I am currently editing a children's book of biblical stories. In the story of Samuel, the book says that Samuel went to live with Eli in the house of the Lord.

1 Samuel 3: 1-4 (NIV):

1 The boy Samuel ministered before the Lord under Eli. In those days the word of the Lord was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the house of the Lord, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the Lord called Samuel.

At the time, the house of the Lord was the tabernacle in Shiloh. So did the priests, like Eli, live in the tabernacle itself? But there were many priests, where did they live?

1 Answer 1


A clue is to be found in 1 Samuel 1:9 where Eli the priest was sitting on a chair by the doorpost of the Lord's temple. Here is the comment from the NIV Study Bible:

Here and in 1 Samuel 3:3 the central sanctuary, the tabernacle,is referred to as "the Lord's temple". It is also called "the house of the Lord" (v. 7; 3:15), "the Tent of Meeting" (2:22) and "my dwelling" (2:32). The references to the tabernacle as a "house" and a "temple", as well as those to sleeping quarters and doors (3:2, 15), give the impression that at this time the tabernacle was part of a larger, more permanent building complex to which the term "temple" could legitimately be applied.

I don't know how many priests there were at this point in time, but it appears that living quarters were part of the building comples.

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