God Calls Samuel
ELI'S eyes began to grow dim, so that he could not see.
Once, when Eli was lying down in his place,
before the lamp of God was put out in the temple where the ark of the Lord was kept,
and before Samuel had lain down to sleep,
God called Samuel,and he answered: "Here I am."
And Samuel ran to Eli and said:"Here I am; you called me."
Eli said: "I did not call. Lie down and sleep."
He went and lay down, and again God called: "Samuel."
Samuel arose and went to Eli and said: "Here I am, for you called me."
And Eli answered: "I did not call, my son; lie down again."
Now Samuel did not yet recognize the Lord,
nor had the voice of the Lord been made known to him.
And God called Samuel again a third time,
and he arose and went to Eli and said: "Here I am, for you called me."
Then Eli understood that the Lord had called the child.
So Eli said to Samuel: "Go and lie down,
and if 'he calls you, you are to say: 'Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.' "
So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
And God came and stood there, and called as at the other times: "Samuel, Samuel."
Then Samuel answered: "Speak, for your servant is listening."
And then God said to Samuel: "Behold, I am going to do something in Israel at which the ears of everyone who hears it shall tingle.
On an appointed day I will perform against Eli all the things I have spoken of concerning his household" (for Eli's sons were very wicked) "and when I begin I shall finish it.
For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the wickedness of which he knows, because his sons became evil, and he did not restrain them.
Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that their wickedness shall not be cleansed with sacrifices nor offerings for ever."
Samuel lay until morning. Then he opened the doors of the house of the Lord, but he feared to tell Eli of the vision.
Then Eli called Samuel and said: "Samuel, my son."
And he answered: "Here I am."
And Eli said: "What was it that the Lord said to you? I beg you not to hide it from me. May God punish you, and more, if you hide anything from me of the things he said to you."
So Samuel told him everything, and hid nothing from him.
EIi said: "It is the Lord: let him do whatever seems good to him."
Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him.
And all Israel, from Dan to Beersheba,
knew that Samuel was to be a prophet of the Lord.
THE PHILISTINES CAPTURE THE ARK
Now Israel went out to battle against the Philistines.
After a bloody day's reverses,
the elders of Israel said: "Why has the Lord struck us today before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the Lord from Shiloh,
so that when it comes among us it may save us from the hand of our enemies."
So the people sent to Shiloh,and when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp,
all Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth rang out.
And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout,
they said: "What does this mean,
the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews?"
They learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp, and they were afraid,
for they said: "God has come into the camp. Woe unto us! This is the God that struck the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness."
But their leaders said: "Be strong and act like men, O Philistines,
so that you do not become servants to the Hebrews as they have been to you.
Quit yourselves like men and fight."
And the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated.
There was a very great slaughter.
Thirty thousand of Israel's footmen fell, and the ark of God was taken.
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