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THE SONS OF ELI CONTRASTED WITH SAMUEL
I Samuel 2:11-26
Victor M. Eskew
1. Outline the text
i. THE DEPARTURE (I Sam. 2:11)
ii. THE DISOBEDIENCE (I Sam. 2:12-18)
iii. THE DEDICATION (I Sam. 2:19-21)
iv. THE DENUNCIATION (I Sam. 2:22-26)
2. Why was Samuel left to minister unto the Lord before Eli? (I Sam. 2:10)
And Elkanah went to Ramah to his house. And the child did minister unto the Lord before Eli the priest.
A. Hannah had made a vow to the Lord that she would give Samuel “to the Lord all the days of his life” (I Sam. 1:11).
B. On this visit, she fulfilled her vow unto God. Samuel was left to grow up under the direction of the high priest and in the service of God.
3. Define: minister (I Sam. 2:10)
A. Strong (8334): to attend (as a menial or a worshiper)
B. BDB: minister, serve, minister to
C. The Levites were selected by God to render service at the temple to aid the high priest (See Num. 3:6-9).
Bring the tribe of Levi near, and present them before Aaron the priest, that they minister unto him. And they shall keep his charge, and the charge of the whole congregation before the tabernacle of the congregation to do the service of the tabernacle. And they shall keep all the instruments of the tabernacle of the congregation, and the charge of the children of Israel, to do the service of the tabernacle. And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel.
4. Define: sons of Belial (I Sam. 2:11)
Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.
A. Strong (1100): without profit, worthless, wickedness BDB
B. BDB: worthless, good for nothing, unprofitable, base fellow
C. “They were perverse, wicked, profligate men; devil’s children” (Clarke, e-sword).
5. What does the text mean when it says that Eli’s sons “knew not the Lord” (I Sam. 2:11)
A. The way a person manifests that they know the Lord is by keeping the commands of God (I John 2:3-4).
And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
B. These men were called priests. They were supposed to be serving the Lord. However, their disobedience proved that they did not know the Lord.
C. LESSON: A relationship with God is based upon obedience, not a mere affirmation.
6. What three sins of the priests are listed in I Samuel 2:13-16?
And the priest’s custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant came, while the flesh was seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand; 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. 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. 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, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
A. The Law of Moses specifically said what portion of the sacrifice belonged to the priest (Lev. 7:31-35). These men did not care about their specific portion. They used a fleshhook to take as much of the sacrifice as they could take.
B. The Law of Moses also specified that the fat should be burned (Lev. 7:31). Again, the priests were not concerned about carrying out the requirements of the law. They would take the meat raw with all of the fat attached to it.
C. The worshippers who did not want to comply with these evil priests were threatened. The priests told them that they would take their offerings by force if not voluntarily rendered to them.
D. NOTE: This is internal evidence that the Law of Moses existed, was known, and was supposed to be practiced by the Israelites in those days.
7. How is the sin of Eli’s sons described in I Samuel 2:17?
Where the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord…
A. The writer says that their sin was “very great” before the Lord.
B. The words “very great” are two words in the Hebrew language. The first means “vehemently” and the second means “great (in any sense).” The first word serves to intensify the second.
8. Define: abhorred (I Sam. 2:17)
…for men abhorred the offering of the Lord.
A. Strong (5006): to scorn
B. BDB: to spurn, contemn, despise
C. They caused the sacrifices to be blasphemed by the people. If the priests were not going to properly carry out the sacrifice, and, if the priests were robbing the sacrifices, the people believed that there was no need to really bring their sacrifices to the Lord.
9. How is Samuel contrasted with Eli’s sons in I Samuel 2:18?
But Samuel ministered before the Lord, being a child, girded with a linen ephod.
A. The word “but” is a conjunction of contrasts. Eli’s sons knew not the Lord, but Samuel ministered before the Lord. He sought to carry out the Lord’s will in the labors that he performed.
B. He also wore a linen ephod. “The ephod was a shoulder-dress, no doubt resembling the high priest's in shape (see Exo_28:6.), but altogether different in the material of which it was made, viz., simple white cloth, like the other articles of clothing that were worn by the priests. At that time, according to 1Sa_22:18, all the priests wore clothing of this kind…” (Keil & Delitzsch, e-sword). His manner of dress shows that he understood his role and took his role seriously as he carried out his duties.
10. What did Hannah bring to Samuel every year when she came to the feast? (I Sam. 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.
A. She brought him a little coat.
B. The little coat
1. It was needed to shield one from the cold.
2. It was needed to protect the ephod from getting dirty as one labored in the temple.
3. If properly made, it would resemble the attire of the high priest (See Exo. 28:31).
And thou shalt make the robe of the ephod all of blue.
11. What blessing did Eli desire to come upon Hannah? (I Sam. 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.
A. He desired to Elkanah and Hannah to have more children.
12. Define: loan (I Sam. 2:20)
…for the loan which is lent to the Lord…
A. Strong (7596): petition, loan
B. BDB: request, thing asked for, demand
C. Since this couple had been faithful to lend Samuel to the Lord, Eli wanted the Lord to lend them more children.
1. He may have rejoiced in their faithfulness.
2. He may have also understood the how both of them might want more children. These would be children that they would nourish and train in their own home.
13. Define: visited (I Sam. 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.
A. Strong (6485): to visit, care for
B. BDB: to attend to, look after, care for
14. How many more sons and daughters did Hannah have? (I Sam. 2:21)
A. Hannah had four sons total, Samuel and three more.
B. Hannah had two daughters.
15. What was an additional sin Eli heard that his sons had committed along with the sins surrounding the offerings? (I Sam. 2:22)
Now Eli was very old, and heard all that he sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
A. He heard of their fornication and adultery with the woman who assembled at the door of the tabernacle.
B. These women were probably hired to assist in various works around the tabernacle. They may have assisted with sewing and knitting and hemming as it was needed on clothing or on various curtains of the tent of meeting. (See Exo. 38:8)
And made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the looking glasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
16. Who told Eli about his sons “evil dealings”? (I Sam. 2:23)
And he said unto them, Why do ye such things: for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
A. It was the people of Israel who reported the sins of Eli’s sons to him.
B. His sons did not try to hide their sins from the people. They were committed in public. They were of grave concern to the children of Israel.
17. “…ye make the Lord’s people to transgress” (I Sam.2:24).
Nay, my sons; for it is not good report that I hear: ye make the Lord’s people to transgress.
A. The rebuke of Eli was very mild. He did not use the utmost of his authority to deal with their evil actions.
1. He could have used his religious authority as the high priest.
2. He could have used his civil authority as the judge of Israel.
3. He could have used his patriarchal authority as their father.
B. The people were impacted by the actions of these priests.
C. They could not render the proper sacrifices when the priests were taking what legally belonged to the Lord.
18. Define: transgress (I Sam. 2:24)
A. Strong (5674): to cross over
B. BDB: to pass over, by, and through, to cross over
C. God had drawn a line in His Word. The sons of Eli crossed over the divine line. They took liberties with the sacrifices that God did not allow (I John 3:4).
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
19. Against whom were the sins of Eli’s sons? (I Sam. 2:25)
If one man sins against another, the judge shall judge him: but if a man sin against the Lord, who shall entreat for him?...
A. These sons, as representatives of God, had transgressed the very one to whom they were accountable, the God of heaven.
B. These sons acted as judges for the disputes and transgression of others. Who would now intercede for them? They had sinned against God.
20. T – F The sons of Eli hearkened unto their father. (I Sam. 2:25).
…Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.
A. No. They did not listen to their father. They continued in their evil ways.
21. What would be the end of Eli’s sons? (I Sam. 2:25)
…because the Lord would slay them.
A. The Lord would slay them.
B. As the text reads in the KJV, it seems that Eli’s sons did not have the ability to obey because the Lord had predetermined to slay them.
Answer: The word “because” is better rendered “therefore.” Because the sons would not repent, the Lord would slay them.
22. Samuel is contrasted again with Eli’s sons in I Samuel 2:26. What are the two contrasts mentioned?
And the child Samuel grew on, and was in favor both with the Lord, and also with men.
A. He grew in favor with God. Eli’s sons were not well-pleasing to God because of their disobedience.
B. He grew in favor with the people. The people did not favor Eli’s sons and reported their sinful activities to their father.
A MAN OF GOD SPEAKS TO ELI
I Samuel 2:27-36
Victor M. Eskew
1. Outline section
i. I Samuel 2:27-28
ii. I Samuel 2:29
iii. I Samuel 2:30-33
iv. I Samuel 2:34
v. I Samuel 2:35-36
2. What is “a man of God”? (I Sam. 2:27)
3. About whom is the man of God speaking in I Samuel 2:27-28?
4. Define: kick (I Sam. 2:29)
5. What was the transgression of Eli and his sons mentioned in I Samuel 2:29?
6. T – F God had said Eli’s house should walk before him forever. (I Sam. 2:30)
7. Why didn’t God keep this promise to Eli” (I Sam. 2:30)
8. T – F God was going to cut off Eli’s house from the high priesthood. (I Sam. 2:31)
9. What does the phrase, “there shall not be an old man in thine house” mean? (I Sam. 2:31, 32)
10. What does the statement: “And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation” mean? (I Sam. 2:32)
11. Who would “consume” Eli’s eyes and “grieve” his heart? I Sam. 2:33)
12. What sign was given to Eli that would confirm the prophet’s words? (I Sam. 2:34)
13. Who did the Lord promise to raise up? (I Sam. 2:35)
14. What would he to that would prove he was faithful? (I Sam. 2:35)
15. What did the Lord mean when he said: “I will build him a sure house?” (I Sam. 2:35)
16. Who would this faithful priest walk before forever? (I Sam. 2:35)
17. What two things would those in Eli’s house do before this new high priest in order to obtain bread?