Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 2

God removes the authority from wicked people

1 Samuel 2:31-33

God was making great changes in Israel, and those changes began at his own house.

Since the time of Joshua, Godís house - the sacred tent called the tabernacle - had stood at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1). So, for about 400 years, Godís people gathered there to pray and to offer their gifts to God. But now, God had chosen to leave that place (Psalm 78:60). It would no longer be a holy place; Jeremiah 7:12-14 describes its terrible state afterwards.

Godís chief priest would no longer come from Eliís family. You can read about the terrible things that happened to Eliís family in 1 Samuel 4:10-22, 1 Samuel 22:16-20 and 1 Kings 2:26-27.

These events were awful; but God was still doing something good in Israel. He was removing the authority from wicked people in order to give authority to people who served him (2:7-10).

God would have a new house: the magnificent building called the temple, which Solomon built in Jerusalem. God would continue to have chief priests in Israel - but they would come from Zadokís family, not from Eliís family.

Israel would have a king whom God had chosen: King David. David would organise the priests properly, so that they could serve God in a better manner. Then, for the first time, Israel would have peace, with a strong government and loyal priests.

God does not want people to suffer. He wants to forgive people, so that they do not suffer his punishment. When Eli heard this news, the proper reaction for him was to be humble in front of God (compare 1 Kings 21:27-29). But the Bible does not say that Eli ever did that. His sons did not ask God to forgive them. They continued to act in a proud manner until they suffered their punishment (4:4-11).

Next part: Hophni and Phinehas (1 Samuel 2:34)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.