A. Hannah’s prayer.
1. (1-2) Thanksgiving and praise.
And Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.”
a. 1 Samuel 1:28 ended, So they worshipped the Lord there. Here is the worship Hannah offered, and what she offered on the very day she left her little boy - her only child - at the tabernacle, never for him to live in her home again.
b. My heart rejoices in the Lord: Here, Hannah shows a depth of commitment and love for God that humbles us. On the day she makes the biggest sacrifice she will ever make in her life, she rejoices in the Lord!
i. Notice though, that she rejoices in the Lord. She does not, and she can not, rejoice in the leaving of her son. But she can, and she does, rejoice in the Lord. In the most desperate situations, when we have nothing else to rejoice in, we can rejoice in the Lord.
c. My horn is exalted in the Lord: The horn is an often used as a picture of strength in the Bible (Psalm 75:4-5; 92:10). This is because the strength of an ox or a steer could be expressed in its horn. Hannah is speaking of her strength and power being exalted in the Lord.
i. “We have often seen that horn signifies power, might, and dominion. It is this constantly used in the Bible, and was so used among the heathens.” (Clarke)
d. I smile at my enemies: Hannah has a strong sense of vindication over her rival, Elkanah’s other wife Peninnah. Peninnah had cruelly brought Hannah low (1 Samuel 1:6-7), but now Hannah can rejoice because the Lord has lifted her up.
e. There is none holy like the Lord: In this verse, Hannah shows a classic form of Hebrew poetry - a repetitive parallelism. To say the Lord is holy is to say He is completely set apart; that He is unique, and not like any other. So, when she continues in the same verse and says, “For there is none besides You,” she is saying the same thing as “There is none holy like the Lord,” only saying it in different words. When she says, “Nor is there any rock like our God,” she is again saying the same thing in different words.
i. In this, Hebrew poetry does not rhyme words by sound, as much as it rhymes ideas. The ideas of the three lines of 1 Samuel 2:2 all rhyme together, having different words yet “sounding” the same.
ii. Beyond the literary structure, the idea is emphasized: God is so great, there is no one - not one in all the universe - who compares with Him. It isn’t that He has the same power and wisdom and purity we have, just that He has more of it all. No, His power and wisdom and purity is of a different order than ours, beyond ours.
2. (3) A warning to the arrogant and proud.
“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.”
a. Talk no more so very proudly: While Hannah certainly has her rival in mind, her “fellow-wife” Peninnah here. But in some way, she sees Peninnah as just a representative of all the proud and arrogant people in the world. Hannah wisely tells the proud to talk no more and to let no arrogance come from your mouth. Pride can be expressed in many ways, but it usually is expressed by our words. The proud would be much better off if they would just not talk so much!
b. For the Lord is the God of knowledge: This, of course, is the best reason to forsake our pride. Next to God, we all know nothing, and since we are all far from God, we are all far from all knowledge. He knows us, and by Him actions are weighed.
3. (4-8a) Hannah gives glory to the God who often humiliates the strong and exalts the weak.
“The bows of the mighty men are broken,
And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
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.
The Lord kills and makes alive;
He brings down to the grave and brings up.
The Lord makes poor and makes rich;
He brings low and lifts up.
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.”
a. In her song, Hannah has warned against pride. Here, she gives more reasons why we should all be humble before the Lord (especially those like Peninnah, her rival!).
b. We should be humble before God because He knows how to humble the strong: the bows of the mighty men are broken . . . those who were full are now begging, and she who has many children has become feeble. If we are strong now, or exalted now, we should be humble, because the Lord can change our place quickly.
c. We should be humble before God because He knows how to exalt the weak. Those who stumbled are girded with strength . . . those who were hungry have ceased to hunger . . . even the barren has borne seven. If we are weak now, or in a low place, we should wait humbly before God and let Him lift us up.
i. In Luke 14:7-11, Jesus said when we have the opportunity to set ourselves high, we should take a low place instead. Then, when someone sets us in a higher place, it will be a pleasant experience. But if we put ourselves in a high place, someone may come and set us in a lower place, and then we will be embarrassed. Jesus concluded by saying, For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
d. Hannah knew all this intimately in her life. She was barren because the Lord had closed her womb (1 Samuel 1:6). She knew The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and lifts up. God had first set her low, and then brought her high. She could see the hand of the Lord in it all.
4. (8b-10) Hannah’s confidence in the future is really confidence in the Lord.
“For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s,
And He has set the world upon them.
He will guard the feet of His saints,
But the wicked shall be silent in darkness.
For by strength no man shall prevail.
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.”
a. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s: Hannah is confident in God’s ability to humble the strong and exalt the weak because God is in control. If God were not in control, then perhaps the strong could do what they wanted and God couldn’t do anything about it. But Hannah knew that the foundation of the earth itself (the pillars of the earth) belonged to the Lord.
b. God uses His power to set things right: For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces. It isn’t enough for us to believe God has this power; we must know He will use it for His glory and righteousness.
c. He will give strength to His king, and exalt the horn of His anointed: At this time, Israel did not have a king, and seems to have not even wanted one. So when Hannah speaks of His king, she is looking ahead to the Messiah, who will finally set all wrongs right. He is His anointed.
i. This is the first place in the Bible where Jesus is referred to as the Messiah. “She first applied to him the remarkable epithet Messiah in Hebrew, Christ in Greek, and Anointed in English, which was adopted by David, Nathan, Ethan, Isaiah, Daniel, and the succeeding prophets of the Old Testament; and by the apostles and inspired writers of the New.” (Hales, cited in Clarke)
ii. Zecharias, the father of John the Baptist, quotes Hannah in Luke 1:69, when he prophetically calls Jesus a horn of salvation, quoting from 1 Samuel 2:10. Mary, the mother of Jesus, in her beautiful prayer found in Luke 1:46-55, seems to quote Hannah’s song often.
5. (11) Samuel ministers unto the Lord.
Then Elkanah went to his house at Ramah. But the child ministered to the Lord before Eli the priest.
a. Then Elkanah went: They did it. It was hard to do, to leave this little son behind, but they did it because they promised God that is what they would do.
b. But the child ministered to Lord before Eli the priest: Young as he was, Samuel could have a ministry to the Lord. Our young people can praise God and please God and worship Him, and it is often a breakthrough in their walk with God when they experience God in worship.
i. The Living Bible translates it well: And the child became the Lord’s helper. There are ways that even children can serve God and minister to Him.
B. The wicked sons of Eli, the high priest.
1. (12) The evil character of the sons of Eli.
Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord.
a. The sons of Eli were corrupt: Literally, the Hebrew calls them sons of Belial. Belial was a pagan god, and the phrase sons of Belial refers to worthless, wicked men. This was a significant problem, because the sons of Eli were to succeed him as high priest, and were already functioning in the priesthood.
b. They did not know the Lord: Even though their father Eli knew the Lord, that knowledge was not passed on genetically to the sons of Eli. They had to know the Lord for themselves.
i. It can be a difficult thing for a child to come to a true, genuine knowledge of the Lord when they have grown up in a Christian home. They just kind of assume they know the Lord because mom and dad do. But young people need to have a passionate commitment to knowing the Lord for themselves. And knowing about the Lord isn’t enough; we must know Him ourselves, in a personal relationship.
2. (13-17) Their first offense: stealing what was offered to God.
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. 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. 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.” 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.” Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
a. The priests’ custom with the people: 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 bringing the offering. According to other passages in the Old Testament, the priest was supposed to receive a portion of the breast and the shoulder. But now, some four hundred years after the law of Moses was given, the priestly custom had changed - they would not take the prescribed portion of the breast and shoulder, but take whatever the fork brought up out of the pot.
i. “Not contented with the breast and shoulder which were allotted to them by God, Exodus 29:27-28; Leviticus 7:31, they took also part of the offerer’s share.” (Poole)
ii. It was bad enough for the priesthood in general to change their practice from what God had said in His word. But the sons of Eli went even beyond this!
b. The portion that was to be given to God was always to be given first, so it was wrong to take the priest’s portion before they burned the fat.
i. The fat was thought to be the most luxurious, best part of the animal, so that was given to God. The idea was that God should always get the best, and God should get His portion first. But in their pride, the sons of Eli took their portion before they burned the fat.
c. He will not take boiled meat from you, but raw: Why did the sons of Eli want raw meat? Perhaps it was so they could prepare it anyway they pleased; or more likely, it was because raw meat was easier to sell, and they would sell meat and pocket the money.
i. “Boiled meat would not content them. But it ill becometh a servant of the Lord to be a slave to his palate. Christ biddeth his apostles when they come into a house, ‘eat such things as are set before them,’ if wholesome, though but homely. . . . Commonly a wanton tooth is the harbinger to luxurious wantonness. Gluttony is the gallery that lechery walketh through.” (Trapp)
d. No, but you must give it to me now; and if not, I will take it by force: The greed of Eli’s sons was so great, they did not hesitate to use violence and the threat of violence to get what they wanted.
i. The priest’s servant: As is the case with many influential people, they have someone else do their “dirty” work. The sons of Eli themselves would not threaten or intimidate those who brought their offerings to the Lord, but they would tell their servants to threaten and intimidate the worshippers. In this, they felt they could be “above” their own corruption. Yet, the text says the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord. Of course, God was not pleased with the priest’s servants. But God knew that this sin was the sin of the two young sons of Eli more than it was the sin of the priest’s servants.
e. For men abhorred the offering of the Lord: The greatness of the sin of Eli’s sons was found in this - that they, through their greed, violence, and intimidation, made others not want to come and bring offerings to the Lord. It was bad enough what they themselves were doing; but the greater sin of Eli’s sons was in how they hurt other people.
i. “As the people saw that the priests had no piety, and that they acted as if there was no God; they despised God’s service, and became infidels.” (Clarke) “A wicked priest is the worst creature upon the earth. Who are devils, but they which were once angels of light?” (Trapp)
ii. Jesus said that whoever offends one of His little ones, it would be better for that one if a millstone (a very heavy stone) were tied around his neck and he were cast into the ocean (Matthew 18:6-7). Our self-destructive sins are bad enough; it is even worse when we destroy someone else.
iii. It is the same today with greedy, corrupt ministers, who make others hate the offering of the Lord. God will judge them by a high standard! (James 3:1)
3. (18-21) The purity and service of Samuel and his family is a contrast to the evil character of Eli’s sons.
But Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod. 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. 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. And the Lord visited Hannah, so that she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile the child Samuel grew before the Lord.
a. But Samuel: As bad as Eli’s sons were, Samuel was different. Is this not why God raised up Samuel, because of the corruption of Eli’s sons? God knew how Eli’s sons were, so He guided the whole series of events that resulted in Samuel coming to serve at the tabernacle. If Eli’s sons would not be worthy successors, then God would raise up someone else.
i. Ultimately, corrupt ministers do not stop - or even hinder - the work of God. Oh, 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.
ii. Why was Samuel godly and Eli’s sons were not? It might be easy to say it was because Samuel grew up in a godly home and Eli’s sons did not. But Eli does not seem to have been a particularly bad parent, though he obviously did some things wrong (as stated in the rest of the chapter). No, it would be wrong to give Eli all the blame for his sons, or to give Hannah all the credit for Samuel. There is a significant measure that, after all the parenting, is left up to the free will of the child.
b. Wearing a linen ephod: Samuel, even as a child, distinguished himself in his service to the Lord. His service was exceptional enough that he was given a linen ephod, which was a priestly garment (Exodus 39:27-29).
i. What did Samuel do? “He did small charges, as setting up lights, laying up vestments, learning music, or the like.” (Trapp)
c. Even as a child: Though a child, Samuel is serving the Lord better, and in a greater way, than the sons of Eli are. What man looks at in the service of God is often not what the Lord looks at.
d. His mother used to make him a little robe: How beautiful! Only someone who was really there would describe such a small detail. Though Hannah gave her little boy to the Lord, she never stopped loving him.
e. The Lord visited Hannah: He certainly did! Three more sons, and two daughters! 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.
f. On Samuel grew before the Lord: “Not only before men, who might be deceived, but in the presence of the all-seeing God.” (Poole)
4. (22) The second offense of Eli’s sons: sexual immorality.
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.
a. Now Eli was very old: This passage is not focused on Eli’s sons as much as it is on Eli himself. He was old, and in no condition to take the kind of leadership Israel needed from him as high priest. He heard everything his sons did: Eli heard about the evil acts of his sons; but what will he do about it?
b. They lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting: This means the sons of Eli we committing sexual immorality with the women who came to worship at the tabernacle. It is an ancient version of modern “preacher sex scandal.”
i. The two great sins of Eli’s sons were that they stole from God’s people (1 Samuel 2:12-17) and they committed sexual immorality with women who came to worship at the tabernacle. Both show the heart of a hireling, of an unfaithful shepherd who cares more about what he can get from God’s people than about what he can give God’s people. In this sense, the sins of greed and sexual immorality are not far apart. They often go together as the evidence of self-will and the abuse of power.
ii. It is possible that the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle were in some way workers at the house of the Lord. Exodus 38:8 refers to the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.
5. (23-26) The vain, ineffective rebuke of Eli to his sons.
So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. “No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress. “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. And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men.
a. Why do you do such things? It is an understandable question, but a needless one. Who cares why? Could there ever be a justified reason? They cannot excuse their sinful behavior, they had to be responsible for it instead.
i. 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 were doing 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.
ii. 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.” That’s a lecture from dad!
b. You make the Lord’s people to transgress: Again, 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.
c. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him? “All differences between man and man may be settled by the proper judge; but if a man sins against the Supreme Judge, God himself, who shall reconcile him to his Maker?” (Clarke)
i. Fortunately, 1 John 2:1 answer’s Eli’s question: And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. Praise God, there is some to intercede for us when we sin against the Lord!
d. Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to kill them: This striking statement may seem unfair to some. They picture Eli’s sons wanting to repent, wanting to heed the voice of their father, but God preventing them. This is not the case at all. Repentance is a gift from God, and if God chooses not to grant the gift, people will never want to repent. God judged Eli’s sons this way: God gave them exactly what they wanted. They did not want to repent, and God did not work repentance in their hearts.
i. But what about the words, the Lord desired to kill them? God saw they were corrupt men and wanted to judge them. All God did was right and just. Is it wrong to desire justice? When the Lord desired to kill them, it simply means that God desired justice towards Eli’s sons.
e. And the child Samuel grew in stature, and in favor both with the Lord and men: What a contrast to the wickedness of Eli’s sons! This shows that although Eli was far from a perfect father, he was not a chronically bad father, because he essentially fathered Samuel and Samuel grew up to be a godly man.
i. We can’t read 1 Samuel 2:26 without thinking of Luke 2:52, which describes Jesus’ boyhood: And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Samuel was in good company!
C. The announcement of God’s judgment against Eli’s house.
1. (27-33) An unknown man of God pronounces judgment to Eli: his family will be cut off from the office of High Priest.
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? 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? 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?’ 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. ‘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. ‘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. ‘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.’”
a. Then a man of God: We don’t know who this was; this man of God is one of the wonderful anonymous characters of the Bible. But it doesn’t matter who he is; he is a man of God, and God has raised him up to speak to Eli and Eli’s whole family at this important time.
b. Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father: The father referred to is Aaron, who was the first High Priest. Since the High Priesthood was a hereditary office, Eli was a descendant of Aaron, whom God had revealed Himself to.
c. 1 Samuel 2:28 is a wonderful summary of some of the duties of the priesthood in Israel.
i. To be My priest: First and foremost, the job of the High Priest was to minister unto the Lord. Before he served the people, he was a servant of God. He was not first the people’s priest (though he was that also, he was first the priest of God.
ii. To offer upon My altar: The priest was to bring forth sacrifices for atonement and worship. The altar was the place where atoning blood was both shed and applied, blood that would cleanse from sin. The altar was also the place where the “sacrifice of praise” was brought.
iii. To burn incense: The burning of incense was always a picture of prayer, because the smoke and the scent of the incense would ascend up to the heavens. The priest was to lead the nation in prayer, and to pray for the nation.
iv. To wear an ephod before Me: The priest was clothed in specific garments, for glory and for beauty (Exodus 28:2). He was to represent the majesty, dignity, glory, and beauty of God to the people.
v. All the offerings: The priest was also charged with the responsibility to receive the offerings of God’s people and to make good use of them.
c. Why do you kick at My sacrifice: It would have been easy for Eli to say, “I’m not doing it! My sons are!” But Eli had a double accountability for his sons, both as a father (though this was diminished because the sons were adults), and as the High Priest. His sons “worked” for him as a priests, and Eli was a bad “boss.”
d. And honor your sons more than Me: Since Eli would not correct his sons the way he should, either as a father or as a head over them, he was essentially preferring them to the Lord. If He would have been more afraid of offending God, and less afraid of offending his sons, he would have corrected them.
i. 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 Olympic Games, 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 Liddel set a world’s record in the 400 meters.
e. I will cut off your arm: Not literally, but since the arm was a picture of strength and might in Hebrew thinking (Psalm 10:15, 77:15, 89:10), this was saying that the house of Eli would be left powerless and without strength.
f. ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever’; but now the Lord says: God here promises that the priestly line would not stay with Eli and his descendants, but would pass to another line of descendants from Aaron. This was fulfilled many years later, in Solomon’s day; Abiathar (from Eli’s family) was deposed as High Priest and replaced with Zadok (who was from another family).
i. 1 Kings 2:27 reads, So Solomon removed Abiathar from being priest to the Lord, that he might fulfill the word of the Lord which He spoke concerning the house of Eli at Shiloh.
ii. Was God going back on His word when He said, “I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever,” but now the Lord says? Not at all. The promise referred to 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. Eli had assumed the promise was to him also, but God was going back on Eli’s assumption, not on a promise made to Eli. The implicit promise made to Eli was conditional, and he failed to fulfill the conditions.
g. There shall not be an old man in your house forever . . . And all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age: This idea is repeated three times in these few verses. God wants to emphasize that He will not bless the descendants of Eli with a long life.
i. Shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart: The descendants of Eli who do live a little longer will not live blessed lives. They will be painful to observe.
2. (34-36) The sign and the promise: both sons will die on the same day.
“‘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. 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. 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.” ’ ”
a. Now this shall be a sign to you: 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. Both of Eli’s sons will die in one day, and Eli will see this, and know the judgment of God has come against his house, and that one day the priesthood will be removed from his family.
i. Just because something hasn’t happened yet doesn’t make it untrue. God’s promise was sure, and He wanted Eli to know this.
b. Then I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest: Who is the faithful priest predicted here? He was a great priest, because he did according to what is in [God’s] heart and in [God’s] mind. He was a blessed priest, because God said of him, I will build him a sure house, and he will walk before My anointed forever.
i. This promise was partially fulfilled in Samuel, because he functioned as a godly priest, effectively replacing the ungodly sons of Eli.
ii. The promise was partially fulfilled in Zadok, in the days of Solomon, because he replaced Eli’s family line in the priesthood.
iii. The promise was ultimately fulfilled in Jesus Christ, because He is a priest forever according to the order of Melchezedek (Hebrews 7:12-17).
iv. The lesson is emphasized through this chapter. God always has His priests. Whenever there are weak priests (like Eli) or corrupt priests (like Hophni and Phinehas), God will raise up great and godly priests to replace them.
c. Everyone who is left in your house will come and bow down to him for a piece of silver: This is a fitting judgment, since much of the sin of Eli’s sons was greed and stealing from God’s people. Instead of receiving the priestly portions which were rightfully theirs, Eli’s family will one day be reduced to begging.
© 2001 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission