Eli's sons were wicked men; they had no regard1 for the LORD.
Now it was the practice2 of the priests with the people that whenever anyone offered a sacrifice and while the meat3 was being boiled, the servant of the priest would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand.
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.
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."
If the man said to him, "Let the fat4 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."
This sin of the young men was very great in the LORD's sight, for theya were treating the LORD's offering with contempt.518
But Samuel was ministering6 before the LORD--a boy wearing a linen ephod.719
Each year his mother made him a little robe and took it to him when she went up with her husband to offer the annual8 sacrifice.
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 prayed9 for and gave to the LORD." Then they would go home.
And the LORD was gracious to Hannah;10 she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew11 up in the presence of the LORD.
Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything12 his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women13 who served at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting.
So he said to them, "Why do you do such things? I hear from all the people about these wicked deeds of yours.
No, my sons; it is not a good report that I hear spreading among the LORD's people.
If a man sins against another man, Godb may mediate for him; but if a man sins against the LORD, who will14 intercede15 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.
And the boy Samuel continued to grow16 in stature and in favor with the LORD and with men.17