Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 2

The priests who had wrong sex

1 Samuel 2:22

The Bible has already told us how wicked Eliís sons (Hophni and Phinehas, the priests) were. However, 1 Samuel 2:22 still gives us a shock.

There were certain women who worked at the entrance to Godís house. (Godís law did not allow women to go inside Godís house.) Someone had probably given these women to God, even as Samuelís parents had given him to God. So they were holy women, who carried out sacred tasks.

The priests, Hophni and Phinehas, were having sex with those women.

That kind of behaviour was not unusual at the houses of false gods. For example, in the religion of Baal (a male god) and Asherah (a female god), sex was a normal part of the ceremonies (see Judges 6:25; Numbers 25:1-3). In some evil religions, priestesses (female priests) worked as prostitutes (that is, they were available to have sex with any man).

It was very terrible that the priests of the real God were imitating this wicked behaviour. Godís word, the Bible, warns clearly that his people must never carry out such wicked acts (Leviticus chapters 18 and 20). It is wrong to have sex, except between husband and wife.

Godís people should not do whatever they may desire to do. They must not allow their feelings to rule their lives. God made them holy, so now they belong to God. So, they should use their bodies in a manner that pleases God (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).

Israelís priests had a duty to teach the people how to serve God (Leviticus 10:11). However, the priests were not even obeying God themselves. Anyone who teaches other people must be especially careful to behave in a proper manner. God demands even higher standards from a leader of his people (James 3:1).

Next part: The chief priest who would not stop his sonsí wicked behaviour (1 Samuel 2:23-25)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.