Before they returned home, Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife and say, “May the LORD give you other children to take the place of this one she gave to the LORD . ”
And the LORD blessed Hannah, and she conceived and gave birth to three sons and two daughters. Meanwhile, Samuel grew up in the presence of the LORD .
Now Eli was very old, but he was aware of what his sons were doing to the people of Israel. He knew, for instance, that his sons were seducing the young women who assisted at the entrance of the Tabernacle.
Eli said to them, “I have been hearing reports from all the people about the wicked things you are doing. Why do you keep sinning?
You must stop, my sons! The reports I hear among the LORD ’s people are not good.
If someone sins against another person, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede?” But Eli’s sons wouldn’t listen to their father, for the LORD was already planning to put them to death.
Meanwhile, the boy Samuel grew taller and grew in favor with the LORD and with the people.
One day a man of God came to Eli and gave him this message from the LORD : “I revealed myself to your ancestors when they were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt.
I chose your ancestor Aaron from among all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the priestly vest as he served me. And I assigned the sacrificial offerings to you priests.
So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you give your sons more honor than you give me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people Israel!
“Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.