How the word of the Lord was first revealed to Samuel, 1-10. God tells Samuel the destruction of Eli's house, 11-14. Samuel, though reluctant, tells Eli the vision, 15-18. Samuel grows in credit, 19-21.
1 And the child Samuel ministered to 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 grow dim so that he could not see, 3 And before 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 I am." 5 And he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." And he said, "I did not call. 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 I am. You did call me." And he answered, "I did not call, my son. Lie down again." 7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed to him. 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, "Here I am. You called me." And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 9 Therefore, Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down. And it shall be, if he calls you, that you shall say, 'Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.'" 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 your servant hears." 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, "Behold, I will do a thing in Israel at which both the ears of everyone who hears 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 forever for the iniquity which he knows because his sons made themselves vile and he did not restrain them. 14 And therefore, I have sworn to the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever."
15 And Samuel lay until the morning and opened the doors of the house of the LORD. And Samuel feared to show Eli the vision. 16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, "Samuel, my son." And he answered, "Here I am." 17 And he said, "What is the thing that the LORD has said to you? I pray you do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all the things that he said to you." 18 And Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, "It is the LORD. Let him do what seems good to him."
19 And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, 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.
Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 3[➚]
[v.7] - From Matthew Henry's Commentary: "He knew the written word, and was acquainted with the mind of God in that, but he did not yet apprehend the way in which God reveals himself to his servants the prophets, especially by a still small voice; this was altogether new and strange to him. Perhaps he would have been sooner aware of a divine revelation had it come in a dream or a vision; but this was a way he had not only not known himself, but not heard of."