Eliís two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, had the opportunity to achieve great things in their lives. However, they both wasted their lives completely. They both chose, on purpose, to live in a greedy and wicked manner. Eli had tried to warn them about their foolish behaviour, but they refused to listen (2:23-25).
God told Eli how his two sons would die. They would die together, suddenly. That event would prove to Eli that this message about Eliís family really was from God. God knew what would happen; God had already warned Eli about these future events.
These things seem especially sad when we think about Hophniís and Phinehasís opportunities in life. Eli had chosen for his son Phinehas the name of one of the great heroes in the Bible: Phinehas, son of Eleazar. You can read what that first Phinehas did to save his nation in Numbers 25:6-13. But this second Phinehas, Eliís son, did nothing good. He and his brother Hophni only caused trouble for themselves, for their family, and for all Israel.
Everyone expected that, after the death of Eli, one of his sons would become the chief priest. In fact, that never happened, because Godís judgement against them for their evil deeds happened first. They both died before their father died. They were not the first sons of a chief priest to die because of Godís judgement against their unholy acts. Aaronís sons Nadab and Abihu also died for that reason (Leviticus 10:1-3).
Next part: A loyal priest: Zadok (1 Samuel 2:35)
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© 2014, Keith Simons.