1 Samuel 2:22-36

1 Samuel 2:22-25a-31-36 MSG

By this time Eli was very old. He kept getting reports on how his sons were ripping off the people and sleeping with the women who helped out at the sanctuary. Eli called them out: “What’s going on here? Why are you doing these things? I hear story after story of your corrupt and evil carrying on. Oh, my sons, this is not right! These are terrible reports I’m getting, stories spreading right and left among GOD’s people! If you sin against another person, there’s help—God’s help. But if you sin against GOD, who is around to help?” But they were far gone in disobedience and refused to listen to a thing their father said. So GOD, who was fed up with them, decreed their death. But the boy Samuel was very much alive, growing up, blessed by GOD and popular with the people. A holy man came to Eli and said: “This is GOD’s message: I revealed myself openly to your ancestors when they were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. Out of all the tribes of Israel, I chose your family to be my priests: to preside at the Altar, to burn incense, to wear the priestly robes in my presence. I put your ancestral family in charge of all the sacrificial offerings of Israel. So why do you now treat as mere loot these very sacrificial offerings that I commanded for my worship? Why do you treat your sons better than me, turning them loose to get fat on these offerings, and ignoring me? Therefore—this is GOD’s word, the God of Israel speaking—I once said that you and your ancestral family would be my priests indefinitely, but now—GOD’s word, remember!—there is no way this can continue. I honor those who honor me; those who scorn me I demean. “Be well warned: It won’t be long before I wipe out both your family and your future family. No one in your family will make it to old age! You’ll see good things that I’m doing in Israel, but you’ll see it and weep, for no one in your family will live to enjoy it. I will leave one person to serve at my Altar, but it will be a hard life, with many tears. Everyone else in your family will die before their time. What happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be the proof: Both will die the same day. Then I’ll establish for myself a true priest. He’ll do what I want him to do, be what I want him to be. I’ll make his position secure and he’ll do his work freely in the service of my anointed one. Survivors from your family will come to him begging for handouts, saying, ‘Please, give me some priest work, just enough to put some food on the table.’”
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