Eliís family were Israelís priests. It was their duty and honour to act on Godís behalf in Israel. However, Eliís sons were behaving wickedly and Eli was too weak to stop them. It became necessary for God himself to act, in order to defend his own honour.
So, God sent a certain man to Eli. We know nothing about that man, except for the message that he gave. The Bible simply calls him Ďa man of Godí. That phrase probably means a prophet, in other words, someone who spoke messages from God. That did not happen often in Israel during this period of its history (3:1).
The message from God emphasises the importance of Israelís priests in Godís plan. They all belonged to one family, the family of Aaron, whom the passage calls Ďyour (Eliís) fatherí. In fact, Aaron lived several centuries before Eli. Aaron is called Eliís Ďfatherí because Eli came from Aaronís family.
Perhaps Eliís sons felt as if they were carrying on a family business, like any other family in Israel. Other families were farmers, or traders, or skilled workmen, and the work passed from father to son in the same family. Eliís sons probably thought that they knew much better than their father how to make money as priests.
Their attitude was foolish and wicked. God had freed all Israelís people from their hard work as slaves in Egypt. Then, by means of Moses and Aaron, he showed them how they should serve him. It was God who chose Aaronís family to be Israelís priests. It was God who showed them to carry out their special duties as his priests.
So it was God whom Eliís sons were opposing by their wicked behaviour.
Next part: The work of the priests (1 Samuel 2:28)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.