1 Samuel 2

1 SAMUEL CHAPTER 2

Hannah’s Prayer of Praise

          • Guzik writes, “1 Samuel 1:28 ended, So they worshipped the LORD there. This song records the worship Hannah offered on the very day she left her little boy – her only child – at the tabernacle, never for him to live in her home again. Hannah showed a depth of commitment and love for God that may humble us. On the day she made the biggest sacrifice of her life she rejoices in the LORD. Notice though, that she rejoices in the LORD. She could not rejoice in leaving her son, but she could rejoice in the LORD. In the most desperate situations, when we have nothing else to rejoice in, we can rejoice in the LORD.”

        • Then Hannah prayed:

        • My heart rejoices in Yahweh; my horn is lifted high because of Yahweh. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in Your deliverance.

          • Some translations replace “horn is lifted high” with something like, “has made me strong” because as NLT Illustrated Study Bible explains, “The horn of a powerful animal, such as an ox or bull, was a symbol of strength that was held high in triumph after defeating an enemy (cp. 1 Kgs 22:11). NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible agrees saying, “As a general metaphor, one’s horns represent one’s strength, pride, and security.”

        • There is no one holy like Yahweh: for there is none besides You; there is no rock like our God.

          • This reference to Yahweh- God- as our rock is extremely important, particularly when considering the true identity (the deity) of Jesus, who is also identified as the rock in 1 Corinthians 10:4. NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible writes, “The term ‘rock’ occurs in theophoric personal names (names that make some sort of statement about God) in both the ancient Near East and the OT. As a title (and not a mere metaphor) for the God of the Bible, the term is concentrated in poetic passages such as the song of Moses in Dt 32, the song of David in 2 Sa 22, the Psalms and Isaiah…In the Bible, ‘Rock’ is suggestive of God’s strength and sovereignty and of the security, stability, and salvation of those who trust in him.”

            • 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 reads (ESV): For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all ate the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ.”

          • Do not keep talking proudly, or let arrogant words come from your mouth; because Yahweh is a God who knows, and He weighs actions.

        • The bows of mighty warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

        • Those who were well fed are now hiring themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are not hungry anymore. The woman who was infertile has given birth to seven, but the one who has many children is forlorn.

        • Yahweh brings death and gives life; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

          • Some Bible translations render the Hebrew word “sheol” as grave (KJV, NIV, etc), “the nether world” (NAB), or “the world of the dead” (CEV), while many more modern translations are opting to simply state the Hebrew word “Sheol” as it stands in the original language. Coming from a background where any sort of consciousness in the intermediate state between death and resurrection was rejected (the view commonly called “soul sleep”) partially based on popular translations which render this word “grave,” I am particularly thankful for translations that have opted to leave the word in Hebrew as it stands, since there really is no perfect English translation for what is meant by the Hebrew word, and applying all the connotations and assumptions that go along with the English word “grave” can cause us to miss what the author actually meant by his choice of word. The two links below are interesting articles on this topic for those interested in further reading:

        • Yahweh brings poverty and gives wealth; He humbles and He exalts.

        • He raises the poor from the dust; lifts up the needy from the ash heap to seat them with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are Yahweh’s and He has set the world on them.

          • Some individuals use this passage to claim that the ancient Israelites believed the earth was flat and rested on pillars because some other ancient Near Eastern societies seem to have held this view. However, this passage proves no such thing. Bible authors use all kinds of metaphorical language, and taking the Bible “literally” means being aware when such language is being employed. Particularly since this is a song, it is reasonable to understand this language illustratively. This gotquestions article notes:

            • Psalm 75:3 quotes God saying, “When the earth and all its people quake, it is I who hold its pillars firm.” Other passages also refer to the earth’s “pillars,” such as 1 Samuel 2:8, but in no case should the language be taken literally. The book of Psalms and Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2 are poetry. The writers liken the founding of the earth to the constructing of a house, and their descriptions are comparative (i.e., metaphorical), not literal. The point is not that the earth is flat but that the earth belongs to God; it is His construction, and He guarantees its stability. God’s “pillars” will not move, and His “roof” will not cave in. Even when the moral order of the world seems to have crumbled and people are overcome with fear, God will not fully withdraw His sustaining power.”

          • He will guard the feet of His faithful ones, but the wicked will be destroyed in the darkness because man will not prevail by his own strength.

        • Those who oppose Yahweh will be broken to pieces; He will thunder against them in the heavens. Yahweh will judge the ends of the earth. He will give His king strength and life up the horn of His anointed.

          • Here we have another passage that supports the deity of Christ. Yahweh is specifically said to be the One who will judge the ends of the earth. Yet, Matthew 25:31-32 refers to Jesus as the Son of Man who will come in glory to judge everyone.

          • HCSB writes, “How could Hannah speak of a king and messiah (‘anointed’ 2:10) before the days when Israel had a king? She could have been referring to the office of kingship mentioned in the law of Moses (see Gn 17:16; 35:11; 36:31; Dt 17:15) or local Israelite rulers (Jdg 9:6). In the larger scope of biblical history, however, one can see that Hannah was speaking prophetically of the day when Israel would have anointed kings- the first two, in fact, would be anointed as such by her son Samuel. Or her words can even extend to the coming of Jesus Christ. Hannah’s prayer is a model for the Virgin Mary’s expression of praise (Lk 1:46-55) after learning that both she and her formerly childless relative Elizabeth would bear a child. The circumstances were similar; it was the Lord, in each case, who had enabled the pregnancy despite unlikely human situations. If Hannah was speaking as a prophetess, she would join the ranks of other OT prophetesses, including Miriam (Ex 15:20), Deborah (Jdg 4:4), Huldah (2 Kg 22:14), and Isaiah’s wife (Is 8:3).”

        • Elkanah went back home to Ramah, and the boy served Yahweh in the presence of Eli the priest.

Corruption in the Priestly House of Eli

        • Now Eli’s sons were wicked men and they didn’t know Yahweh. It was the practice of the priests that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork and thrust it into the pan, kettle, cauldron, or pot while the meat was boiling, and claim for himself whatever meat the fork brought up. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came to Shiloh. Moreover, the priest’s servant would come before the fat had even burned and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give the priest meat to roast because he won’t accept boiled meat from you- only raw.” And if the man replied, “The fat must be burned first, then you can take as much as you want,” the servant would say, “No, you must give it now, and if you don’t, I will take it by force.” So, the servant’s sin was very severe in Yahweh’s sight, because they they treated Yahweh’s offering with contempt.

        • Guzik remarks, “Even though their father Eli knew the LORD that knowledge was not passed on genetically to his sons. They had to personally know the LORD for themselves.”

          • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible explains, “This [three-pronged fork] and other implements such as tongs were used in religious practice for various purposes…Here Eli’s wicked sons are simply plunging the fork into the pot of sacrificial meat, contrary to the procedures prescribed in the Pentateuch, which stated that only certain portions of the sacrificial animal were to be eaten by the priests (Lev 10:14-15). The priest’s duty was to burn the fat on the altar as a pleasing aroma to the Lord (Lev 3:16, 7:31). Both fat and blood were barred from human consumption (Lev 3:17; cf. Lev 7:33; Eze 39:19; 44:7, 15) and anyone who offended in this matter was to be ‘cut off from their people’ (Lev 7:25). Against this background, the abuses of the sons of Eli, described in 1 Sa 2:12 as ‘scoundrels,’ were very grave indeed (v. 17)…”

          • Bob Deffinbaugh, writing for Bible.org has a fabulous article on this chapter from his series on the study of 1 Samuel. I’ll cite from it frequently; here is what he has to say regarding the passage above:

          • The priests seem to find boiled beef too bland, wanting barbecued (or broiled) beef instead. The priest’s servants approach those offering their sacrifices before the meat is cooked, even before the fat is offered to God, and demand a prime cut of select beef for the priests. Godly Israelites, like Elkanah and Hannah, know the fat must first be burned on the altar. When these folks urge the servant of the priest to wait at least until the fat is burned, the servant becomes more forceful. He demands the priest’s meat on the spot, threatening to take it by force if necessary.”

          • One can only imagine the negative impact of all this on the worship of God at Shiloh. Godly Israelites making the annual trek to Shiloh to worship God at the tabernacle do not find devout priests who facilitate their worship, but devouring priests who frustrate worship. Either willfully or by ignorance (this will be evident in one’s translation of verses 12 and 13), the priests function in a way which completely disregards the sacred office of the Old Testament priest, and which may cause some Israelites to give up entirely their attempt to worship at the tabernacle. In these days, there is no king in Israel, and each man does what is right in his own eyes, including the priests who are supposed to teach and judge Israel according to God’s law.”

          • God’s assessment of the priests’ conduct is given to us in verse 17…Translators handle this verse in different ways. Some render the verse to indicate that, as a result of the corruption of the priests’ ministry, the people likewise begin to follow their leaders in disdaining the sacrifices…Others translate it to indicate that the priests’ sin was very great, because they (the priests) abhor the offering of the Lord…I suspect both are true. The priests do not esteem the sacrifices and offerings which they offer on men’s behalf at Shiloh, and as a result, many people come to disdain them as well. This is indeed a very grave sin, for the priests who lead others into sin and for those who follow them as well. This indeed is a very sad day in Israel’s history.”

        • Samuel was serving before Yahweh, a boy clothed with a linen ephod. Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice. Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, “May Yahweh give you children by this woman in place of the one she has given to Yahweh.” Then they would go back home.

          • I love what Deffinbaugh writes here, “One might think that since Samuel lives so far from his parent’s home, Hannah and Elkanah have little influence on Samuel’s life. I believe they have much influence on Samuel. If I read 1 Samuel 2:19 in light of the teaching of the Law on the priest’s garments, then Hannah is not just sewing clothes for her little boy, she is sewing priestly garments for him. Can’t you just hear Hannah speaking to Samuel about the dignity and duties of the Levitical priests? Can’t you see her instructing him about the high calling of his task and what the priestly garments are intended to convey? I believe Hannah has a tremendous impact on her son by the things she sews, and no doubt by what she says. How can such an act as sewing have spiritual impact? One should ask Hannah, or better yet, ask Samuel.”

        • And, indeed, Yahweh attended to Hannah. She conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of Yahweh.

        • Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all of Israel, and how they were having sexual relations with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. He said to them, “Why are you doing such things? I’ve been hearing reports from all these people about the wicked things you’re doing. No, my sons, the reports that I’m hearing Yahweh’s people spreading are not good. If a man sins against a man, God will mediate for him. But, if a man sins against Yahweh, who can intercede for him? But they would not listen to their father, for it was Yahweh’s will to kill them. However, Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with Yahweh and with the people.

          • Back to Deffinbaugh, “Hophni and Phinehas are guilty of sexual immorality, and we know that Phinehas at least is a married man (see 1 Samuel 4:19). This is the sin of adultery and punishable by death. It is an even greater sin in the light of who commits it and where it is done. Consider the wickedness of Eli’s sons in the light of God’s promise to the Levitical priests:

            • 42 “It shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the doorway of the tent of meeting before the LORD, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there. 43 “And I will meet there with the sons of Israel, and it shall be consecrated by My glory. 44 “And I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar; I will also consecrate Aaron and his sons to minister as priests to Me. 45 “And I will dwell among the sons of Israel and will be their God. 46 “And they shall know that I am the LORD their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the LORD their God (Exodus 29:42-46, emphasis mine).

          • The doorway of the tent of meeting is the place where God meets with the Levitical priests, the place where God reveals His glory. There Aaron and his sons are consecrated, set apart, for their priestly service. And now, not that many years later, this becomes a very different kind of meeting place, a place where Eli’s sons rendezvous with the women with whom they commit sexual immorality.”

        • Deffinbaugh continues, “I refer to this passage as ‘Eli’s rebuke,’ but we are never really told that he rebukes his sons. Eli certainly does nothing to restrain his sons or to hinder them in their sinful conduct. Eli’s words have no impact on his wayward sons. Even worse, Eli’s words are self-condemning. He seems to want to cause his sons to feel guilty, which obviously does not work. Eli’s words do, however, underscore Eli’s guilt. The author tells us that Eli ‘heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel.’ It is not out of ignorance that Eli fails to act more decisively. He knows everything they are doing, and he also knows they are doing it high-handedly, to all Israel. Their sins are not momentary lapses in character or conduct; they are a habitual pattern of conduct, a lifestyle.”

          • There is actually a quite a lot to be said about the last portion of this passage. The first is a translation discussion regarding the sentence which states that God will mediate between men. The NLT Illustrated Study Bible explains the contention here:

          • The Hebrew verb translated mediate is plural here, and when ‘elohim means ‘God,’ it often appears with a singular verb. In addition, some ancient translations render ‘elohim as ‘judges’ here. If that is the correct translation, then the judges would mediate for the guilty party in common human court. However, many Hebrew scholars believe that ‘elohim should never be translated ‘judges.’ If this is the case, in what sense could God mediate for the guilty party? Possibly Eli considered the court verdict to come directly from God. God might work through his revealed law or other circumstances to acquit or convict an individual charged with wrongdoing. Or, Eli might have been referring to the sacrificial system.”

          • Next, what about the question of who will intercede for us if we sin against Yahweh?

            • Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges writes: “For man’s offences against his fellow-man, there is a third superior party to arbitrate and rectify the wrongs, namely God, or God’s representative…but for man’s offences against Jehovah, there is no third superior party to intercede as a mediator.”

            • Another source notes, “However, says Eli, its one thing to have a human mediator (a government official) assigned to deal with a problem or criminal offense between 2 men; but what human being could possibly be called upon to mediate a dispute between a man and God? And this, folks, is at the very heart of the meaning of, and mankind’s desperate need for, a redeeming mediator that we commonly call a Savior.”

        • What about that final sentence? They wouldn’t listen to their father because it was Yahweh’s will to kill them. Many Calvinists cite this as support for their view. Is it? The answer is no- not without adding Calvinist presuppositions into the mix.

          • First, I’ll start with a statement from Guzik that most everyone would agree with- Calvinist or not. “This striking statement may seem unfair to some. They picture Eli’s sons wanting to repent and listen to their father, but God prevented them. This is not the case at all. God judged Eli’s sons this way: He gave them exactly what they wanted. They did not want to repent, and God did not work repentance in their hearts. God saw they were corrupt men and wanted to judge them. When the LORD desired to kill them, it simply meant that God desired justice towards Eli’s sons.”

            • The contention here between Calvinistic and other ways of interpreting this passage such as Arminianism, Molinism, or Traditionalism, is that Calvinism posits that Eli’s sons (or any of us) would be completely incapable of ever responding positively. That, until God enabled them to respond (at which point, the enabling would ensure the positive response) they would not. On the flip side of the coin, however, the Calvinist (or most Calvinists) would reject the logically opposite inference, which is that if the only way we can respond positively to God is if He enables us, yet He only chooses to enable some of us, then by default He has chosen not to give some people any opportunity for salvation. If God has chosen not to give them an opportunity for salvation, this puts one in the prickly position of having to explain how these individuals are judged responsible and condemned for not making a correct decision that God essentially prevented them from making. A Calvinist rejects this logical deduction and, instead, appeals to a nebulous mystery in which enabling some to react positively and not enabling others to react positively, is not the same as selecting individuals arbitrarily to never have an opportunity for salvation. This is certainly not the interpretation this passage forces us into. There are other logical ways to understand it, as these commentaries attest:

            • Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers: “Here the mysteries connected with God’s foreknowledge and man’s free-will are touched upon. The Lord’s resolution to slay them was founded on the eternal foreknowledge of their persistence in wrong-doing.”

            • Benson Commentary: “They had disregarded many admonitions, which, no doubt, their father had given them; they had now hardened their hearts, and sinned away their day of grace, and therefore God had given them up to a reprobate mind, and determined to destroy them, 2 Chronicles 25:16.”

            • Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: “Compare the language of Exodus 4:21, and Joshua 11:20, where we read that the Lord hardened the hearts of Pharaoh and the Canaanites; and 1 Samuel 16:14, where it is said that ‘an evil spirit from the Lord troubled Saul.’ Yet we are assured that ‘the Lord delighteth in mercy’ (Micah 7:18), and ‘hath no pleasure in the death of him that dieth’ (Ezekiel 18:32). This coexistence of mercy and judgment in the divine will (Exodus 34:6-7) is a mystery which necessarily transcends our comprehension. But it must be carefully noted that it is not till Pharaoh has turned a deaf ear to repeated warnings, not till the Canaanites have polluted themselves with intolerable abominations, that God hardens their hearts; not till Eli’s sons have ignored His existence and defied His laws docs He determine to slay them: not till Saul has set at naught his calling and deserted God, is he deserted by Him. Obstinate impenitence may be judicially punished by the withdrawal of the grace which leads to repentance.”

Yahweh Rejects Eli’s Household

        • One day a man of God came to Eli and said,

          • Yahweh says: ‘I plainly revealed Myself to your ancestral family when they were subject to Pharaoh in Egypt. I selected your ancestor out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in My presence. I also gave your ancestral family the fire offerings made by the Israelites. Why, then, do you scorn My sacrifices and offerings which I commanded for My dwelling place? Why do you honor your sons more than you honor Me by fattening yourselves on the best parts of every offering of My people Israel?’”

        • Therefore, Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: ‘I said members of your ancestral family would minister before Me forever,’ but now Yahweh declares, ‘Far be it from Me, for I will honor those who honor Me, and those who despise Me will be disgraced. Look, the time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your ancestral family, so that no one in your family will reach old age. You will see distress in My dwelling place while prosperity is bestowed upon Israel, but no one in your family will reach an old age ever again. Any man of yours that I do not cut off from My altar will be spared to weep his eyes out and bring him grief. All your descendants will die by the sword. What happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you- they will both die on the same day. And I will raise up a faithful priest for Myself who will do according to what is in My heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will minister before My anointed one forever. Anyone who is left in your ancestral family will come and beg him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and say, “Please appoint me to one of the priestly offices so I can have bread to eat.”’”

          • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible notes that “man of God” is, “Often used in the OT as a synonym for ‘prophet’…”

          • Returning to Deffinbaugh’s article:

          • The Levitical priesthood came into being while the Israelites were still in bondage in Egypt. It is there that God designates Aaron as a priest. It is there that Aaron’s priestly ‘house’ is established. The word ‘house’ [rendered above as ‘ancestral family’ or ‘descendants’] is repeated often here for good reason. God does not just appoint Aaron as a priest, but his sons and their sons, Aaron’s ‘house.’ How can Eli be fully aware of the sins his sons commit as priests and not be concerned enough to deal adequately with his ‘house’? The priesthood is not just an individual matter, but a ‘house’ matter, and yet Eli’s ‘house’ is crumbling, and he does almost nothing to stop it. In the Law of Moses, priesthood is a ‘house’ matter, involving all members of one’s household (see Leviticus 21:1-9). God created a ‘house’ for Aaron and his descendants, and Eli is a part of this house. He desperately needs to tend to his ‘house.’

            • Our text tells us that Eli heard of ‘all’ that his sons were doing to all Israel. Eli therefore knows of the way his sons are getting their meat. He knows about his sons’ immorality. In our text, Eli rebukes his sons for their sexual immorality, but nothing is said about their meat acquisitions. Eli may be old and his senses dull, but I believe he knows the difference between grilled and boiled meat. I am convinced he knows the difference between a chuck roast and tenderloin. Eli may keep quiet about the sin of his sons in obtaining meat because he eats some of the meat himself. He personally benefits from the sins of his sons, and rather than being aggressive toward these sins, he is passive. God reminds Eli that all of the benefits and blessings of his priesthood come from Him — not his sons. Therefore, Eli will do well to honor God above his sons rather than continue to honor his sons (the sons of Belial) above God by not disciplining them for their sin.”

          • Eli’s sin is exposed and explained. The blessings of the priesthood come from God. God is the one whom Eli must honor. Eli’s sons must be rebuked. But because of the “perks” Eli enjoys for the sins of his sons — and what he fears he will lose — Eli refuses to deal with the sin of his sons as he should. God’s judgment therefore comes not only upon Eli, but upon his ‘house,’ a judgment spelled out in verses 30-34…”

          • Is God about to break His promise? No, not at all. We must first remember that God’s promise is a covenant Eli and his sons break by virtue of their sins. In this sense, God keeps His covenant. It is important to see from this text that God does not take the priesthood entirely away from Eli’s house. God says that some of his “house” will die. Specifically, Hophni and Phinehas will die, on the same day (verse 34). But God does not cut off every one of Eli’s descendants…”

          • This raises two questions: who is this ‘faithful priest,’ and what is this ‘enduring house’ of priests?…The answer is two-fold. I believe there is a nearer fulfillment and a more distant, eternal fulfillment to this priesthood covenant which God makes in our text. First, God will provide His people with a better ‘house’ of priests than Eli and sons, and this will take place in Israel’s not too distant future (from Eli’s perspective). The Levitical priesthood is given through the line of Aaron, a descendant of Levi (see Exodus 2:1ff.). When Aaron is made the high priest, his two sons, Nadab and Abihu serve under him. When they are killed because of the ‘strange fire’ they offer, Aaron’s other two sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, are appointed in the place of their brothers (Leviticus 10). The priestly line of Aaron then descends through these two surviving sons, Eleazar and Ithamar. Originally, the high priest descends from Eleazar, but Eli, who serves as the high priest, is a descendant of Ithamar. The prophecy of this unnamed prophet seems to be initially fulfilled when Samuel becomes priest in Eli’s place; then later on, in the reign of David, Zadoc, a descendant of Eleazar, will be made high priest (1 Kings 1:7-8; 1 Chronicles 16:4-40). In the Millennial Kingdom, the ‘sons of Zadoc’ will serve as priests (Ezekiel 44:15; 48:11).”

          • Second, I believe the ultimate fulfillment to this prophecy is our Lord Jesus Christ, just as the ultimate fulfillment of our Lord’s covenant with David is the Lord Jesus Christ. Israel’s history shows that no merely human king of Israel is worthy of an eternal kingdom, of an endless reign. No one is worthy — not David, nor Solomon, nor anyone except the ‘King of the Jews,’ our Lord Jesus Christ, who came to ‘sit on the throne of His father, David.’ He is the full and final fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant. Just so, our Lord is the full and final fulfillment of the priestly covenant of our text. There was never a priest in Israel’s history worthy to serve as priest eternally — certainly not Eli, and just as certainly — not Samuel. While God is about to give Israel better priests than Eli and his sons, He is, in a future day, going to give His people a perfect priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the perfect and ultimate prophet, priest, and king.”

            • Deffinbaugh concludes his article with an overarching lesson in this chapter than we overlook to our own peril:

            • As mentioned at the beginning of this lesson, our text has much to do with the matter of raising children. More precisely, our text addresses the way a parent deals with adult children who are in rebellion and disobedience to God. It seems safe to say that many of the problems Eli handled badly with his grown sons are the result of his failure to deal with them rightly as children. Yet, it is entirely possible that children raised in a very godly home can turn out the way Eli’s sons do. The point of our text is that Eli fails to deal with his sons properly as the high priest, and as a judge over the nation Israel. Eli should have dealt with his sons the same way he dealt with any men who were priests who were sexually immoral, who dishonored God, who profaned the priesthood, and who failed to respond to verbal correction. Eli fails to deal rightly with his sons is because they are his sons, and he allows this one fact to outweigh all others. Let us first review how Eli fails in dealing with his sons.”

              • (1) Eli fails to instruct his sons in the Law of the Lord, especially in the ways of the priests…(2) Eli seems ‘blind’ to the sins going on under his very nose – sins he must be hearing about from many Israelites…(3) Eli waits far too long to respond in a corrective manner toward the sins of his sons…(4) Eli does not do everything in his means to correct his sons — or at least to resist their sinful conduct…(5) Eli does not want to do what he has the power to do with respect to his sons — because he does not want to pay the personal price for doing so…(6) Eli does not deal rightly with his children, even when he is warned and instructed by God directly through prophetic revelations, and even when he is fully aware of the consequences for failing to repent and obey God in relation to his sons…(7) Eli honors his sons more highly than his God.”

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