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God's first manifestation of himself to Samuel, ver. 1 - 10.
God's message to Eli, ver. 11 - 14.
His faithful delivery of that message,
and Eli's submission to God, ver. 15 - 18.
The establishment of Samuel to be a prophet, ver. 19 - 21
1: Before Eli - That is, under his inspection and direction.
Word - The word of prophecy, or the revelation of God's will to and by the
prophets. Precious - Rare or scarce, such things being most precious in
mens' esteem, whereas common things are generally despised.
Open vision - God did not impart his Mind by way of vision or revelation
openly, or to any public person, to whom others might resort for
satisfaction, though he might privately reveal himself to some pious persons
for their particular direction. This is premised, as a reason why
Samuel understood not, when God called him once or twice.
2: His place - In the court of the tabernacle.
3: Went out - Before the lights of the golden candlestick were put
out in the morning.
7: Did not know - He was not acquainted with God in that
extraordinary or prophetical way. And this ignorance of Samuel's
served God's design, that his simplicity might give Eli the better
assurance of the truth of God's call, and message to Samuel.
10: Came and stood - Before, he spake to him at a distance, even from
the holy oracle between the cherubim: but now, to prevent all farther
mistake, the voice came near to him, as if the person speaking had been
standing near him.
12: In that day - In that time which I have appointed for this work,
which was about twenty or thirty years after this threatning. So long space
of repentance God allows to this wicked generation.
When I begin, &c. - Tho' this vengeance shall be delayed for a season, to
manifest my patience, and incite them to repentance; yet when once I begin
to inflict, I shall not desist 'till I have made a full end.
13: Restrained them not - He contented himself with a cold reproof,
and did not punish, and effectually restrain them. They who can, and do not
restrain others from sin, make themselves partakers of the guilt. Those in
authority will have a great deal to answer for, if the sword they bear be
not a terror to evil - doers.
14: Have sworn - Or, I do swear: the past tense being
commonly put for the present in the Hebrew tongue.
Unto - Or, concerning it. Purged - That is, the punishment
threatened against Eli and his family, shall not he prevented
by all their sacrifices, but shall infallibly be executed.
15: Doors - Altho' the tabernacle, whilst it was to be removed from
place to place in the wilderness, had no doors, but consisted only of
curtains, and had hangings before the entrance, instead of doors; yet when
it was settled in one place, as now it was in Shiloh, it was enclosed
within some solid building, which had doors and posts, and other parts
belonging to it. Feared - The matter of the vision or revelation, partly
from the reverence he bore to his person, to whom he was loth to be a
messenger of such sad tidings; partly, lest if he had been hasty to utter
it, Eli might think him guilty of arrogancy or secret complacency in his
17: God do so, &c. - God inflict the same evils upon thee, which I
suspect he hath pronounced against me, and greater evils too.
18: It is the Lord - This severe sentence is from the sovereign Lord
of the world, who hath an absolute right to dispose of me and all his
creatures; who is in a special manner the ruler of the people of Israel,
to whom it properly belongs to punish all mine offences; whose chastisement
I therefore accept.
19: Fail, &c. - That is, want its effect: God made good all his
predictions. A metaphor from precious liquors, which when they are spilt
upon the ground, are altogether useless.
20: From Dan, &c. - Thro' the whole Land, from the northern bound
Dan, to the southern, Beersheba; which was the whole length of the