Eli’s Sons Misuse Their Sacred Office
2:12 The sons of Eli were wicked men.25 They did not recognize the Lord’s authority.26 2:13 Now the priests would always treat the people in the following way:27 Whenever anyone was making a sacrifice, while the meat was boiling, the priest’s attendant would come with a three-pronged fork28 in his hand. 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 Israelites29 when they came there to Shiloh.
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.”30 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!31 Hand it over right now! If you don’t, I will take it forcibly!”
2:17 The sin of these young men was very great in the Lord’s sight, for they32 treated the Lord’s offering with contempt.
2:18 Now Samuel was ministering before the Lord. The boy was dressed in a linen ephod. 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. 2:20 Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife saying, “May the Lord raise up for you descendants33 from this woman to replace the one that she34 dedicated to the Lord.” Then they would go to their35 home. 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.36
2:22 Now Eli was very old when he heard about everything that his sons used to do to all the people of Israel37 and how they used to have sex with38 the women who were stationed at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 2:23 He said to them, “Why do you behave in this way? For I hear about these evil things from all these39 people. 2:24 This ought not to be,40 my sons! For the report that I hear circulating among the Lord’s people is not good. 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 sons41 would not listen to their father, for the Lord had decided42 to kill them.
2:26 Now the boy Samuel was growing up and finding favor both with the Lord and with people.
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