Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial
Not that Eli their father was Belial, a wicked man; but though they had so good a father, they were very wicked men, unprofitable abandoned wretches, that cast off the yoke of the law of God, and gave themselves up to all manner of wickedness:
they knew not the Lord;
not that they had no knowledge of God in theory, or were real atheists, but they were so practically; they denied him in works, they had no love to him, nor fear of him, and departed from his ways and worship, as much as if they were entirely ignorant of him; so the Targum,
``they did not know to fear before the Lord,''or serve him; or, as Kimchi,
``they did not know the way of the Lord,''that is, practically.