1 Samuel 2:27-36

God's message to Eli

27 A servant of God came and he spoke to Eli. This is what he said:

2:27Servant of God is another name for a prophet who speaks God's messages. We do not know the name of this prophet.

‘The Lord says, “A long time ago, when your ancestors were in Egypt, I showed myself to them. At that time they were slaves of Egypt's king. 28 I chose your ancestor, Aaron, out of all of the tribes of Israel. I chose him and his descendants to be my priests. I chose them to offer sacrifices on my altar, to burn incense and to wear the special ephod. I also gave them authority to eat part of the sacrifices and burnt offerings that the Israelites offered to me. 29 But you and your sons do not respect the sacrifices that I have commanded people to offer in my house. Eli, you give more honour to your sons than you give to me. Your family eat all the best parts of the offerings that the Israelites bring to me. You have all become fat!”

2:28The priests wore special clothes when they were in God's house. An ephod was like a coat which had no sleeves.

30 Because of what you have done, the Lord, Israel's God, says this to you: “I promised your family and your ancestors that they would serve me as priests for ever.” But now the Lord says, “That will never happen! I will give honour to people who respect me. But I will curse people who insult me. 31 So you and your family will soon come to an end. No one in your family will live to become old men. 32 You will see how trouble comes to my home here. Good things will happen to the Israelite people, but there will never be an old man in your family. 33 One of your descendants may continue to serve me as a priest. But he will be very sad and his eyes will become weak. Anyone who is born in your family will die when they are young.

34 This will show you that what I have said is true: Your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will both die on the same day.

35 I will choose another priest to serve me. He will be faithful. He will do everything that I want him to do. I will give him a strong family and he will serve my chosen king for ever. 36 Everyone in your family who continues to live will have to bend down low to this priest. They will ask him for a few coins and a piece of bread. ‘Please let me help the priests so that I can have something to eat,’ they will say.” ’