1 Samuel 2:12–4:18

The Sin of Eli’s Sons

12 Now the sons of Eli were 1aworthless men; they did not know the Lord

13 aand 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.

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.

15 Also, before athey 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.”

16 If the man said to him, “They must surely 1burn the fat 2first, and then take as much as 3you desire,” then he would say, “No, but you shall give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force.”

17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for the men adespised the offering of the Lord.

Samuel before the Lord as a Boy

18 Now aSamuel was ministering before the Lord, as a boy 1bwearing a linen ephod.

19 And his mother would make him a little arobe and bring it to him from year to year when she would come up with her husband to offer bthe yearly sacrifice.

20 Then Eli would abless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the Lord give you 1children from this woman in place of 2the one she bdedicated to the Lord.” And they went to their own 3home.

21 aThe Lord visited Hannah; and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. And bthe boy Samuel grew before the Lord.

Eli Rebukes His Sons

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

23 He said to them, “Why do you do such things, the evil things that I hear from all these people?

24 “No, my sons; for the report is not good awhich I hear 1the Lord’s people circulating.

25 “If one man sins against another, aGod will mediate for him; but bif a man sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for the cLord desired to put them to death.

26 Now the boy aSamuel 1was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.

27 Then aa man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘bDid I not indeed reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in bondage to Pharaoh’s house?

28 aDid 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 bgive to the house of your father all the fire offerings of the sons of Israel?

29 ‘Why do you akick at My sacrifice and at My offering bwhich I have commanded in My cdwelling, and dhonor your sons above Me, by making yourselves fat with the 1choicest of every offering of My people Israel?’

30 “Therefore the Lord God of Israel declares, ‘aI 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 bthose who honor Me I will honor, and those cwho despise Me will be lightly esteemed.

31 ‘Behold, athe days are coming when I will break your 1strength and the 1strength of your father’s house so that there will not be an old man in your house.

32 ‘You will see athe distress of My dwelling, in spite of all the good that 1I do for Israel; and an bold man will not be in your house forever.

33 ‘Yet I will not cut off every man of yours from My altar 1so that your eyes will fail from weeping and your soul grieve, and all the increase of your house will die 2in the prime of life.

34 ‘This will be athe sign to you which will come concerning your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: bon the same day both of them will die.

35 ‘But aI will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and bI will build him an enduring house, and he will walk before cMy anointed always.

36 ‘Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a 1piece of silver or a loaf of bread and say, “Please 2assign me to one of the priest’s offices so that I may eat a piece of bread.” ’ ”

Chapter 3

The Prophetic Call to Samuel

1 Now athe boy Samuel was ministering to the Lord before Eli. And bword from the Lord was rare in those days, 1visions were infrequent.

2 It happened at that time as Eli was lying down in his place (now ahis eyesight had begun to grow dim and he could not see well),

3 and athe lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was,

4 that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “aHere I am.”

5 Then he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he said, “I did not call, lie down again.” So he went and lay down.

6 The Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” But he 1answered, “I did not call, my son, lie down again.”

7 aNow Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor had the word of the Lord yet been revealed to him.

8 So the Lord called Samuel again for the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli discerned that the Lord was calling the boy.

9 And Eli said to Samuel, “Go lie down, and it shall be if He calls you, that you shall say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

10 Then the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”

11 The Lord said to Samuel, “Behold, aI am about to do a thing in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle.

12 “In that day aI will carry out against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end.

13 “For aI have told him that I am about to judge his house forever for bthe iniquity which he knew, because chis sons brought a curse on themselves and dhe did not rebuke them.

14 “Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that athe iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

15 So Samuel lay down until morning. Then he aopened the doors of the house of the Lord. But Samuel was afraid to tell bthe vision to Eli.

16 Then Eli called Samuel and said, “Samuel, my son.” And he said, “Here I am.”

17 He said, “What is the word that He spoke to you? Please do not hide it from me. aMay God do so to you, and more also, if you hide anything from me of all the words that He spoke to you.”

18 So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “aIt is the Lord; let Him do what seems good to Him.”

19 Thus aSamuel grew and bthe Lord was with him and clet none of his words 1fail.

20 All Israel afrom Dan even to Beersheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet of the Lord.

21 And athe Lord appeared again at Shiloh, bbecause the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel at Shiloh by the word of the Lord.

Chapter 4

Philistines Take the Ark in Victory

1 Thus the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out to meet the Philistines in battle and camped beside aEbenezer while the Philistines camped in bAphek.

2 The Philistines drew up in battle array to meet Israel. When the battle spread, Israel was 1defeated before the Philistines who killed about four thousand men on the battlefield.

3 When the people came into the camp, the elders of Israel said, “aWhy has the Lord defeated us today before the Philistines? bLet us take to ourselves from Shiloh the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that 1it may come among us and deliver us from the power of our enemies.”

4 So the people sent to Shiloh, and from there they carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord of hosts awho sits above the cherubim; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.

5 As the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, aall Israel shouted with a great shout, so that the earth resounded.

6 When the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, “What does the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews mean?” Then they understood that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp.

7 The Philistines were afraid, for they said, “God has come into the camp.” And they said, “aWoe to us! For nothing like this has happened before.

8 “Woe to us! Who shall deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness.

9 aTake courage and be men, O Philistines, or you will become slaves to the Hebrews, bas they have been slaves to you; therefore, be men and fight.”

10 So the Philistines fought and aIsrael was 1defeated, and bevery 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 athe 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 ahis clothes torn and 1dust on his head.

13 When he came, behold, aEli was sitting on his seat 1by 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.

14 When Eli heard the noise of the outcry, he said, “What does the noise of this commotion mean?” Then the man came hurriedly and told Eli.

15 Now Eli was ninety-eight years old, and ahis eyes were set so that he could not see.

16 The man said to Eli, “I am the one who came from the battle line. Indeed, I escaped from the battle line today.” And he said, “aHow did things go, my son?”

17 Then the one who brought the news replied, “Israel has fled before the Philistines and there has also been a great slaughter among the people, and your two sons also, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been taken.”

18 When he mentioned the ark of God, 1aEli fell off the seat backward beside the gate, and his neck was broken and

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