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My sixth grade students asked me today: In Shmuel Aleph Perek Gimel Shmuel becomes a Navi. It says in vs. 5 that Shmuel ran to Eli. In vs. 6 and 8 is says that he went to Eli. Why the difference?
(I thought this was a great insight on the part of 6th graders!)

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up vote 14 down vote accepted

Indeed, a keen observation. This observation is made as well by Abarbanel and Malbim, who both explain that the first time, Shmuel ran to Eli, as he was Eli's servant and he was motivated to serve him properly. However, when he went to Eli, and it turned out Eli had never called him in the first place, he was a bit embarrassed. So the second time, he was more hesitant, not as eager as he was the first time, lest he be imagining things again and bothering Eli for no reason.

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