Hannah and her faithful husband Elkanah are blessed and the Lord gives her five more children. And she still sees her son Samuel in 1 Samuel 2:19 “His mother used to make for him a small robe and take it to him year by year whenever she came up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice”. But the sons of Eli were in 1 Samuel 2:12 “worthless scoundrels” yet in the midst of this, in 1 Samuel 2:21 “Samuel grew up with Yahweh”. The Lords speaks to Eli and says in 1 Samuel 2:30 “those who honor me I will honor” and in 1 Samuel 2:31 “Look, days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of the house of your ancestor”. Then we find what a right relationship with the Lord looks like in 1 Samuel 3:10 ‘Then Yahweh came and stood there and called out as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, because your servant is listening”’.
The Sons Were Worthless Scoundrels
May Yahweh Give You an Offspring
1 Samuel 2:18-21
Hannah had given up her dream, her firstborn son in 1 Samuel 1:27-28. And in 1 Samuel 2:18 “Samuel was serving before Yahweh”. This couple, Elkanah and his wife Hannah, were faithful people and in
1 Samuel 2:19 “His mother used to make for him a small robe and take it to him year by year whenever she came up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice”.
Eli blessed them and prayed for her, that she would have more children in 1 Samuel 2:20 and in 1 Samuel 2:21 “she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters, while the young man Samuel grew up with Yahweh”.
Hannah had five children, so years pass. It was certainly more than five years, maybe ten or, since Jesus didn’t begin his ministry until he was thirty, it could have been many more years, but we do know that “Samuel grew up with Yahweh”.
The Report Is Not Good
Those Who Honor Me I Will Honor
1 Samuel 2:27-36
As we will read in 1 Samuel 3:1 “The word of Yahweh was rare in those days; visions were not widespread”. And we would not find this surprising as we have read about the sons of Eli who are described as in 1 Samuel 2:12 “worthless scoundrels” and years later in
1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel and that they were having sexual relations with the women who were serving at the entrance of the tent of assembly.
This is not the behavior expected of the priestly line that began with Aaron. They engaged in “A grossly sacrilegious act; they also served themselves before serving God. See Lev 3:3–5; 7:22–25, 31”.1 and they did this continually over the years completely contrary to the word and will of God as in
1 Samuel 2:26 “But the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with Yahweh and with the people”.
Now the Lord says to Eli in 1 Samuel 2:30 “those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me, I will treat with contempt!” and in
1 Samuel 2:31 “Look, days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of the house of your ancestor so that no one in your house will live to old age”.
Then the Lord says in
1 Samuel 2:35 “But I will raise up for myself a reliable priest; he will do just according to what is in my heart and in my soul. I will build for him a lasting house and he will walk continually before my anointed one forever”.
While Samuel is the immediate context and takes his place as Prophet coming from outside of the priestly lineage, “There is a second reference to the anointed one, ‘my messiah’ (cf. v. 1 Samuel 2:10), the king whom the priest will serve.”2
Here I Am Because You Called Me
Yahweh Came and Stood There
1 Samuel 3:10-21
Years have gone by as in 1 Samuel 2:21 “the young man Samuel grew up with Yahweh” and in 1 Samuel 3:3 “Samuel was lying in the temple of Yahweh where the ark of God was” which seems to have been his place to sleep and “The setting highlights Samuel’s proximity to God: In this moment, he is the closest Israelite to Yahweh”.3
The Lord has called several times to Samuel but now he has heard the Lord’s voice and responded so in
1 Samuel 3:10 Then Yahweh came and stood there and called out as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, because your servant is listening.”
The Lord is speaking, looking for those that will hear him and recognize his voice. Even more so, for us as he has poured out his Holy Spirit on us as believers in Jesus Christ. This presence that Samuel could only experience as standing next to him, we experience in
Ephesians 1:13 “in whom also you, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also when you believed you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit”
- 1 Samuel 2:18-21 May Yahweh Give You an Offspring
- 1 Samuel 2:27-36 Those Who Honor Me I Will Honor
- 1 Samuel 3:10-21 Yahweh Came and Stood There
- 1 Samuel 2:12-36
- 1 Samuel 3:1-21
- 1. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Sa 2:15). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 2. Baldwin, J. G. (1988). 1 and 2 Samuel: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 8, p. 67). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
- 3. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (1 Sa 3:3). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.