Now the sons of Eli were 1worthless men. 2They did not know the LORD.
The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,
and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.
Moreover, 3before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, "Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw."
And if the man said to him, "Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish," he would say, "No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force."
Thus the sin of the young men was very great 4in the sight of the LORD, 5for the men treated the offering of the LORD with contempt.
6Samuel was ministering before the LORD, a boy 7clothed with a linen ephod.
And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year 8when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.
Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, "May the LORD give you children by this woman 9for the petition she asked of the LORD." So then they would return to their home.
10Indeed the LORD visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. 11And the young man Samuel grew in the presence of the LORD.
Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who 12were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
And he said to them, "Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people.
No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the LORD spreading abroad.
If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him?" But they would not listen to the voice of their father, 13for it was the will of the LORD to put them to death.
Now the young man Samuel 14continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the LORD and also with man.
And there came 15a man of God to Eli and said to him, "Thus the LORD has said, 16'Did I indeed reveal myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt subject to the house of Pharaoh?
17Did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to go up to my altar, to burn incense, 18to wear an ephod before me? 19I gave to the house of your father all my offerings by fire from the people of Israel.
Why then do you 20scorn my sacrifices and my offerings that I commanded, and honor your sons above me by fattening yourselves on the choicest parts of every offering of my people Israel?'
Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 21'I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,'22but now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.
Behold, 23the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father's house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.
Then 24in distress you will look with envious eye on all the prosperity that shall be bestowed on Israel, 25and there shall not be an old man in your house forever.
The only one of you whom I shall not cut off from my altar shall be spared to weep his eyes out to grieve his heart, and all the descendants of your house shall die by the sword of men.
26And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die 27on the same day.
28And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest, who shall do according to what is in my heart and in my mind. 29And I will build him a sure house, and he shall go in and out before 30my anointed forever.
And everyone who is left in your house shall come to implore him for a piece of silver or a loaf of bread and shall say, "Please put me in one of the priests' places, that I may eat a morsel of bread."'"