1 Samuel 2:18 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 2:18, NIV: But Samuel was ministering before the LORD--a boy wearing a linen ephod.

1 Samuel 2:18, ESV: Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy clothed with a linen ephod.

1 Samuel 2:18, KJV: But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

1 Samuel 2:18, NASB: Now Samuel was ministering before the LORD, as a boy wearing a linen ephod.

1 Samuel 2:18, NLT: But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the LORD. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest.

1 Samuel 2:18, CSB: Samuel served in the Lord's presence--this mere boy was dressed in the linen ephod.

What does 1 Samuel 2:18 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

First Samuel 2 moves the focus back and forth from Eli's worthless sons to Hannah's faithful son Samuel. Eli's sons were young priests guilty of evil behavior (1 Samuel 2:17). Samuel, on the other hand, is now described as ministering before the Lord. Time has passed since the boy was described as ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest (1 Samuel 2:11). The boy may be older and more directly involved in the temple duties by now.

Samuel is now wearing a linen ephod, along with the priests who work in the sanctuary. In that context, an ephod was a simple, hip-length sleeveless pullover that functioned as an apron and fit close to the body. It was a kind of uniform recognizable in Israel as a priestly garment. David wore an ephod when he danced before the Lord while bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:14–15).