1 Samuel 2:22-4
Eli’s Family Condemned
22 Now, Eli was very old, and he had heard everything that his sons were doing to all Israel and that they were sleeping with the women who served at the gate of the tent of meeting. 23 So he asked them, “Why are you doing such things? I hear about your wicked ways from all these people. 24 Sons, the report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading isn’t good! 25 If one person sins against another, God will take care of him. However, when a person sins against the Lord, who will pray for him?” But they wouldn’t listen to their father’s warning—the Lord wanted to kill them.
26 The boy Samuel continued to grow and gained the favor of the Lord and the people.
27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “This is what the Lord says: I revealed myself to your ancestors when they were under Pharaoh’s control in Egypt. 28 I chose one of your ancestors out of all the tribes of Israel to serve as my priest, to sacrifice burnt offerings on my altar, to burn incense, and to wear the ephod in my presence. And I gave your ancestors the right to keep portions of the sacrifices that the people of Israel burned on the altar. 29 Why do you show no respect for my sacrifices and grain offerings that I have commanded people to make in my dwelling place? Why do you honor your sons more than me by making yourselves fat on the best of all the sacrifices offered by my people Israel?
30 “Therefore, the Lord God of Israel declares: I certainly thought that your family and your father’s family would always live in my presence.
“But now the Lord declares: I promise that I will honor those who honor me, and those who despise me will be considered insignificant. 31 The time is coming when I will break your strength and the strength of your father’s house so that no one will grow old in your family. 32 You will see distress in my dwelling place. In spite of the good that I do for Israel, no one in your family will live to an old age. 33 Any man in your family whom I do not remove from my altar will have his eyes fail, and he[a] will be heartbroken. And all your descendants will die in the prime of life. 34 What is going to happen to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you: Both of them will die on the same day. 35 Then I will appoint a faithful priest to serve me. He will do everything I want him to do. I will give him faithful descendants, and he will always live as my anointed one. 36 Then anyone who is left from your household will bow down in front of him to get a coin or a loaf of bread and say, ‘Please appoint me to one of the priestly classes so that I may eat a piece of bread.’”
The Lord Calls Samuel
3 The boy Samuel was serving the Lord under Eli. In those days a prophecy from the Lord was rare; visions were infrequent. 2 One night Eli was lying down in his room. His eyesight had begun to fail so that he couldn’t see well. 3 The lamp in God’s temple[b] hadn’t gone out yet, and Samuel was asleep in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was kept.
4 Then the Lord called Samuel. “Here I am,” Samuel responded. 5 He ran to Eli and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I didn’t call you,” Eli replied. “Go back to bed.” So Samuel went back and lay down.
6 The Lord called Samuel again. Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
“I didn’t call you, son,” he responded. “Go back to bed.” 7 Samuel had no experience with the Lord, because the Lord’s word had not yet been revealed to him.
8 The Lord called Samuel a third time. Samuel got up, went to Eli, and said, “Here I am. You called me.”
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. 9 “Go, lie down,” Eli told Samuel. “When he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord. I’m listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his room.
10 The Lord came and stood there. He called as he had called the other times: “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak. I’m listening.”
11 Then the Lord said to Samuel, “I am going to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears it ring. 12 On that day I am going to do to Eli and his family everything I said from beginning to end. 13 I told him that I would hand down a permanent judgment against his household because he knew about his sons’ sin—that they were cursing God[c]—but he didn’t try to stop them. 14 That is why I have taken an oath concerning Eli’s family line: No offering or sacrifice will ever be able to make peace for the sins that Eli’s family committed.”
15 Samuel remained in bed until morning. Then he opened the doors of the Lord’s house. But Samuel was afraid to tell Eli about the vision.
16 Then Eli called Samuel. “Samuel, my son!” he said.
“Here I am,” he responded.
17 “What did the Lord tell you?” he asked. “Please don’t hide anything from me. May God strike you dead if you hide anything he told you from me.”
18 So Samuel told Eli everything.
Eli replied, “He is the Lord. May he do what he thinks is right.”
19 Samuel grew up. The Lord was with him and didn’t let any of his words go unfulfilled. 20 All Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew Samuel was the Lord’s appointed prophet. 21 The Lord continued to appear in Shiloh, since the Lord revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh through the Lord’s word. And Samuel spoke to all Israel.[d]
The Army Sends for the Ark
4 Israel went to fight against the Philistines and camped near Ebenezer while the Philistines camped at Aphek. 2 The Philistines organized their troops to meet Israel in battle. As the battle spread,[e] the Philistines defeated Israel and killed about 4,000 soldiers in the field.
3 When the troops came back to the camp, the leaders of Israel asked, “Why has the Lord used the Philistines to defeat us today? Let’s get the ark of the Lord’s promise from Shiloh so that he may be with us and save us from our enemies.” 4 The troops sent some men who brought back the ark of the promise of the Lord of Armies—who is enthroned over the angels.[f] Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, came along with God’s ark. 5 When the Lord’s ark came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth rang with echoes.
6 As the Philistines heard the noise, they asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?” The Philistines found out that the Lord’s ark had come into the camp. 7 Then they were frightened and said, “A god has come into their camp.” They also said, “Oh no! Nothing like this has ever happened before. 8 We’re in trouble now! Who can save us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who struck the Egyptians with every kind of plague in the desert. 9 Be strong, Philistines, and act like men, or else you will serve the Hebrews as they served you. Act like men and fight.”
The Ark Captured
10 The Philistines fought and defeated Israel. Every Israelite soldier fled to his tent. It was a major defeat in which 30,000 Israelite foot soldiers died. 11 The ark of God was captured. Both of Eli’s sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
12 A man from the tribe of Benjamin ran from the front line of the battle. He went to Shiloh that day with his clothes torn and dirt on his head. [g] 13 When he arrived, Eli was sitting on a chair beside the road, watching. He was worried about the ark of God. The man went into the city to tell the news. The whole city cried out. 14 Hearing the cry, Eli asked, “What is this commotion?” So the man went quickly to tell Eli the news. 15 (Eli was 98 years old, and his eyesight had failed so that he couldn’t see.)
16 The man told Eli, “I’m the one who came from the battle. I fled from the front line today.”
“What happened, son?” Eli asked.
17 “Israel fled from the Philistines,” the messenger answered. “Our troops suffered heavy casualties. Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, also are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
18 When the messenger mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell from his chair backwards toward the gate. He broke his neck, and he died. (The man was old and heavy.) He had judged[h] Israel for 40 years.
19 His daughter-in-law, Phinehas’ wife, was pregnant. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor prematurely and gave birth to a son. 20 As she was dying, the women helping her said, “Don’t be afraid. You’ve given birth to a son.” But she didn’t answer or pay attention.
21 She called the boy Ichabod [No Glory], saying, “Israel’s glory is gone,” because the ark of God had been captured and because her father-in-law and her husband died. 22 “Israel’s glory is gone because the ark of God has been captured,” she said.
- 1 Samuel 2:33 Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek; Masoretic Text “you.”
- 1 Samuel 3:3 According to Exodus 27:21, each night the priests were to light a lamp in the tent of meeting which was to burn from dusk to dawn.
- 1 Samuel 3:13 Ancient scribal tradition, Greek, and Latin; Masoretic Text “cursing themselves.” At times some scribes would alter the text when they thought it was disrespectful to God.
- 1 Samuel 3:21 This sentence is the first part of 1 Samuel 4:1 in the Hebrew Bible and most English Bibles.
- 1 Samuel 4:2 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
- 1 Samuel 4:4 Or “cherubim.”
- 1 Samuel 4:13 Tearing one’s clothes and throwing dirt on one’s head was a sign of mourning.
- 1 Samuel 4:18 Eli served as a God-appointed political/religious leader of Israel like the judges in the book of Judges.
24 I can guarantee this truth: Those who listen to what I say and believe in the one who sent me will have eternal life. They won’t be judged because they have already passed from death to life.
25 “I can guarantee this truth: A time is coming (and is now here) when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who respond to it will live. 26 The Father is the source of life, and he has enabled the Son to be the source of life too.
27 “He has also given the Son authority to pass judgment because he is the Son of Man. [a] 28 Don’t be surprised at what I’ve just said. A time is coming when all the dead will hear his voice, 29 and they will come out of their tombs. Those who have done good will come back to life and live. But those who have done evil will come back to life and will be judged. 30 I can’t do anything on my own. As I listen to the Father, I make my judgments. My judgments are right because I don’t try to do what I want but what the one who sent me wants.
31 “If I testify on my own behalf, what I say isn’t true. 32 Someone else testifies on my behalf, and I know that what he says about me is true. 33 You sent people to John the Baptizer, and he testified to the truth. 34 But I don’t depend on human testimony. I’m telling you this to save you. 35 John was a lamp that gave off brilliant light. For a time you enjoyed the pleasure of his light. 36 But I have something that testifies more favorably on my behalf than John’s testimony. The tasks that the Father gave me to carry out, these tasks which I perform, testify on my behalf. They prove that the Father has sent me. 37 The Father who sent me testifies on my behalf. You have never heard his voice, and you have never seen his form. 38 So you don’t have the Father’s message within you, because you don’t believe in the person he has sent. 39 You study the Scriptures in detail because you think you have the source of eternal life in them. These Scriptures testify on my behalf. 40 Yet, you don’t want to come to me to get eternal life.
41 “I don’t accept praise from humans. 42 But I know what kind of people you are. You don’t have any love for God. 43 I have come with the authority my Father has given me, but you don’t accept me. If someone else comes with his own authority, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe when you accept each other’s praise and don’t look for the praise that comes from the only God?
45 “Don’t think that I will accuse you in the presence of the Father. Moses, the one you trust, is already accusing you. 46 If you really believed Moses, you would believe me. Moses wrote about me. 47 If you don’t believe what Moses wrote, how will you ever believe what I say?”
- John 5:28 “Son of Man” is a name Jesus called himself to show that he was not only God’s Son but also human.
Give thanks to the Lord because he is good,
because his mercy endures forever.
2 Who can speak about all the mighty things the Lord has done?
Who can announce all the things for which he is worthy of praise?
3 Blessed are those who defend justice
and do what is right at all times.
4 Remember me, O Lord, when you show favor to your people.
Come to help me with your salvation
5 so that I may see the prosperity of your chosen ones,
find joy in our people’s happiness,
and brag with the people who belong to you.
6 We have sinned, and so did our ancestors.
We have done wrong.
We are guilty.
7 When our ancestors were in Egypt,
they gave no thought to your miracles.
They did not remember your numerous acts of mercy,
so they rebelled at the sea, the Red Sea.
8 He saved them because of his reputation
so that he could make his mighty power known.
9 He angrily commanded the Red Sea, and it dried up.
He led them through deep water as though it were a desert.
10 He rescued them from the power of the one who hated them.
He rescued them from the enemy.
11 Water covered their adversaries.
Not one Egyptian survived.
12 Then our ancestors believed what he said.
They sang his praise.
30 A tranquil heart makes for a healthy body,
but jealousy is like bone cancer.
31 Whoever oppresses the poor insults his maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy honors him.