- One night, while Samuel gently slumbers, he hears a voice calling his name. Rising from his bed, Samuel goes to see Eli asking if he was called.
- Eli, doing no such thing, sends him back to bed.
- Later that night, Samuel hears his name again and returns to Eli.
- Again, Eli sends him packing off to bed.
- As Samuel dozes again, he hears his name being called.
- Eli, now invested, tells Samuel to answer back because it's God calling his name (1-9).
- God relays the misery that will plague Eli's house.
- In the morning, Samuel hesitates to tell Eli the news because seriously, who wants to be the messenger of "your whole family is going to die!"?
- After some prompting, Samuel spills the beans, but Eli simply says God's will is not for anyone to change. Eli has nerves of steel (before steel was invented).
- After this, Samuel is decreed a true prophet of God (10-21), and the story really gets going.