A prophet came to Eli with this message from the Lord: "When your ancestor Aaron and his family were slaves of the king of Egypt, I revealed myself to Aaron.
From all the tribes of Israel I chose his family to be my priests, to serve at the altar, to burn the incense, and to wear the ephod to consult me. And I gave them the right to keep a share of the sacrifices burned on the altar. 1
Why, then, do you look with greed at the sacrifices and offerings which I require from my people? Why, Eli, do you honor your sons more than me by letting them fatten themselves on the best parts of all the sacrifices my people offer to me?
I, the Lord God of Israel, promised in the past that your family and your clan would serve me as priests for all time. But now I say that I won't have it any longer! Instead, I will honor those who honor me, and I will treat with contempt those who despise me.
Listen, the time is coming when I will kill all the young men in your family and your clan, so that no man in your family will live to be old.
You will be troubled and look with envy on all the blessings I will give to the other people of Israel, but no one in your family will ever again live to old age.
Yet I will keep one of your descendants alive, and he will serve me as priest. But he will become blind and lose all hope, and all your other descendants will die a violent death.
When your two sons Hophni and Phinehas both die on the same day, this will show you that everything I have said will come true. 2
I will choose a priest who will be faithful to me and do everything I want him to. I will give him descendants, who will always serve in the presence of my chosen king.
Any of your descendants who survive will have to go to that priest and ask him for money and food, and beg to be allowed to help the priests, in order to have something to eat."