The Sin of Eli’s Sons Contrasted with Grace and Growth of Samuel
1 Samuel 2:12-36
1 Samuel 2:12-36
12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not Jehovah. 13 And the priests’ custom with the people was, when any man sacrificed a sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, when the flesh was cooked, with a flesh-hook of three prongs in his hand; 14 and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or cauldron, or pot; the priest took of it all that the flesh-hook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites that came there. 15 Even before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest, and he will not accept sodden flesh of thee, but raw. 16 If the man said to him, They will immediately burn the fat entire, then take as thy soul desires; he would say to him, No, but thou shalt give it now; and if not, I will take it by force. 17 And the sin of the young men was very great before Jehovah, for men despised the offering of Jehovah. 18 And Samuel ministered before Jehovah, a boy girded with a linen ephod. 19 And his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to sacrifice the yearly sacrifice. 20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, Jehovah give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to Jehovah. And they went to their own home. 21 So Jehovah visited Hannah, and she conceived, and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before Jehovah.
22 And Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and that they lay with the women that served at the entrance of the tent of meeting. 23 And he said to them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil deeds from all this people. 24 No, my sons, for it is no good report that I hear: ye make Jehovah’s people transgress. 25 If one man sin against another, God will judge him; but if a man sin against Jehovah, who shall intreat for him? But they hearkened not to the voice of their father, for Jehovah was minded to slay them. vv.22-25 Eli gave a weak rebuke, but it only dealt with the sin of fornication. The prophet in v.29 said “yourselves”, implicating Eli in the sin of partaking of the fat, which was taken in some cases by force. It is interesting that the prophet says nothing of the fornication.
26 And the boy Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with Jehovah and also with men. 27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, Thus saith Jehovah: Did I plainly reveal myself to the house of thy father when they were in Egypt, in Pharaoh’s house, 28 and choose him out of all the tribes of Israel, to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear the ephod before me? and I gave unto the house of thy father all the offerings by fire of the children of Israel. 29 Wherefore do ye trample upon my sacrifice and upon mine oblation which I have commanded in my habitation? And thou honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the primest of all the oblations of Israel my people. 30 Wherefore Jehovah the God of Israel saith, I said indeed, Thy house and the house of thy father should walk before me for ever. But now Jehovah saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father’s house, that there shall not be an old man in thy house. 32 And thou shalt see an oppressor in my habitation, amidst all the good that shall be done to Israel; and there shall not be an old man in thy house for ever. 33 And the man of thine whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to cause thine eyes to fail and to grieve thy soul; and all the increase of thy house shall die in their vigour. 34 And this shall be the sign to thee, which shall come upon thy two sons, upon Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them. 35 And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind; and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed continually. 36 And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of thy house shall come to crouch to him for a small piece of silver and for a cake of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priestly offices, that I may eat a morsel of bread.