And the priest's custom with the people was
Not what was according to the will and law of God, but which the sons of Eli had introduced; and in which they were followed by the rest of the priests, and so it became an established custom, and had the force of a law, statute, or judgment, as the word signifies:
[that] when any man offered sacrifice;
not any sort of sacrifice, for if it was a burnt offering, it was wholly consumed by fire, and in that the following custom could not take place; and if it was a sin offering, that was eaten by the priests, and so there was no need of taking such a method as after related; but a peace offering, part of which belonged to the Lord, the fat that was burnt, and the breast and shoulder to the priest, and the rest to the owner, who made a feast of it for his family and friends:
the priest's servant came while the flesh was in
that is, while those parts were boiling for the owner and his family; which was done in some part of the tabernacle, as afterwards in the temple:
with a flesh hook of three teeth in his hand;
with a three forked instrument, with which he was sent by order of the priest that slew the sacrifice, and offered it, to whom belonged the parts before mentioned, allowed him by the law; but not content with these, he sent his servant, while the rest were boiling, with such an instrument as here described, to draw up more out of the boiling pot.