The Meaning of 1 Samuel 3:3 Explained

1 Samuel 3:3

KJV: And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep;

YLT: And the lamp of God is not yet extinguished, and Samuel is lying down in the temple of Jehovah, where the ark of God is,

Darby: and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel lay in the temple of Jehovah, where the ark of God was,

ASV: and the lamp of God was not yet gone out, and Samuel was laid down to sleep , in the temple of Jehovah, where the ark of God was;

What does 1 Samuel 3:3 Mean?

Context Summary

1 Samuel 3:1-9 - Speak, Lord For Thy Servant Heareth
As we read again these familiar verses, we are taken back in thought to the dear scenes of childhood-to the home we remember so well and to the mother's voice, perhaps now silent. This story, which was our favorite then, is hardly less dear to us now that we are well advanced on the pathway toward the home beyond.
The dying lamp of the Tabernacle, the glimmering dawn, the silence and awe of the Holy Place were in strict accord with the boy's attentive ear and opened heart. The rug or couch on which he lay was not too lowly for the eternal God to visit. Stooping from His high heaven, He came, and stood, and called. He was not angry because the child did not understand; nor did he, impatient of the delay, close the interview because He was not recognized. He knew that, once he understood, Samuel's heart would be eager to obey the call. With all of us there is ignorance as well as mistake. In our confusion we run hither and thither. It is best to lie still, even though the heart throbs and the attention is alert, until the knock is again heard on the door. [source]

Chapter Summary: 1 Samuel 3

1  How the word of the Lord was first revealed to Samuel
11  God tells Samuel the destruction of Eli's house
15  Samuel, though loath, tells Eli the vision
19  Samuel grows in credit

What do the individual words in 1 Samuel 3:3 mean?

and the lamp of God before went out and while Samuel was lying down in the temple of Yahweh where - the ark of God [was] -
וְנֵ֤ר אֱלֹהִים֙ טֶ֣רֶם יִכְבֶּ֔ה וּשְׁמוּאֵ֖ל שֹׁכֵ֑ב בְּהֵיכַ֣ל יְהוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־ שָׁ֖ם אֲר֥וֹן אֱלֹהִֽים פ

וְנֵ֤ר  and  the  lamp 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: נִיר 
Sense: lamp.
אֱלֹהִים֙  of  God 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
טֶ֣רֶם  before 
Parse: Adverb
Root: טֶרֶם  
Sense: before, not yet, before that.
יִכְבֶּ֔ה  went  out 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Imperfect, third person masculine singular
Root: כָּבָה  
Sense: to quench, put out, be put out, be quenched, be extinguished.
וּשְׁמוּאֵ֖ל  and  while  Samuel 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: שְׁמוּאֵל  
Sense: son of Elkanah by his wife Hannah and judge or prophet of Israel during the days of Saul and David.
שֹׁכֵ֑ב  was  lying  down 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular
Root: שָׁכַב  
Sense: to lie down.
בְּהֵיכַ֣ל  in  the  temple 
Parse: Preposition-b, Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: הֵיכָל  
Sense: palace, temple, nave, sanctuary.
יְהוָ֔ה  of  Yahweh 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: יהוה 
Sense: the proper name of the one true God.
אֲשֶׁר־  where 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
שָׁ֖ם  - 
Parse: Adverb
Root: שָׁם  
Sense: there, thither.
אֲר֥וֹן  the  ark 
Parse: Noun, common singular construct
Root: אֲרֹון  
Sense: chest, ark.
אֱלֹהִֽים  of  God  [was] 
Parse: Noun, masculine plural
Root: אֱלֹהִים  
Sense: (plural).
פ  - 
Parse: Punctuation