Hannah was unhappy because the Lord had closed her womb, and she could not bore any child for her husband. She wept and prayed to the Lord for a child promising that if she has a son, the boy would be given to the Lord to serve him all the days of his life.

The Lord answered Hannah’s prayers. She conceived and gave birth to a son, she was very happy and she named the boy SAMUEL. Hannah promised her husband to present Samuel to the Lord only after the boy was weaned.

Samuel was still a very young when Hannah and her husband took him to the House of the Lord. The family made a sacrifice to the Lord as they always did each year, and prayed for young Samuel. Then Hannah and her husband went home, leaving Samuel behind to live in the House of the Lord where he was taught by Eli the priest.

Eli had two sons who were also priests but they were wicked thieves. Eli warned them that the Lord would punish them or their sins if they did not repent.

One night, Samuel was woken from his sleep by a voice calling his name. He thought it was Eli, but the priest said he had not called him and told Samuel to go back to bed. Samuel heard his name being called again and then a third time.

Samuel woke up Eli again. Then, the priest realized that the voice must be that of the Lord calling to Samuel.

The next time, when Samuel heard his name being called, he did as Eli had told him and replied,”Speak, for your servant is hearing.” The Lord replied, telling Samuel that he knew about Eli and his two wicked sons. He said that, as a punishment, the family of Eli would very soon come to an end. When Samuel told this to Eli, the priest said, ”He is the Lord; let him do what is good in his eyes.”

News that the Lord had spoken to Samuel in this way spread throughout the land and everyone knew then that one day the boy would become a great prophet. Years later, Samuel did indeed grow to become a famous and important judge and a wise man of God.

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