed suitable internal sentiments, to grant the remission of sin; and even for the avoiding of the legal punishments, they must have been offered in a true spirit of religion, which these abandoned wretches despised and neglected. C. — God threatens that he will punish their crimes for ever, as he abominates the contempt of priest. T.

Ver. 15. Slept. Heb. and Sept. “laid himself down to sleep.” For how could he take any rest after such terrible threats? (C.) particularly as light was beginning to appear, when he was called by God, v. 3. — Doors. Some walls had probably been built, to enclose the curtains of the tabernacle. A priest would have been employed to open the sanctuary. C.

Ver. 17. And so. Lit. “May God do these things to thee, and add these also.” It is not certain that he mentioned the particular punishment, (H.) though it is most probable. The Scripture refrains from repeating them. Grot. — Ruth i. 17. C.

Ver. 18. Sight. Some of the Fathers think that these words proceeded from an habitual indifference, as he was not disposed to molest his sons any farther, let the consequences be what they might. S. Greg. S. Ephrem, &c. — But others believe, that Heli was actuated by the spirit of humanity and resignation, and saved his soul. C. See C. iv. 18. — Years. The author of the Concord. between the Books of Kings and of Chronicles, thinks Samuel was then 39. D.

Ver. 19. Ground, unfulfilled. This may be understood of the words of the Lord, (C.) which Samuel had announced. His other predictions were constantly verified, so that he was justly regarded as a true prophet. H.

Ver. 20. Faithful. Hebrew Neeman, may be a title of dignity, or may signify that Samuel was confirmed and continued to be a prophet. C. — According to, or by. God revealed his will to him by word, and not by visions. Sanchez. — Israel. The whole people suffered along with their leaders. H. — They were concerned in the prediction which was denounced against the house of Heli. M. — Sept. “and Samuel was entrusted to the prophet of the Lord, to all Israel, from the ends of the earth to the ends: And Heli was very old, and his sons going went forward, and their way was wicked before the Lord.” Thus they usher in the following catastrophe. H.