And there came a man of God unto Eli
A prophet, as the Targum; he had gifts and graces bestowed on him by the Lord, qualifying him for that office; he came from God, and spoke in his name, as prophets used to do: who this was is not said, nor can it be known with certainty; many conjectures are made; some think he might he Phinehas, as Ben Gersom and Abarbinel F1, which is not at all likely; it is not probable that he was living, for if he had been alive, Eli would not have been high priest; the more ancient Jews say F2 he was Elkanah, the father of Samuel; and so Jarchi; and he is said in the Targum on ( 1 Samuel 1:1 ) , to be one of the disciples of the prophets, and was reckoned by them among the two hundred prophets that prophesied in Israel F3; but of his prophecy we nowhere read in Scripture, or that he was one: other's F4 think he was Samuel himself, who through modesty conceals his name; but he was now a child, as in the preceding verse; indeed, some are of opinion that what follows is recorded in this chapter by way of anticipation, and properly belongs to, and is a part of the message sent from the Lord by Samuel to Eli, in the following chapter:
and said unto him, thus saith the Lord;
using the language prophets in later times did, who spake not of themselves, but in the name of the Lord; and from whence it appears that this was not a divine Person, the Son of God in human form, since he never used to speak in this manner when he appeared:
did I plainly appear to the house of thy father, when they were in
Egypt in Pharaoh's house?
he did; this was evident and certain, and a wonderful instance of condescending goodness: the house of his father is the house of Aaron, who, and all his sons, were born in Egypt, from whose youngest son, Ithamar, Eli descended; and to whom the Lord appeared when in Egypt, and sent him to meet Moses, whose spokesman he appointed him to be; and who prophesied in Egypt, and reproved the Israelites, which is recorded in ( Ezekiel 20:1-49 ) as say the Jews F5.