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1 Samuel 2:27-36

The Lord Judges the House of Eli

2:27 A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Did I not plainly 1  reveal myself to your ancestor’s 2  house when they were in Egypt in the house of Pharaoh? 2:28 I chose your ancestor 3  from all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifice on my altar, to burn incense, and to bear the ephod before me. I gave to your ancestor’s house all the fire offerings made by the Israelites. 2:29 Why are you 4  scorning my sacrifice and my offering that I commanded for my dwelling place? 5  You have honored your sons more than you have me by having made yourselves fat from the best parts of all the offerings of my people Israel.’

2:30 Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I really did say 6  that your house and your ancestor’s house would serve 7  me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May it never be! 8  For I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed! 2:31 In fact, days are coming when I will remove your strength 9  and the strength 10  of your father’s house. There will not be an old man in your house! 2:32 You will see trouble in my dwelling place! 11  Israel will experience blessings, 12  but there will not be an old man in your 13  house for all time. 14  2:33 Any one of you that I do not cut off from my altar, I will cause your 15  eyes to fail 16  and will cause you grief. 17  All of those born to your family 18  will die in the prime of life. 19  2:34 This will be a confirming sign for you that will be fulfilled through your two sons, 20  Hophni and Phinehas: in a single day they both will die! 2:35 Then I will raise up for myself a faithful priest. He will do what is in my heart and soul. I will build for him a secure dynasty 21  and he will serve my chosen one for all time. 22  2:36 Everyone who remains in your house will come to bow before him for a little money 23  and for a scrap of bread. Each will say, ‘Assign me to a priestly task so I can eat a scrap of bread.’”

1 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.

2 tn Heb “to your father’s” (also in vv. 28, 30).

3 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Eli’s ancestor, i.e., Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tc The MT has a plural “you” here, but the LXX and a Qumran ms have the singular. The singular may be the correct reading; the verb “you have honored” later in the verse is singular even in the MT. However, it is more probable that the Lord here refers to Eli and his sons. Note the plural in the second half of the verse (“you have made yourselves fat”).

5 tn Heb “which I commanded, dwelling place.” The noun is functioning as an adverbial accusative in relation to the verb. Since God’s dwelling place/sanctuary is in view, the pronoun “my” is supplied in the translation.

6 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.

7 tn Heb “walk about before.”

8 tn Heb “may it be far removed from me.”

9 tn Heb “chop off your arm.” The arm here symbolizes strength and activity.

10 tn Heb “arm.”

11 tn Heb “you will see [the] trouble of [the] dwelling place.” Since God’s dwelling place/sanctuary is in view, the pronoun is supplied in the translation (see v. 29).

12 tn Heb “in all which he does good with Israel.”

13 tc The LXX and a Qumran manuscript have the first person pronoun “my” here.

14 tn Heb “all the days.”

15 tc The LXX, a Qumran ms, and a few old Latin mss have the third person pronominal suffix “his” here.

16 tn Heb “to cause your eyes to fail.” Elsewhere this verb, when used of eyes, refers to bloodshot eyes resulting from weeping, prolonged staring, or illness (see Lev 26:16; Pss 69:3; 119:82; Lam 2:11; 4:17).

17 tn Heb “and to cause your soul grief.”

18 tn Heb “and all the increase of your house.”

19 tc The text is difficult. The MT literally says “they will die [as] men.” Apparently the meaning is that they will be cut off in the prime of their life without reaching old age. The LXX and a Qumran ms, however, have the additional word “sword” (“they will die by the sword of men”). This is an easier reading (cf. NAB, NRSV, TEV, CEV, NLT), but that fact is not in favor of its originality.

20 tn Heb “and this to you [is] the sign which will come to both of your sons.”

21 tn Heb “house.”

22 tn Heb “and he will walk about before my anointed one all the days.”

23 tn Heb “a piece of silver” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).

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