Nay, my sons
This seems to be too soft and smooth an appellation, too kind and endearing, considering the offence they were guilty of, and were now reproving for; rather they deserved to be called sons of Belial, the children of the devil, than sons of Eli, or brutes and shameless wretches, and such like hard names:
for it is no good report that I hear;
a very bad one; far from being good, scarce anything worse could have been said of them; to rob persons of the flesh of their offerings, when there was a sufficient allowance made for them by law, and to be so impious as to require what was not their due, and even before the Lord had his; and to debauch the women that came to religious worship, and that in the sacred place of worship, they also being priests of the Lord, and married men; sins very shocking and sadly aggravated, and yet Eli treats them in this gentle manner:
ye make the Lord's people to transgress:
by causing them to forbear to bring their sacrifices, being used in such an injurious and overbearing way; and by decoying the women into uncleanness, and by setting examples to others: or, "to cry out"; as in the margin of our Bibles, to exclaim against them for their exorbitant and lewd practices; so the Targum,
``the people of the Lord murmur because so ill used by them:''this clause may be read in connection with the former, "it is no good report that I hear, which ye cause to pass through the Lord's people"; ye occasion the people to speak ill of you everywhere, in the camp of Israel, throughout the whole nation; the report as it is bad, it is general, is in everyone's mouth; so Maimonides F21 interprets it; with which Jarchi and others agree F23.