THE SONS OF ELI
Glad you're back! Ready
to share more Daily Bread? Great! Last time, you may recall, we were briefly
introduced to Eli, the high priest. Well, Eli had two sons, named Hophni and
Phineas, who were wicked men and had no fear of God in them, and no respect for
the honor of ministering to the Lord, either. They abused the privilege of their
position by breaking the laws of the offerings and sacrifices by stealing
people's sacrifices by force, and they also defiled the women who came to
worship at the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
THE SONS OF ELI STUDY ON THE SONS OF ELI STORY WITH THE SONS OF ELI MESSAGE
Now, Eli was very old,
and he knew about the evil ways of his sons, but though it grieved him at his
heart, he did nothing more than scold them about it. Hophni and Phineas ignored
Eli's concern and admonition, and continued in their disrespect and sin, but the
Lord definitely took notice.
One day, a man of God
(a Prophet) visited Eli and gave him a message from God, saying, Why do you honor your sons
above me? Why do you belittle my sacrifices and offerings, to make yourselves
rich with the best of the offerings of my people Israel? I did say that your
family and the family of your father (the Levites) would serve me for ever, but
now, I will honor those who honor me, and those who despise me will be thought
Time for a little Daily
Bread Crumb! As you may know, in families of royalty, the throne is usually
passed down to the firstborn son of the king. Well, likewise, the high
priesthood of Israel was the same way. The eldest son of the high priest
inherited the office, whether it be by reason of death, or health issues or
whatever the cause be that the serving high priest left the office.
THE SONS OF ELI LESSON WITH THE SONS OF ELI EXPLANATION
Aaron of course was the
first high priest of the Israelites when they were freed from Egypt. He had four
sons, but the two eldest died at the hand of the Lord:
And Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took either of them his censer,
and put fire therein, and put incense thereon, and offered strange fire
before the LORD, which He commanded them not. And there went out fire from
the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD.
The next in line to inherit the high
priesthood was Eleazar and the fourth son of Aaron was Ithamar. Now we know from
the books of Joshua and Judges that Eleazar did indeed succeed Aaron, and then
Eleazar's son Phineas, but after that, we have Eli, who was not of Eleazar's
bloodline (you can see for yourself in
1 Chronicles 6:3-15). So somehow, the bloodline switched from Eleazar to
But how do we know Eli is of the
bloodline of Ithamar, seeing that Ithamar's family tree is not listed in
Chronicles or elsewhere in the Bible? Well, by a process of elimination, because
1) he wasn't from Eleazar's bloodline, 2) he WAS a high priest, and 3) one had
to be of one of the two sons of Aaron in order to execute the priests office.
THE SONS OF ELI INFORMATION WITH THE SONS OF ELI MEANING
To go one step further with this,
let's take a look ahead in the book of 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles shall we?
First of all, it appears that during
the reign of king David, the priesthood was shared by the descendants of Eleazar
1 Chronicles 24:1-3
Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab,
and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. But Nadab and Abihu died before their
father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the
priest's office. And David distributed them, both Zadok of the sons of
Eleazar, and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, according to their offices
in their service.
But when Solomon became king, he
gave the high priesthood to the family of Eleazar exclusively:
1 Kings 2:27
So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he
might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of
Eli in Shiloh.
1 Kings 2:35
And the king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada in his (Joab's) room over the
host: and Zadok the priest (of the bloodline of Eleazar) did the king put
in the room of Abiathar.
Now, resuming our study, the Lord
(through the man of God mentioned earlier), tells Eli that because of the sins
of his sons, and Eli's negligence to stop them, a day will come when the
strength of Eli's family will be reduced and all of his posterity would die at a
young age. And this will be a sign to you. Your two sons will both die in the
same day. And I will raise me up a righteous priest that will serve faithfully
forever, and your descendants will beg to be assigned to a priest's office.
Meanwhile, Samuel, just a child,
ministered to the Lord in Shiloh and Hannah (his mother) made him a coat each
year and brought it to him when they came up for the yearly sacrifice. And the
Lord blessed Elkanah and Hannah with five more children because she gave Samuel
to the Lord.
Can't wait for you to return so we
can find out what happens next, right here at Daily Bread.