As I was going through the book of Samuel I came across an interesting comment from EGW concerning the commissioning of Samuel. According to the comment below Samuel was commissioned at twelve years

"4. Samuel Commissioned When Twelve Years Old.--When but twelve years old, the son of Hannah received his special commission from the Most High (ST Dec. 15, 1881). {2BC 1010.6}"

In the biblical narrative, we are first told that after the child had been weaned he was taken to Shiloh

KJV 1 Samuel 1:24

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

Then after he had been weaned we are told that he continued to minister as a child before God.

KJV 1 Samuel 2:18

But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

Then the Lord finally appeared to him and commissioned him but we are told how old he was by then.

KJV 1 Samuel 3:21

And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.

How does the SDA understand that he was twelve when commissioned?

  • The same Holy Spirit who inspired the Bible inspired Ellen White to write the manuscripts that she wrote. We find examples like this in the Bible too. Jude says Enoch preached about Judgment. However Moses in Genesis does not tell anything about it. Paul identifies Jannus and Jambres as the magicians who withstood Moses, however Moses himself has not mentioned their names. How did Paul and Jude know these things? Probably by inspiration.
    – One Face
    Apr 2, 2022 at 2:32

1 Answer 1


Ellen White is considered a prophet and can gain insights like this through inspiration.

Some Adventist would consider her writings only a few steps short of the inspiration of the bible.

Further, the detail of age is relatively insignificant. The bible clearly states that Samuel was a child and under the guidance of Eli when God first spoke to him.

Weather he was 5 or 12 probably doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things. He wouldn't have been 13 or older as this is a transition to manhood in Jewish culture.

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