Hophni and Phineas

Phineas in the Bible

Christianity Oasis provides this Hophni and Phineas Bible study on the Hophni and Phineas in the Bible story. We'll look into that and all aspects of the Bible seeking truth and understanding.

Daily Bread Devotional Bible Study
The First Book of Samuel
Chapter 2

Hophni and Phineas Bible Saga

Hophni and Phineas in the Bible

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our Hophni and Phineas Bible study taking a look into the Hophni and Phineas in the Bible story and how the thought provoking Hophni and Phineas Bible message affects your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk.

Hophni and Phineas Bible Truth
Sons of Eli Hophni and Phineas in the Bible

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.

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.

Hophni and Phineas Bible Tale
Hophni and Phineas in the Bible Story

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 well of.

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.

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:

Hophni and Phineas Bible Explanation
Hophni and Phineas in the Bible Event

Leviticus 10:1-2

1 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.
2 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 Ithamar.

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.

Hophni and Phineas Bible Concern
Hophni and Phineas in the Bible Warning

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 and Ithamar:

1 Chronicles 24:1-3

1 Now these are the divisions of the sons of Aaron. The sons of Aaron; Nadab, and Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar.
2 But Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and had no children: therefore Eleazar and Ithamar executed the priest's office.
3 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:

Hophni and Phineas Bible Message
Hophni and Phineas in the Bible Danger

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.

Hophni and Phineas Bible Summary
Hophni and Phineas in the Bible Conclusion

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.

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