1 Samuel Chapter 3  PDF  MSWord

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Go to Bible: 1 Samuel 3
1Sa 3:1

“the word of Yahweh.” In this context, “the word of Yahweh” refers to direct revelation.

“visions were not widespread.” This refers to revelation, which was often given as a vision, but as we see in the context, audible revelation from God was also recognized, even by Eli, who likely had not gotten any in a while (1 Sam. 3:4, 6, 8). At this time in Israel’s history, due to the sin in the priesthood and among the people, revelation from God was rare and not widespread. However, there were still some prophets around (cp. 1 Sam. 2:27).

We should notice however that the reason that revelation was rare was due to the sin and disobedience of the people. God always wants to speak to His people and guide and bless them, yet sin separates people from God: “your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he does not listen” (Isa. 59:2). Loving God involves working diligently to obey Him, and that will yield the wonderful benefit of being in greater communication with God.

1Sa 3:2(top)
1Sa 3:3

“and the lamp of God had not yet gone out.” So it was very late in the night but not yet the morning, as we might say, “in the wee hours of the morning.” The menorah lamp in the Tent of Meeting (the “Tabernacle”) was lit every night and gave light until the olive oil ran out about morning (Exod. 27:21; 30:8; Lev. 24:2-3; 2 Chron. 13:11). So this tells us that God appeared to Samuel some time before dawn.

Since Eli’s eyes were growing dim (1 Sam. 3:2), it makes sense that Eli could not see at night and would call Samuel for assistance if he needed help, and old men often wake up at night for various reasons. So when Samuel heard his name being called, and never before having heard the direct voice of Yahweh, it makes perfect sense that he would assume that Eli was calling him (1 Sam. 3:4-8). Since it was fairly close to dawn it also makes sense that after Yahweh appeared to Samuel, he could not get back to sleep and lay awake until the dawn (1 Sam. 3:15).

1Sa 3:4(top)
1Sa 3:5(top)
1Sa 3:6(top)
1Sa 3:7(top)
1Sa 3:8(top)
1Sa 3:9(top)
1Sa 3:10

“Yahweh came and stood.” This scripture only causes confusion because people are taught that no one can see God, but that is not the case. God loves people and occasionally comes into concretion in human form to relate to His creation just as angels, who are normally invisible to us, sometimes make themselves visible. Just like we see God described as a person in Daniel 7:9-14, he comes into human form in other places as well. Here he came to Samuel in human form. [For more on God appearing to people, see commentary on Acts 7:55].

1Sa 3:11(top)
1Sa 3:12(top)
1Sa 3:13(top)
1Sa 3:14(top)
1Sa 3:15(top)
1Sa 3:16(top)
1Sa 3:17(top)
1Sa 3:18(top)
1Sa 3:19(top)
1Sa 3:20(top)
1Sa 3:21(top)

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