1 Samuel 2 Commentary

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Chart from recommended resource Jensen's Survey of the OT - used by permission
1 Samuel Chart from Charles Swindoll

TIMELINE OF THE BOOKS OF
SAMUEL, KINGS & CHRONICLES

1107

1011

971

931

853

722

586

1 Samuel 2 Samuel 1 Kings 1 Kings 2 Kings

31

1-4 5-10 11-20 21-24 1-11 12-22 1-17 18-25

1Chr

10

  1 Chr
11-19
  1 Chr
20-29

2 Chronicles
1-9

2 Chronicles
10-20

2 Chronicles
21-36

Legend: B.C. dates at top of timeline are approximate. Note that 931BC marks the division of the Kingdom into Southern Tribes (Judah and Benjamin) and Ten Northern Tribes. To avoid confusion be aware that after the division of the Kingdom in 931BC, the Southern Kingdom is most often designated in Scripture as "Judah" and the Northern Kingdom as "Israel." Finally, note that 1 Chronicles 1-9 is not identified on the timeline because these chapters are records of genealogy.


The Ryrie Study Bible


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Map on Left ESV Global Study Bible, on right Jensen's Survey of the OT
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The Man Samuel in 1 Samuel 1-8

1 Samuel 2:1 Then Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD; My horn is exalted in the LORD, My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:1 καὶ εἶπεν ἐστερεώθη ἡ καρδία μου ἐν κυρίῳ ὑψώθη κέρας μου ἐν θεῷ μου ἐπλατύνθη ἐπὶ ἐχθροὺς τὸ στόμα μου εὐφράνθην ἐν σωτηρίᾳ σου

KJV  1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

NET  1 Samuel 2:1 Hannah prayed, "My heart rejoices in the LORD; my horn is exalted high because of the LORD. I loudly denounce my enemies, for I am happy that you delivered me.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:1 Hannah prayed: My heart rejoices in the LORD; my horn is lifted up by the LORD. My mouth boasts over my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD; my horn is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:1 Then Hannah prayed and said: "My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:1 Then Hannah prayed: "My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:1 Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:1 Hannah also prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:1 And Hannah prayeth, and saith: 'My heart hath exulted in Jehovah, My horn hath been high in Jehovah, My mouth hath been large over mine enemies, For I have rejoiced in Thy salvation.

  • prayed: Ne 11:17 Hab 3:1 Php 4:6 
  • My heart: Lu 1:46,47-56 Ro 5:11 Php 3:3 4:4 1Pe 1:8 
  • mine horn: Ps 18:2 89:17 92:10 112:8,9 Lu 1:69 
  • my mouth: Ex 15:1,21 Jud 5:1,2 Ps 51:15 71:8 Rev 18:20 
  • I rejoice: Ps 9:14 13:5 20:5 35:9 118:14 Isa 12:2,3 Hab 3:18 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Then - This marks progression. 1Sa 1:28 with Hannah dedicating her son to Yahweh. And now Hannah offers worship to Yahweh. Keep the context in mind - she will leave her firstborn son with Yahweh, and yet she is still so Spirit filled that she worships Yahweh. 

Hannah prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD - Her first prayer (1Sa 1:10) came from her great distress whereas this prayer comes from her great joy! Exults ('alats) can mean to jump for joy, be joyful, triumphant. Hannah's heart attitude should convict all of us. On one hand she gives her most prized possession and then her gratitude and love of God spills over in one of the most beautiful songs of praise in all of Scripture! 

Notice the repeated pronoun "my" showing her basis for what follows is because of what has transpired in her life. 

My horn is exalted in the LORD - Horn (qeren) is used figuratively in  at least three ways (1) strength in general (Dt 33:17); (2) arrogant pride (Ps 75:4-5); and (3) political and military power (Da 8:20 - 21).

NET Note on my horn - Horns of animals have always functioned as both offensive and defensive weapons for them. As a figure of speech the horn is therefore often used in the Bible as a symbol of human strength (see also in v. 10). The allusion in v. 1 to the horn being lifted high suggests a picture of an animal elevating its head in a display of strength or virility.

My mouth speaks boldly against my enemies -  Hebrew "my mouth is enlarged," or “my mouth opens wide against.” Yes, Peninnah was in a sense her rival but Hannah uses the plural which probably speaks more of the enemies of the Lord. Some commentators think she was referring to her rival, but I think that is less likely considering the Spirit filled nature of this song. 

Because I rejoice in Your salvation - Heb “for I rejoice in your deliverance.” Hannah had been delivered from barrenness. But there may well be more intended here for her son would eventually anoint 2 kings, one of whom would be in the line of the Deliverer of Israel (Ro 11:26) and of all who believe in Him. 

Utley - Notice how Hannah describes herself. heart (See SPECIAL TOPIC: HEART.) horn (lit. "strength," BDB 901, cf. v. 31) mouth. These are all ways of expressing personhood in Hebrew poetry.

MacArthur points out that "This prayer has a number of striking verbal similarities with David's song of 2Sa 22:2-51: "horn" (1Sa 2:1; 22:3), "rock" (1Sa 2:2; 22:2, 3), salvation/deliverance (1Sa 2:1, 2; 2Sa 22:2, 3), grave/Sheol (1Sa 2:6; 2Sa 22:6), "thunder" (1Sa 2:10; 2Sa 22:14), "king" (1Sa 2:10; 2Sa 22:51), and "anointed" (1Sa 2:10;2Sa 22:51). (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible)


Singing (1–11). 
Most people would sing if they could keep their son, but Hannah sang because she could give her son to the service of the Lord. She glorified the Lord who does great things for His people. Mary’s song is similar to Hannah’s (Luke 1:46–55) because Mary had also made a sacrifice to the Lord (Luke 1:38). First the sacrifice, then the song (2 Chron. 29:27).

Sinning (12–17, 22–36). 
Eli had lost his influence over his sons and as a result caused his family to lose the priesthood (1 Kings 2:26–27, 35). (See 1 Tim. 3:4–5. It has well been said that the greatest evil comes from the corruption of the greatest good, and Eli’s sons illustrate this truth.

Serving (18–21). 
Blessed are those parents who realize that their children are growing and facing new needs and struggles, and blessed are those children who grow “before the Lord” (Luke 2:52). God kept Samuel pure in the midst of a defiled environment because he had parents who loved him and prayed for him. Jesus has a special love for children, and we must pray for them.

1 Samuel 2:2  "There is no one holy like the LORD, Indeed, there is no one besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:2 ὅτι οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος ὡς κύριος καὶ οὐκ ἔστιν δίκαιος ὡς ὁ θεὸς ἡμῶν οὐκ ἔστιν ἅγιος πλὴν σοῦ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

NET  1 Samuel 2:2 No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one other than you! There is no rock like our God!

CSB  1 Samuel 2:2 There is no one holy like the LORD. There is no one besides You! And there is no rock like our God.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:2 "There is none holy like the LORD: for there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:2 No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no Holy One like the LORD, no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:2 "There is none holy like the LORD, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:2 There is none holy like Jehovah, For there is none save Thee, And there is no rock like our God.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:2 "No one is holy like the LORD, For there is none besides You, Nor is there any rock like our God.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:2 There is no Holy One like Yahweh, (indeed, there is none but you) no Rock like our God.

  • holy: Ex 15:11 De 32:4 Ps 99:5,9 111:9 Isa 6:3 57:15 1Pe 1:16 Ro 4:8 15:4 
  • no one beside: De 4:35 2Sa 22:32 Ps 73:25 Isa 43:10,11 44:6,8 
  • rock: De 3:24 Dt 32:20,31,39 Ps 18:2 71:3,19 86:8 89:6,8 Isa 40:18 Jer 10:6 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Deut 32:31 “Indeed their rock is not like our Rock, Even our enemies themselves judge this. 

Psalm 18:2;The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. 

Psalm 95:1 O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 

Isaiah 44:8   ‘Do not tremble and do not be afraid; Have I not long since announced it to you and declared it? And you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.’”

HANNAH'S
INCOMPARABLE GOD

There is no one holy (qāḏôšh; Lxx - hagios - same word used of saints in NT) like the LORD (Jehovah = Yahweh- Twice Hannah describes the unique nature of God using the phrase "no one." Hannah extols God's supreme attribute of holiness. He is set apart from everything.  

Indeed, there is no one besides You - God is the only God. There is no other God but Yahweh. The Septuagint has "there is none righteous like our God." 

Nor is there any rock (tsurlike our God - Note "our God" alludes to the relationship of Israel in covenant with Yahweh. The metaphor of God as our Rock alludes to an immovable, jutting rocky cliff where one could seek shelter and refuge from enemies and storms.  Erwin Lutzer says that "Until we have learned to be satisfied with fellowship with God, until he is our ROCK and our fortress, we will be restless with our place in the world." As our Rock He stabilizes us. As our Fortress, He defends us.

Rock also has a messianic aspect as Jesus is the Rock prophesied in Ps 118:22, Isaiah 8:14 and Isaiah 28:16 (cf 1Pe 2:6-8).

Paul writes that Christ is our Rock in 1Co 10:4+ - here are other names associated with Rock...

  • The Rock (Mt 16:18)
  • The Rock That Is Higher than I (Ps. 61:2)
  • The Rock of Israel (2Sa 23:3)
  • A Rock of Offense (Ro. 9:33)
  • The Rock of My Refuge (Ps. 94:22)
  • The Rock of His Salvation (Dt. 32:15)
  • The Rock of Our Salvation (Ps. 95:1)
  • The Rock of Thy Strength (Isa. 17:10)

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.
- Augustus Toplady

My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus' name.
On Christ the Solid Rock I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
- Edward Mote

The Name (ROCK) of the LORD is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10+

THOUGHT- Where do you run when the inevitable winds of adversity or storms of affliction assail you? Run to the strong tower of God your Rock. In the passage above, the Hebrew word for safe (sagab) means to be lifted up. It is as if the Spirit lifts you above the fray that is going on around you and brings you to a safe place on the Solid Rock.


Related Resources:


Holy (06918qāḏôšh is an adjective meaning sacred, holy. It is used to denote someone or something that is inherently sacred or has been designated as sacred by divine rite or cultic ceremony. It designates that which is the opposite of common or profane. It could be said the qāḏôš is a positive term regarding the character of its referent, where common is a neutral term and profane a very negative term. This word is often used to refer to God as being inherently holy, sacred, and set apart (Ps. 22:3; Isa. 6:3; 57:15); and as being free from the attributes of fallen humanity (Hos. 11:9). Therefore, in the Old Testament, God is accorded the title “The Holy One of Israel” (2 Kgs. 19:22; Ps. 78:41; Isa. 17:7; Jer. 50:29). As such, God instructed that humanity should be holy because He is holy (Lev 11:44-45; 19:2). In addition to its divine references, this word can also modify places, like the court of the Tabernacle (Ex. 29:31); the camp of Israel (Deut. 23:14[15]); Jerusalem (Eccl. 8:10); heaven (Isa. 57:15); people, like the priests (Lev. 21:7, 8); a Nazirite (Num. 6:5, 8); the prophet Elisha (2 Kgs. 4:9); Levites (2 Chr. 35:3); saints [angels] (Job 5:1; 15:15; Dan. 8:13); water (Num. 5:17); time (Neh. 8:9–11; Isa. 58:13). (Word Study Dictionary - OT)

Holy things and holy people are not to be used for common or sinful, idolatrous purposes. Three times in the OT God’s Spirit is called the Holy Spirit (Ps. 51:11; Isa. 63:10f). God is holy and speaks and swears on the basis of his holiness (cf. Ps 60:6; 89:35). This means that He acts consistently with his moral character. His acts, flowing from his nature, define what goodness and purity are. Holiness really sums up all of what God is as separate from his creation and from all evil; He is awesome and wonderfully good (Ps. 97:12). God’s people should worship Him “in the beauty of holiness” (Ps. 29:2), which may refer to the LORD himself or to what worshipers are to wear when approaching Him.

What is amazing is that our thrice Holy God calls us to be holy as He is holy...

Lev 11:44-45+ - For I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy. And you shall not make yourselves unclean with any of the swarming things that swarm on the earth. 45‘For I am the LORD who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God; thus you shall be holy, for I am holy.’” 

Qadosh - 105v - consecrated(1), Holy(8), holy(50), Holy One(44), holy one(3), holy ones(6), one is holy(1), saints(2). Exod. 19:6; Exod. 29:31; Lev. 6:16; Lev. 6:26; Lev. 6:27; Lev. 7:6; Lev. 10:13; Lev. 11:44; Lev. 11:45; Lev. 16:24; Lev. 19:2; Lev. 20:26; Lev. 21:6; Lev. 21:7; Lev. 21:8; Lev. 24:9; Num. 5:17; Num. 6:5; Num. 6:8; Num. 15:40; Num. 16:3; Num. 16:5; Num. 16:7; Deut. 7:6; Deut. 14:2; Deut. 14:21; Deut. 23:14; Deut. 26:19; Deut. 28:9; Deut. 33:3; Jos. 24:19; 1 Sam. 2:2; 1 Sam. 6:20; 2 Ki. 4:9; 2 Ki. 19:22; 2 Chr. 35:3; Neh. 8:9; Neh. 8:10; Neh. 8:11; Job 5:1; Job 6:10; Job 15:15; Ps. 16:3; Ps. 22:3; Ps. 34:9; Ps. 46:4; Ps. 65:4; Ps. 71:22; Ps. 78:41; Ps. 89:5; Ps. 89:7; Ps. 89:18; Ps. 99:3; Ps. 99:5; Ps. 99:9; Ps. 106:16; Ps. 111:9; Prov. 9:10; Prov. 30:3; Eccl. 8:10; Isa. 1:4; Isa. 4:3; Isa. 5:16; Isa. 5:19; Isa. 5:24; Isa. 6:3; Isa. 10:17; Isa. 10:20; Isa. 12:6; Isa. 17:7; Isa. 29:19; Isa. 29:23; Isa. 30:11; Isa. 30:12; Isa. 30:15; Isa. 31:1; Isa. 37:23; Isa. 40:25; Isa. 41:14; Isa. 41:16; Isa. 41:20; Isa. 43:3; Isa. 43:14; Isa. 43:15; Isa. 45:11; Isa. 47:4; Isa. 48:17; Isa. 49:7; Isa. 54:5; Isa. 55:5; Isa. 57:15; Isa. 58:13; Isa. 60:9; Isa. 60:14; Jer. 50:29; Jer. 51:5; Ezek. 39:7; Ezek. 42:13; Dan. 8:13; Dan. 8:24; Hos. 11:9; Hos. 11:12; Hab. 1:12; Hab. 3:3; Zech. 14:5

Rock (06697)(tsur) is used a few times to describe a literal rock (usually a large rock or boulder), but the figurative uses are more common and usually descriptive of Jehovah. Tsur is found 70x in NAS and 74x in KJV.

In Ps 18:2 we find two words for "rock", the first "rock" being "sela'" (see below) and the second "rock" being "tsur." Sela' more frequently suggests a larger, more massive rock structure such as a crag (a steep rugged rock - eg, Job 39:28 uses sela' to describe a safe, resting place for the eagle "upon the rocky crag [sela'], an inaccessible place"), a cliff or a mountainside. Tsur on the other hand refers to smaller rock structures such as a boulder, but these distinctions are not absolute and there is overlap.

Rock is a common metaphor used for God (Jesus) in the Psalter, and stresses several aspects of His protective care for the person who trusts in Him. For example, God as our Rock provides a firm, unshakeable foundation ("On Christ the Solid Rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand") for those who rely on Him. In other OT uses, the picture of Christ our Rock is that of a high, inaccessible rocky crag or mountain hideaway. David had experienced such literal places of protection (eg, cave at Adullam - 1Chr 11:15) by God as Saul and others sought his life. The literal rocks that were David's hiding place were a faint picture of Christ his spiritual Rock in Whom the beleaguered psalmist found safe haven and rest for his soul. In view of the emphasis of Jehovah as our Rock, the One who protects our soul, you might take a moment and sing praises to your Rock...

Protector of my Soul
Oh, Protector of my soul
You will stand against the foe
In the dark you'll be a Light for me
The Protector of my soul.


John MacArthur - “There is no one holy like the Lord.” 1 Sa 2:2

 God’s holiness means He transcends everything else and is completely righteous and separated from evil.

Holiness is arguably God’s most significant attribute. The angels don’t sing, “Eternal, eternal, eternal” or “Faithful, faithful, faithful” or “Mighty, mighty, mighty.” Rather, they sing, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the Almighty” (Rev. 4:8; compare Isa. 6:3). His holiness sums up all He is. The psalmist says, “Holy and awesome is His name” (Ps. 111:9). Moses sings, “Who is like Thee among the gods, O Lord? Who is like Thee, majestic in holiness, awesome in praises, working wonders?” (Ex. 15:11). And Hannah prays, “There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides Thee, nor is there any rock like our God” (1 Sam. 2:2).

What does it mean that God is holy? The words translated “holy” in the Bible have the root meaning of “separation.” God’s being and character transcend everything else. He is not subject to the frailties and limitations of His creation. God is completely without sin. He does not just conform to a holy standard; He is the standard.

God’s righteousness is related to His holiness. Holiness is the standard, and righteousness is its active fulfillment. Or you might say His holiness is His complete separation from all that is sinful, and His righteousness is the manifestation of that holiness.

David understood how holy and righteous God is. He says, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways” (Ps. 145:17), and “Thy righteousness, O God, reaches to the heavens, Thou who hast done great things; O God, who is like Thee?” (Ps. 71:19).

Sadly, many today completely misunderstand God’s righteousness. If they really understood how holy God is, do you think they would live the way they do? But they ignore God’s standard, thinking He won’t really judge them because they’re basically good people. But “God is a righteous judge, and a God who has indignation every day” toward the wicked (Ps. 7:11). Since God is holy, the penalty for any sin—however small that sin might seem—is death (Rom. 6:23).

Don’t let the world corrupt your view of God. Don’t treat your sin lightly. Instead, confess it, forsake it, and seek to please a holy God. (Borrow Strength for today)


1 Samuel 2:2 Luke 1:39-55

There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. - 1 Samuel 2:2

TODAY IN THE WORD The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, contains some of the world’s most famous art pieces, including works by Leonardo da Vinci and Sandro Botticelli. Perhaps less well-known is a remarkable piece by Mariotto Albertinelli entitled “Visitation,” dated 1503. In elegant simplicity, the artist depicts Elizabeth, heavy with child, tenderly greeting Mary. Elizabeth’s robes are painted in warm, golden tones, and Mary’s robes are regal blue and crimson. As the two women greet each other, you can almost hear their amazement and reverence for their miraculous pregnancies. The painting invites the viewer to join in this hushed worship.


There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. - 1 Samuel 2:2

TODAY IN THE WORD Throughout history, men and women of faith have been characterized by their willingness to give anything they had back to God. Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son, trusting God to fulfill His promise of a mighty nation of Abraham's descendants. Moses' parents hid him in a basket in the Nile River, trusting God to protect him from Pharaoh's wrath against the Hebrews. And D. L. Moody, the founder of the Moody Bible Institute, gave up an enormously successful career in sales to dedicate his life to full-time ministry in evangelism. Each of these people acknowledged that all of creation belongs to God, and each time God rewarded their sacrifice with greater blessings.

With the same faith in God's sovereignty, Hannah gave her only son, for whom she had prayed years in advance. And she praised the Lord for His loving answer to her anguished prayer, commemorating Samuel's dedication at the tabernacle, and telling a God-glorifying story of spiritual victory.

Who is God? He is the deliverer, the holy one, the Rock, the just judge, and the one who changes people's intentions and their lives (vv. 1-6, 9-10). He is sovereign and omnipotent, as well as compassionate and loving (vv. 7-10).

That Hannah can rejoice even as she must say farewell to her son proves her godly priorities. Loving and trusting God comes ahead even of loving her dear son a lesson Abraham had also been taught earlier in the Old Testament (Gen. 22:1-19).

Hannah finds delight in God's power and rulership over all creation. This means that in the long run, righteousness is protected and evil is punished (1 Sam. 2:9). True strength is God's alone (v. 10)!

TODAY ALONG THE WAY Hannah celebrated Samuel the answer to her special prayer with the joyful psalm of praise found in today's reading. What a creative, heartfelt way to thank the Lord! Why not find a creative way to thank God for a recent answer to prayer in your life? Several ideas might include: (1) Like Hannah, write a psalm. Focus less on the specifics of your prayer, and more on God's attributes as shown through His answer. (2) Draw a 'before and after' picture to show the difference the answered prayer has made in your life. (3) Or follow through on another creative idea of your own!

1 Samuel 2:3  "Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:3 μὴ καυχᾶσθε καὶ μὴ λαλεῖτε ὑψηλά μὴ ἐξελθάτω μεγαλορρημοσύνη ἐκ τοῦ στόματος ὑμῶν ὅτι θεὸς γνώσεων κύριος καὶ θεὸς ἑτοιμάζων ἐπιτηδεύματα αὐτοῦ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

NET  1 Samuel 2:3 Don't keep speaking so arrogantly, letting proud talk come out of your mouth! For the LORD is a God who knows; he evaluates what people do.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:3 Do not boast so proudly, or let arrogant words come out of your mouth, for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and actions are weighed by Him.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:3 "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:3 "Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don't speak with such arrogance! For the LORD is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:3 Ye multiply not -- ye speak haughtily -- The old saying goeth out from your mouth, For a God of knowledge is Jehovah, And by Him actions are weighed.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:3 "Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the LORD is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:3 Do not keep talking so proudly, let no arrogance come from your mouth, for Yahweh is a wise God, his to weigh up deeds.

  • let not arrogancy: Heb. hard, Ps 94:4 Pr 8:13 Isa 37:23 Da 4:30,31,37 Mal 3:13 Jude 1:15,16 
  • a God: 1Ki 8:39 Ps 44:21 94:7-10 147:5 Jer 17:10 Heb 4:12 Rev 2:23 
  • by him: Job 31:6 Isa 26:7 Da 5:27 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

HANNAH'S WARNING
TO THE PROUD

Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth - NLT = "Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don't speak with such arrogance!" Who might this be directed to? Her rival Peninnah had boasted in her babies, so that is a consideration.

MacArthur - The idea of God's humbling of the very proud is shown throughout 1, 2 Samuel, toward Peninnah, Eli's sons, the Philistines, Goliath, Saul, Nabal, Absalom, Shimei, Sheba, and even David.  (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible)

For - Term of explanation. What does Hannah explain? 

The LORD is a God of knowledge And with Him actions are weighed - NET = "he evaluates what people do." God sees the motives of one's heart. He sees through boasting and arrogance and judges what one does, in context, judging pride and arrogance which produce rotten fruit. 

Regard not how full hands, but how pure hands you bring to God. TAYLOR.

God does not measure what we bring to Him. He weighs it. MARK GUY PEARSE.

John Butler - HANNAH’S PRAYER 1 Samuel 2:3

“Talk no more so exceedingly proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed” (1 Samuel 2:3).

Hannah had prayed a long time and very earnestly for a child, she finally gave birth to Samuel. After the blessing of the child, she did not forget God, which many do after answered prayer, but prayed a most instructive prayer, a prayer of thanksgiving and praise, that Scripture recorded. We look at one verse of this prayer.

FIRST—THE WORDS BEFORE GOD

“Talk no more so exceedingly proudly, let not arrogancy come out of your mouth.” Pride is severely rebuked. This rebuke would be directed at her critics who in pride belittled her in shame for not baring a child. Child birth was very important in those days. Her rival, another wife of her husband, had especially mocked her. But the birth of Samuel silenced pride. Today we think pride is part of character. We call it ‘self esteem.’ If you lack pride (self-esteem), you are thought to be deficient. But you will find no support for that sort of thinking in the Scripture. Pride does not praise God. A mouth that speaks pridefully is a bad mouth. Arrogance is s sinful attitude. We have nothing to be proud of in our life. When we pray we must come in mercy. That is humbling but coming in pride will not get God’s blessing.

SECOND—THE WISDOM OF GOD

“The LORD is a God of knowledge.” God knows more than we know. He knows more than anyone. Therefore, His commands and precepts must be obeyed whether they make sense to us or not. Behind every command of God is the knowledge of God. How foolish of man to junk God’s commands when man does not know as much as God knows. Because of God’s knowledge, we are encouraged to pray for wisdom (James 1:5). Oftentimes when we pray about a problem we do not know all the facts, but God knows and can therefore give us wisdom about the situation.

THIRD—THE WEIGHING BY GOD

“By him actions are weighted.” God weighs all our actions and if they do not weigh the right weight, judgment will come. Belshazzar a great king of Babylon may have been very great in man’s sight, but he was not great in God’s sight, for God told him via the hand writing on the wall, that “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting” (Daniel 5:27). Belshazzar did not weight enough in terms of righteousness. God’s scales are accurate. That means that God’s judgment will be just, fair, and equitable. Being a God of knowledge, he knows all the facts and will judge accordingly. Many ought to tremble at that news, all their hidden deeds and secret doings cannot be hid from God and like Belshazzar God will someday weigh them and they will be found “wanting.” All the pride and arrogancy of man will be condemned when weighed in God’s scales. (Sermon Starters

1 Samuel 2:4  "The bows of the mighty are shattered, But the feeble gird on strength.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:4 τόξον δυνατῶν ἠσθένησεν καὶ ἀσθενοῦντες περιεζώσαντο δύναμιν

KJV  1 Samuel 2:4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.

NET  1 Samuel 2:4 The bows of warriors are shattered, but those who stumble find their strength reinforced.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:4 The bows of the warriors are broken, but the feeble are clothed with strength.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:4 "The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:4 The bow of the mighty is now broken, and those who stumbled are now strong.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:4 Bows of the mighty are broken, And the stumbling have girded on strength.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:4 "The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:4 The bow of the mighty has been broken but those who were tottering are now braced with strength.

  • The bows: Ps 37:15,17 46:9 76:3 
  • stumbled: Isa 10:4 Jer 37:10 2Co 4:9,10 2Cor 12:9 Eph 6:14 Php 4:13 Heb 11:34 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

2 Cor 8:9+ For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.

James 2:5+ Listen, my beloved brethren: did not God choose the poor of this world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which He promised to those who love Him?

YAHWEH TRIUMPHS
OVER THE MIGHTY

The bows of the mighty are shattered - Hannah is describing the omnipotence and power of God over puny man, even those we might classify as mighty. There could be a play on words here because the Hebrew word for mighty is gibbor, which in the famous passage in Isaiah 9:6+ describes Yeshua as "mighty God (el gibbor)." 

MacArthur observes that in 1Sa 2:4-7 Seven contrasts are found in these 4 verses: 1) mighty and weak; 2) full and hungry; 3) barren and fertile; 4) dead and alive; 5) sick and well; 6) poor and rich; and 7) humbled and exalted (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible)

But the feeble gird on strength - NET = "those who stumble find their strength reinforced." But is a great term of contrast as it shows His favor (grace) to those who are weak, echoing the words of Jesus to Paul "My grace (charis) is sufficient (arkeo - present tense = continually is enough, is adequate) for you, for power (dunamis) is perfected in weakness”" and Paul's appropriate response "Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (2Cor 12:9+). Feeble is a Hebrew verb meaning to totter, stumble, stagger, become weak (Lxx = astheneo = to be weak, incapable). One is reminded of the words of James "But He gives a greater grace (charis). Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED (antitasso -  present tense = continually arrays Himself against) TO THE PROUD (AS DESCRIBED IN 1Sa 2:3!), BUT GIVES GRACE (charis) TO THE HUMBLE (tapeinos - WHICH WOULD BE A GOOD DESCRIPTION OF THE "FEEBLE!")." (James 4:6+).

1 Samuel 2:5  "Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease to hunger. Even the barren gives birth to seven, But she who has many children languishes.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:5 πλήρεις ἄρτων ἠλαττώθησαν καὶ οἱ πεινῶντες παρῆκαν γῆν ὅτι στεῖρα ἔτεκεν ἑπτά καὶ ἡ πολλὴ ἐν τέκνοις ἠσθένησεν

KJV  1 Samuel 2:5 They that were full have hired out themselves for bread; and they that were hungry ceased: so that the barren hath born seven; and she that hath many children is waxed feeble.

NET  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who are well-fed hire themselves out to earn food, but the hungry no longer lack. Even the barren woman gives birth to seven, but the one with many children withers away.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who are full hire themselves out for food, but those who are starving hunger no more. The woman who is childless gives birth to seven, but the woman with many sons pines away.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry hunger no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who were well fed are now starving, and those who were starving are now full. The childless woman now has seven children, and the woman with many children wastes away.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry are fat with spoil. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:5 The satiated for bread hired themselves, And the hungry have ceased. While the barren hath borne seven, And she abounding with sons hath languished.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, And the hungry have ceased to hunger. Even the barren has borne seven, And she who has many children has become feeble.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:5 The full fed are hiring themselves out for bread but the hungry need labour no more; the barren woman bears sevenfold but the mother of many is left desolate.

  • full: Ps 34:10 Lu 1:53 16:25 
  • the barren: 1Sa 1:20 Ps 113:9 
  • waxed feeble: 1Sa 1:6 Isa 54:1 Jer 15:9 Ga 4:27 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

DIVINE REVERSAL
OF HUMAN FORTUNES

Those who were full (well-fed) hire themselves out for bread NLT =  "Those who were well fed are now starving." Notice how this parallels the description of the mighty in 1Sa 2:4 and those who boast and are arrogant in 1Sa 2:3. 

But those who were hungry cease to hunger - God sees the needs of those who were starving. 

Even the barren gives birth to seven - The irony is the one speaking this has been barren for years! Seven is used figuratively as an allusion to perfection, in this context a symbol of blessing. Hannah will end up being quite fertile bearing Elkanah 3 sons and 2 daughters (1Sa 2:21), in addition to Samuel.

But she who has many children languishes (Lxx = astheneo = be weak, powerless, sick) - This could refer to Peninah who had many children. This is "too much of a good thing," as any mother of many children can readily attest. 


Languish (amal) means to languish, be feeble, pine away. Amal is a "verb occurs 15 times in the Hebrew Bible, always in the Polal (passive intensive) stem, and always in poetic contexts. It is usually translated "to languish." The state of languishing is the result of Yahweh's activity. In most cases this activity is direct. The unrighteous bearers of many children will themselves languish as the barren they snub (Song of Hannah--1 Sam. 2:5; Jer. 15:9). Other fertile sources will be denied productivity by Yahweh's hand in righteous indignation, as the vines of Heshbon (Isa. 16:8), the fish of the Nile (Isa. 19:8), the oil of Israel (Joel 1:10), the agricultural produce of Bashan, Carmel and Lebanon (Nah. 1:4), the fig trees of Israel (Joel 1:12) and the vines of Israel (Isa. 24:7) all will languish. Yahweh will deny fertility to the earth either through natural causes or by bringing military ruin to an area as a result of improper relationship of an area with him. Israel is judged for breaking the covenant, while surrounding nations are found wanting for their disregard for Yahweh and his people. Metaphorically, the walls and ramparts of the city of Jerusalem likewise languish, or be made unproductive in Lam. 2:8. The people of the land languish from this judgment (Isa. 33:9; Jer. 14:2; Hos. 4:3). Indeed, the entire earth feels the force of Yahweh's wrath (Isa. 24:4). Yahweh's punishment to peoples is mediated by other agents on occasion. The Assyrians are used to devastate the land in some cases (Joel 1:10, 12; Lam 2:8). The injustices flowing from disregard for the covenant causes distress as well (Isa. 24:4, 7; Hos. 4:3). This state provides the basis for Yahweh to directly intervene in Isa. 33:9ff. In essence, the verb conveys the concept of infertility upon the population as the result of God's judgment.

1 Samuel 2:6  "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol and raises up.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:6 κύριος θανατοῖ καὶ ζωογονεῖ κατάγει εἰς ᾅδου καὶ ἀνάγει

KJV  1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.

NET  1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD both kills and gives life; he brings down to the grave and raises up.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD brings death and gives life; He sends some to Sheol, and He raises others up.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:6 "The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD gives both death and life; he brings some down to the grave but raises others up.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:6 Jehovah putteth to death, and keepeth alive, He bringeth down to Sheol, and bringeth up.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:6 "The LORD kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:6 Yahweh gives death and life, brings down to Sheol and draws up;

  • kills: De 32:39 2Ki 5:7 Job 5:18 Ps 68:20 Ho 6:1,2  Joh 5:25-29 11:25 Rev 1:18 
  • makes alive: 1Sa 20:3 Ps 116:3 Isa 26:19 Jon 2:2-6 Mt 12:40 2Co 1:9,10 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Deut 32:39 ‘See now that I, I am He, And there is no god besides Me; It is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded and it is I who heal, And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. 

Job 19:25-27 “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, And at the last He will take His stand on the earth.  26 “Even after my skin is destroyed, Yet from my flesh I shall see God;  27 Whom I myself shall behold, And whom my eyes will see and not another. My heart faints within me!

GOD CONTROLS
ALL DEATH AND ALL LIFE

The LORD kills and makes alive - Makes alive implies the one made alive was dead, so clearly speaks of God's power over death and even hints at the resurrection from the dead. Every person ever born "will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. (eternal death)" (Jn 5:29) So here Hannah is saying something similar to Martha hundreds of years later when she affirmed regarding her dead brother Lazarus "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day” (Jn 11:24, cf Jn 11:25) 

Henry Morris adds that " This is a striking statement of faith in the resurrection on the part of Hannah. At this time, no records show a dead person being revived, nor had there been any explicit revelation given as yet concerning a future bodily resurrection. Yet Hannah, like Abraham and Job, believed that God could and would do this (Genesis 22:5; Hebrews 11:17-19; Job 19:25-27). (Borrow The Defender's Study Bible)

Jonah knew Yahweh makes alive declaring "I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice.  3 “For You had cast me into the deep, Into the heart of the seas, And the current engulfed me. All Your breakers and billows passed over me.  4“So I said, ‘I have been expelled from Your sight. Nevertheless I will look again toward Your holy temple.’  5 “Water encompassed me to the point of death. The great deep engulfed me, Weeds were wrapped around my head.  6 “I descended to the roots of the mountains. The earth with its bars was around me forever, But You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD my God." (Jonah 2:2-6) -

He brings down to Sheol and raises up - This passage parallels the first clause, for in the OT everyone who died went to Sheol (Hades). Raises up reiterates God's power even over the last enemy death which will one day be abolished entirely. (1Cor 15:26+)

He bringeth down to the grave. - The grave is the great city. It hath mightier population, longer streets, thicker darknesses than any other. Cæsar is there, and all his subjects. Nero is there, and all his victims. City of kings and paupers! City of silence! no voice, no hoof, no wheel, no smiting of hammer, no loom, no whisper. Of all its million million hands, not one is ever lifted. Of all its million million eyes, not one ever sparkles. Of all its million million hearts, not one ever pulsates. TALMAGE.

Related Resources:

1 Samuel 2:7  "The LORD makes poor and rich; He brings low, He also exalts.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:7 κύριος πτωχίζει καὶ πλουτίζει ταπεινοῖ καὶ ἀνυψοῖ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.

NET  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD impoverishes and makes wealthy; he humbles and he exalts.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD brings poverty and gives wealth; He humbles and He exalts.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD makes some poor and others rich; he brings some down and lifts others up.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:7 Jehovah dispossesseth, and He maketh rich, He maketh low, yea, He maketh high.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:7 Yahweh makes poor and rich, he humbles and also exalts.

  • maketh: De 8:17-18 Job 1:21 Job 5:11 Ps 102:10 
  • brings: Ps 75:7 Isa 2:12 Jas 1:9-10 James 4:10 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 8:17-18 “Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18“But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Job 1:21   He said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD.” 

Job 5:11  So that He sets on high those who are lowly, And those who mourn are lifted to safety. 

The LORD makes poor and rich - Men pride themselves on the thought that they are self-made men. They would not be rich unless the Lord had enabled them to be rich. 

He brings low, He also exalts - Brings low is another way to say Yahweh humbles those who are proud (Lxx uses  tapeinoo = to humble), as all in Adam suffer from the dominant sin of pride. The good news is that Yahweh also raises up those who are low. James adds that "the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position (BECAUSE GOD RAISES UP AND HE GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE) and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away.(Jas 1:9-10)

THOUGHT- We should be thankful for this truth for in bringing us low, He places us in the proper position to experience His grace. To repeat a passage noted above, James 4:6+ says "But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” As James 4:10+ adds a command to "Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 


The Lord sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. - 1 Samuel 2:7

TODAY IN THE WORD A store in an affluent beach community in Florida recently offered its upscale customers a new kind of gift wrapping paper: uncut sheets of $2 bills. The sheets contain thirty-two bills each, and are big enough to wrap a gift about the size of a shirt box. The cost for this gift wrap greenery is $110 per sheet. Stories such as this may give a newscaster an offbeat way to end a broadcast, but the mindset that's behind this kind of excess isn't a laughing matter. It flies in the face of the attitude God's Word commands us to take toward our financial resources. Here's one problem with using our money and other possessions for silly excess. It helps breed--or maybe just reveals--an attitude of arrogant self-sufficiency that God rejects. The Word forbids this attitude, in fact (v. 17).

Another problem with letting our attitudes get out of hand is that we are tempted to replace trust in God with trust in our bank accounts. That's bad for two reasons. First, it's idolatry to put anything in God's place. Second, placing our trust in material wealth is like trying to grab a fistful of sand. In a great understatement, Paul says wealth is ""very uncertain.""

But the Bible doesn't just give us the negative side. The cure for greed and misplaced trust in money is ""to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share"" (v. 18).

By doing these acts of Christian mercy and service, Paul says we will ""lay up treasure for [our]selves"" (v. 19). He could have said ""treasure in heaven,"" because the apostle's instruction here echoes the teaching of Jesus in Matthew 6:19-21 (see the June 19 study).

Paul's reference to the ""coming age"" is another example of how often the Bible ties our attitude toward money to the kingdom of God and eternity. Financial counselors often advise their clients to invest for the ""long haul."" Paul would certainly agree with that! You can't take a longer view than to use your resources to store up for yourself eternal wealth.

There's another benefit for the God-honoring use of our money. Good stewardship helps us take hold of real life. That is, managing our assets with God's kingdom in mind helps us enjoy now the eternal life God has given us (v. 19).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY A generous, sharing spirit is a good antidote against developing a bad case of greed--the ""gimmes."" All of us need to learn how to give, children included. This summer is a good time to help the child in your life put together some baskets or bags of personal items and/or food to take to the local homeless shelter, crisis pregnancy center, or other ministry to hurting people. You might also suggest the project to your Sunday school class or Bible study group.

1 Samuel 2:8  "He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor; For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, And He set the world on them.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:8 ἀνιστᾷ ἀπὸ γῆς πένητα καὶ ἀπὸ κοπρίας ἐγείρει πτωχὸν καθίσαι μετὰ δυναστῶν λαῶν καὶ θρόνον δόξης κατακληρονομῶν αὐτοῖς

KJV  1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and he hath set the world upon them.

NET  1 Samuel 2:8 He lifts the weak from the dust; he raises the poor from the ash heap to seat them with princes and to bestow on them an honored position. The foundations of the earth belong to the LORD, and he has placed the world on them.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the garbage pile. He seats them with noblemen and gives them a throne of honor. For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; He has set the world on them.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:8 He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. "For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's; upon them he has set the world.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:8 He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, placing them in seats of honor. For all the earth is the LORD's, and he has set the world in order.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORDS, and on them he has set the world.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:8 He raiseth from the dust the poor, From a dunghill He lifteth up the needy, To cause them to sit with nobles, Yea, a throne of honour He doth cause them to inherit, For to Jehovah are the fixtures of earth, And He setteth on them the habitable world.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:8 He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the beggar from the ash heap, To set them among princes And make them inherit the throne of glory. "For the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, And He has set the world upon them.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:8 He raises the poor from the dust, he lifts the needy from the dunghill to give them a place with princes, to assign them a seat of honour; for to Yahweh belong the pillars of the earth, on these he has poised the world.

  • the poor: Job 2:8 Job 42:10-12 Ps 113:7,8 Da 4:17 Lu 1:51,52 
  • set them: 1Sa 15:17 Ge 41:14,40 2Sa 7:8 Job 36:6,7 Ec 4:14 Da 2:48 6:3 Jas 2:5 Rev 1:6 Rev 3:21 Rev 5:10 Rev 22:5 
  • the pillars: Job 38:4-6 Ps 24:2 102:25 104:5 Heb 1:3
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Psalm 113:7; 8  He raises the poor from the dust And lifts the needy from the ash heap, 8 To make them sit with princes, With the princes of His people. 

He raises the poor from the dust, He lifts the needy from the ash heap (CSB "the garbage") - One is reminded of Jesus' words "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Mt 5:3) Hannah had been needy (barren) and Yahweh had lifted her from the ash heap by opening her womb.

To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor -  There is a hint of prophecy in these words, for the greatest Noble of course is King Jesus and the greatest seat of honor is next to Him. John alludes to this status and position of all those who belong to Jesus writing "You (GOD) have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.” (Rev 5:10+) John echoes this incredible divine promise declaring "Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection (THIS IS ALL BELIEVERS!); over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years." (Rev 20:6+)

For (term of explanation) - God can exert the actions above (raises...lifts...make them sit...inherit) because He is in full control of His creation. If he can take care of the world, He can take care of the poor! 

The pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and He set the world on them - What is Hannah saying with the phrase "pillars of the earth"? Pillars support buildings and in a supernatural way Yahweh supports the earth, giving it stability (cf. Ps 75:3; 82:5; 104:5). The writer of Hebrews states that Jesus "upholds all things by the word of His power." (Hebrews 1:3+) Paul adds "He is before all things, and in Him (CHRIST) all things hold together." (Col 1:17+) She is again exalting in God's sovereign power over creation, which is why He can accomplish the actions (raises...lifts, etc) in the first clause of this verse. 

BSB - The latter part of this verse is not intended as a scientific analysis of God's sustaining the earth. The statement poetically features God as Creator of the cosmos and of all those forces pertinent to the sustaining of the world.

Some like Charles Ryrie think pillars of the earth refers to "world leaders (cf. Dan. 4:25, 32)" but that does not seem to fit the context as well as the interpretation that the pillars speak of God's sustaining power on His creation. 


J C Philpot - A man can never reach heaven unless he travel heavenwards, Zionwards, in the way that God has marked out for His people to walk in.  It is a delusion to think that we are going to heaven unless we know something of divine teaching in the soul.  But if we know anything of divine teaching, we know what it is to be poor and needy, we know what it is, more or less, to have our mouth in the dust.  But many people do so mistake the way to heaven.  The ordinary way is to set up a ladder to reach from earth to heaven, and progressively clambering up the different rounds, at last to climb up into the abode of God.  But that is not the way of God’s  people.  They have to go down, down, down, that they may be raised up.  It is not with them first “up, up, up,” to scale the battlements of heaven.  Every such step upwards in self is in reality only a step downwards; but, on the other hand, every step downwards in self, downwards into the depths of poverty, downwards into felt misery, downwards into soul-trouble and the real groanings of a  broken heart—every such step downwards in self is, in fact, a step upwards in Christ.  Until we get to the very bottom there is no promise.  “He raiseth up the poor out of the dust.”  But how? He does it in a moment.  The Lord does not raise up his people round by round, enabling them to clamber and crawl with their hands and feet to Him.  But, when He lifts up the poor out of the dust, He gives them a smile which reaches, so to speak, to the very bottom of their hearts; and that smile has such a miraculous power, such a drawing efficacy, that it lifts them in a moment out of the dust into the very bosom of God.  When, therefore, the Lord raises up the poor out of the dust, He does not lift them up by a gradual process, step by step as they went down.  They were, perhaps, many years going down; but they are raised up in a moment.  The God of all grace, by one word, or by one smile, lifts them up in a moment out of the lowest depths of felt degradation, “sets them among princes, and makes them inherit the throne of glory.”

1 Samuel 2:9  "He keeps the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:9 διδοὺς εὐχὴν τῷ εὐχομένῳ καὶ εὐλόγησεν ἔτη δικαίου ὅτι οὐκ ἐν ἰσχύι δυνατὸς ἀνήρ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:9 He will keep the feet of his saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail.

NET  1 Samuel 2:9 He watches over his holy ones, but the wicked are made speechless in the darkness, for it is not by one's own strength that one prevails.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:9 He guards the steps of His faithful ones, but the wicked perish in darkness, for a man does not prevail by his own strength.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:9 "He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:9 He will guard the feet of his saints, but the wicked will be silenced in darkness. "It is not by strength that one prevails;

NLT  1 Samuel 2:9 "He will protect his faithful ones, but the wicked will disappear in darkness. No one will succeed by strength alone.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:9 "He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might does one prevail.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:9 "He will guard the feet of his faithful ones; but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:9 The feet of His saints He keepeth, And the wicked in darkness are silent, For not by power doth man become mighty.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:9 He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. "For by strength no man shall prevail.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:9 He safeguards the steps of his faithful but the wicked vanish in darkness (for human strength can win no victories).

  • keeps: Job 5:24 Ps 37:23,24 91:11,12 94:18 Ps 121:3,5,8 Pr 16:9 1Pe 1:5 
  • his godly ones: De 33:3 Ps 37:28 97:10 Pr 2:8 Jude 1:1,3 
  • be silent: Job 5:16 Ec 5:17 Jer 8:14 Zep 1:15 Mt 8:12 22:12,13 Ro 3:19 2Pe 2:17 Jude 1:13 
  • by strength: 1Sa 17:49,50 Ps 33:16,17 Ec 9:11 Jer 9:23 Zec 4:6 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Psalms 121:1-8  A Song of Ascents. I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?  2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.  3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps (shamar) you will not slumber.  4 Behold, He who keeps (shamar) Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.  5 The LORD is your keeper (shamar); The LORD is your shade on your right hand.  6 The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night.  7 The LORD will protect (shamar) you from all evil; He will keep (shamar) your soul.  8The LORD will guard (shamar) your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever.

CONTRAST OF GODLY
WITH THE WICKED

He keeps the feet of His godly ones (KJV - "His saints") - CSB - "He guards the steps of His faithful ones" NET - He watches over his holy ones." Keeps is shamar (see Psalm 121 above and be encouraged!) which means  to guard, to watch, to safeguard. One is reminded of Jude's description of "godly ones" referring to them as "those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ." He ends this great letter adding the wonderful benediction "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen." (Jude 24-25+)

THOUGHT- Dear saint, this is a passage to ponder for this truth should encourage your heart and undergird your soul when adversity comes, when enemies rise up against you, when your outlooks seems dim. 

But = Contrast - dramatically different fate for the wicked. 

The wicked ones are silenced in darkness - This should be a frightening passage for any soul not in Christ! The picture of eternal punishment is eternal darkness! This is a horrible thought to be superimposed on all of the other negative aspects of hell. Hell is not like some folks think - a place where we will go and party with our buddies forever! The verb silenced can mean to be silent or be still and depicts a state of being motionless or as in this context to refrain from speech (cf Lev 10:3). God created darkness (Isa. 45:7) and uses it to judge His enemies (Ex. 10:21, 22). 

For (term of explanation) - Explains the fate of the wicked is independent of how much might they manifested on earth.

Not by might shall a man prevail - Men think they will prevail by might. God counters that delusion in this passage! In Zechariah 4:6 we read "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts."


Godly (kind) (02623hasid from hasad = to be good, kind) is an adjective that means kind, benevolent, merciful. Hasid is in the same Hebrew word group as heced, which describes loyal lovingkindness. Thus the main idea of hasid is faithful kindness and piety that springs from mercy. Hasid is used to describe Jehovah as "kind (hasid) in all His deeds" (Ps 145:17 - Lxx = hósios = persons who live right before God, used of Jesus - Acts 2:27, 13:35) and as "gracious" (Jer 3:12 - Lxx = eleemon = actively compassionate leading to acts of mercy to relieve suffering or misery of the object of compassion). In Psalm 16:10 hasid is a prophecy fulfilled in Jesus ("Holy One"; Lxx = hósios). God will keep (preserve - same verb shamar in Ps 121:3, 5, 7, 8-note) "the feet of His godly ones, But the wicked ones are silenced in darkness; For not by might shall a man prevail. " (1Sa 2:9) "With the kind (hasid; Lxx = hósios) Thou dost show Thyself kind, With the blameless Thou dost show Thyself blameless." (2Sa 22:26)


Spurgeon -   “He will keep the feet of his saints.” 1 Sam. 2:9.

THE way is slippery, and our feet are feeble, but the Lord will keep our feet. If we give ourselves up by obedient faith to be his holy ones, he will himself be our guardian. Not only will he charge his angels to keep us, but he himself will preserve our goings.

  • He will keep our feet from falling, so that we do not defile our garments, wound our souls, and cause the enemy to blaspheme.
  • He will keep our feet from wandering, so that we do not go into paths of error, or ways of folly, or courses of the world’s custom.
  • He will keep our feet from swelling through weariness, or blistering because of the roughness and length of the way.
  • He will keep our feet from wounding: our shoes shall be iron and brass, so that even though we tread on the edge of the sword, or on deadly serpents, we shall not bleed, or be poisoned.
  • He will also pluck our feet out of the net. We shall not be entangled by the deceit of our malicious and crafty foes.

With such a promise as this, let us run without weariness, and walk without fear. He who keeps our feet will do it effectually. (Faith's Checkbook)


J C Philpot - The Lord sees His poor scattered pilgrims travelling through a vale of tears, journeying through a waste howling wilderness, a path beset with gins, traps, and snares in every direction.  How can they escape?  Why, the Lord keeps their feet, carries them through every rough place, as a tender parent carries a little child; when about to fall, graciously lays the everlasting arms underneath them, and when tottering and stumbling, and their feet ready to slip, mercifully upholds them from falling altogether.  Thus the Lord keeps the feet of His saints.  But do you think that he has not different ways for different feet?  The God of creation has not made two flowers, nor two leaves upon a tree alike; and will He cause all His people to walk in precisely the same path?  No; we have each our path, each our besetment, each our trials, each peculiar traps and snares laid for our feet.  And the wisdom of the all-wise and only-wise God is shewn by His eyes being in every place, marking the footsteps of every pilgrim, suiting His remedies to meet their individual case and necessity, appearing for them when nobody else could do them any good; watching so tenderly over them, as though the eyes of His affection were bent on one individual; and carefully noting the goings of each, as though all the powers of the Godhead were concentrated on that one person to keep him from harm.

1 Samuel 2:10  "Those who contend with the LORD will be shattered; Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn of His anointed."

KJV  1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.

NET  1 Samuel 2:10 The LORD shatters his adversaries; he thunders against them from the heavens. The LORD executes judgment to the ends of the earth. He will strengthen his king and exalt the power of his anointed one."

CSB  1 Samuel 2:10 Those who oppose the LORD will be shattered; He will thunder in the heavens against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to His king; He will lift up the horn of His anointed.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."

NIV  1 Samuel 2:10 those who oppose the LORD will be shattered. He will thunder against them from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed."

NLT  1 Samuel 2:10 Those who fight against the LORD will be shattered. He thunders against them from heaven; the LORD judges throughout the earth. He gives power to his king; he increases the strength of his anointed one."

NRS  1 Samuel 2:10 The LORD! His adversaries shall be shattered; the Most High will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed."

RSV  1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed."

YLT  1 Samuel 2:10 Jehovah -- broken down are His adversaries, Against them in the heavens He thundereth: Jehovah judgeth the ends of earth, And giveth strength to His king, And exalteth the horn of His anointed.'

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken in pieces; From heaven He will thunder against them. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed."

NJB  1 Samuel 2:10 Yahweh, his enemies are shattered, the Most High thunders in the heavens. Yahweh judges the ends of the earth, he endows his king with power, he raises up the strength of his Anointed.

  • Those who contend: Ex 15:6 Jud 5:31 Ps 2:9 21:8,9 68:1,2 92:9 Lu 19:27 
  • will thunder: 1Sa 7:10 12:18 Job 40:9 Ps 18:13,14 
  • judge: Ps 50:1-6 96:13 98:9 Ec 11:9 12:14 Mt 25:31,32  Joh 5:21,22 Ro 14:10-12 2Co 5:10 Rev 20:11-15 
  • he shall: 1Sa 12:13 15:28 16:1 2Sa 7:8,13 Ps 2:6 21:1,7 Isa 32:1 45:24 Mt 25:34 28:18 
  • exalt: Ps 89:17,24 92:10 148:14 Lu 1:69 
  • anointed: 1Sa 12:3 Ps 2:2 20:6 28:8 45:7 Ac 4:27 10:38 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

PROPHECY OF DOOM FOR ENEMIES
AND EXALTATION OF THE MESSIAH

Here is the Septuagint translation - The Lord will weaken his adversary; the Lord is holy. Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, nor let the mighty man boast in his strength, and let not the rich man boast in his wealth; but let him that boasts boast in this, to understand and know the Lord, and to execute judgement and justice in the midst of the earth. The Lord has gone up to the heavens, and has thundered: he will judge the extremities of the earth, and he gives strength to our kings, and will exalt the horn of his Christ. And she left him there before the Lord,

Those who contend (riyb) with the LORD will be shattered (chathath- Contend has a legal connotation! Imagine the stupidity and futility of puny man bringing a case against the Almighty LORD! Note the phrase will be shattered indicates this is a prophecy ("will" often signifies a prophetic statement in Scripture). Hannah's prophecy will be fulfilled when the Lord of lords returns as John records in Rev 19:15+ stating "From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty" Shattered (chathathleaves no doubt of the fate of God's enemies! The verb shattered (chathathcan also mean dismayed or frightened and the godless will be both of these when God brings His just judgment.

One is reminded of Psalm 2:2-12

"The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the LORD (GOD THE FATHER) and against His Anointed (GOD THE SON - mashiach; Lxx = Christos)."  3 “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast away their cords from us!”  4 He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.  5 Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying,  6“But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”  7 “I will surely tell of the decree of the LORD: He said to Me, ‘You (MESSIAH) are My Son, Today I have begotten You.  8 ‘Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Your inheritance, And the very ends of the earth as Your possession.  9 ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.’”  10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment; Take warning, O judges of the earth.  11 Worship the LORD with reverence And rejoice with trembling.  12 Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Against them He will thunder in the heavens, The LORD will judge the ends of the earth - Thunder in the heavens indicates supernatural warfare as in Rev 8:5. The ends of the earth indicates this is a global judgment, and clearly speaks of the final outpouring of the wrath of God against all who have contended against His rule over their lives! . 

And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn (cf strength) of His anointed (mashiach/masiyah) - While this could have a partial fulfillment in human kings soon be be crowned, and especially to King David, it surely has a more complete fulfillment in the Messianic King of Israel. He refers to God the Father and His king is God the Son. Anointed is mashiach which in this context clearly speaks of the future Messiah Who will be King of kings and Lord of lords. The Septuagint translates anointed with Christos, translated "Christ" in the New Testament.

MacArthur - Moses had already predicted the coming of a king who would exercise God's rule over all the nations of the earth (Ge 49:8-12; Nu 24:7-9, 17-19). It was this future, victorious king whom Hannah anticipated and Saul and David prefigured. Previously in the OT, both the tabernacle and its utensils along with the priests (Aaron and his sons) had been anointed with oil. This pictured their consecrated and holy status before the Lord (Ex 30:26-30). In Samuel, first Saul (10:1), and then David (16:13; 2Sa 2:4; 5:3) were anointed as they were inaugurated for the kingship. From this point in the OT, it is usually the king who is referred as "the anointed (of the Lord)" (12:3; 24:6; 26:9, 11, 16; 2Sa 1:14, 16; 19:21). The kings of Israel, particularly David, foreshadowed the Lord's ultimate anointed king. The English word "Messiah" represents the Heb. word used here meaning "anointed." Thus, this ultimate King who would rule over the nations of the earth, came to be referred to as "the Messiah," as here and 2:35; cf. 2Sa 22:51.(Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible

In Luke 1:68, 69+ Zacharias, father of John the Baptist, prophesied "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people, And has raised up a horn (THE MESSIAH - "HIS ANOINTED") of salvation for us In the house of David His servant." 

Related Resources:


Contend (plead case) (07378riyb means to strive, plead, contend, conduct a lawsuit, make a charge. Riyb is found in both biblical and modern Hebrew.  Riyb means to conduct a lawsuit or legal case and all that it involves. The Lord conducts His case against the leaders of His people (Isa 3:13). The prophets use riyb frequently to indicate that God has an indictment, a legal case, against Israel (Isa. 3:13). In one of his visions, Amos noted: “ the Lord GOD was calling to contend [with them] by fire” (Amos 7:4 = “calling for a judgment”).

Contend (Webster's English definition) - to strive or vie in contest or rivalry or against difficulties. To strive, or to strive against; to struggle in opposition. To strive; to use earnest efforts to obtain, or to defend and preserve.

Shattered (02865chathath basically refers to breaking or shattering like a boe (Jer 51:56) or ground cracked by drought (Jer 14:4). This idea of shattering is used figuratively of God shattering nations (Isa 7:8). It can also mean to fright or terrify (Isa 30:31, Job 7:14) Standing in awe of God's Name (Mal 2:5).  Summary -  to be shattered, be dismayed, be broken, be abolished, be afraid. In Hiphil to cause to be dismayed, to  terrify, to shatter. 

Chathath - 53x -  been shattered(3), break(1), cracked(1), dismay(1), dismayed(26), frighten(1), shatter(1), shattered(9), stood in awe(1), terrified(8), wane(1).

Anointed (04899mashiach/masiyah from mashach = to smear, anoint) is Hebrew word that in almost all OT uses is found in a compound phrase. It is a masculine noun which can function as an adjective (as in Lev 4:3,5, 16) which means "anointed." This Hebrew word is used several times to prophetically picture the Messiah, the Christ (1Sa 2:10, 35, Da 9:25-26+). In the OT, priests, prophets and kings were anointed and all these offices were fulfilled in "the Mashiach," the Messiah. Swanson - anointed one, i.e., a person having sacred oil poured ceremonially on one’s head, and so become a person with special authority and function, with the implication of one having the choice and approval of God. Lxx translates mashiach in this verse (and most of the 38 uses in the OT) with the adjective Christos which describes one who has been anointed, symbolizing appointment to a task; as a title for Jesus, designating him as the Messiah sent from God (Jn 1:41+, Jn 4:25+ [Greek = messias]). BDAG - Christos = "fulfiller of Israelite expectation of a deliverer, the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ."

Mashiach - 39x 38v - Anointed(1), anointed(34), anointed ones(2), Messiah(2). Lev. 4:3; Lev. 4:5; Lev. 4:16; Lev. 6:22; 1 Sam. 2:10; 1 Sam. 2:35; 1 Sam. 12:3; 1 Sam. 12:5; 1 Sam. 16:6; 1 Sam. 24:6; 1 Sam. 24:10; 1 Sam. 26:9; 1 Sam. 26:11; 1 Sam. 26:16; 1 Sam. 26:23; 2 Sam. 1:14; 2 Sam. 1:16; 2 Sam. 1:21; 2 Sam. 19:21; 2 Sam. 22:51; 2 Sam. 23:1; 1 Chr. 16:22; 2 Chr. 6:42; Ps. 2:2; Ps. 18:50; Ps. 20:6; Ps. 28:8; Ps. 84:9; Ps. 89:38; Ps. 89:51; Ps. 105:15; Ps. 132:10; Ps. 132:17; Isa. 45:1; Lam. 4:20; Dan. 9:25; Dan. 9:26; Hab. 3:13

1 Samuel 2:11  Then Elkanah went to his home at Ramah. But the boy ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:11 καὶ κατέλιπον αὐτὸν ἐκεῖ ἐνώπιον κυρίου καὶ ἀπῆλθον εἰς Αρμαθαιμ καὶ τὸ παιδάριον ἦν λειτουργῶν τῷ προσώπῳ κυρίου ἐνώπιον Ηλι τοῦ ἱερέως

KJV  1 Samuel 2:11 And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the LORD before Eli the priest.

NET  1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went back home to Ramah. But the boy was serving the LORD under the supervision of Eli the priest.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:11 Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy served the LORD in the presence of Eli the priest.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy was ministering to the LORD in the presence of Eli the priest.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, but the boy ministered before the LORD under Eli the priest.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah returned home to Ramah without Samuel. And the boy served the LORD by assisting Eli the priest.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah, while the boy remained to minister to the LORD, in the presence of the priest Eli.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy ministered to the LORD, in the presence of Eli the priest.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:11 And Elkanah goeth to Ramath, unto his house, and the youth hath been serving Jehovah, in the presence of Eli the priest;

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:11 Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the LORD before Eli the priest.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:11 Elkanah then went home to Ramah, but the child stayed in Yahweh's service, in the presence of Eli the priest.

SAMUEL BEGINS LIFELONG
MINISTRY TO YAHWEH

Then Elkanah went to his home at Ramah - Not just Elkanah but Hannah left the worship center. Clearly Elkanah was is in agreement with dedication of Samuel wholly to the Lord. 

But the boy ministered (sharath) to the LORD before (panim; Lxx - prosopon - in the presence of) Eli the priest - But is the change of direction in Samuel's life. Prior to this he had been raised in Ramah but now he would be raised at Shiloh as he was clearly old enough to do ministry to the LORD. He did it in the presence of Eli the priest who supervised him, functioning somewhat as a step dad. Samuel was a Levite and thus it was appropriate for him to minister to the LORD in the place of worship. Samuel was a sharath (Lxx = leitourgeo = describes the performance of religious duties) a title of subservience, of submission to authority. Joshua was called the "sharath" of Moses and spent 40 years under Moses' leadership learning how to obey as a servant, as a man under discipline, before he commanded as a general. He was first a servant, and then God made him a leader.

THOUGHT - When you were born again you too began a lifelong ministry to the Lord. From that moment you were no longer your own, for Jesus had purchased your body with His blood, and your objective henceforth was to glorify God in your body. How are you doing priest ______ (fill in your name). 1 Peter 2:9+ affirms that now "you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." A clerical outfit does not a priest make! 


Ministered (08334sharath basically means to minister to or wait on another, human or divine. Those who so minister are usually human beings, but may include the heavenly host (Ps 103:21) or even the nonhuman (pS 104:4). (1) personal service rendered to important person, usually ruler - Joseph to imprisoned officials (Gen 39:4; 40:4); Joshua to Moses (Ex 24:13; Josh 1:1); Elisha to Elijah and the youth to Elisha (1Ki 19:21; 2Ki 4:43; 6:15); the Levites to Aaron (Num 3:6; 13:2) and the congregation of Israel (16:9) and (2) ministry of worship of those in special relationship to God, eg priests (2/3's of uses are in this category). In royal contexts, sharath has reference to personal attendants (2 Sa 13:17–18; 1 Kgs 1:4; 10:5; 2Chr 22:8; Xerxes in Esther 1:10; 2:2; 6:3; cf. Ps 101:6). Occasionally, the word is used of political or military officials (1 Chron 27:1; 28:1; 2 Chron 17:19; cf. Prov 29:12). The verb, therefore, has to do with serving a superior by one of lower rank. The service is continuous but limited in duration. It is the service of free people, not slaves. The first two uses describe Joseph as servant, first to Potiphar (Ge 39:4) and then over other prisoners (including the cupbearer and the baker for the king of Egypt - Ge 40:4). 

Before (06440panim/paniym/paneh occurs over 2000x and is a masculine plural (it always occurs in plural in OT) noun which literally means face (Ge 43:31; Lev. 13:41; 1Kgs. 19:13). Paniym can be a substitute for the entire person (Ex 33:14,15). More often it is used figuratively. The Septuagint translates panim in this passage with the word prosopon which is literally "the eye (ops) toward (pros)" and thus the front, the face, countenance, appearance or presence.


Speak, for your servant is listening. - 1 Samuel 3:10

TODAY IN THE WORD When the reformer John Calvin first arrived in Geneva, he found a city in moral, political, and spiritual chaos. Violence and vice were common, and Christianity was only accepted as long as it did not make any real demands on the people. Calvin found this state of affairs intolerable and went to work to improve it. One historian says that Calvin preaching and public influence helped turn one of Europe’s most licentious cities into the cradle of Protestantism.His life was a ringing testimony to what one person can do. So was the life of Samuel, the boy who grew up in the Lord’s house.prayer. He was set apart for God’s service as a very small child. Having a mother like Hannah gave Samuel a great spiritual start in life. And it soon became obvious that he too was a person who had a great heart for the Lord.lay on his bed one night. The story has a charming, innocent feel to it as it is told in most children’s Bible story books, and it is a wonderful story.storybook kind. This lad was living in the midst of scandalous corruption in God’s house, as today’s reading makes clear. Later we learn that they were committing immorality (2:22) and that Eli made only a halfhearted attempt to discipline them (v. 23). In fact, verse 25 makes the startling declaration that God had pronounced these young men worthy of death!in today’s verse, set the stage for Samuel’s distinguished life of service as Israel’s last prophet. His faithfulness saw Israel through a spiritually desperate period in its history.Samuel’s response to the Lord is a great prayer for any believer of any age to offer.Listen, Lord, for your servant is speaking, while the attitude of Samuel says, Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening. Of course, we are right to make our needs and requests known to the Lord. But we also need to nurture the heart attitude of a listener, for ’s Spirit will not try to outshout the world to get our attention. Are you ready to listen today?

1 Samuel 2:12  Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they did not know the LORD

BGT  1 Samuel 2:12 καὶ οἱ υἱοὶ Ηλι τοῦ ἱερέως υἱοὶ λοιμοὶ οὐκ εἰδότες τὸν κύριον

KJV  1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

NET  1 Samuel 2:12 The sons of Eli were wicked men. They did not recognize the LORD's authority.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:12 Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD

ESV  1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:12 Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard for the LORD.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels who had no respect for the LORD

NRS  1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they had no regard for the LORD

RSV  1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men; they had no regard for the LORD.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:12 and the sons of Eli are sons of worthlessness, they have not known Jehovah.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were scoundrels; they cared nothing for Yahweh

  • the sons: Ho 4:6-9 Mal 2:1-9 
  • worthless men: 1Sa 10:27 1Sa 25:17 De 13:13 Jud 19:22 1Ki 21:10,13 2Co 6:15 
  • know: 1Sa 3:7 Jdg 2:10 Jer 2:8 22:16 Joh 8:55 16:3 17:3 Ro 1:21,28-30 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Robert Bergen notes that "This section contrasts the destinies of two families. The tragic story of Hophni and Phinehas, which is to be read in light of Lev 10:1–11, demonstrates the seriousness with which God takes priestly misconduct. It affirms that relatedness to a high priest is no substitute for a relationship with God, that pedigree or social power is not an alternative to purity.At the same time, the section demonstrates the Lord’s faithfulness in fulfilling Torah promises to bestow bounty on those who live lives of pious faith. Elkanah and Hannah received a priestly blessing from Eli (1Sa 2:20) and abundant life from the Lord (1Sa 2:21; cf. Lev 26:9; Deut 28:4) because of their righteous lives. By contrast, Hophni and Phinehas received a priestly rebuke (1Sa 2:23–25) and a death sentence from the Lord (1Sa 2:25).  (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)

Now the sons of Eli were worthless men - Recall Hannah used this very term in defending herself to Eli (1Sa 1:16)! What is a worthless man? In context, it is a man who does not know Yahweh personally as their Lord and Master. Eli was the priest of the God of Israel and yet failed to raise up God fearing sons, an issue that even haunted godly Samuel for when he was old (like Eli was old), his sons "did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice." (1Sa 8:3) While it is a proverbial saying that the acorn does not fall far from the tree, unfortunately the acorn sometimes fails to germinate and produce a "righteous" tree! The Septuagint translates worthless (beliyyaal) with a picturesque adjective limos which means pestilence, plague and applied to persons describes those dangerous to public welfare, harmful, troublesome, pests! Wow! Sons of the holy priests clearly were not holy! 

Bergen has an interesting observation - The verbless clause in 1Sa 12—literally, “the sons of Eli, the sons of Belial”— serves as a sort of double entendre: besides indicating the perverse character of Eli’s sons, the construction has the effect of equating Eli with Belial. Indeed, Eli was a Belial because he failed to give due respect to God and therefore threatened the sanctity of the Lord’s name in the community of faith. This subtle indictment of Eli will become more apparent in 1Sa 2:29. (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)

What is fascinating is that the contrast in the first four chapters between the Eli’s worthless son and the spiritual growth of Samuel, Eli’s foster son, you might say. (1Sa 2:21, 26; 1Sa 3:19). 

1 Samuel 2:21   The LORD visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the LORD. (2:26) Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the LORD and with men. 

1 Samuel 3:19  Thus Samuel grew and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fail.

They did not know the LORD - O, of course they knew Who He was for they served in the sanctuary, much like many go to church today and thus have some knowledge of the LORD. But sadly they (like many in churches, even evangelical churches today) did not know Him personally. They had no personal, saving relationship with Him. They had head knowledge, but no heart change, no heart circumcision and no transformed life. In short, they had no fruit in keeping with repentance, because they had never repented! I fear there are many in our churches today, who have prayed a prayer to ask Jesus into their heart (or walked an aisle, etc), and yet never experience supernatural repentance as evidenced by the absence of "good (God) works" in their lives.

In 1Sa 3:7 "Samuel did not yet know the LORD, nor had the word of the LORD yet been revealed to him." Samuel, unlike Eli's sons, subsequently clearly came to know the LORD and in that knowledge had a personal relationship with Him. 

NIV Study Bible on know - In OT usage, to "know" the Lord is not just intellectual or theoretical recognition. It is to enter into fellowship with him and acknowledge his claims on one's life. The term often has a covenantal connotation (see Jer 31:34; Hos 2:20). (Borrow NIV Study Bible

Jesus spoke of the type of knowing that saves a soul from eternal destruction declaring "This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." (John 17:3)

THOUGHT - Jesus' words beg a crucial question dear reader - Do you know (about) Him or do you truly know Him? Your answer will determine your eternal destiny! I do not assume that just because you are reading these notes, you are born again. You may be reading to prepare to teach a Bible study or lead a Sunday School class, but you are reading for head knowledge, not heart change. Do not be deceived! 

Hebrew literally = "sons of Belial" (as KJV has it). "ben beliyaal"  (Dt 13:13 Jdg 19:22 20:13 1Sa 2:12 10:27 25:17 1Ki21:10 21:13 2Ch13:7) 

This Hebrew phrase (lit. “sons of Belial”) connotes worthless and vile persons. It is used of those who incite to idolatry ( Deut. 13:13 ) or insurrection ( 10:27 ; 2 Sam. 16:7 ; 20:1 ); who are sexually immoral ( Jdg. 19:22 ); or who are liars ( 1 Kin. 21:10 , 13 ). Unfortunately the phrase could be applied to Eli’s sons. 

The sins of Eli’s sons were symptomatic of their heart condition. They wanted the best parts of the meat offered in sacrifice rather than those assigned them in the covenant. They were not looking on their positions as places of solemn responsibility but as positions of privilege and self-serving opportunity. See also v22 . 


Worthless (wicked, Belial)(01100beliyyaal from belî yaʿal: "not, without" and "to be of use, worth, or profit.") A worthless person, good for nothing to himself or others, and capable of nothing but mischief. Some feel that the word Belial can be traced to the false god Baal, and is also a term for yoke (they cast off the yoke of decency), and a term for entangling or injuring. The LXX renders it according to the context by the terms paranomos, anomia, and aphrōn, i.e. "lawless, lawlessness, witless."  By the NT time, Belial had become synonymous with Satan (cf. 2 Cor. 6:15+). There is one use we would all do well to ponder and in the power of the Spirit affirm or declare (or pray) to be true in our life from time to time...

I will set no worthless (beliyyaal) thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten (dabaq) its grip on me. (Psalm 101:3+) (MARK IT DOWN - WORTHLESS IMAGES CAN BE VERY "STICKY" IN YOUR MIND'S EYE! I AM SPEAKING ESPECIALLY TO YOU MEN AS YOU KNOW TO WHAT I AM REFERRING!)


No Excuse

[Elkanah] went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts. — 1 Samuel 1:3.

Today's Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:12-17

Consider the life of Elkanah. He is described in 1 Samuel 1 as a man who “went up from his city yearly to worship and sacrifice to the Lord of hosts” (v.3). That’s a staggering fact in light of the rest of the story. We read, “Also the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.”

Hophni and Phinehas were selfish, corrupt, immoral men with no regard for God (1 Sam. 2:12,22). They wouldn’t listen to correction (v.25), and their actions caused people to despise the offering of the Lord (v.17). But their spiritual failure never became an excuse for Elkanah to stop worshiping the Lord.

There may be times when our spiritual leaders are not what they should be. When leaders fail, whether it’s unintentional sin or open defiance, it’s easy to become discouraged or disillusioned. But it’s a double tragedy if we become cynical and turn away from God because of them.

Elkanah remained faithful because he focused on the Lord, not His representatives. In every situation of poor spiritual leadership, God calls His modern “Elkanahs” to keep their eyes and their hearts centered on Him. By:  David C. McCasland

I would not falter nor retire—
For grace to do God's will I ask;
With heart aflame and zeal undimmed,
I would be faithful to my task. —Bosch

Others may prove untrue, but Jesus never fails.


STRONG FAMILIES 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-26

"You shall teach (these words) diligently to your children." - Deuteronomy 6:7

David Williams, a football player for the Houston Oilers, gave up a week's salary to be present at the birth of his son Scot. His coach objected, but Williams put his wife and family before his career. If he continues to demonstrate this kind of commitment to his family, then Scot too is likely to see the importance of right priorities.

In more than 40 years of ministry, I have encountered many situations in which a father put his work before his family, only to see his children rebel.

Although Eli had done much for the Lord as a priest, he failed as a parent. He waited too long to discipline his sons, and when he did try to restrain them his rebuke was so weak that they paid no attention. Eli's life ended in heartbreak because his sons didn't follow the ways of the Lord.

Even the best of parents can't be sure their children won't turn from the Lord, but the risk can be minimized. If children know their parents expect obedience and will punish disobedience, especially when discipline is fair and given in love, they are more likely to turn out well.

A strong family is one of life's most precious gifts. Let's do all we can to make ours a place where each member feels loved and respected. - H V Lugt (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

Our children are a gift from God
On loan from heaven above,
To train and nourish in the Lord
And show to them His love.
-- Sper

Christian homes don't just happen - they're built.


TODAY IN THE WORD 1 Samuel 2:12-36

He who obeys instructions guards his life, but he who is contemptuous of his ways will die. - Proverbs 19:16

In 2002, George W. Bush initiated the President's Corporate Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute white-collar crimes like money laundering, accounting fraud, and insider trading. In the first five years of its existence, the task force secured the convictions of 214 CEOs and presidents, 53 CFOs, 23 corporate counsels or attorneys, and 129 vice presidents—over 1,200 of the most powerful people in America have been imprisoned as criminals.

What causes a leader to become corrupt? One factor is contempt for his or her position of authority. When that leader is representative of God, the punishment is far worse than prison. Hophni and Phinehas treated the sacred sacrifices like their own personal barbecue. They completely ignored the Levitical guidelines for the portions of meat reserved for the priests (Lev. 7:34) and the restrictions against eating fat or blood (Lev. 3:16-17). They desecrated their roles as priests with their immorality (v. 22). Eli correctly accused them of sinning against God, and there would be no one to intercede for them (v. 25). How could anyone associated with a divinely appointed office stoop to such lows? They weren't acquainted with God in the least (v. 12).

Eli's sons thought only of themselves. We'll focus on Eli's passive approach to their wickedness later in the month, but the sons should have known better without being told. Their actions showed no respect for the sacrifices of the people or the God to whom they were sacrificing. They effectively put themselves in the place of God as the object of worship.

The judgment was appropriately harsh for Eli and his family. The Lord pronounced a shift away from the ancestral line of Levi, a transfer from the arrangement that began at the beginning of Israel's existence as a nation but in keeping with the warnings issued at the time (Num. 18:1). The Levites were responsible for sins against the priesthood, so the entire tribe suffered the consequences of Eli's sons' evil ways.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY Peter calls believers members of a holy priesthood (1 Peter 2:5), so the question naturally arises: are we as believers ever guilty of showing contempt for our privileged position? It's a question of selfishness or selflessness. When our Christianity becomes more of a status symbol than a standard of service, we begin using our priesthood for our own benefit. The only true fix for this problem, though, isn't to increase service; it's to humbly draw closer to God.


John Kitto -   Thursday. Tabernacle Abominations—I Samuel 2:12–17

The sons of Eli were “men of Belial”—that is, men of profligate disposition and conduct—men who had no regard for their own character, or for the honor of God, whose commissioned servants they were. This pervaded their demeanor, and their misconduct was by no means limited to the particular instances recorded. Yet these instances are so remarkable as to claim special attention.

The custom of sacrifice was, that burnt offerings were wholly consumed by fire upon the altar; and that sin offerings were eaten by the priests. But in the case of peace offerings, the internal fat alone was consumed, first of all, upon the altar; then the priest had for his share the breast and the shoulder, after these had been waved before the Lord; and the remainder of the carcass was returned to the offerer, to be eaten by himself and his friends, or such as he invited. This was ample allowance for the priest, who had the whole of the sin offerings, and some principal parts of the peace offerings. But Eli’s sons thought not so. Not satisfied with the breast and the shoulder of every victim, they begrudged the offerer the remainder. Properly their interest in the matter ceased as soon as they had received their allowance. But they pursued the remainder with greedy eyes; and at length they ventured to introduce the custom that, while the meat was boiling for the offerer and his family—which was done in some part of the tabernacle, as afterwards of the temple—a servant was sent round “with a flesh hook of three teeth in his hand.” This trident, which no doubt had the prongs wide enough apart, the man thrust into the boiler; and claimed as the perquisite of the priest whatever the instrument brought up; and this could not but frequently make a serious reduction of the food with which the offerers were used to entertain their friends, and to extend their bounty to the needy.

Even this mean and ludicrous greediness did not long satisfy the sons of Eli. Finding that this exaction was submitted to by the people, they went further yet. After the breast and shoulder had been given, but before the remainder had been put to boil, the servant came and demanded the raw meat, alleging that the priests did not want it boiled, but to roast. This might be one reason, although there were the breast and shoulder which they might roast if they liked but the real reason probably was that the three-pronged fork, striking somewhat at a venture, did not always afford such large or such choice portions as the avidity of the priests required. To secure this exaction, and to prevent all evasion this demand was made even before the fat was offered upon the altar, which, as it belonged to the Lord, and the offering of it was a highly religious act, should have been, even if only for the same of decency, first of all performed. But knowing that the offerers could not withdraw till the Lord’s portion had been presented, the demand was made before the fat was offered. The people could not but feel the gross indecorum of this proceeding; and the manner in which they meet this new exaction is in all respects praiseworthy, and shows that the men who brought the offerings had more religion at heart, and were more concerned for the honor and glory of God, than were his own ministers. They implored them to allow the Lord’s offerings to be first presented, and then, said they, “take as much as thy soul desireth.” The answer of the man to this becoming remonstrance and handsome offer was usually: “Nay, but thou shalt give it me now; and if not, I will take it by force.”

What wonder that the people were disgusted at these proceedings, and that the result was that they abstained from bringing their peace offerings to the altar, seeing that their doing so subjected them to such insult and oppression, and produced circumstances so revolting to their religious feelings. “Wherefore,” we are told, “the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.”

This was their offence, and a very terrible one it was—amounting to a betrayal of the high trusts committed to their care. Nor was this all—for we are told that they behaved themselves most vilely towards “the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.” Who were these women? That is a question of greater interest at this day, than the historical fact connected with it. The question has indeed been much discussed. The most obvious and common sense view as suggested by this text alone, would seem to be that they were women who went there for worship, and who, not being admitted into the interior of the court, assembled in front of the entrance, the curtains of which being drawn aside on such occasions, allowed them a view of the interior, and of the solemn proceedings there. It has been thought, however, that there is some reference to a particular class of women, habitually attending at the tabernacle in discharge of some special duty or vocation. Some fancy that they came upon business which it belonged to women to do there, such as to wash and clean the rooms. But in that case they would be assembled, not “at the door of the tabernacle,” but within it. And then we do not know that there were any rooms to wash and clean at the tabernacle—though there were at the temple; and, more than all, such offices, and many others (such as even the washing of clothes) usually performed by women in the West, are as usually discharged by men in the East, except in the apartments appropriated to the use of women. In this, as in a thousand instances, we arrive at erroneous conclusions by arguing from the analogy of our own customs, without proper inquiry whether those of the East may not be very different. Others imagine that the women came to sew and spin at the tabernacle; as if, because the “women that were wise-hearted did spin,” at the original construction of the tabernacle, they did so always after. This is a curious instance of generalizing upon a particular passage of Scripture, having reference to a merely temporary and occasional matter. Some spinning and sewing might be necessary to renew the priestly vestures, but this was doubtless done at home—as, indeed, the original dresses and the hangings of the tabernacle were,—and probably in the families of the priests themselves. It is preposterous to suppose, that the little spinning and sewing that might be necessary to keep the attire of the priests in order, should be carried on at the door of the tabernacle. The Jewish interpreters usually understand, that the congregation of females was caused by the attendance of women who had recently given birth to children, and who came with their offerings of purification—and as these were attended by their female friends and relations, a few of these parties (and there must have been several every day) would collectively form a considerable crowd at the door of the tabernacle.

Upon the whole, however, we incline to regard the first and least special explanation as the most reasonable—admitting, however, that a certain proportion of the women may have been, and probably were, such frequent and regular attendants from devout feelings, that they became well known at the tabernacle—like the communicants of a church as distinguished from the general congregation—and might be preeminently distinguished as “the women who [habitually] assembled at the door of the congregation.” To go beyond this, as some have done, and suppose that there was a body of devout women who had specially consecrated themselves to the service of the tabernacle, and to a holy life, in a state of celibacy, is more than we can find in the Bible, and seems to us a Romanist invention, wrought out of some incidental expressions, which admit and require a different interpretation; and this for the purpose of producing a show of Scripture authority for the practice of female ascetic devotement, to which both the spirit and the letter of the Old Testament and of the New, are decidedly opposed, and which has been, and is, one of the resources wherein “the proud mind of the flesh” seeks nourishment.  

1 Samuel 2:13  and the custom of the priests with the people. When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:13 καὶ τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ ἱερέως παρὰ τοῦ λαοῦ παντὸς τοῦ θύοντος καὶ ἤρχετο τὸ παιδάριον τοῦ ἱερέως ὡς ἂν ἡψήθη τὸ κρέας καὶ κρεάγρα τριόδους ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:13 And the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;

NET  1 Samuel 2:13 Now the priests would always treat the people in the following way: Whenever anyone was making a sacrifice, while the meat was boiling, the priest's attendant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:13 or for the priests' share of the sacrifices from the people. When any man offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork while the meat was boiling

ESV  1 Samuel 2:13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,

NIV  1 Samuel 2:13 Now it was the practice of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:13 or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli's sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling,

NRS  1 Samuel 2:13 or for the duties of the priests to the people. When anyone offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,

RSV  1 Samuel 2:13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,

YLT  1 Samuel 2:13 And the custom of the priests with the people is: any man sacrificing a sacrifice -- then hath the servant of the priest come in when the flesh is boiling, and the hook of three teeth in his hand,

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:13 And the priests' custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:13 nor for what was due to the priests from the people. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being cooked;

Related Passages:

Leviticus 7:30-34+ (PRESCRIBED PRACTICE IN PENTATEUCH) ‘His own hands are to bring offerings by fire to the LORD. He shall bring the fat with the breast, that the breast may be presented as a wave offering before the LORD. 31 ‘The priest shall offer up the fat in smoke on the altar, but the breast shall belong to Aaron and his sons. 32 ‘You shall give the right thigh to the priest as a contribution from the sacrifices of your peace offerings. 33 ‘The one among the sons of Aaron who offers the blood of the peace offerings and the fat, the right thigh shall be his as his portion. 34 ‘For I have taken the breast of the wave offering and the thigh of the contribution from the sons of Israel from the sacrifices of their peace offerings, and have given them to Aaron the priest and to his sons as their due forever from the sons of Israel. 

A CUSTOM
CORRUPTED?

And the custom of the priests with the people = Heb "the habit of the priests with the people [was this]." While this was the custom in Shiloh, it is evidence of corruption (and degradation) of the priesthood, because this practice is not specified in Leviticus or anywhere else in the OT! This custom differs from the divine prescription described above (cf also Lev 10:14–15 and Nu 18:18)

THOUGHT - There is surely a warning and a lesson for all believers of all ages, that the worship of Yahweh can become corrupted over time if one does not constantly assess current practices with the ancient Word of God. Are their practices in your local church that are an aberration of the practices ordained in God's Word? This is a good self-examination question for all churches, no matter how good they might appear to be to the eye (externally). 

Deuteronomy 18:3  describes the portion that was allotted to the priests - “Now this shall be the priests’ due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, either an ox or a sheep, of which they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach.

When any man was offering a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand - The normal practice at Shiloh was for the priest to receive whichever part came up from the boiling pot on the end of the fork. We would today call that a "pot luck dinner!" 

NET Note on three-pronged fork - The Hebrew word occurs only twice in the OT, here and again in v. 14. Its exact meaning is not entirely clear, although from the context it appears to be a sacrificial tool used for retrieving things from boiling water. 


Custom (justice, ordinance[s]) (04941mishpat/mispat rom shaphat = to judge, govern) is a masculine noun used over 400x in the OT and has general meanings including a judgment, a legal decision, a legal case, a claim, proper, rectitude.  Vine writes that mishpat/mispat "has two main senses; the first deals with the act of sitting as a judge, hearing a case, and rendering a proper verdict. Eccl. 12:14 is one such occurrence. Mishpat can also refer to the “rights” belonging to someone (Ex 23:6). This second sense carries several nuances: the sphere in which things are in proper relationship to one’s claims (Ge 18:19—first occurrence); a judicial verdict (Dt. 17:9); the statement of the case for the accused (Nu 27:5); and an established ordinance (Exod. 21:1).

1 Samuel 2:14  Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:14 καὶ ἐπάταξεν αὐτὴν εἰς τὸν λέβητα τὸν μέγαν ἢ εἰς τὸ χαλκίον ἢ εἰς τὴν κύθραν πᾶν ὃ ἐὰν ἀνέβη ἐν τῇ κρεάγρᾳ ἐλάμβανεν ἑαυτῷ ὁ ἱερεύς κατὰ τάδε ἐποίουν παντὶ Ισραηλ τοῖς ἐρχομένοις θῦσαι κυρίῳ ἐν Σηλωμ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.

NET  1 Samuel 2:14 He would jab it into the basin, kettle, caldron, or pot, and everything that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they used to do to all the Israelites when they came there to Shiloh.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:14 and plunge it into the container or kettle or cauldron or cooking pot. The priest would claim for himself whatever the meat fork brought up. This is the way they treated all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:14 He would plunge it into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot, and the priest would take for himself whatever the fork brought up. This is how they treated all the Israelites who came to Shiloh.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:14 the servant would stick the fork into the pot and demand that whatever it brought up be given to Eli's sons. All the Israelites who came to worship at Shiloh were treated this way.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:14 and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:14 and he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. So they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:14 and hath struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the hook bringeth up doth the priest take for himself; thus they do to all Israel who are coming in, there, in Shiloh.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:14 he would thrust this into cauldron or pan, or dish or pot, and the priest claimed for his own whatever the fork brought up. That was how they behaved with all the Israelites who came there to Shiloh.

  • all that the fleshhook: 1Sa 2:29 Ex 29:27,28 Lev 7:34 Isa 56:11 Mal 1:10 2Pe 2:13-15 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

SELF-INDULGENT
PRIESTLY PARASITES!

Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. Thus they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there - The greedy nature of Eli's wicked sons is exposed as is the corruption of worship practices at Shiloh. Note that if all that the fork brought up included fat portions, this would indicate that this was a corrupt practice and not a God ordained or God honoring practice. Why? Because the fat belonged to Jehovah! Worthless sons wanted what they wanted when they wanted it!

ESV Study Bible - Some interpret 1Sa 2:13-14 as being the accepted, though degenerate, custom, and 1Sa 2:15-16 as representing the perversion of this custom. Another interpretation is that the author condemns both practices. This latter view is supported by the use of the word moreover (Heb. gam) at the beginning of 1Sa 2:15ESV. Thus in this passage there are two general statements about the sons (1Sa 2:12, 17) framing descriptions of two of their wicked practices. (Borrow ESV Study Bible)

David Guzik adds "With many of the sacrifices brought to the tabernacle, a portion was given to God, a portion was given to the priest, and a portion was kept by the one who brought the offering. According to other passages in the Old Testament, the priest received a portion of the breast and the shoulder. But now, some 400 years after the Law of Moses came, the priestly custom changed – they did not take the prescribed portion of the breast and shoulder, but took whatever the fork (fleshhook) brought up out of the pot."

1 Samuel 2:15  Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw."

BGT  1 Samuel 2:15 καὶ πρὶν θυμιαθῆναι τὸ στέαρ ἤρχετο τὸ παιδάριον τοῦ ἱερέως καὶ ἔλεγεν τῷ ἀνδρὶ τῷ θύοντι δὸς κρέας ὀπτῆσαι τῷ ἱερεῖ καὶ οὐ μὴ λάβω παρὰ σοῦ ἑφθὸν ἐκ τοῦ λέβητος

KJV  1 Samuel 2:15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.

NET  1 Samuel 2:15 Even before they burned the fat, the priest's attendant would come and say to the person who was making the sacrifice, "Hand over some meat for the priest to roast! He won't take boiled meat from you, but only raw."

CSB  1 Samuel 2:15 Even before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest some meat to roast, because he won't accept boiled meat from you-- only raw."

ESV  1 Samuel 2:15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw."

NIV  1 Samuel 2:15 But even before the fat was burned, the servant of the priest would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest some meat to roast; he won't accept boiled meat from you, but only raw."

NLT  1 Samuel 2:15 Sometimes the servant would come even before the animal's fat had been burned on the altar. He would demand raw meat before it had been boiled so that it could be used for roasting.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the one who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but only raw."

RSV  1 Samuel 2:15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast; for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw."

YLT  1 Samuel 2:15 Also before they make perfume with the fat -- then hath the priest's servant come in, and said to the man who is sacrificing, 'Give flesh to roast for the priest, and he doth not take of thee flesh boiled, but raw;'

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, "Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw."

NJB  1 Samuel 2:15 The priest's servant would even come up before the fat had been burnt and say to the person who was making the sacrifice, 'Give the priest some meat for him to roast. He will not accept boiled meat from you, only raw.'

  • Lev 3:3-5,16 Ro 16:18 Php 3:19 Jude 1:12 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages: 

Exodus 29:13  “You shall take all the fat that covers the entrails and the lobe of the liver, and the two kidneys and the fat that is on them, and offer them up in smoke on the altar.

Leviticus 3:3-5+ ‘From the sacrifice of the peace offerings he shall present an offering by fire to the LORD, the fat that covers the entrails and all the fat that is on the entrails, 4 and the two kidneys with the fat that is on them, which is on the loins, and the lobe of the liver, which he shall remove with the kidneys. 5 ‘Then Aaron’s sons shall offer it up in smoke on the altar on the burnt offering, which is on the wood that is on the fire; it is an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD.

STEALING FROM
JEHOVAH

Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give the priest meat for roasting, as he will not take boiled meat from you, only raw." - Before they burned the fat, indicates the first portion was to go to Yahweh. The practice of the worthless priests (sons of Eli) blatantly ignored this divine directive. This description indicates that Eli's sons were "skimming off the top" so to speak, taking parts of the sacrifices reserved for God and thereby essentially stealing from God Himself! That is a frightening thought, so one is not surprised at their just demise at the hands of the Philistines. Their demand for raw meat would include the fat which was to be offered to the Lord. In essence they were stealing.

NIV Study Bible  on before the fat was burned -  On the altar as the Lord's portion, which he was to receive first (see Lev 3:16 and note; 4:10,26,31,35; 7:30-31; 17:6). roast. Boiling is the only form of cooking specified in the law for the priests' portion (Nu 6:19-20). Roasting this portion is nowhere expressly forbidden in the law, but it is specified only for the Passover lamb (Ex 12:8-9; Dt 16:7). The present passage seems to imply that for the priests to roast their portion of the sacrifices was unlawful. (Borrow NIV Study Bible

Believer's Study Bible - The wickedness of Eli's sons extended even to the sacrificial altars. Only certain portions of an offering were for the priests, and the fat was always to be removed first and offered to God. Eli's sons were taking any part they wanted, and taking it before the fat was removed (cf. Ex. 29:26-28; Lev. 3:3-4; 7:23-36; Num. 18:18; Deut. 18:3).

1 Samuel 2:16  If the man said to him, "They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire," then he would say, "No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force."

BGT  1 Samuel 2:16 καὶ ἔλεγεν ὁ ἀνὴρ ὁ θύων θυμιαθήτω πρῶτον ὡς καθήκει τὸ στέαρ καὶ λαβὲ σεαυτῷ ἐκ πάντων ὧν ἐπιθυμεῖ ἡ ψυχή σου καὶ εἶπεν οὐχί ὅτι νῦν δώσεις καὶ ἐὰν μή λήμψομαι κραταιῶς

KJV  1 Samuel 2:16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.

NET  1 Samuel 2:16 If the individual said to him, "First let the fat be burned away, and then take for yourself whatever you wish," he would say, "No! Hand it over right now! If you don't, I will take it forcibly!"

CSB  1 Samuel 2:16 If that man said to him, "The fat must be burned first; then you can take whatever you want for yourself," the servant would reply, "No, I insist that you hand it over right now. If you don't, I'll take it by force!"

ESV  1 Samuel 2:16 And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force."

NIV  1 Samuel 2:16 If the man said to him, "Let the fat be burned up first, and then take whatever you want," the servant would then answer, "No, hand it over now; if you don't, I'll take it by force."

NLT  1 Samuel 2:16 The man offering the sacrifice might reply, "Take as much as you want, but the fat must be burned first." Then the servant would demand, "No, give it to me now, or I'll take it by force."

NRS  1 Samuel 2:16 And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take whatever you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now; if not, I will take it by force."

RSV  1 Samuel 2:16 And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force."

YLT  1 Samuel 2:16 and the man saith unto him, 'Let them surely make a perfume (as to-day) with the fat, then take to thee as thy soul desireth;' and he hath said to him, 'Surely now thou dost give; and if not -- I have taken by strength.'

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:16 And if the man said to him, "They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires," he would then answer him, "No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force."

NJB  1 Samuel 2:16 Then, if the person replied, 'Let the fat be burnt first, and then take for yourself whatever you choose,' he would retort, 'No! You must give it to me now or I shall take it by force.'

  • They must surely burn the fat first, Lev 3:16 Lev 7:23-25 
  • I will take: Jdg 18:25 Ne 5:15 Mic 2:1,2 Mic 3:5 1Pe 5:2,3 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Leviticus 3:16+  ‘The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is the LORD’S.

Leviticus 7:23-25+  “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall not eat any fat from an ox, a sheep or a goat. 24 ‘Also the fat of an animal which dies and the fat of an animal torn by beasts may be put to any other use, but you must certainly not eat it. 25 ‘For whoever eats the fat of the animal from which an offering by fire is offered to the LORD, even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people.

Micah 2:1; 2+   Woe to those who scheme iniquity, Who work out evil on their beds! When morning comes, they do it, For it is in the power of their hands. 2 They covet fields and then seize them, And houses, and take them away. They rob a man and his house, A man and his inheritance. 

WILLFUL SIN OF
THE PRIESTS

If the man said to him, "They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire," then he would say, "No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force." - If the man said to him indicates that the people knew God's ordinances better than the priests (See THOUGHT below)! Can you see what Eli's sons are doing here? They are directly countering the Word of God, which said "all the fat is the LORD's" (Lev 3:16+). Their sin was willful and rebellious, especially their brash declaration "I will take it by force!" The were willing to use violence if necessary to enforce their will on the people! As my mother used to tell me when I was being rebellious, they were "cruising for a bruising" from Jehovah ("even the person who eats shall be cut off from his people" - Lev 7:25+)! As Paul writes "Do not be deceived (ELI'S SONS WERE DECEIVED!), God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption (ELI'S SONS REAPED DEATH!), but the one who sows to the Spirit (DEPICTS YOUNG SAMUEL'S "SOWING") will from the Spirit reap eternal life." (Gal 6:7-8+)

THOUGHT - As noted above, the people knew the Word of God better than the priests. If you are a pastor or teacher, how do you respond when an untrained member of the congregation comes to you and offers a potential correction? I went to a church where we addressed an issue with the pastor, but he paid no attention to us. And this is not about us being right so much as it is about the response. Is it received or rejected? If you receive it, that speaks of humility (even if the "correction" proves to be Biblically incorrect), but if you refuse to graciously receive it, this reflects and issue of your heart (pride, arrogance, etc). So what happened in the example I mentioned above? The church dissolved and the young pastor ended up leaving the ministry and going into the business world! 

HCSB notes that "The fat was the Lord's portion of the sacrifice (Lev 3:3-5). The text implies Eli's sons were also eating the fat of the sacrificial animals. The warning that the fat must be burned first—a warning that went unheeded—indicates the common people had a greater moral conscience than Eli's sons did. (Borrow HCSB Study Bible)

To summarize the offenses of Eli's worthless sons

  1. selection of the best parts for themselves
  2. preference for the meat being roasted rather than boiled;
  3. refusal to yield the fat for burning on the altar (Lev 3:16; 7:25).

1 Samuel 2:17  Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for the men despised the offering of the LORD.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:17 καὶ ἦν ἡ ἁμαρτία τῶν παιδαρίων ἐνώπιον κυρίου μεγάλη σφόδρα ὅτι ἠθέτουν τὴν θυσίαν κυρίου

KJV  1 Samuel 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

NET  1 Samuel 2:17 The sin of these young men was very great in the LORD's sight, for they treated the LORD's offering with contempt.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:17 So the servants' sin was very severe in the presence of the LORD, because they treated the LORD's offering with contempt.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:17 This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD's sight, for they were treating the LORD's offering with contempt.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:17 So the sin of these young men was very serious in the LORD's sight, for they treated the LORD's offerings with contempt.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD; for they treated the offerings of the LORD with contempt.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the LORD; for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:17 And the sin of the young men is very great in the presence of Jehovah, for the men have despised the offering of Jehovah.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:17 The young men's sin was very great in Yahweh's eyes, because they treated with contempt the offering made to Yahweh.

  • before: Ge 6:11 10:9 13:13 2Ki 21:6 Ps 51:4 Isa 3:8 
  • despised: Mal 2:8,13 Mt 18:7 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

THE GREAT SIN OF
ELI'S SONS

Thus the sin (chattat/chattath) of the young men was very great before the LORD for the men despised (naas; Lxx = atheteo = rejected, set aside, nullified; KJV = abhorred, NET = treated with contempt!) the offering of the LORD - The Hebrew word for sinchattat/chattath, like it's NT counterpart (hamartia), means to miss or fall short of the mark, which ultimately is the will and plan of God as revealed in Scripture. Sin is whatever misses the will of God for man doctrinally or morally. The result of chattat/chattath is that man misses the goal God has for him by failing to observe the requirements of holy living and thus falls short of spiritual wholeness.  This sin of Eli's sons was especially heinous  because they were the spiritual leaders (and theoretically knew the proper practice regarding offerings to the LORD and yet they chose to flagrantly reject them!), and thus they were held to a higher level of accountability! Despised is an ugly word even in English for it means to feel contempt or strong dislike for an object, rejecting as having little or no value either or both by words and actions.

Bergen offers a another interpretation of the phrase for the men despised the offering writing that "The Masoretic Text suggests that the priestly actions were causing the worshipers (Hebrew hā’ănāšîm, “the men”) to look disrespectfully upon the freewill offerings made to the Lord. Priestly abuse was giving religion a bad name in Israel." (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary) In other words the men does not refer to Eli's sons but to the laymen who brought the offerings. 

This same Hebrew word translated despised (naas) is used when King David (a man after God's own heart) was confronted by the prophet Nathan because of his horrible sin against Bathsheba and Uriah, the prophet declaring “However, because by this deed you have given occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme (naas), the child also that is born to you shall surely die.” In light of the earlier statement ("They must surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as you desire,"), Eli's sons were blaspheming the LORD in front of the people when they should have been pillars of righteousness, and truth and justice! 

David Guzik makes an excellent point that "The greatness of the sin of Eli’s sons was clear because through their greed, violence, and intimidation they made others not want to come and bring offerings to the Lord. It was bad enough what they themselves did; but the greater sin of Eli’s sons was in how they hurt other people."


Despised (spurned , rejected, blasphemed) (05006naas means to revile, to scorn, to reject, despise, abhor (hate extremely or with contempt), spurn, treat with contempt, revile. God tells Moses His people "spurn" Him (Nu 14:11) and that those who "spurned" Him would not enter the promised land (Nu 14:23) The rebellion of Korah and those with him in effect "spurned the LORD" (Nu 16:30) by challenging Moses' divinely appointed role as leader (Nu 16:1-3). God prophesied that His people would "spurn" Him by turning to other gods and serving them and thus breaking His (Mosaic) covenant (Dt 31:20). Israel made Jehovah jealous with strange gods, provoking Him to anger (even sacrificing to demons!) and thus Jehovah "spurned them because of the provocation." (Dt 32:19, context Dt 32:16-18) The sons of Eli were worthless men who did not know Jehovah and as a result "despised the offering of the LORD." (1Sa 2:17). Naas is used in the Psalms of a greedy man who "spurns Jehovah" (Ps 10:3), the wicked who "spurned God" (Ps 10:13), "the enemy" who spurned His Name (Ps 74:10), foolish people who "spurned" His Name (Ps 74:18) and His people who "spurned the counsel of the Most High." (Ps 107:11). Israel was disciplined because they "despised the word of the Holy One of Israel" (Isa. 5:24, cp Isa 1:4 "despised the Holy One of Israel").


R C Sproul - Elkanah and Hannah leave Samuel at Shiloh, where he “ministers to the LORD before Eli the priest.” Why does Eli, who is old and apparently semi-retired, take on the demanding task of training and mentoring this young child? Today’s passage tells us why—no one else can be trusted with the job. Eli has turned over the priestly duties in the tabernacle to his sons, Hophni and Phinehas, but they are exceedingly “corrupt.” The Hebrew text actually says they are “sons of Belial,” which connotes worthlessness and wickedness. It is a term used frequently in the books of Samuel to designate those who are under the covenant but unfaithful to it. The bottom line is that Hophni and Phinehas simply do not “know the LORD.”

These young priests are guilty of two main crimes. First, they are taking unjustifiably large portions of the people’s offerings, violating God’s specific instructions. The Law designated that specific portions of sacrificed animals be given to the priests (Lev. 7:28–36; Deut. 18:3), but Hophni and Phinehas have instituted a new practice, sending a servant to thrust a large fork into the cauldron in which the sacrifice is boiling, and taking whatever he might spear. Neither are they following the prescribed procedure for burning the fat of the sacrifices, even when the people protest, but they are demanding that they be given portions God has reserved for Himself. Their disrespect for God’s dictates is causing the people to abhor the sacrifices (v. 17). In other words, they are leading the people away from covenant faithfulness. Second, the priests are having sexual relations with women who “assemble at the door of the tabernacle.” These women may be ritual prostitutes who are emulating Canaanite worship practices. In any case, the priests are defiling themselves, defiling these women, and, at least in Phinehas’ case, sinning against a wife (4:19). Their behavior also encourages the people to sin (v. 24).

Eli, hearing of his sons’ sinful ways, rebukes them. He gives them a dire warning—they are sinning against God, and He will not let sin go unpunished. But Hophni and Phinehas will not listen, and the author of 1 Samuel makes the reason clear: “The LORD desired to kill them.” God already has judged them, has ceased to strive with them, and has withdrawn His grace from them. Their doom is set.

Pastors and other leaders in the church can do great harm or great good simply by their example. This is why Scripture calls church leaders to be “blameless … of good behavior” (1 Tim. 3:2). Pray that your current church leaders would be men of this type, and do what you can to encourage godly men to take up leadership positions. (Tabletalk)

1 Samuel 2:18  Now Samuel was ministering before the LORD, as a boy wearing a linen ephod.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:18 καὶ Σαμουηλ ἦν λειτουργῶν ἐνώπιον κυρίου παιδάριον περιεζωσμένον εφουδ βαρ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.

NET  1 Samuel 2:18 Now Samuel was ministering before the LORD. The boy was dressed in a linen ephod.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:18 The boy Samuel served in the LORD's presence and wore a linen ephod.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:18 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy clothed with a linen ephod.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel was ministering before the LORD--a boy wearing a linen ephod.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel, though he was only a boy, served the LORD. He wore a linen garment like that of a priest.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:18 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy wearing a linen ephod.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:18 Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy girded with a linen ephod.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:18 And Samuel is ministering in the presence of Jehovah, a youth girt with an ephod of linen;

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:18 But Samuel ministered before the LORD, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:18 Samuel was in Yahweh's service, a child wearing a linen loincloth.

  • ministering: 1Sa 2:11 3:1 
  • a linen ephod: 1Sa 22:18 Ex 28:4 Lev 8:7 2Sa 6:14 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

Exodus 39:27-29  They made the tunics of finely woven linen for Aaron and his sons, 28 and the turban of fine linen, and the decorated caps of fine linen, and the linen breeches of fine twisted linen, 29 and the sash of fine twisted linen, and blue and purple and scarlet material, the work of the weaver, just as the LORD had commanded Moses. 

SAMUEL'S STRIKING
CONTRAST

Now Samuel - This phrase marks the dawning of a new light in Israel! It could have been written as well "but Samuel" (as in NIV, KJV, et al) for Samuel's obedience in this section is in striking contrast to the blatant disobedience of Eli's sons who should have been doing what Samuel was doing! Eli's sons were stealing form Jehovah while Samuel was ministering to Jehovah!  

David Guzik observes that "God knew how bad Eli’s sons were, so He guided the whole series of events that resulted in Samuel’s service at the tabernacle. If Eli’s sons were not worthy successors then God would raise up someone else. Ultimately, corrupt ministers do not stop – or even hinder – the work of God. It may look like it; but every time there are men like Eli’s sons, God raises up someone like Samuel. God’s work does not stop when God’s ministers become corrupt. Though a child, Samuel served the Lord better and in a greater way than the sons of Eli did. What man looks at in the service of God is often not what the Lord looks at."

Was ministering before the LORD, as a boy wearing a linen ephod - Note that in 1Sa 2:11 Samuel was before Eli the priest, but now he is ministering before the LORD! He seems to have "graduated"! Also the fact that he was wearing a linen ephod supports his priestly preparation and matriculation, for the linen ephod was the garment designated for the priests (see passage above). The "ephod" in this verse was a linen robe or covering composed of a close-fitting, sleeveless, apron-like garment, extending to the hips which was worn by someone in priestly service (cf. Ex 28:4-28; see David's linen ephod in 2Sa 6:14). An apparently different meaning for "ephod" is required in Jdg 8:27; 17:5; 18:14. In these passages it seems that the ephod had become cast in metal and made an object of idolatry.

Bergen - In his service at Shiloh, Samuel wore the ephod, a sleeveless, hip-length garment that only members of the Levitical tribe were authorized to wear. The clear implication is that Samuel was a member of this tribe (cf. 1 Chr 6:22–28). (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)

How was Samuel ministering? We cannot be sure but John Trapp suggests "He did small charges, as setting up lights, laying up vestments, learning music, or the like.” It is also worth noting that the Septuagint translation of  was ministering is leitourgeo in the present tense indicating that this was young Samuel's continual, ongoing activity. In other words ministering to the LORD was a "job" in Samuel's mind (even at his young age), but was ingrained as his very lifestyle.

THOUGHT - Dear priest of Yahweh, is ministering to the LORD ingrained in your life as your lifestyle? Do you do whatever you do during the day as if it were an act of worship to your LORD? You can. You should. Young Samuel did! 

Related Resource:

1 Samuel 2:19  And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:19 καὶ διπλοΐδα μικρὰν ἐποίησεν αὐτῷ ἡ μήτηρ αὐτοῦ καὶ ἀνέφερεν αὐτῷ ἐξ ἡμερῶν εἰς ἡμέρας ἐν τῷ ἀναβαίνειν αὐτὴν μετὰ τοῦ ἀνδρὸς αὐτῆς θῦσαι τὴν θυσίαν τῶν ἡμερῶν

KJV  1 Samuel 2:19 Moreover his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

NET  1 Samuel 2:19 His mother used to make him a small robe and bring it up to him at regular intervals when she would go up with her husband to make the annual sacrifice.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:19 Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:19 Each year his mother made a small coat for him and brought it to him when she came with her husband for the sacrifice.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:19 His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:19 and a small upper coat doth his mother make to him, and she hath brought it up to him from time to time, in her coming up with her husband to sacrifice the sacrifice of the time.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:19 Moreover his mother used to make him a little robe, and bring it to him year by year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:19 His mother used to make him a little coat which she brought him each year when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.

  • a little robe an upper garment: Ex 28:4.
  • from year to year: 1Sa 1:3,21 Ex 23:14 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

A TOKEN OF HANNAH'S
LOVE FOR SAMUEL

And his mother would make him a little robe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice (cf 1Sa 1:21) - The robe was an important part of the clothing worn by key classes of persons in Israel and was used of the robe of the high priest (Ex. 28:4, 31; 29:5; 39:22). It is interesting that the was typically fringed with a distinctive hem that indicated a person’s standing. So again this piece of clothing indicates Samuel was being prepared for the priesthood. Samuel was out of Hannah's home but not out of Hannah's heart, and there is little doubt that this was also manifested in frequent prayers for her son. 

Wycliffe Bible Commentary (borrow) - The Hebrew meʿîl denotes a kind of long loose robe worn by kings (1 Chr 15:27), prophets (1 Sam 15:27), men of position (Job 2:12), and women of rank (2 Sam 13:18). It had a hole for the head, and slits in the sides for the arms to come through, but no sleeves. It was worn as an outer garment over the tunic.


John Mayshack - THE WINDOWS OF MOTHERHOOD Moreover, his mother made him a little coat, and brought it to him from year to year, when she came up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.” 1 Samuel 2:19

  1.      The Window of Faith
  2.      The Window of Virtue
  3.      The Window of Love
  4.      The Window of Prayer


F B Meyer - 1 Samuel 2:19   His mother made him a little coat.

What happy work it was! Those nimble fingers flew along the seams, because love inspired them. All her woman’s art and wit were put into the garment, her one idea and ambition being to make something which should be not only useful, but becoming. Not mothers only, but fathers, are always making little coats for their children, which they wear long years after a material fabric would have become worn out. How many men and women are wearing to-day the coats which their parents cut out and made for them long years ago!

Habits are the vesture of the soul. The Apostle bade his converts put off the old man, “which is corrupt, according to the deceitful lusts,” and to put on the new man “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”; to put off anger, wrath, and malice, whilst they put on mercy, humility, and meekness. What words could better establish the fact that habits are (as the name indicates) the clothing of the inner life? Where and how are habits formed? Not in the mid-passage of life, but at its dawn; not in great crises, but in daily circumstances; not in life’s arena but in the home, amid the surroundings of earliest childhood. Oh that the spotless robe of Christ’s righteousness may ever be exhibited before those with whom we daily come in contact!

By their behavior to each other and to their children; by the ordering of the home-life; by their actions, more than by their words; by the way in which they speak, and spend their leisure hours, and pray—men and women are making the little coats which, for better or worse, their children wear ever after, and perhaps pass down to after generations.

1 Samuel 2:20  Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, "May the LORD give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the LORD." And they went to their own home.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:20 καὶ εὐλόγησεν Ηλι τὸν Ελκανα καὶ τὴν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ λέγων ἀποτείσαι σοι κύριος σπέρμα ἐκ τῆς γυναικὸς ταύτης ἀντὶ τοῦ χρέους οὗ ἔχρησας τῷ κυρίῳ καὶ ἀπῆλθεν ὁ ἄνθρωπος εἰς τὸν τόπον αὐτοῦ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:20 And Eli blessed Elkanah and his wife, and said, The LORD give thee seed of this woman for the loan which is lent to the LORD. And they went unto their own home.

NET  1 Samuel 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, "May the LORD raise up for you descendants from this woman to replace the one that she dedicated to the LORD." Then they would go to their home.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife: "May the LORD give you children by this woman in place of the one she has given to the LORD." Then they would go home.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the LORD give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the LORD." So then they would return to their home.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, saying, "May the LORD give you children by this woman to take the place of the one she prayed for and gave to the LORD." Then they would go home.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:20 Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, "May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD. "

NRS  1 Samuel 2:20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the LORD repay you with children by this woman for the gift that she made to the LORD"; and then they would return to their home.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "The LORD give you children by this woman for the loan which she lent to the LORD"; so then they would return to their home.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:20 And Eli blessed Elkanah, and his wife, and said, 'Jehovah doth appoint for thee seed of this woman, for the petition which she asked for Jehovah;' and they have gone to their place.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:20 And Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "The LORD give you descendants from this woman for the loan that was given to the LORD." Then they would go to their own home.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, 'May Yahweh grant you an heir by this woman in exchange for the one which she has made over to Yahweh,' and they would go home.

  • bless: Ge 14:19 27:27-29 Nu 6:23-27 Ru 2:12 4:11 
  • dedicated. 1Sa 1:27,28 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

ELI'S PRAYER FOR 
MORE CHILDREN 

Then Eli would bless (barak) Elkanah and his wife and say, "May the LORD give you children from this woman in place of the one she dedicated to the LORD." And they went to their own home - Eli blessed and prayed for Hannah every year they came to worship at Shiloh. 

1 Samuel 2:21  The LORD visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew before the LORD.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:21 καὶ ἐπεσκέψατο κύριος τὴν Ανναν καὶ ἔτεκεν ἔτι τρεῖς υἱοὺς καὶ δύο θυγατέρας καὶ ἐμεγαλύνθη τὸ παιδάριον Σαμουηλ ἐνώπιον κυρίου

KJV  1 Samuel 2:21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

NET  1 Samuel 2:21 So the LORD graciously attended to Hannah, and she was able to conceive and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. The boy Samuel grew up at the LORD's sanctuary.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:21 The LORD paid attention to Hannah's need, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:21 Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:21 And the LORD was gracious to Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:21 And the LORD gave Hannah three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:21 And the LORD took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:21 And the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:21 When Jehovah hath looked after Hannah, then she conceiveth and beareth three sons and two daughters; and the youth Samuel groweth up with Jehovah.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:21 Yahweh visited Hannah; she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the child Samuel grew up in Yahweh's presence.

  • visited: 1Sa 1:19,20 Ge 21:1 Lu 1:68 
  • grew: 1Sa 2:26 3:19 Jdg 13:24 Lu 1:80 Lk 2:40,52 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Luke 1:80+  (JOHN THE BAPTIST) And the child continued to grow and to become strong in spirit, and he lived in the deserts until the day of his public appearance to Israel.

Luke 2:40; 52+ (JESUS) The Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
(2:52) And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

GOD ANSWERS ELI'S
PRAYERS FOR HANNAH

The LORD visited (paqad; Lxx - episkeptomai = to come to help, show care for) Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters - Visited is same verb used of God taking notice of Sarah in Ge 21:1 (translated "took note of"). Yahweh showed His grace to Hannah by opening her womb 5 more times (cf Eph 3:20+ God is "able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think."). As Solomon wrote years later "Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; The fruit of the womb is a reward." (Ps 127:3). Notice that we never hear about Peninnah or her children again, but Samuel goes on to be one the greatest men of God in the Old Testament. One is reminded of the race between the tortoise and the hare (rabbit), the rabbit taking the lead but the tortoise winning the race in the end. Romans 8:28+ says "God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

THOUGHT - Hannah's experience is Ia good illustration of our Lord's promise "If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over." (Lk 6:38NLT+) This begs the question we each need to answer -- how is my giving (my time, talents, treasures) when it comes to the LORD? Am I experiencing the blessing of Lk 6:38NLT+? We don't give to get. We don't give to obligate God to give. We freely give from our hearts, for that is the gift which is pleasing to God. (cf Pr 3:9-10+)

David Guzik remarks that "God will never be a debtor to anyone. Hannah could never say to the Lord, “I gave you my son, but what did you give me?” because God gave her much more in return."

Bergen - Ultimately God’s gracious (Heb. chen/hen) nature (cf. Ex 34:6) was demonstrated as the Lord provided Hannah, the Woman of Grace, with five additional children—three sons and two daughters.  (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)

Davis remarks "Hannah has given and now she receives "grace on top of grace" (John 1:16). That is typical, or, as we might say, "vintage Yahweh."....Hannah and her husband now disappear from our story; but they—and their houseful of noisy children (cf. Ps. 127:3-5)—should remain witnesses to us of "the giving God"  (Focus on the Bible Commentary – 1 Samuel: Looking on the Heart)

And the boy Samuel grew before the LORD - The same verb grew was used of Moses (Ex 2:10). Grew before is literally "grew with" the LORD. If one compares this to similar descriptions of John the Baptist and Jesus (see verses above) this was not just growth physically but spiritually. What a striking contrast the writer paints between the good hand of the LORD upon Samuel and his family and that of the heavy hand of the LORD upon Eli and his family in the following section. 

THOUGHT - The striking contrast between these two families is a clear reminder of the blessings of obedience and of living righteously before the LORD. This is a truth most of us know, but one wonders how many truly put into practice? Paul juxtaposed these two contrasting paths in his charge to Timothy "But flee (present imperative see our need to depend on the Holy Spirit to obey) from these things, you man of God, and pursue (also (present imperative) righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness." (1 Ti 6:11+)

Ryrie - Hannah provides an example for fervent prayer (1:10-11, 15), obedience (1:28), worship (2:1-10), and devotion to family (1:24; 2:18-19) that resulted in God's blessing. 


Visited (06485paqad  conveys the root idea of something that is attended to or set in order -- fighting men under an officer (2 Chr. 17:14), priests in an order (1 Chr. 23:11; 24:19); arrangement of Tabernacle (Nu 4:16[2x]). Office of one in charge of something (Ps 109:8) or officers (2 Ki. 11:18; Isa. 60:17). Usually pequddah means accounting when God attended to people's actions, usually to call them to account for their sins (Nu 16:29; Jer. 48:44). In Job 10:12 God's attention was for Job's good. In the Qal, it can mean "to attend to," "to pay attention to" or "to care for" which is what Yahweh did for Hannah in this context. 

1 Samuel 2:22  Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:22 καὶ Ηλι πρεσβύτης σφόδρα καὶ ἤκουσεν ἃ ἐποίουν οἱ υἱοὶ αὐτοῦ τοῖς υἱοῖς Ισραηλ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

NET  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old when he heard about everything that his sons used to do to all the people of Israel and how they used to have sex with the women who were stationed at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old. He heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they were sleeping with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old. He heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:22 And Eli is very old, and hath heard all that his sons do to all Israel, and how that they lie with the women who are assembling at the opening of the tent of meeting,

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:22 Although very old, Eli heard about everything that his sons were doing to all Israel,

  • Now: 1Sa 8:1 
  • did : 1Sa 2:13-17 Jer 7:9,10 Eze 22:26 Ho 4:9-11 
  • women: It is probable that these were persons who had some employment about the tabernacle:  see note on Ex 38:8.
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

ELI HEARS TENT OF MEETING
TURNED INTO A BROTHEL!

Now Eli was very old and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel- Why tell us he is very old? This would indicate he was most likely not directly involved in the activities in the tent of meeting. There is another reason which is that Eli had previously failed to rebuke his sons, when he was younger. There is an old saying "When the cat's away, the mice will play," and play they did! We also find out later that he could not see well. Could he not see what his sons were doing? Possibly not, but the evil report came to his ears (he was old but had not lost his hearing), because in v24 we see all the LORD'S people were talking about it! How long Eli knew about his son's evil behavior is not stated.

POSB - Wickedness and immorality had become ingrained into their very nature. Their hearts were hardened against the Lord and His commandments. Eli had indulged, given license to their bad behavior for too many years. His parental weakness was now public knowledge: he had pampered his sons, refusing to discipline them with a controlling hand.

THOUGHT- The lesson for us is a much needed lesson for parents. We must not pamper, indulge, or give license to the bad behavior of our children. Pampering, indulging, and giving license to misbehavior—whether mild or severe—is a clear sign of parental weakness. And, in most cases, failing to discipline our children will lead them to follow the immoral, wicked ways of the world. (POSB)

And how they lay with the women who served (tsabaat the doorway of the tent of meeting (only use of this term in 1-2 Samuel) - Sex with the women who helped at the tent of meeting compounded their earlier sin (1Sa 2:12-17) and confirmed they were thoroughly wicked "sons of Belial" (1Sa 2:12)! The women served not as priests but by helping in some way (cf Ex. 38:8 = "serving women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting"). Some writers suggest these women may have been cultic prostitutes which was common among the pagans, but the text does not substantiate that interpretation (cf Hos 4:14)! Remember, these are the priests of Israel and were to be holy, and yet these 2 evil men were anything but holy, resulting in a scandal among the lay people of Israel. This was Israel's version of the sex scandals we see today all too commonly among preachers! 

Here the name is tent of meeting and in 1Sa 1:9 "the temple of the LORD," suggesting somewhat of a more permanent structure, but even archaeology does not help us unravel the actual composure of the edifice.

Davis - Hophni and Phinehas had turned the tabernacle into a brothel, a place where sin was committed rather than confessed

NIV Study Bible - The immoral acts of Eli's sons are reminiscent of the religious prostitution (fertility rites) at the Canaanite sanctuaries—acts that were an abomination to the Lord and a desecration of his house (see Dt 23:17-18

R Payne Smith - To the profanity and greed described in 1Sa 2:12-17 the sons of Eli added unchastity; and their sin was the greater because the women whom they corrupted were those dedicated to religious service (see Ex 38:8). (Pulpit Commentary)

Woodhouse comments "It is appropriate to see in the lads’ behavior a reenactment of the dreadful rebellion of the Israelites at Shittim; see Numbers 25:1+. The terrible consequences of that event (read the rest of Numbers 25!), never forgotten in Israel (Deuteronomy 4:3; Joshua 22:17; Psalm 106:28–30; Hosea 9:10), may well cause us to shudder when we hear of the conduct of Hophni and Phinehas!...Sadly, in the conduct of these young men we recognize two forms that corruption in leadership commonly takes. The greed of 1Sa 2:13–17, where leaders use their position for personal gain, has damaged many in leadership. The particularly powerful and perverse form of greed mentioned in 1Sa 2:22, sexual immorality, where leaders use their position to exploit others for their own sexual pleasure, is all too familiar. If we have become too cynical to be shocked, we do well to pause. Leadership like that of Hophni and Phinehas was—and is—evil. (Preach the Word - 1 Samuel)


Served (06633)(tsaba) has two main meanings, to wage war, to muster into service and to serve, clearly the latter being the sense in 1Sa 2:22. Tsaba is used most often of gathering of people waging war against another city or country (Num. 31:7, 42; Isa. 29:7, 8; Zech. 14:12) and once of the Lord waging war (Isa. 31:4). In the other meaning, tsaba described the religious service in the Tabernacle ( Levites in Nu 4:23; 8:24; Women in Ex 38:8 and 1Sa 2:22). John Hartley has an interesting comment suggesting why tsaba most often refers to war but can refer to religious service writing "No doubt service for Yahweh is seen as involving total dedication and careful regimentation, and since God is Yahweh of hosts, enthroned between the cherubim housed inside the tent of meeting, work associated with the tent may be considered spiritual war." (see TWOT)

Tsaba - 13v - one to war(2), made war(1), mustered(2), perform(2), served(1), serving women served(1), wage war(4), war(1). Exod. 38:8; Num. 4:23; Num. 8:24; Num. 31:7; Num. 31:42; 1 Sam. 2:22; 1 Sam. 28:1; 2 Ki. 25:19; Isa. 29:7; Isa. 29:8; Isa. 31:4; Jer. 52:25; Zech. 14:12


QUESTION -  What was the tent of meeting?

ANSWER - The phrase tent of meeting is used in the Old Testament, specifically in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, as the name of a place where God would meet with His people, Israel. Usually, the “tent of meeting” was used as another name for the Tabernacle of Moses. However, before the tabernacle was constructed, God met with Moses in a temporary tent of meeting: “Now Moses used to take a tent and pitch it outside the camp some distance away, calling it the ‘tent of meeting.’ Anyone inquiring of the Lord would go to the tent of meeting outside the camp. . . . As Moses went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and stay at the entrance, while the Lord spoke with Moses” (Exodus 33:7, 9). The fact that Moses set up the tent of meeting outside of the camp underscored that the people had broken fellowship with God at Sinai when they had made the golden calf (see Exodus 33:3). After the tabernacle was built, Moses no longer needed his temporary tent, and the term tent of meeting began to be applied to the tabernacle.

In the Law that God gave Moses, God provided specific instructions to build a place of worship (Exodus 25—27). This “tent of meeting” or tabernacle could be taken up and moved each time they changed locations while wandering in the wilderness. The word tabernacle is an English rendition of the Hebrew word miskan, or “dwelling place.” The tabernacle was a temporary dwelling place for the Ark of the Covenant and the other holy items that the Israelites were instructed to use in the worship of and sacrifice to Yahweh.

Interestingly, the word tent or tabernacle is also used in the New Testament to draw profound spiritual conclusions about salvation. Both Paul and the writer of Hebrews make a distinction between a heavenly tent and an earthly tent, between what was “built by human hands” and what is “not part of this creation” (2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 9:11). Hebrews 9:1–10 describes the earthly tabernacle, or “tent of meeting,” as a place into which the priests would go to offer sacrifices for the sins of the people. Then, in verse 11, Christ is shown to be a better “high priest” who entered once through the “greater and more perfect tent,” referring to His body, to offer a sacrifice that would satisfy the wrath of God completely, for all time. This refers to His blood shed on the cross. The point of the passage is to show how, if the blood of animals could temporarily cleanse worshipers of the guilt of sin, the perfect blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, would cleanse His followers perfectly—that is, eternally—of their sins.

In Hebrews 10:14, the writer says that Jesus has “perfected forever those who are being sanctified.” This verse expresses a spiritual paradox. By entering the “tent of meeting,” which was His own body, and offering up His own blood, Christ “perfected forever” those who have faith in Him. And the result of belief in Christ is sanctification, a continual upward spiral of holiness and closeness to God, as the Holy Spirit performs His work within Christ’s followers. In this way, we are eternally “perfect” because of the preciousness of Christ’s blood applied to our lives, yet at the same time we are “being sanctified” by the Holy Spirit who indwells us and changes us into the image of Christ (Ephesians 2:8–9; Romans 8:29).

Paul also mentions the “tent of meeting” or the tabernacle, comparing it to the earthly human body: “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2 Corinthians 5:1–5).

When Paul says, “The tent that is our earthly home,” he is referring to our earthly body, our temporary dwelling place. Just as the Israelites moved the tent of meeting from place to place waiting for entrance to the Promised Land, believers in Christ are wanderers on the earth—people who are not “at home” in the world and who “seek a city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14). Paul says that those who belong to God will be “further clothed” with immortality upon their deaths and that their earthly tent (their body) will be replaced with a “heavenly dwelling.” God does the work of preparing us for that day of glorification by the process of sanctification by the Spirit, and that work happening within us is a “guarantee” that our inheritance and our heavenly dwelling are real. “In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory” (Ephesians 1:13–15).GotQuestions.org


John Piper -  WHEN GOD’S WILL IS THAT HIS WILL NOT BE DONE Meditation on 1 Samuel 2:22–25

Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the doorway of the tent of meeting. And he said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the LORD’s people circulating. If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.

It was too late for Eli’s sons. They had crossed the line of no return. The sentence had been given by the Lord. They were to be slain by the Lord. And they were slain, according to 1 Samuel 4:11. “And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.”
There are three implications of this text for our lives.

  1. It is possible to sin so long and so grievously that the Lord will not grant repentance.

That is why Paul said that after all our pleading and teaching, “God may grant them repentance”—not “will grant them repentance” (2 Timothy 2:25). “With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth …” (emphasis added). There is a “too late” in the life of sin. As it says of Esau in Hebrews 12:17, “He found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.” He was forsaken; he could not truly repent. His heart was too hard.

This does not mean that those who truly repent even after a whole lifetime of sinning cannot be saved. They certainly can be and will be! God is staggeringly merciful. Witness the thief on the cross: “Today you will be with Me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Jesus had said, “The one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out” (John 6:37). And so it proved to be for the thief on the cross in the eleventh hour. But no one knows where the point of no return is. The deciding factor is not a set number of years of sinning or a particular kind of sin. God alone knows in the case of each person where the line is crossed. This is a call for making haste to reconcile with God (Hebrews 3:15) and a call to be vigilant against willful and protracted sinning (Hebrews 10:26).

  2. God may not permit a sinning person to do what is right.

“But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.” Listening to the voice of their father was the right thing to do. But they would not. Why? “For the LORD desired to put them to death.” The reason given for why they did not obey their father was that God had other purposes for them and had given them up to sinning and death. This shows that there are times when the will of God’s decree is different from the will of God’s command. God commanded, “Children, obey your parents” (Ephesians 6:1). But in this case he willed that, instead of obedience, they persist in their sin and be slain. It was judgment. God is not sinning in this will of decree. He is ordering things so that sin continues for holy and just purposes. But willing that sin be in such cases is not sin.

  3. Sometimes our prayers for God’s revealed will to be done will not be done because God has decreed something different to bring about his holy and wise purposes.

I suppose that Eli prayed for his sons to be changed. That surely is how he should have prayed. God commanded that children obey their parents. So we should pray that they obey. But God had decreed that Hophni and Phinehas not obey, but rather be slain. When something like this happens (which we do not ordinarily know ahead of time) while we are crying out to God for change, the answer of God is not: “I don’t love you.” Nor is it, “I don’t hear you.” Nor is it even, “I don’t approve of your prayer.” Rather the answer is (even when we can’t hear it): “I have wise and holy purposes in not overcoming this sin and not granting repentance. You do not see these purposes now. Trust me. I know what I am doing. I love you.”

These are the hardest times of submission to the will of God. We cry. We ache. We plead for change in our children or spouse or parents or colleague or neighbor. We make our case with God that his revealed will of holiness and faith and love come forth in their lives. But year after year we see no change. Oh, the test to faith this is! But let us not join the rebellion. Let us put our hands on our mouths and unclench our fists and prostrate ourselves before the Lord of infinite wisdom and justice and love. And let us say, when all our tears are spent, May the Lord do what seems good to him (1 Samuel 3:18). (Taste and See)

1 Samuel 2:23  He said to them, "Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people?

BGT  1 Samuel 2:23 καὶ εἶπεν αὐτοῖς ἵνα τί ποιεῖτε κατὰ τὸ ῥῆμα τοῦτο ὃ ἐγὼ ἀκούω ἐκ στόματος παντὸς τοῦ λαοῦ κυρίου

KJV  1 Samuel 2:23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.

NET  1 Samuel 2:23 He said to them, "Why do you behave in this way? For I hear about these evil things from all these people.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:23 He said to them, "Why are you doing these things? I have heard about your evil actions from all these people.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:23 And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:23 So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:23 Eli said to them, "I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning?

NRS  1 Samuel 2:23 He said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:23 And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:23 and he saith to them, 'Why do ye things like these? for I am hearing of your evil words from all the people -- these!

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:23 So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:23 and said, 'Why are you behaving as all the people say you are?

  • Why: 1Ki 1:6 Ac 9:4 14:15 
  • by all: Isa 3:9 Jer 3:3 8:12 Php 3:19 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

ELI'S SOFT
REQUEST

He said to them, "Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people? - Instead of asking "why do...such things" he should have said "why don't you repent of the evil." This "Casper Milquetoast" approach is not the level of confrontation which their gross immorality deserved! Instead of a strong rebuke, he asks a meaningless question! We know the answer to Eli's question -- they did not know Yahweh and they were worthless sons, sons of Belial (2Sa 2:12KJV who were acting like sons of their spiritual father, Belial, [2Cor 6:15+], aka the devil! Jn 8:44). Their unbelief naturally led to their ungodly behavior, which was not even secret sin, but open scandal among the Israelites. It is almost as if they were flaunting their sins. This was "in your face" wickedness, open sin against God, and the "hens would come home to roost!" One is reminded of Joseph's reply to the wife Potiphar's attempts to seduce him "How then could I do this great evil, and sin against God?" (Ge 39:9) Hophni and Phinehas, even as priests, had to fear of offending God! 

Smith - Eli gives them but the faintest rebuke (ED: AN UNDERSTATEMENT!), and that apparently only because their misdeeds were in everybody's mouth; for the last clause of ver. 23 really is, "For I hear of your evil doings from all this people." Eli's old age may have increased his indifference, but his religious character could never have had much depth or earnestness, to allow him to regard such heinous sins so lightly. It seems even as if he chiefly felt the annoyance occasioned to himself by the expostulations urged upon him "from all this people."...The sins of men in high station do not end with themselves; they make others also to transgress. And as Eli's sons were Jehovah's ministers, and they had led into wickedness those who also were bound to holy service, their misconduct was a sin against Jehovah himself. (Pulpit Commentary)

David Guzik - Eli did about the worst thing a parent can do in trying to correct their children: just talk. All he did was whine about what they did wrong, but he never took the necessary actions to correct the problem. Parents would be better off to yell less, lecture less, and to take sensible action more often, letting the children see the consequences for their disobedience.. Writing from the 17th century, John Trapp advises Eli on what he should have said: “Draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress, the seed of the adulterer and the whore . . . ye degenerate brood and sons of Belial, and not of Eli; ye brats of fathomless perdition . . . It is stark stinking naught that I hear, and woe is me that I yet live to hear it; it had been better that I had died long since, or that you had been buried alive, than this to live and stink above the ground.”

1 Samuel 2:24  "No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the LORD'S people circulating.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:24 μή τέκνα ὅτι οὐκ ἀγαθὴ ἡ ἀκοή ἣν ἐγὼ ἀκούω μὴ ποιεῖτε οὕτως ὅτι οὐκ ἀγαθαὶ αἱ ἀκοαί ἃς ἐγὼ ἀκούω τοῦ μὴ δουλεύειν λαὸν θεῷ

KJV  1 Samuel 2:24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the LORD'S people to transgress.

NET  1 Samuel 2:24 This ought not to be, my sons! For the report that I hear circulating among the LORD's people is not good.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons, the report I hear from the LORD's people is not good.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the LORD's people.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:24 You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the LORD's people are not good.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:24 Nay, my sons; for the report which I am hearing is not good causing the people of Jehovah to transgress. --

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:24 "No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD'S people transgress.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:24 No, my sons, what I hear reported by the people of Yahweh is not good.

  • not good: Ac 6:3 2Co 6:8 1Ti 3:7 3Jn 1:12 
  • make (KJV): 1Sa 2:17,22 Ex 32:21 1Ki 13:18-21 15:30 2Ki 10:31 Mal 2:8 Mt 18:7 2Pe 2:18 Rev 2:20 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

SCANDALOUS REPORT
IN ISRAEL

No, my sons; for the report is not good which I hear the LORD'S people circulating - Eli with an understatement (report is not good) still fails to confront their blatant sin directly. He should have called them "my worthless sons!"

Note that the KJV renders the last part of the verse "ye make the LORD'S people to transgress," and there is support for that rendering in the Septuagint translation which reads "so that the people do not serve God." David Guzik picks up on this rendering and offers the interpretation that "this was the great sin of Eli’s sons. It was bad enough that they stole and indulged their own lusts; but they also, by their corrupt behavior, made people hate to worship God with their offerings at the tabernacle (1 Samuel 2:17), and they led women worshippers into sexual immorality." Wycliffe Bible Commentary adds "The Septuagint reads, so that the Lord's people do not worship; i.e., refuse to attend the services because the leaders are immoral."

1 Samuel 2:25  "If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the LORD desired to put them to death.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:25 ἐὰν ἁμαρτάνων ἁμάρτῃ ἀνὴρ εἰς ἄνδρα καὶ προσεύξονται ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ πρὸς κύριον καὶ ἐὰν τῷ κυρίῳ ἁμάρτῃ τίς προσεύξεται ὑπὲρ αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἤκουον τῆς φωνῆς τοῦ πατρὸς αὐτῶν ὅτι βουλόμενος ἐβούλετο κύριος διαφθεῖραι αὐτούς

KJV  1 Samuel 2:25 If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the LORD, who shall intreat for him? Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the LORD would slay them.

NET  1 Samuel 2:25 If a man sins against a man, one may appeal to God on his behalf. But if a man sins against the LORD, who then will intercede for him?" But Eli's sons would not listen to their father, for the LORD had decided to kill them.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:25 If a man sins against another man, God can intercede for him, but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to their father, since the LORD intended to kill them.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:25 If a man sins against another man, God may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" His sons, however, did not listen to their father's rebuke, for it was the LORD's will to put them to death.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:25 If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede?" But Eli's sons wouldn't listen to their father, for the LORD was already planning to put them to death.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:25 If one person sins against another, someone can intercede for the sinner with the LORD; but if someone sins against the LORD, who can make intercession?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the LORD to kill them.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:25 If a man sins against a man, God will mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father; for it was the will of the LORD to slay them.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:25 If a man sin against a man, then hath God judged him; but if against Jehovah a man sin, who doth pray for him?' and they hearken not to the voice of their father, though Jehovah hath delighted to put them to death.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:25 "If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?" Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:25 If one person sins against another, God will be the arbiter, but if he sins against Yahweh, who will intercede for him?' But they did not listen to their father's words, for Yahweh was bent on killing them.

  • sins against: De 17:8-12 25:1-3 
  • if a man: 1Sa 3:14 Nu 15:30 Ps 51:4,16 Heb 10:26 
  • who can: 1Ti 2:5 Heb 7:25 
  • listen: De 2:30 Jos 11:20 2Ch 25:16 Pr 15:10 Joh 12:39,40 
  • for: Rather, therefore, as the particle {kee} also signifies (see Ps 116:10:) "Therefore Jehovah purposed to destroy them."
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

ELI'S BELATED REBUKE FALLS
ON DEAF, DEFIANT EARS!

If one man sins against another, God will mediate for him (or "God shall judge him"); but if a man sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" - Note the clear contrast - there is a chance for relief in the first situation, but not i the latter! (Have I ever sinned against the LORD? Rhetorical of course - another evidence of His great mercy that I can write these words!) The idea is that when the dispute is between men, God might mediate or intercede, but when the sin is directly against Yahweh, no intercession is possible. The implication is that only thing left in the latter scenario is condemnation. Eli gives them what should have been a fearful warning, but he should have also barred them from Temple duty.

Smith adds "In case of wrong done between man and man, God as the supreme Arbitrator settles the dispute; but where the two parties are God and man, what third power is there which can interfere? The quarrel must go on to the bitter end, and God, who is your opponent, will also punish you."

NIV Study Bible - Eli's argument is that when someone commits an offense against another person, there is recourse to a third party to decide the issue (whether this be understood as God or as God's representatives, the judges; see NIV text notes on Ex 22:8-9); but when the offense is against the Lord, there is no recourse, for God is both the one wronged and the judge.

Bergen - Eli the judge used the imagery of a legal dispute in warning his sons. In a case pitting two people against each other, God could work either through his revealed law or through circumstances to exonerate the person charged with wrongdoing. However, if a person were pitted against the Lord in court, the human could expect only condemnation. Hophni and Phinehas, having committed capital offenses (cf. Lev 7:25; 22:9), could expect the Lord to bring the death penalty upon them. (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)

But they would not listen to the voice of their father - Their crimes were capital crimes and, if unrepented and uncorrected, it would have been Eli's responsibility to have them executed (read Deut 21:18-21+).

for the LORD desired to put them to death -  ESV = "it was the will of the LORD." NET = " for the LORD had decided to kill them."  NIV = "for it was the LORD's will to put them to death." The last part of this clause indicates Eli's warning was as they say "too little, too late," for these worthless sons were intractable in their evil behavior, so that God's judgment was a forgone conclusion.

The reaction of Hophni and Phinehas borders on arrogance (something like "we are untouchable") but one is reminded of Hannah's words in 1Sa 2:3 "“Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the LORD is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed." Indeed, the high-handed actions of Hophni and Phinehas had been weighed by God and they were found wanting on the divine scales of justice, thus the explanation that the LORD desired to put them to death.

POSB - Scripture clearly says that it was the Lord’s will to put them to death, and chapter four will show how they died. It was the Lord’s will for the priesthood to be pure, clean, and holy. The Lord does not take pleasure in killing people, for He is long-suffering and not willing that any should perish (2 Pe. 3:9). But the Lord does execute justice upon the earth. In dealing with the priesthood and the ministry to God’s people, it was both moral and just for God to begin removing these wicked priests who had corrupted the ministry.

MacArthur makes an interesting comment - Because Eli's sons had persisted in their evil ways, God had already determined to judge them. This divine, judicial hardening, the result of defiant refusal to repent in the past, was the reason Hophni and Phinehas refused to heed Eli's warnings. (ED: See also "Hard Sayings" below). (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible)

Woodhouse adds "They had gone too far. They were beyond repentance (cf. Hebrews 6:4–6). The Lord had given them up to their contempt for him and his ways (cf. Romans 1:24, 26, 28)." This is not a truth about God that we like to hear. But it is a grave mistake to think that verse 25 allows the blame for the young men’s hardness of heart to be placed on God. Their hardness was both their own choice and God’s judgment on them for that choice. It was like the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart in the days of Moses. Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exodus 8:15, 32; 9:34; cf. 7:13, 14, 22; 8:19; 9:7, 35), and God hardened Pharaoh’s heart (Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8). The one truth does not exclude the other. (Preach the Word)

Smith has a slightly different take - Naturally to so mild a remonstrance (FROM EIL), and founded upon so low a view of the Divine nature, the sons of Eli paid but slight attention, and by thus hardening themselves in sin they made their punishment inevitable, "because it pleased Jehovah to slay them."

Believers' Study Bible on for the LORD desired to put them to death - The second part of this verse does not indicate that this sin was predetermined and inescapable. As in the statement that "the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh" (Ex. 9:12), these words describe a man who chooses his own course and justly receives the consequent action of God. The sin of cultic prostitution being committed (v. 22) was particularly heinous because of its clear association with Canaanite religious prostitution.


Hard Sayings of the Bible  -   1Sa 2:25  Did God Prevent Eli’s Sons from Repenting?

In what way was it God’s will to put Eli’s sons to death? Does this mean that God actually intervened in some way to make sure that Hophni and Phinehas never repented and were therefore condemned to die? How free were the wills of these two priestly sons of the high priest, Eli, in this regard?

The Lord can both reverse the fortunes of the poor and rich (1 Sam 2:6) and confirm the hardness of heart of the rebellious and reprobate (1 Sam 2:25).

The hapless Eli, now in his advanced years, had more than he could contend with in his two strong-willed sons. To their earlier callous treatment of the Israelites who came bringing offerings to the house of God (1 Sam 2:13–16) the men now added sexual promiscuity (1 Sam 2:22; compare Ex 38:8). Such ritual prostitution, as practiced among their Canaanite neighbors, was strictly forbidden in Israel (Num 25:1–5; Deut 23:17; Amos 2:7–8).

Eli finally challenged the riotous and autocratic conduct of his two sons, but the rebuke fell on deaf ears: the men were determined to do what they were determined to do (1 Sam 2:25). What followed, then, was another instance of divine judicial hardening. Just as the Pharaoh of Israel’s oppression in Egypt defiantly refused any invitations to repent, even though God mercifully sent him one plague after another as a sign to that same effect, so God had finally decided in this case that he would end Eli’s sons’ lives: the decision was irrevocable.

Was this unfair or sudden? Hardly. God must have been calling these men to change for many years, but they, like Pharaoh, squandered these times of mercy and opportunities for change until time was no longer available. Moreover, the double jeopardy rule was in vogue here, for those who serve in the ministry of the things of God are doubly accountable, both for themselves and for those who look up to them for teaching and example (Jas 3:1). They had thereby sinned against the Lord. If the case seems to draw more judgment more swiftly, then let the fact that these men were under the double jeopardy rule be factored in and the appropriateness of the action will be more than vindicated.

See also comment on EXODUS 9:12.


Richard Hawker - If one man sin against another, the judge shall judge him. But if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?—1 Samuel 2:25.

It is a very solemn thing to behold a trembling convicted malefactor, when standing before an earthly tribunal, although the judge is of the same nature with himself: for every thing is solemn, earnest, and impartial. But what is the awfulness of a court of human judicature, compared to that day, in which a whole world, all found guilty before God, shall stand before the judgment-seat of Christ? In this life, there is, for the most part, somewhat to mitigate, and to excite hope in the worst of cases; some tender-hearted friend, some kind neighbour, some feeling relation, will be found to arise, to soften, if not able to relieve, the guilty man’s distress. But at that tribunal, where none can plead, and where all hearts are open, what shall be found to stop the overwhelming horrors of the condemned?—Pause, my soul, over the view, for it is solemn. If one man sin against another thus breaking the law, the judge shall judge him: and who is the Judge but Jesus? Here he that is the Judge is also the Advocate of his people; yea, their surety, their law-fulfiller; so that, as the apostle was commissioned to tell the Church, “If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 2:1, 2.) Precious thought! soul-supporting consolation! To all the sins and offences, both against God and man, the believer may plead the blood and righteousness of Jesus, as the law fulfiller and ransom paid for sin. But if a man sin against the Lord himself, by rejecting this counsel of God against his own soul, who then shall entreat for him? For the only Advocate, he slights; the only propitiation, he disclaims; and as there is I salvation in no other, and there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, to whom, in that awful day of God, will he look: or who but Jesus could take up his cause? O ye that know not Christ, or ye that slight him, think, before it be too late, what paleness, dread, and horror, must arrest that soul, which, when weighed in the balances, shall be found wanting! Cherish, my soul, the blessedness of thy hope, which is founded wholly on the Mediator’s righteousness; and resteth on what can never fail of acceptance, because founded both on the merit of Christ and God the Father’s own appointment—redemption in the blood of the Lamb, and being made accepted in the Beloved.

1 Samuel 2:26  Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the LORD and with men.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:26 καὶ τὸ παιδάριον Σαμουηλ ἐπορεύετο καὶ ἐμεγαλύνετο καὶ ἀγαθὸν καὶ μετὰ κυρίου καὶ μετὰ ἀνθρώπων

KJV  1 Samuel 2:26 And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the LORD, and also with men.

NET  1 Samuel 2:26 Now the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the LORD and with people.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:26 By contrast, the boy Samuel grew in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:26 And the boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:26 Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and with the people.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:26 And the youth Samuel is going on and growing up, and is good both with Jehovah, and also with men.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:26 And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the LORD and men.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:26 Meanwhile, the child Samuel went on growing in stature and in favour both with Yahweh and with people.

  • was growing in stature and in favor: 1Sa 2:21 
  • was in: Pr 3:3 Lu 1:80 2:40,52 Ac 2:47 Ro 14:18 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

GROWING IN
GRACE

Now - Now functions almost like a "but" because the contrast between Eli's sons and Hannah's son is so dramatic! The CSB in fact translates it "By contrast" to highlight the change in this story. Praise God it does not go from bad to worse but from bad to good! Hophni and Phinehas' sins were however going from bad to worse and would eventually end in their death which was orchestrated by God the righteous Judge. Eli's sons condemned, while Hannah's son commended.

The boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the LORD and with men -  Stature (gadel; Lxx = magaluno = to make great, name, reputation) can also be translated "becoming great," which in an apt description of young Samuel as subsequent events would prove. Samuel was growing physically but clearly growing spiritually. Was Eli his tutor? The text does not say, but it is possible. Ultimately of course the Spirit was His Tutor as He is for all who are growing in grace. Note the parallel here with the testimony concerning the child Jesus: "And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man" (Luke 2:52+). 

Note that this story was at the end of the dark days of Judges and the priestly line (the spiritual leaders) had become corrupt, but God was still in control and was making certain that He would preserve a godly remnant in young Samuel (See remnant). 


TODAY IN THE WORD

The boy Samuel continued to grow in stature and in favor with the Lord and with men. - 1 Samuel 2:26

One of the hardest times in parenthood comes while the child is 'sleeping like a baby.' In other words, the baby's crying in the middle of the night.

Many times, parents can't resist running in to hold the baby or to calm the child with a bottle of milk. As this trend continues over the years, those parents soon learn that they have not taught the child discipline. The ability to say 'no' to a child can frame an entire lifetime of behavior.

Catering to a child's every whim can teach children to have a very selfish attitude. Without a loving firmness toward children, parents meet the child's strongest desires, but ignore their child's best interests.

Parents who love their children must discipline them (Proverbs 13:24; 19:18). Lenience in the guise of kindness only spoils children. Perhaps that's where Eli failed as a father to his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas. They were wicked priests, who bullied the worshippers and dared to put themselves ahead of God in the offering sequence (1 Sam. 2:17). Eli was aware not only of these sins, but also of his sons' sexual immorality (they were probably imitating neighboring pagan practices).

The contrast with Samuel could not be more obvious. His mother's faithfulness was rewarded God blessed her with five more children. Samuel's own growth in the Lord (v. 26; cf. Prov. 3:1-4) was explicitly echoed later in the Bible, in reference to our Lord Jesus Christ (Lk. 2:52)!

That verse in Luke 2 isn't the only parallel. As with Jesus, Samuel's birth was a miracle of God. And like Jesus' mother (Lk. 1:46-55), Samuel's mother responded with words of praise. Most importantly, the child Samuel was learning to walk in righteousness and to follow the Lord.

TODAY ALONG THE WAY As you know, this month's study focuses on the life of Samuel and the early history of Israel under the kings. As we study, we'll discover how crucial the righteousness of individual leaders is to the fate of the nation.

On this Independence Day in the United States, it seems especially appropriate to pray for our nation's leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2). Pray that integrity will be a high priority in their lives. Pray that those who do not know God will be brought to an understanding of who He is. Pray that Christians in politics will have special wisdom for how to lead godly lives in this difficult arena.

Remember that the Lord is sovereign in the area of politics (Prov. 21:1), just as He is in all other areas of life.

1 Samuel 2:27  Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house?

BGT  1 Samuel 2:27 καὶ ἦλθεν ἄνθρωπος θεοῦ πρὸς Ηλι καὶ εἶπεν τάδε λέγει κύριος ἀποκαλυφθεὶς ἀπεκαλύφθην πρὸς οἶκον πατρός σου ὄντων αὐτῶν ἐν γῇ Αἰγύπτῳ δούλων τῷ οἴκῳ Φαραω

KJV  1 Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house?

NET  1 Samuel 2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Did I not plainly reveal myself to your ancestor's house when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh?

CSB  1 Samuel 2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Didn't I reveal Myself to your ancestral house when it was in Egypt and belonged to Pharaoh's palace?

ESV  1 Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD, 'Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh?

NIV  1 Samuel 2:27 Now a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "This is what the LORD says: 'Did I not clearly reveal myself to your father's house when they were in Egypt under Pharaoh?

NLT  1 Samuel 2:27 One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the LORD: "I revealed myself to your ancestors when the people of Israel were slaves in Egypt.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus the LORD has said, 'I revealed myself to the family of your ancestor in Egypt when they were slaves to the house of Pharaoh.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:27 And there came a man of God to Eli, and said to him, "Thus the LORD has said, `I revealed myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:27 And there cometh a man of God unto Eli, and saith unto him, 'Thus said Jehovah, Was I really revealed unto the house of thy father in their being in Egypt, before Pharaoh's house,

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD:`Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house?

NJB  1 Samuel 2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, 'This is what Yahweh says, "Did I not reveal myself to your father's family when they were in Egypt as slaves in Pharaoh's household?

  • a man: 1Sa 9:4 De 33:1 Jud 6:8 13:6 1Ki 13:1 1Ti 6:11 2Pe 1:21 
  • Did I: Ex 4:14,27 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

MAN OF GOD SPEAKS
GOD'S WORDS TO ELI

Then - This time sensitive word should always attract our attention as it generally marks a transition or progression, as in a narrative such as 1 Samuel. 

William MacDonald points out that "The Lord's rebuke of Eli was as harsh as Eli's rebuke of his sons had been soft." (Borrow Believer's Bible Commentary)

A man of God - This man of God will serve as God's "mouthpiece" (synonymous with prophet), to speak God's Word to the high priest Eli. Eli should have been hearing from Yahweh directly, but the priesthood had become so corrupt by this time that God had to send a man of God. This man of God remains unnamed as did most of the uses of this description in the OT, Moses being one exception (see Dt. 33:1; Josh 14:6, 1Chr 23:14).

Man of God - 76x in 71v in the OT (and 2 verses in the NT 1Ti 6:11; 2Ti 3:17) - Deut. 33:1; Jos. 14:6; Jdg. 13:6; Jdg. 13:8; 1 Sa 2:27; 1Sa. 9:6-8; 1Sa 9:10; 1 Ki. 12:22; 1 Ki. 13:1; 1 Ki. 13:4; 1 Ki. 13:5; 1 Ki. 13:6; 1 Ki. 13:7; 1 Ki. 13:8; 1 Ki. 13:11; 1 Ki. 13:12; 1 Ki. 13:14; 1 Ki. 13:21; 1 Ki. 13:26; 1 Ki. 13:29; 1 Ki. 13:31; 1 Ki. 17:18; 1 Ki. 17:24; 1 Ki. 20:28; 2 Ki. 1:9; 2 Ki. 1:10; 2 Ki. 1:11; 2 Ki. 1:12; 2 Ki. 1:13; 2 Ki. 4:7; 2 Ki. 4:9; 2 Ki. 4:16; 2 Ki. 4:21; 2 Ki. 4:22; 2 Ki. 4:25; 2 Ki. 4:27; 2 Ki. 4:40; 2 Ki. 4:42; 2 Ki. 5:8; 2 Ki. 5:14; 2 Ki. 5:15; 2 Ki. 5:20; 2 Ki. 6:6; 2 Ki. 6:9; 2 Ki. 6:10; 2 Ki. 6:15; 2 Ki. 7:2; 2 Ki. 7:17; 2 Ki. 7:18; 2 Ki. 7:19; 2 Ki. 8:2; 2 Ki. 8:4; 2 Ki. 8:7; 2 Ki. 8:8; 2 Ki. 8:11; 2 Ki. 13:19; 2 Ki. 23:16; 2 Ki. 23:17; 1 Chr. 23:14; 2 Chr. 8:14; 2 Chr. 11:2; 2 Chr. 25:7; 2 Chr. 25:9; 2 Chr. 30:16; Ezr. 3:2; Neh. 12:24; Neh. 12:36; Ps. 90:1; Jer. 35:4;

Came to Eli and said to him, "Thus says the LORD - So clearly this man of God is declaring the words he speaks are God's Words, not his words. One wonders why Eli readily accepted him and did not suspect a false prophet. The phrase "man of God" was used in the Old Testament to refer to a person who was chosen by God to fulfill a specific role or purpose and spoke especially of prophets who were representatives of God on Earth. In fact man of God was the second most common designation of prophets (after of course "prophet) in the Old Testament (see uses above).  In some cases, the phrase may also be used more generally to refer to any devout and righteous person who seeks to follow God's will, which would be the case in the use in 2Ti 3:17. His opening words validate the message that follows. Thus says the LORD occurs 419x in 417 verses in the Bible and is only found in the Old Testament. God had a lot to tell His people! 

'Did I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh's house? - He begins with a rhetorical question, a reminder of His great works in the past when Israel was in bondage in Israel. His question is a history lesson for Eli. From the following context, it is clear the man of God is referring to the priestly line, the first "father" of which would be Aaron, who was present when Israel was in bondage.

MacArthur notes that "Although Eli's genealogy was not recorded in the OT, he was a descendant of Aaron. The Lord had revealed Himself to Aaron in Egypt before the Exodus (see Ex 4:4-16). Aaron had been divinely chosen to serve the Lord as the first in a long line of priests (Ex 28:1-4). (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible)

Pulpit Commentary has a lengthy note on the timing of the man of God's visitation - As regards the date of this visitation of the man of God, we find that Eli was ninety-eight years of age when the ark was captured (1 Samuel 4:15). At that time Samuel was not merely a man, hut one whose reputation was established throughout the whole land, and who was probably regarded not merely as a prophet, but as Eli's successor in the office of judge (1 Samuel 3:19, 20). But Eli was "very old" (1 Samuel 2:22) when he rebuked his sons, probably between seventy and eighty, for Samuel is then called a child (ver. 26); whereas he can scarcely have been much less than thirty years of age when the Philistines destroyed Shiloh. In 1 Samuel 8:1-3, when the misconduct of Samuel's own sons led to the revival of the agitation for a king, he is himself described as already "old;" but as he lived on till nearly the end of Saul s reign, he could not at that time have been much more than sixty. Even when God spake by him to Eli he is still described as a boy, na'ar (1 Samuel 3:1), though the higher position to which he had attained, as is proved by his duties, would lead to the conclusion that he was then verging on manhood. As some time would naturally elapse between two such solemn warnings, we may feel sure that the visit of the man of God occurred shortly after Samuel s dedication. Then, as Eli neglected the warning, and the wickedness of his sons grew more inveterate, some eight or ten years afterwards the warning was repeated in sharper tones by the voice of his own youthful attendant. And so the warning given by the mouth of Samuel is stern and final. Ten or fifteen more years must elapse before the ruin came. But the gloom was deepening; the Philistines were increasing in power, and the valour of Israel was decaying as its morality declined; then there was a short violent crash, and the house of Eli met its doom.


R C Sproul - Woe to Eli’s House 1 SAMUEL 2:27–29 - Tabletalk

“ ‘Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ ” (1 Sam. 2:29)

We have been told already by the author of 1 Samuel that Eli’s sons are living on borrowed time, for they are sinful and unrepentant. In today’s passage, God brings His complaint against them to Eli. Unfortunately, Eli finds himself under God’s indictment as well.

Our text says that a “man of God,” a prophet, comes to Eli. Prophets are messengers for God; for this reason, like the man of God in today’s passage, they typically begin their pronouncements by saying, “ ‘Thus says the LORD.’ ” The appearance of this prophet is a significant event, for “the word of the LORD was rare” (3:1) in these years. It is a time when God is saying little to His people. Prophets had been known in Israel’s past (Gen. 20:7; Deut. 18:15; 34:10; Judg. 6:8). Now, however, they will become more common in the Scriptural record, and we will meet several in 1 and 2 Samuel.

Like most prophets, this man is entrusted with a message of judgment. First, however, he speaks to Eli of God’s grace. He notes that God revealed Himself to Eli’s ancestor Aaron when Israel was enslaved in Egypt. Anyone to whom God reveals Himself is greatly blessed, but God went further in Aaron’s case, choosing him and his descendants, from all the families in Israel, to serve as priests. And even more, God provided a generous living for His priests from the offerings of the people. God did good for the priestly line, including Eli. But then comes the indictment: “ ‘Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering … and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel?’ ” God holds Eli guilty because he has not done all he can to stop the sinful practices of his sons; in effect, Eli has shown more honor to them than to God. Also, God’s words seem to imply that Eli has grown fat (4:18) by eating the illicit meat his sons have poached. Eli has forgotten the goodness of God to his family, the privilege of serving as a priest.

However, as Matthew Henry notes, God has gracious reasons for sending this message to Eli. The hearts of Hophni and Phinehas are hard, and their doom is determined. But Eli might yet be called back to obedience. “The message is sent to Eli himself, because God would bring him to repentance and save him; not to his sons, whom He had determined to destroy,” Henry writes in his commentary.

CORAM DEO  Eli’s sons deserved to be deposed from the priesthood, but Eli’s “love” for them prevented him from taking strong action. In so doing, he set aside his love for God and His law. He needed to remember that proper discipline for sin shows love for God and the sinner. Pray that your church leaders will keep this balance of affections.

1 Samuel 2:28  'Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests, to go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me; and did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel?

BGT  1 Samuel 2:28 καὶ ἐξελεξάμην τὸν οἶκον τοῦ πατρός σου ἐκ πάντων τῶν σκήπτρων Ισραηλ ἐμοὶ ἱερατεύειν καὶ ἀναβαίνειν ἐπὶ θυσιαστήριόν μου καὶ θυμιᾶν θυμίαμα καὶ αἴρειν εφουδ καὶ ἔδωκα τῷ οἴκῳ τοῦ πατρός σου τὰ πάντα τοῦ πυρὸς υἱῶν Ισραηλ εἰς βρῶσιν

KJV  1 Samuel 2:28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?

NET  1 Samuel 2:28 I chose your ancestor from all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifice on my altar, to burn incense, and to bear the ephod before me. I gave to your ancestor's house all the fire offerings made by the Israelites.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:28 Out of all the tribes of Israel, I selected your house to be priests, to offer sacrifices on My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in My presence. I also gave your house all the Israelite fire offerings.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:28 Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:28 I chose your father out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod in my presence. I also gave your father's house all the offerings made with fire by the Israelites.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:28 I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:28 I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to offer incense, to wear an ephod before me; and I gave to the family of your ancestor all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:28 And I chose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me; and I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:28 even to choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to Me for a priest, to go up on Mine altar, to make a perfume, to bear an ephod before Me, and I give to the house of thy father all the fire-offerings of the sons of Israel?

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:28 `Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire?

NJB  1 Samuel 2:28 Did I not single him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn the offering, to carry the ephod in my presence; and did I not grant all the burnt offerings made by the Israelites to your father's family?

  • And did I: Ex 28:1,4,6-30 29:4-37 39:1-7 Lev 8:7,8 Nu 16:5 17:5-8 18:1-7 2Sa 12:7 
  • did I give: Lev 2:3,10 6:16 7:7,8,32,34,35 10:14,15 Nu 5:9,10 18:8,19 De 18:1-8 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

REVIEW OF THE DUTIES
OF THE HOLY PRIESTS

Did I not choose them from all the tribes of Israel to be My priests - Answer? Yes! The tribe of Levi was the tribe God choose to be the source of the priests in His Tabernacle. Not every Levite was a priest, but every priest was a Levite. 

ESV Study Bible note says "Your father” probably refers specifically to Ithamar, son of Aaron, who was made a priest of the Lord at Mount Sinai along with his father and brothers (Ex. 28:1; cf. 1 Chron. 24:3). Eli was a descendant of this house, according to 1 Chron. 24:3, where it is stated that his great-great-great-grandson Ahimelech was “of the sons of Ithamar.” The descent from Eli to this Ahimelech is as follows: Eli—Phinehas—Ahitub (1 Sam. 14:3)—Ahimelech—Abiathar (22:20)—Ahimelech (2 Sam. 8:17; 1 Chron. 24:6). (Borrow ESV Study Bible)

To go up to My altar, to burn incense, to carry an ephod before Me - This describes the function of the high priest, Aaron being the progenitor of the priestly line. 

And did I not give to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel? - Again the man of God asks a question which functions as a rhetorical reminder of God's gracious gift of fire offerings which played such a vital role in the approach to and worship of the Holy God by unholy people. Specifically in context the gift of the fire offerings would refer to the meat God had provided for sustenance of the priests (Lev 2:3, 10, Lev 7:31-36). Well-fed ("heavy") Eli would have been nodding affirmatively or answering the man of God, "Yes that is true." 


QUESTION - What is the difference between priests and Levites?

ANSWER - The Levites were the tribe of Israelites descended from Levi, one of the twelve sons of Jacob. The priests of Israel were a group of qualified men from within the tribe of the Levites who had responsibility over aspects of tabernacle or temple worship. All priests were to be Levites, according to the Law, but not all Levites were priests.

Priests existed prior to the Levites in a general sense. For example, we first see the role of a priest in Genesis 14:18 during Abraham’s time, long before Levi was born. Melchizedek was the king of the town of Salem, which later became Jerusalem. Melchizedek was also said to be “a priest forever” (Psalm 110:4; cf. Hebrews 6:20; 7:17). Pagan nations also had priests for their religious activities. Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, was the priest of Midian (Exodus 3:1;18:1).

When the Jews received the Law of Moses at Sinai, the Lord gave commands regarding a formal priesthood for Israel. The priests would be males from the tribe of Levi and must meet certain physical and age qualifications in order to serve. In addition, they had to remain ceremonially clean to perform their duties before a holy God. The priests served as mediators between the Israelites and God. They were the ones who performed animal sacrifices on behalf of the people. It was only the priests who were permitted to enter the Holy Place in the tabernacle and, later, the temple. A more detailed description of the Levitical priesthood can be found in our article “What was the Levitical priesthood?”

Among these Levitical priests was the high priest. The first high priest was Aaron, the brother of Moses. His sons and their descendants were to serve as the future high priests of the nation of Israel (Exodus 29). Only the high priest was permitted to enter the Most Holy Place in the tabernacle and temple, and that only once per year on the Day of Atonement. A more detailed description of the work of the high priest can be found in our article “What was the biblical role of the high priest?”

Ezra, one of the leaders of the Jews who returned from Babylon, was a Levitical priest (Nehemiah 12:1). Zechariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s parents, were both Levites descended from Aaron (see Luke 1:5). Zechariah was a priest, but his son, John, also a Levite, was a prophet, not a priest.

By the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the Jewish priesthood held much spiritual and political power. In fact, the Jewish chief priests were involved in sentencing Jesus to death.

Following the resurrection of Jesus, believers now live under a new covenant in which all Christians are priests: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). We no longer need an earthly mediator between us and God because Jesus has made the final sacrifice on our behalf and acts as our Mediator (Hebrews 10:19–23; 1 Timothy 2:5).

The Jewish role of high priest is now fulfilled by Jesus, who serves as our high priest. Jesus’ sacrifice ended our need for continued sacrifices. The Holy Spirit guides and counsels us.

The Levitical priesthood was part of the old covenant system of sacrifices. It has been fulfilled in Jesus, and we are now under the new covenant. There is no longer a biblical mandate for priests. Every follower of Christ has access to God, regardless of gender, race, or tribe (Hebrews 7:11–28; Ephesians 3:11–12; Colossians 3:11).GotQuestions.org

Related Resource:


QUESTION - What was the biblical role of the high priest?

ANSWER - The high priest was the supreme religious leader of the Israelites. The office of the high priest was hereditary and was traced from Aaron, the brother of Moses, of the Levite tribe (Exodus 28:1; Numbers 18:7). The high priest had to be “whole” physically (without any physical defects) and holy in his conduct (Leviticus 21:6-8).

Because the high priest held the leadership position, one of his roles was overseeing the responsibilities of all the subordinate priests (2 Chronicles 19:11). Though the high priest could participate in ordinary priestly ministries, only certain functions were given to him. Only the high priest could wear the Urim and the Thummin (engraved dice-like stones used to determine truth or falsity). For this reason, the Hebrew people would go to the high priest in order to know the will of God (Numbers 27:21). An example of this is when Joshua was commissioned by Eleazar, the high priest, to assume some of Moses’ responsibilities (Numbers 27:21). In the New Testament, we find a reference to the high priest having the gift of prophecy (John 11:49-52).

The high priest had to offer a sin offering not only for the sins of the whole congregation, but also for himself (Leviticus 4:3-21). When a high priest died, all those confined to the cities of refuge for accidently causing the death of another person were granted freedom (Numbers 35:28).

The most important duty of the high priest was to conduct the service on the Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month of every year. Only he was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place behind the veil to stand before God. Having made a sacrifice for himself and for the people, he then brought the blood into the Holy of Holies and sprinkled it on the mercy seat, God’s “throne” (Leviticus 16:14-15). He did this to make atonement for himself and the people for all their sins committed during the year just ended (Exodus 30:10). It is this particular service that is compared to the ministry of Jesus as our High Priest (Hebrews 9:1-28).

In understanding the role of the high priest, we can better comprehend the significance of Christ offering Himself for our sins once for all (Hebrews 9:26; 10:10, 12). Through Christ’s sacrifice for us, we are sanctified and set apart for Him. By entering God’s presence on our behalf, Christ has secured for us an “eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:12). As Paul has written, “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5). GotQuestions.org

1 Samuel 2:29  'Why do you kick at My sacrifice and at My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling, and honor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel?'

BGT  1 Samuel 2:29 καὶ ἵνα τί ἐπέβλεψας ἐπὶ τὸ θυμίαμά μου καὶ εἰς τὴν θυσίαν μου ἀναιδεῖ ὀφθαλμῷ καὶ ἐδόξασας τοὺς υἱούς σου ὑπὲρ ἐμὲ ἐνευλογεῖσθαι ἀπαρχῆς πάσης θυσίας Ισραηλ ἔμπροσθέν μου

KJV  1 Samuel 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

NET  1 Samuel 2:29 Why are you scorning my sacrifice and my offering that I commanded for my dwelling place? You have honored your sons more than you have me by having made yourselves fat from the best parts of all the offerings of my people Israel.'

CSB  1 Samuel 2:29 Why, then, do all of you despise My sacrifices and offerings that I require at the place of worship? You have honored your sons more than Me, by making yourselves fat with the best part of all of the offerings of My people Israel.'

ESV  1 Samuel 2:29 Why then do you scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded for my dwelling, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?'

NIV  1 Samuel 2:29 Why do you scorn my sacrifice and offering that I prescribed for my dwelling? Why do you honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choice parts of every offering made by my people Israel?'

NLT  1 Samuel 2:29 So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me-- for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!

NRS  1 Samuel 2:29 Why then look with greedy eye at my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons more than me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?'

RSV  1 Samuel 2:29 Why then look with greedy eye at my sacrifices and my offerings which I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves upon the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?'

YLT  1 Samuel 2:29 Why do ye kick at My sacrifice, and at Mine offering which I commanded in My habitation, and dost honour thy sons above Me, to make yourselves fat from the first part of every offering of Israel, of My people?

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:29 `Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?'

NJB  1 Samuel 2:29 Why do you trample on the offering and on the sacrifice which I have ordered for my Dwelling, and honour your sons more than me, by growing fat on the best of the offerings of Israel, my people?

  • kick: 1Sa 2:13-17 De 32:15 Mal 1:12-13 
  • at my sacrifice: They disdained to take the part allowed by the law; and would take for themselves what part they pleased, and as much as they pleased. 1Sa 2:13-16 
  • dwelling: De 12:5,6 Jos 18:1 
  • honor: Lev 19:15 De 33:9 Mt 10:37 22:16 Lu 14:26 2Co 5:16 Jas 3:17 
  • making: 1Sa 2:13-16 Isa 56:11,12 Eze 13:19 34:2 Ho 4:8 Mic 3:5 Ro 16:18 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Deuteronomy 32:15+  “But Jeshurun ("upright one") grew fat and kicked– You are grown fat, thick, and sleek– Then he forsook God who made him, And scorned the Rock of his salvation. 

Malachi 1:12-13+  “But you are profaning it, in that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.’ 13 “You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it,” says the LORD of hosts, “and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?” says the LORD.

YAHWEH REBUKES ELI FOR
PRIORITIZING APPETITES OVER ADORATION 

'Why do you kick at My sacrifice (zebah) and at My offering (minchah) which I have commanded in My dwelling (CSB = "place of worship")- The picture of kick recalls the description of Jeshurun (Israel) who "grew fat and kicked" which refers to Israel's rebellious disposition and her unholy actions toward the Holy One of Israel (Dt 32:15+). To kick at God's sacrifice and offering is clearly a picture indicating the one kicking (he says "you" which would directly refer to Eli, but clearly by implication to his two worthless sons) was demonstrating disdain or scorn for God's provision. Specifically it refers to the irreverent, disrespectful attitude that led to the profane, unholy actions (greed, immorality) committed by Hophni and Phinehas! 

And honor (kabad) your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the choicest of every offering of My people Israel? - How did Eli honor his sons above Yahweh? By permitting his sons to deal profanely with the sacrifices, and to be served first, by taking their part before the fat, etc. Eli thus honored his sons above God. Eli as chief priest should have honored God above all men, even his sons, and had it done so, they would have been punished for their evil deeds (even put to death). The Septuagint uses doxazo to translate honor (kabad) which means to give high status, to magnify, to praise, to give great honor, to glorify!  Secondly, Eli was a benefactor of his sons "skimming off the top" and stealing from Yahweh. He would reap what he had sown for in his gross obesity he would tumble off the seat and die, 1Sa 4:18+ explain that he fell backward and his neck was broken "because he he was old and heavy (kabad - literal use of  word used here for "honor"!) !" Why was he heavy? He had been eating what should have gone to the LORD and it would soon be "payday!" 


Honor (glorify) (03513kabad is a verb which means to weigh heavily, to be heavy (weighty, burdensome), to be honored, to be wealthy, to get honor, to make dull, to make hard, to multiply or make numerous. There are 2 literal uses of kabad describing Eli as heavy (1Sa 4:18) and Absalom's hair as heavy (2Sa 14:26). Most of the uses of kabad are figurative and most of these figurative uses in turn convey the sense of honor or glory (e.g., a “weighty” person in society is one who is honored or worthy of respect ["respected" = Ge 24:19].)

Honor (Webster) - To revere; to show or regard with respect or esteem; to treat with deference and submission, To reverence; to manifest the highest veneration for, in words and actions; to entertain the most exalted thoughts of; to worship; to adore. to raise to distinction or notice; to elevate in rank or station; to exalt.

The godly man "honors (Lxx = doxazo) those who fear the LORD." (Ps 15:4) God honors (Lxx = doxazo) those who call on Him in the day of trouble (Ps 50:15, Ps 91:15). The one who "offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors (Lxx = doxazo)" God (Ps 50:23) In Ps 86:9, 12 kabad means to "glorify (Lxx = doxazo) Your (God's) Name."


Failure To Discipline

No chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness. —Hebrews 12:11

Today's Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:27-36

We live in the woods, so we get very little prolonged sunlight in the summer. But we love fresh tomatoes, so I decided to try growing them in pots set in a few sunny spots.

The plants started to grow right away and really fast. I was thrilled—until I realized that their fast growth was due to their efforts to reach out to the limited sunlight. By the time I figured out what was happening, the vines were too heavy to support themselves. I found some stakes, lifted the vines carefully, and fastened them in an upright position. Even though I tried to be gentle, one of the twisted vines broke when I tried to straighten it.

This reminded me that discipline must begin before character is permanently bent and twisted.

Eli the priest had two sons whom he failed to discipline. When their wickedness got so bad that he could no longer ignore it, he tried gentle rebuke (1 Sam. 2:24-25). But it was too late, and God announced the dire consequences: “I will judge [Eli’s] house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them” (1Sa 3:13).

Being straightened out is painful, but being left crooked will ultimately hurt even more. By:  Julie Ackerman Link (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

 Lord, even though it’s painful, we’re thankful that You, in love, discipline us as Your children. Help us to respond with repentance and obedience to Your ways. Amen.  

  God’s love confronts and corrects.  


Correct Them

Why do you . . . honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people? —1 Samuel 2:29

Today's Scripture: 1 Samuel 2:12,27-36

Therapist and mother Lori Gottlieb says that parents who are obsessed with their children’s happiness may actually contribute to their becoming unhappy adults. These parents coddle their children, do not equip them to deal with the real world, look the other way when their children do wrong, and neglect disciplining them.

In 1 Samuel, we read that the high priest Eli sometimes looked the other way. We don’t know what he was like as a father when his boys were young. But he failed to properly deal with their behavior as grown men serving in God’s temple. They were selfish, lustful, and rebellious, putting their own needs ahead of God’s Word and the needs of the people. At first, Eli rebuked them but they would not listen. Instead of removing them from service, he looked the other way and let them continue in their sin. As a result of his sons’ sins and because Eli honored his sons above the Lord (1 Sam. 2:29), the Lord warned Eli that his family would suffer judgment (v.34; 4:17-18).

As Christian parents, we have the awesome responsibility to lovingly discipline our children (Prov. 13:24; 29:17; Heb. 12:9-11). As we impart God’s wisdom to them, we have the blessing of helping them develop into responsible, God-fearing adults. By:  Marvin Williams (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. — Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)

They are buds of hope and promise,
Possessed by Him whose name is Love;
Lent us here to train and nourish
For a better life above.
—Crosby

Failure to discipline our children is a failure to love them.

1 Samuel 2:30  "Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, 'I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever'; but now the LORD declares, 'Far be it from Me--for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be lightly esteemed.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:30 διὰ τοῦτο τάδε εἶπεν κύριος ὁ θεὸς Ισραηλ εἶπα ὁ οἶκός σου καὶ ὁ οἶκος τοῦ πατρός σου διελεύσεται ἐνώπιόν μου ἕως αἰῶνος καὶ νῦν φησιν κύριος μηδαμῶς ἐμοί ὅτι ἀλλ᾽ ἢ τοὺς δοξάζοντάς με δοξάσω καὶ ὁ ἐξουθενῶν με ἀτιμωθήσεται

KJV  1 Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

NET  1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'I really did say that your house and your ancestor's house would serve me forever.' But now the LORD says, 'May it never be! For I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed!

CSB  1 Samuel 2:30 "Therefore, this is the declaration of the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Although I said your family and your ancestral house would walk before Me forever, the LORD now says, "No longer!" I will honor those who honor Me, but those who despise Me will be disgraced.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,' but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:30 "Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that your house and your father's house would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:30 "Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD the God of Israel declares: 'I promised that your family and the family of your ancestor should go in and out before me forever'; but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be treated with contempt.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:30 Therefore the LORD the God of Israel declares: `I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me for ever'; but now the LORD declares: `Far be it from me; for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:30 'Therefore -- the affirmation of Jehovah, God of Israel -- I certainly said, Thy house and the house of thy father, do walk up and down before Me to the age; and now -- the affirmation of Jehovah -- Far be it from Me! for he who is honouring Me, I honour, and those despising Me, are lightly esteemed.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:30 "Therefore the LORD God of Israel says:`I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.' But now the LORD says:`Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:30 Whereas -- this is what Yahweh, God of Israel, declares -- I had promised that your family and your father's family would walk in my presence for ever, now, however -- this is what Yahweh declares -- nothing of the sort! Those who honour me I honour in my turn, and those who despise me will be an object of contempt.

  • I did indeed say: Ex 28:43 Ex 29:9 Nu 25:11-13 
  • Be it far: Nu 35:34 *marg 2Ch 15:2 Jer 18:9,10 
  • them: Jdg 9:10 Ps 50:23 Pr 3:9,10 Isa 29:13 Da 4:34 Mal 1:6 Joh 5:23 8:49 13:31,32 17:4,5 
  • I will honor: Ps 18:20 Ps 91:14 Joh 5:44 12:26 1Co 4:5 1Pe 1:7 
  • despise: Nu 11:20 2Sa 12:9,10 Mal 2:8,9 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

Exodus 29:9  “You shall gird them with sashes, Aaron and his sons, and bind caps on them, and they shall have the priesthood by a perpetual statute. So you shall ordain Aaron and his sons.

Numbers 25:11-13+ (GOD'S PROMISE OF PRIESTHOOD RENEWED TO HOUSE OF ELEAZAR) “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, has turned away My wrath from the sons of Israel in that he was jealous with My jealousy among them, so that I did not destroy the sons of Israel in My jealousy. 12 “Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give him My covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be for him and his descendants after him, a covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God and made atonement for the sons of Israel.’” 

YAHWEH'S CONCLUSION

Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, 'I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father should walk before Me forever' - Yahweh had given a promise, but it was not an unconditional promise in the case of Eli's house (see Guzik's note below). Flagrant disobedience and dishonoring of God negated the promise in the case of Eli's house. Priests were to be holy in order to walk before Yahweh. There were consequences to their high-handed sins! There always are. No one sins in a vacuum. No one sins willfully against God and escapes unscathed! 

See the diagram above showing the descendants of Levi. You will notice of the 4 sons of Aaron, two were killed (Nadab and Abihu -- which should have been a frightening reminder to Hophni and Phinehas, but of course proved not to be the case), and two sons lived, Eleazar and Ithamar. Eli was a descendant of Ithamar. Phinehas (see Nu 25:11-13 above) was a descendant of Eleazar. The promise of the perpetual priesthood would be removed from Ithamar's line (Eli's line) and given to Eleazar's line. As discussed below Zadok was from the line of Eleazar and would carry on the priesthood in the reign of Solomon and perpetually into the future Millennial Kingdom (cf Ezek 40:46, 43:19, 44:15, 48:11). 

Bergen - The sins of Eli and his sons represented a breach of contract with the Lord. Thus, the Lord was no longer bound by the terms of the agreement. God expressed the conditional nature of his dealings with humanity with the epigram, “Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained” (v. 30). (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)

David Guzik on your father should walk before Me forever points out that "This is a promise to Aaron in passages like Exodus 29:9. God did not remove the priesthood from the line of Aaron, but He did remove it from the line of Eli.

But now - This introduces a dramatic turn around in the future for Eli's family. 

The LORD declares, 'Far be it from Me--for those who honor (kabadMe I will honor (kabad) - This is a gracious promise from God and must have caused Eli to wince because he had honored (kabad) his sons above Yahweh and thus disqualified himself for honor.

and those who despise (bazah) Me will be lightly esteemed (qalal) - NLT = "I will despise those who think lightly of me." NET = "hose who despise me will be cursed" Lightly esteemed means they will become insignificant! The Septuagint has the verb atimoo which means they would be treated with disrespect, dishonored, treated shamefully! Eli was an "accomplice" so to speak in the sins of his sons and his being "lightly esteemed" was reflected by loss of the priesthood from his line. 

Henry Morris - lightly esteemed.  This judgment (1 Sa 2:30-33) indicates that the priestly line descended from Eli would eventually be terminated. This prophecy was finally carried out when Solomon banished Abiathar and replaced him with Zadok (1 Ki2:27; 1Sa3:12). (Borrow The Defender's Study Bible)

David Guzik - If Eli were more afraid of offending God and less afraid of offending his sons he would have corrected them as he should have. Eric Liddell was one of Britain’s great athletes, and later he gave his life for Jesus on the mission field. In 1924 he was to run for Britain in the Olympics when it was discovered that the preliminary heats of his best event – the 100 meters – would be run on a Sunday. Quietly but firmly, Liddell refused to run. The day of 400 meters race came, and as Liddell went to the starting blocks, an unknown man slipped a piece of paper in his hand with a quotation from 1 Samuel 2:30: Those who honor Me I will honor. That day Eric Liddell set a world’s record in the 400 meters.


Despise (0959bazah is from a root meaning to accord little worth to something) means to disdain or to hold in contempt. Bazah is used in a number of places to mean “despise” in the sense of treating someone or something as totally insignificant or worthless. Bazah means to raise the head loftily and disdainfully, to look down one's nose at something (so to speak)! The idea is that one undervalues something or someone which implies contempt for that thing or person (in this case God's Name in Mal 1:6 and here His table/altar, the place He is to be worshipped, revered, and adored! Woe!) Lest we be too hard on these ancient Israelites, let us "moderns" consider what we do EVERY TIME we willfully sin against God! Are you as convicted as I am! In fact Larry Richards writes that "Disobedience and other sins are portrayed in the OT as nothing less than evidences that we despise God. When we disobey, we show that we place little value on the Lord." Bruce K Waltke writes - The use of baza shows that disobedience to the Lord is based on "contempt, despising" of him. Thus David's adultery with Bathsheba is equated with contempt for the Lord (2 Sa12:10) and his word (v. 19). 

The opposite of baza is kabed "to honor" (1Sa 2:30), yare' "to fear" (Pr 14:2), and shamar "to keep" commandments (Pr 19:16).

Lightly esteemed (curse, despise) 07043qalal means first of all  to be slight, to be trivial, to be trifling, to be swift. There are a number of nuances of this verb but most reflect somehow upon the main idea of slightness or lightness and thus the first use of galal in Ge 8:8, 11 refer to the flood waters being abated (receding, becoming "slight" if you will). In Ge 8:21 in the third use of galal God promises to "never again curse the ground on account of man." Over 1/2 of the uses of galal are rendered as some variation of to curse. One of the more famous uses is in Ge 12:3 where Jehovah promises "I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses (qalal) you I will curse (arar - 0779)." Sarah "despised (considered slight so to speak)" Hagar when the latter became pregnant with Abram's child Ishmael (Ge 16:4, 5). Moses would receive help judging the people so it would "be easier for" him (Ex 18:22).

Qalal - 73v - abated(2), accursed(1), brought a curse(1), contempt(1), contemptible(1), curse(15), cursed(16), curses(8), cursing(2), despise(1), despised(2), ease(1), easier(1), easy(2), insignificant(1), light a thing(1), lighten(5), lightly esteemed(2), make it lighter(2), moved to and fro(1), shakes(1), sharpen(1), slight thing(1), small a thing(1), superficially(2), swift(1), swifter(5), treat us with contempt(1), treated(1), treated and lightly(1), trivial(1), trivial thing(1). Gen. 8:8; Gen. 8:11; Gen. 8:21; Gen. 12:3; Gen. 16:4; Gen. 16:5; Exod. 18:22; Exod. 21:17; Exod. 22:28; Lev. 19:14; Lev. 20:9; Lev. 24:11; Lev. 24:14; Lev. 24:15; Lev. 24:23; Deut. 23:4; Jos. 24:9; Jdg. 9:27; 1 Sam. 2:30; 1 Sam. 3:13; 1 Sam. 6:5; 1 Sam. 17:43; 1 Sam. 18:23; 2 Sam. 1:23; 2 Sam. 6:22; 2 Sam. 16:5; 2 Sam. 16:7; 2 Sam. 16:9; 2 Sam. 16:10; 2 Sam. 16:11; 2 Sam. 16:13; 2 Sam. 19:21; 2 Sam. 19:43; 1 Ki. 2:8; 1 Ki. 12:4; 1 Ki. 12:9; 1 Ki. 12:10; 1 Ki. 16:31; 2 Ki. 2:24; 2 Ki. 3:18; 2 Ki. 20:10; 2 Chr. 10:4; 2 Chr. 10:9; 2 Chr. 10:10; Neh. 13:2; Neh. 13:25; Job 3:1; Job 7:6; Job 9:25; Job 24:18; Job 40:4; Ps. 37:22; Ps. 62:4; Ps. 109:28; Prov. 14:6; Prov. 20:20; Prov. 30:10; Prov. 30:11; Eccl. 7:21; Eccl. 7:22; Eccl. 10:10; Eccl. 10:20; Isa. 8:21; Isa. 9:1; Isa. 23:9; Isa. 30:16; Isa. 49:6; Isa. 65:20; Jer. 4:13; Jer. 4:24; Jer. 6:14; Jer. 8:11; Jer. 15:10; Ezek. 8:17; Ezek. 21:21; Ezek. 22:7; Jon. 1:5; Nah. 1:14; Hab. 1:8


Spurgeon -   “Them that honour me I will honour.” 1 Sam. 2:30.

DO I make the honour of God the great object of my life and the rule of my conduct? If so, he will honour me. I may for a while receive no honour from man, but God will himself put honour upon me in the most effectual manner. In the end it will be found the surest way to honour to be willing to be put to shame for conscience sake.

Eli had not honoured the Lord by ruling his household well, and his sons had not honoured the Lord by behaviour worthy of their sacred office, and therefore the Lord did not honour them, but took the high-priesthood out of their family, and made young Samuel to be ruler in the land instead of any of their line. If I would have my family ennobled, I must honour the Lord in all things. God may allow the wicked to win worldly honours; but the dignity which he himself gives, even glory, honour, and immortality, he reserves for those who by holy obedience take care to honour him.

What can I do this day to honour the Lord? I will promote his glory by my spoken testimony, and by my practical obedience. I will also honour him with my substance, and by offering to him some special service. Let me sit down and think how I can honour him, since he will honour me. (Faith's Checkbook)


R C Sproul -  A House Degraded 1 SAMUEL 2:30–36 - Tabletalk

“ ‘… for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed’ ” (1 Sam. 2:30b).

As we saw yesterday, God might well be calling Eli to repentance by sending the man of God to him. But the sin of Eli’s sons, and Eli’s complicity in it, is grave, and it will have consequences. The prophet announces those consequences in the passage before us today.

Speaking through the prophet, God begins by noting that He promised that “ ‘Your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ ” This seems to be a reference to God’s promise that Aaron’s descendants would be God’s priests (Ex. 29:9). However, the word forever must be understood as “indefinitely,” and “walk before Me” must be understood not as a statement of what will occur but of what must occur—Aaron’s descendants must serve God in faithfulness. In short, God promised the priesthood to Aaron’s line as long as they were faithful to His covenant requirements. But now Eli’s family has ceased to honor God as they should. Therefore, Eli’s “arm” and that of his father’s house will be cut off. The “father” mentioned in this passage does not seem to be Aaron but Ithamar, the son of Aaron through whom Eli is descended. God is saying here that He plans to cause the priestly line of Ithamar to fade in terms of its numerical strength and prominence. While the line will continue to have a priestly role, it will be greatly diminished. It will suffer a series of untimely deaths, with succeeding priests being struck down in the prime of life. Eli’s descendants will suffer impoverishment (v. 36) and will have to beg for priestly jobs. Furthermore, Eli will have the heartbreak of seeing God’s sanctuary attacked and the ark of the covenant captured. And as a sign that God will indeed bring all this to pass, He tells Eli that both of his sons will die on the same day.

However, this judgment will not thwart God’s purposes. He says, “ ‘I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest.’ ” Many scholars believe this refers to Zadok, who will be named the sole high priest when Abiathar is deposed by Solomon (1 Kings 2:35). That event will establish the prominence of the line of Aaron’s son Eleazar (Zadok’s forefather) over that of Aaron’s son Ithamar (Abiathar’s ancestor). God will maintain a faithful cadre of priests. And, in time, He will send a perfectly faithful Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, to stand between Himself and His people in a truly eternal priesthood.

CORAM DEO God’s judgment upon Eli’s house seems harsh. But we must remember that Eli was the high priest—more was expected of him and his family. When they began to depart from covenant faithfulness, God took action against them lest their sin lead the people further astray. God here is acting mercifully toward His people, as He always does.


TODAY IN THE WORD 1 Samuel 2:30 Ezra 7:11-28

Those who honor me I will honor. - 1 Samuel 2:30

According to a recent newspaper story, some local governments of the United States have come up with a variation on the idea of prepaid expenses. The new initiative includes prepaid traffic tickets, which means putting money on deposit with the local authorities so that if you are stopped for speeding, your ticket has already been paid. Some people, bothered by the idea, see it as giving drivers permission to speed. Those who object to the concept of prepaid speeding tickets have a point. Human nature is such that it’s hard to be good and it’s easy to abuse a privilege when the bill has already been paid. All of the expenses for Ezra’s trip back to Jerusalem, and his ongoing needs in Israel (and then some), were “prepaid” by the generosity of the Persian king Artaxerxes. Ezra carried with him a sizable wealth that had been entrusted to his care, and he didn’t abuse this privilege.

1 Samuel 2:31  'Behold, the days are coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father's house so that there will not be an old man in your house.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:31 ἰδοὺ ἡμέραι ἔρχονται καὶ ἐξολεθρεύσω τὸ σπέρμα σου καὶ τὸ σπέρμα οἴκου πατρός σου

KJV  1 Samuel 2:31 Behold, the 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 thine house.

NET  1 Samuel 2:31 In fact, days are coming when I will remove your strength and the strength of your father's house. There will not be an old man in your house!

CSB  1 Samuel 2:31 " 'Look, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestral family, so that none in your family will reach old age.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:31 Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your family line

NLT  1 Samuel 2:31 The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:31 See, a time is coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your ancestor's family, so that no one in your family will live to old age.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:31 Behold, the days are coming, when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:31 'Lo, days are coming, and I have cut off thine arm, and the arm of the house of thy father, that an old man is not in thy house;

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:31 `Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and the arm of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:31 Be sure, the days are coming when I shall cut off your strength and the strength of your father's family, so that no one in your family will live to old age.

  • I will break your strength: That is, I will destroy the strength, power, influence, and authority of thee and thy family; of which the arm of man being the instrument, is used as the emblem. 1Sa 4:2,11,17-20 14:3 22:17-20 1Ki 2:26,27,35 Job 22:9 Ps 37:17 Eze 30:21-24 44:10 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

THE PROPHETIC 
CURSE ON ELI'S HOUSE

Behold - That is "Pay attention" to what follows! 

The days are coming when I will break (literally - "shatter the arms of") your strength and the strength of your father's house so that there will not be an old man in your house - KJV "I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house." This is figurative because the arm was a picture of strength and might (Ps 10:15, Ps 77:15, Ps 89:10) NLT = "The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests." Eli would live to see this prophecy fulfilled.

Bergen has an interesting comment that "The figure of speech “to shatter the arms” is without parallel elsewhere in OT literature and prefigures what happened literally to the statue of Dagon in 1Sa 5:4+. As such it draws a subtle yet significant parallel between the judgment against the house of Eli and that of the house of Dagon. Both involved Yahweh bringing about the downfall of central figures related to their respective sanctuaries following a time when Yahweh’s reputation was in doubt. By literarily paralleling the judgments, the narrator was in effect equating Shiloh’s condition under Eli with that of a pagan house of worship, reinforcing the image of life in Israel presented in the Book of Judges. (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)

MacArthur - The judgment of untimely death followed the descendants of Eli. Eli's sons died in the flower of their manhood (1Sa 4:11). Later, Saul massacred the priests at Nob (1Sa 22:16-19). Ultimately, Solomon removed Abiathar from the priesthood (1Ki 2:26, 27) and the priestly line of Eleazar prevailed, as God promised (cf. Nu 25:10-13). (Borrow The MacArthur Study Bible)

Ryrie - The prophet predicts the destruction of the priestly family of Eli, partially fulfilled in the massacre of the priests of Nob (1Sa 22:11-19) and in the transfer of the priesthood to the family of Zadok in the time of Solomon (1Ki 2:26-27, 35). The death of Eli's two sons on the same day would be a sign to validate the prophecy.  (Borrow Ryrie Study Bible )

1 Samuel 2:32  'You will see the distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that I do for Israel; and an old man will not be in your house forever.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:32 καὶ οὐκ ἔσται σου πρεσβύτης ἐν οἴκῳ μου πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας

KJV  1 Samuel 2:32 And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.

NET  1 Samuel 2:32 You will see trouble in my dwelling place! Israel will experience blessings, but there will not be an old man in your house for all time.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:32 You will see distress in the place of worship, in spite of all that is good in Israel, and no one in your family will ever again reach old age.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, and there shall not be an old man in your house forever.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:32 and you will see distress in my dwelling. Although good will be done to Israel, in your family line there will never be an old man.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:32 You will watch with envy as I pour out prosperity on the people of Israel. But no members of your family will ever live out their days.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:32 Then in distress you will look with greedy eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed upon Israel; and no one in your family shall ever live to old age.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:32 Then in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity which shall be bestowed upon Israel; and there shall not be an old man in your house for ever.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:32 and thou hast beheld an adversary in My habitation, in all that He doth good with Israel, and there is not an old man in thy house all the days.

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:32 `And you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:32 Beside the Dwelling, you will see all the benefits that I shall confer on Israel, but no one in your family will ever live to old age.

  • You will see the distress of My dwelling - Or, the affliction of the tabernacle, for all the wealth which God would have given Israel.  This appears to be the right translation; for, agreeably to this prediction, he did see the tabernacle deprived of the ark, which was its glory, and lived to hear that it was captured by the Philistines. 1Sa 4:4,11,22 Ps 78:59-64 
  • an old man: Zec 8:4 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passage:

1Sa 4:10-13 So the Philistines fought and Israel was defeated, and every man fled to his tent; and the slaughter was very great, for there fell of Israel thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, died.  12 Now a man of Benjamin ran from the battle line and came to Shiloh the same day with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came, behold, Eli was sitting on his seat by the road eagerly watching, because his heart was trembling for the ark of God. So the man came to tell it in the city, and all the city cried out.

Psalms 78:59-64  When God heard (HEARD WHAT? Ps 78:56-58 SURELY IN PART AN ALLUSION TO THE 300 YEAR PERIOD OF JUDGES!), He was filled with wrath And greatly abhorred Israel;  60 So that He abandoned the dwelling place at Shiloh, The tent which He had pitched among men,  61 And gave up His strength to captivity And His glory into the hand of the adversary.  62 He also delivered His people to the sword, And was filled with wrath at His inheritance.  63 Fire devoured His young men, And His virgins had no wedding songs.  64 His priests fell by the sword, And His widows could not weep. 

You will see the distress of My dwelling - This refers to His dwelling at Shiloh which ceased to be His dwelling after the defeat by the Philistines (described in 1 Samuel 4:10-11). God through His prophet Jeremiah (Jer 7:12-14) alludes to this former distress in prophesying distress that would come on Solomon's Temple

"But go now to My place which was in Shiloh, where I made My name dwell at the first, and see what I did to it because of the wickedness of My people Israel. “And now, because you have done all these things,” declares the LORD, “and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you but you did not answer, therefore, I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to the place which I gave you and your fathers, as I did to Shiloh." By the time this happened, Eli was old and could not see (1Sa 4:15), but he was told of the distress and it caused him distress (he died) (1Sa 4:18)!

in spite of all the good that I do for Israel - NET = "Israel will experience blessings."

and an old man will not be in your house forever - NIV = "in your family line there will never be an old man" Eli's lineage will be cut off. 


Distress (trouble, affliction, tribulation) (06862tsar from tsarar = to bind, tie up, be restricted, be cramped; see related tsarah)  is a masculine noun indicating narrowness, tightness, distress, application, misery. It refers to a narrow space or object, not wide, with a small distance across it, this meaning being vividly depicted when the Angel of the Lord confronted Balaam and stood in such a narrow space that Balaam could not pass by (Nu 22:26). Tsar describes the threats and destruction that come on something, especially the Lord's house (1 Sa 2:32). It indicates conditions during times of judgment on Israel (Isa. 5:30).

1 Samuel 2:33  'Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:33 καὶ ἄνδρα οὐκ ἐξολεθρεύσω σοι ἀπὸ τοῦ θυσιαστηρίου μου ἐκλιπεῖν τοὺς ὀφθαλμοὺς αὐτοῦ καὶ καταρρεῖν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ καὶ πᾶς περισσεύων οἴκου σου πεσοῦνται ἐν ῥομφαίᾳ ἀνδρῶν

KJV  1 Samuel 2:33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.

NET  1 Samuel 2:33 Any one of you that I do not cut off from my altar, I will cause your eyes to fail and will cause you grief. All of those born to your family will die in the prime of life.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:33 Any man from your family I do not cut off from My altar will bring grief and sadness to you. All your descendants will die violently.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:33 Every one of you that I do not cut off from my altar will be spared only to blind your eyes with tears and to grieve your heart, and all your descendants will die in the prime of life.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:33 Those who survive will live in sadness and grief, and their children will die a violent death.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:33 The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep out his eyes and grieve his heart; all the members of your household shall die by the sword.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:33 The man of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep out his eyes and grieve his heart; and all the increase of your house shall die by the sword of men.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:33 'And the man I cut not off of thine from Mine altar, is to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thy soul; and all the increase of thy house do die men;

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:33 `But any of your men whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:33 I shall keep one of you at my altar for his eyes to go blind and his soul to wither, but the bulk of your family will die by the sword.

  • Yet I will not cut off : 1Sa 22:21-23 1Ki 1:7,19 1Ki 2:26,27 Mt 2:16-18 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

SURVIVORS WILL GRIEVE
DESCENDENTS WILL DIE

Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve - NLT summarizes this "Those who survive will live in sadness and grief," While some of Eli's descendants might live a little longer, their lives would not blessed by Jehovah.

And all the increase of your house will die in the prime of life - NIV = "and all your descendants will die in the prime of life" This was fulfilled in part with the premature deaths of Hophni and Phinehas (1Sa 2:34). We see another partial fulfillment in 1Sa 22:18-19 "Then the king (SAUL) said to Doeg, “You turn around and attack the priests.” And Doeg the Edomite turned around and attacked the priests, and he killed that day eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod. And he struck Nob the city of the priests with the edge of the sword, both men and women, children and infants; also oxen, donkeys, and sheep he struck with the edge of the sword."

1 Samuel 2:34  'This will be the sign to you which will come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day both of them will die.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:34 καὶ τοῦτό σοι τὸ σημεῖον ὃ ἥξει ἐπὶ τοὺς δύο υἱούς σου τούτους Οφνι καὶ Φινεες ἐν ἡμέρᾳ μιᾷ ἀποθανοῦνται ἀμφότεροι

KJV  1 Samuel 2:34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.

NET  1 Samuel 2:34 This will be a confirming sign for you that will be fulfilled through your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: in a single day they both will die!

CSB  1 Samuel 2:34 This will be the sign that will come to you concerning your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: both of them will die on the same day.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:34 And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:34 " 'And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you--they will both die on the same day.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:34 And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day!

NRS  1 Samuel 2:34 The fate of your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you-- both of them shall die on the same day.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:34 And this which shall befall your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:34 and this is to thee the sign that cometh unto thy two sons, unto Hophni and Phinehas -- in one day they die both of them;

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:34 `Now this shall be a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:34 ' "What happens to your two sons Hophni and Phinehas will be a sign for you: on the same day both will die.

  • a sign: 1Sa 3:12 1Ki 13:3 14:12 
  • day: 1Sa 4:11,17 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

GOD GIVES A SIGN -
TWO SONS DIE SAME DAY

This will be the sign to you which will come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day both of them will die - One can only imagine what went through Eli's mind when he heard these words! The text records no response from Eli, implying he realized that this was an irreversible decree by Yahweh! Sin always brings consequences. Sin kills! 

THOUGHT- This is a sobering reminder that while God is merciful and forgiving, there comes a time when one's persistence in a particular sin "crosses the divine line," and He will must action against retributive action against the sinner

David Guzik makes an excellent point regarding why God would give Eli a sign - Since the fulfillment of the judgment would be many years away (in the days of Solomon), God gave Eli an immediate sign to demonstrate His truthfulness. Eli’s sons will die in one day; Eli will see this and know the judgment of God has come against his house.

1 Samuel 2:35  'But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before My anointed always.

BGT  1 Samuel 2:35 καὶ ἀναστήσω ἐμαυτῷ ἱερέα πιστόν ὃς πάντα τὰ ἐν τῇ καρδίᾳ μου καὶ τὰ ἐν τῇ ψυχῇ μου ποιήσει καὶ οἰκοδομήσω αὐτῷ οἶκον πιστόν καὶ διελεύσεται ἐνώπιον χριστοῦ μου πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας

KJV  1 Samuel 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

NET  1 Samuel 2:35 Then I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what is in my heart and soul. I will build for him a secure dynasty and he will serve my chosen one for all time.

CSB  1 Samuel 2:35 " 'Then I will raise up a faithful priest for Myself. He will do whatever is in My heart and mind. I will establish a lasting dynasty for him, and he will walk before My anointed one for all time.

ESV  1 Samuel 2:35 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 go in and out before my anointed forever.

NIV  1 Samuel 2:35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. I will firmly establish his house, and he will minister before my anointed one always.

NLT  1 Samuel 2:35 "Then I will raise up a faithful priest who will serve me and do what I desire. I will establish his family, and they will be priests to my anointed kings forever.

NRS  1 Samuel 2:35 I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before my anointed one forever.

RSV  1 Samuel 2:35 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 go in and out before my anointed for ever.

YLT  1 Samuel 2:35 and I have raised up for Me a stedfast priest; as in My heart and in My soul he doth do; and I have built for him a stedfast house, and he hath walked up and down before Mine anointed all the days;

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:35 `Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who shall do according to what is in My heart and in My mind. I will build him a sure house, and he shall walk before My anointed forever.

NJB  1 Samuel 2:35 I shall raise myself a faithful priest, who will do as I intend and as I desire. I shall build him an enduring House and he will walk in the presence of my Anointed for ever.

  • I will raise: 1Ki 1:8,45 2:35 1Chr 29:22 Ezek 34:23 44:15,16 Heb 2:17 7:26-28 
  • I will build: 1Sa 25:28 Ex 1:21 Nu 25:13 2Sa 7:11,27 1Ki 11:38 1Ch 6:8-15 Ne 12:10,11 
  • My anointed: Ps 2:2 18:50 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

Related Passages:

1 Samuel 3:12-14+  “In that day I will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. 13 “For I have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons brought a curse on themselves and he did not rebuke them. 14 “Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.” 

1 Kings 2:27  So Solomon dismissed Abiathar (WHO WAS FROM THE LINE OF ELI) from being priest to the LORD, in order to fulfill the word of the LORD, which He had spoken concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh (REFERRING TO THE PROPHECY IN 1Sa 2:35)

GOD'S PROPHECY OF
A FAITHFUL REPLACEMENT

But - This is another one of those praiseworthy terms of contrast, contrasting the unfaithful priest with the prophetic promise of a faithful priest. 

Although the priesthood had been promised to Aaron's descendants in perpetuity (Ex 29:9), this promise was conditioned on faithfulness, and Eli and his sons had forfeited this claim (1Sa 2:30-31; 3:11-14). The promise of a faithful priest, with a sure house, is fulfilled only in Christ, "a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God" (Heb 2:17, 7:26-28 ).

Pulpit Commentary - had Eli and his family proved worthy, the possession of this high station might have been confirmed to them. Like Saul in the kingdom, they proved unworthy of it, and so they lost it forever. Their names, as we have seen above, do not even occur in the genealogies.

I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul and I will build him an enduring house - Abiathar (see note below for this somewhat complex, complicated fulfillment), David's priest, was a descendant of Aaron through Ithamar and thus a descendant of Eli. He was later banished by Solomon, and Zadok, a descendant of Aaron through Eleazar (1Chr. 24:6), became the only high priest (1Ki 2:26, 27; cf. Ezek. 44:9-16). The priestly line of Eli then yielded completely to the Zadokite priesthood in fulfillment of the prophecy from the man of God. The fact that Abiathar was allowed to live fulfilled ("I will not cut off every man of yours from my altar" - 1Sa 2:33). A reference to Zadok is also in view here, according to 1Ki 2:27. Zadokite priests continued to serve throughout the monarchy and, according to Ezekiel 44:15, 48:11, will serve in the millennial temple fulfilling the promise I will build him an enduring house.

Some writers favor that the broad context of the book would suggest that Samuel was the faithful priest prophesied here. The fact that his "house" did not continue, however, calls for further fulfillment of the prophecy. Others view the prophecy of the faithful priest finds its ultimate fulfillment in Christ, Who is both Priest and King (cf. Ps 110; Heb. 5:6), and to some degree this is a reasonable interpretation. The "enduring house" of His priesthood here may, then, be compared to the house of David established forever according to 2Sa 7:16, both houses being fulfilled in Christ.

MacArthur on the other hand comments that "Although some have identified this priest as Samuel and others Christ, it is better to view the prophecy as fulfilled in the accession of Zadok and his family to the priestly office in the time of Solomon (see 1Ki 1:7, 8; 2:26, 27, 35). This reestablished the office of High-Priest in the line of Eleazar and Phinehas (cf. Nu 25:10-13)."

And he (the priestly line through Zadok) will walk before My Anointed always - The fact that he is distinct from My Anointed, would support the interpretation that the faithful priest described above in from the line of Zadok and is not a specific prophecy of the Messiah (although of course He is the ultimate Faithful Priest Heb 7:12-17). My Anointed is the same word (mashiach/masiyah) that referred to Messiah in 1Sa 2:10, Who will win the victory over all God's enemies and set up His Millennial Kingdom with the millennial temple. The priestly line of Zadok will walk before the Messiah in His coming Millennial Kingdom as discussed above. 

Bergen sums up the thought - The story of the downfall of the house of Eli plays an important role in Hebrew narrative because it is the last non-Zadokite priestly family with an active role in Old Testament narrative. When the Lord cursed Eli’s line, the way was cleared for Eleazar’s descendants, the promised heirs to the high priesthood, to assume their proper position. The details would be worked out in good time. The rise of the Zadokites is chronicled throughout the history of Israel from Sinai through the period of Israel’s monarchy in Exodus to 2 Kings. The first expression is seen in Exod 6:23–25, where Zadok’s forebear Eleazar is given special genealogical prominence by being the only son of Aaron whose wife and offspring are mentioned. It is carried forward in Num 25:6–13 when Phinehas ben Eleazar zealously defends God’s glory and is rewarded by Yahweh with “a covenant of a lasting priesthood.” The Eleazarite motif reaches its climax in 1 Kgs 2:35, where Solomon “replaced Abiathar with Zadok the priest.” (Borrow 1 & 2 Samuel - New American Commentary)


QUESTION -  Who was Abiathar in the Bible?

ANSWER- Along with Zadok, Abiathar served as one of the chief priests during David’s reign as king. Abiathar’s name means “father of excellence” or “father of abundance” in Hebrew.

Abiathar was the son of Ahimelech, who served as a priest at Nob (1 Samuel 21:1; Mark 2:26) until he and the other priests were murdered by King Saul (1 Samuel 21:1–19). Being the only son of Ahimelech to escape the massacre at Nob, Abiathar fled to David and was promised protection by the future king (1 Samuel 21:20–23).

Because Abiathar served David and acted as priest for all of David’s men in hiding, he was made high priest along with Zadok once David began his reign as king (1 Chronicles 15:11). This was a natural role for him to take on, as he had kept the ephod and administered the Urim and Thummin when David sought direction from the Lord (1 Samuel 23:6; 30:7).

When Absalom rebelled against his father and attempted to usurp the throne, Abiathar remained loyal to David. Abiathar was among those who fled the capital city with David (2 Samuel 15:24). Zadok and the Levites carried the ark of the covenant, “and Abiathar offered sacrifices until all the people had finished leaving the city” (2 Samuel 15:24). Although David admired the loyalty and faithfulness of the priests, he ordered them to return to the city with the ark. This proved helpful because they were then able to send word to David about Absalom’s plans (2 Samuel 15:27–29; 17:15–16). David was restored to his throne and Abiathar to his priestly office.

Things changed as David’s son Solomon took the throne. Abiathar was not loyal to the new king. Adonijah, another one of David’s sons, put himself forward as king with the help of Joab (one of David’s nephews) and Abiathar (1 Kings 1:5, 7). Once the threat from Adonijah was neutralized, King Solomon dealt with the conspirators. One of Solomon’s actions was to remove Abiathar from the priestly office. This fulfilled the Lord’s word of judgment over Eli and his descendants, which impacted Abiathar since he was related to Eli (1Sa 3:12–14; 1Ki 2:27). It was only because of the priest’s loyal service to David that Solomon did not kill him. Solomon told Abiathar, “Go back to your fields in Anathoth. You deserve to die, but I will not put you to death now, because you carried the ark of the Sovereign LORD before my father David and shared all my father’s hardships” (1Ki 2:26). Zadok replaced Abiathar as priest under Solomon (1 Kings 2:35).

Abiathar lived most of his life in faithful service to the Lord, but he did not finish well. Instead of siding with the rightful king of Israel (2 Samuel 7:12; 1 Kings 1:17), Abiathar assisted one of David’s rebellious sons who desired to rule. He allowed earthly matters to become his focus, which cost him the priestly office.

Like Abiathar, we can easily get caught up in worldly schemes and lose sight of God’s plan. Rather than seeking our own way or chasing what seems politically expedient, we should seek to faithfully follow God. Then, when our time on earth is done, we can state with the apostle Paul, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (2 Timothy 4:7NLT).GotQuestions.org


QUESTION - Who was Zadok in the Bible?

ANSWER - Zadok son of Ahitub was a Levite priest during the time of King David. For a long time, he was co-high priest with Abiathar. Zadok was a descendant of Aaron (ED: through Eleazar 1Chr. 24:6 -- see the diagram above) and a leader over his family of Levites (1 Chronicles 27:17).

When Absalom conspired against his father, David, David was forced to flee from Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:13–14). Zadok and his son Ahimaaz, and his co-priest Abiathar and his son Jonathan accompanied David, with Zadok leading a procession of Levites who carried the ark of the covenant. As the people exited the city, Zadok’s Levites set down the ark, and Abiathar offered sacrifices (2Sa 15:24). Once the people had vacated Jerusalem, David ordered Zadok and Abiathar, along with their sons, to return with the ark to Jerusalem (2Sa 15:25). Zadok was to send word to David with any news of what was happening in the kingdom under Absalom.

David had also sent his friend Hushai back to Jerusalem to listen in on Absalom’s plans, and it was through him that Zadok and Abiathar heard that Absalom planned to seek out David and destroy him and the people who were with him. Hushai, Zadok, and Abiathar sent Ahimaaz and Jonathan to find David. After hiding in a well from Absalom’s men, Amimaaz and Jonathan were able to escape the city and bring the message to David: “Do not spend the night at the fords in the wilderness; cross over without fail, or the king and all the people with him will be swallowed up” (2 Samuel 17:16). David escaped, and it wasn’t much longer before David’s commander, Joab, killed Absalom (2 Samuel 18:1–15). Heartbroken at the death of his son, David returned to Jerusalem.

Years later, when King David was very old, his son Adonijah set himself up as king, even though David’s other son Solomon was to take the throne at David’s death (1 Kings 1:5). Adonijah had some supporters, including Abiathar the priest, but Zadok, Nathan the prophet, and several other important men supported David’s choice and opposed Adonijah (1Ki 1:8). Nathan told David’s wife Bathsheba what Adonijah was planning and advised her to apprise King David of the situation. She did so, and David ordered that Zadok and Nathan immediately take Solomon to Gihon and anoint him as king (1Ki 1:32–34).

When Zadok the priest anointed Solomon’s head with oil at Gihon, a trumpet was sounded, and all the people assembled began to shout and rejoice (1 Kings 1:39–40). The noise was so great that Adonijah, who was feasting nearby, heard it and wondered what was happening. At that moment, Abiathar’s son Jonathan arrived and told Adonijah that Solomon had been anointed king (1Ki 1:41–45). Adonijah fled to the temple and grabbed the horns of the altar, begging Solomon to spare his life (1Ki 1:50–51). Solomon did so, but Adonijah later renewed his designs on the throne, forcing Solomon to execute him (1 Kings 2:13–25).

Even though Abiathar had spurned King David’s wishes and supported Adonijah, Zadok stayed true to David and supported Solomon. Abiathar lost his priesthood as a result, but Zadok was rewarded with a position as one of Solomon’s chief officials (1 Kings 4:4) as well as being recognized as the sole high priest.

There are several other men named Zadok in the Bible, but they are only mentioned in one or two verses apiece. They can be found in 1 Chronicles 6:12 (Zadok the descendant of Zadok the priest), 1 Chronicles 9:11 and Nehemiah 11:11 (Zadok the Levite), 2 Kings 15:33 and 2 Chronicles 27:1 (Zadok the father of Jerusha), Nehemiah 3:4 (Zadok the son of Baana), Nehemiah 3:29 (Zadok the son of Immer), Nehemiah 10:21 (Zadok the Israelite leader), Nehemiah 13:13 (Zadok the scribe), and Matthew 1:14 (Zadok, an ancestor of Jesus Christ). GotQuestions.org


TODAY IN THE WORD

I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who will do according to what is in my heart and mind. - 1 Samuel 2:35

Late one evening, two fishermen were caught in a sudden storm on the sea. Unable to row to shore, the men endured a wet, fearful night of stinging rain and swelling waves. After the storm had passed, but still uncertain of their fate, they found comfort in glimpses of a lighthouse beacon in the distant horizon. Darkness was all about them, but hints of hope remained.

Today's passage is much like this ocean scene: darkness and dreadful judgment pervade the story, but glimpses of hope relentlessly break through. The opening verses record the disturbing truth about the spiritual leadership in Israel. Although the Law guaranteed sacrificial meat portions for all priests (see Lev. 7:28-36), Eli's sons greedily and irreverently took more. Furthermore, they engaged in sexual immorality with the sanctuary women. Finally, although Eli knew of his sons' sinful behavior, he failed to discipline them beyond a verbal slap on the wrist. In short, the spiritual leadership in Israel was a sinful mess.

Unlike Eli, God's response was decisive and severe: although He had blessed Eli's line with the honor of the priesthood, their sin would now bring generational punishment. Eli's line would be removed from honor and placed in utter disdain (vv. 27-36). These were hard words, both for Eli and his family, but also for the entire nation of Israel—their divinely appointed spiritual leadership had just come under severe judgment.

Yet in this dark and dreadful moment, there are glimpses of hope. It is easy to overlook, but Scripture is careful to repeat that behind all this wickedness and sin there is one—Samuel—who is quietly and faithfully serving the Lord (vv. 11, 18-21, 26). And then there is that more ultimate promise that God will “raise up for myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in my heart and mind” (v. 35), reminding us that even in the dark moments of our lives, we still have Christ, our “faithful high priest” who makes “atonement for the sins of the people” (Heb. 2:17).

TODAY ALONG THE WAY There are two equally inappropriate responses to the sin we see in ourselves and in our spiritual leaders. One is, like Eli, to turn a blind eye to it. The other is to fall into despair, believing that even God cannot rescue us from such a desperate situation. Today's passage turns us from both paths and offers a third option: confess and rebuke sin, and also trust in God's redemption. Spend time today confessing your sins and also praying for God's care over the leaders in your own church.

1 Samuel 2:36  'Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and say, "Please assign me to one of the priest's offices so that I may eat a piece of bread."' "

BGT  1 Samuel 2:36 καὶ ἔσται ὁ περισσεύων ἐν οἴκῳ σου ἥξει προσκυνεῖν αὐτῷ ὀβολοῦ ἀργυρίου λέγων παράρριψόν με ἐπὶ μίαν τῶν ἱερατειῶν σου φαγεῖν ἄρτον

KJV  1 Samuel 2:36 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.

NET  1 Samuel 2:36 Everyone who remains in your house will come to bow before him for a little money and for a scrap of bread. Each will say, 'Assign me to a priestly task so I can eat a scrap of bread.'"

CSB  1 Samuel 2:36 Anyone who is left in your family will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread. He will say: Please appoint me to some priestly office so I can have a piece of bread to eat.'"

ESV  1 Samuel 2:36 And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, "Please put me in one of the priests' places, that I may eat a morsel of bread."'"

NIV  1 Samuel 2:36 Then everyone left in your family line will come and bow down before him for a piece of silver and a crust of bread and plead, "Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat." ' "

NLT  1 Samuel 2:36 Then all of your surviving family will bow before him, begging for money and food. 'Please,' they will say, 'give us jobs among the priests so we will have enough to eat.'"

NRS  1 Samuel 2:36 Everyone who is left in your family shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and shall say, Please put me in one of the priest's places, that I may eat a morsel of bread.'"

RSV  1 Samuel 2:36 And every one who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread, and shall say, "Put me, I pray you, in one of the priest's places, that I may eat a morsel of bread."'"

YLT  1 Samuel 2:36 and it hath been, every one who is left in thy house doth come in to bow himself to him, for a wage of silver, and a cake of bread, and hath said, Admit me, I pray thee, unto one of the priest's offices, to eat a morsel of bread.'

NKJ  1 Samuel 2:36 `And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and say, "Please, put me in one of the priestly positions, that I may eat a piece of bread."'"

NJB  1 Samuel 2:36 The members of your House who survive will come and beg him on their knees for a silver coin and a loaf of bread and say: Please give me some priestly work, so that I can have a scrap of bread to eat." '

  • is left: 1Ki 2:27 Eze 44:10-12 
  • eat: 1Sa 2:29,30 Mal 1:13 
  • 1 Samuel 2 Resources - Multiple Sermons and Commentaries

THE IRONIC JUDGEMENT:
ELI'S LINE REDUCED TO BEGGARS!

Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and say, "Please assign me to one of the priest's offices so that I may eat a piece of bread - Poverty and starvation to the point of begging for bread! Can you see the irony of God's judgment on Eli's house? They are reduced to beggars because they stole from the LORD's offerings (1Sa 2:12-17)! The rotten fruit of some sins is worse than others! The NET says "'Assign me to a priestly task so I can eat a scrap of bread.'" NIV says ""Appoint me to some priestly office so I can have food to eat." 

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