11 Then Elkanah went home to Ramah. And the boy[a] was ministering to the Lord in the presence of Eli the priest.
Eli's Worthless Sons
12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord.13 The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there.15 Moreover, before the fat was burned, the priest's servant would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Give meat for the priest to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you but only raw.”16 And if the man said to him, “Let them burn the fat first, and then take as much as you wish,” he would say, “No, you must give it now, and if not, I will take it by force.”17 Thus the sin of the young men was very great in the sight of the Lord, for the men treated the offering of the Lord with contempt.
18 Samuel was ministering before the Lord, a boy clothed with a linen ephod.19 And his mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice.20 Then Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the Lord give you children by this woman for the petition she asked of the Lord.” So then they would return to their home.
21 Indeed the Lord visited Hannah, and she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. And the boy Samuel grew in the presence of the Lord.
Eli Rebukes His Sons
22 Now Eli was very old, and he kept hearing all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who were serving at the entrance to the tent of meeting.23 And he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all these people.24 No, my sons; it is no good report that I hear the people of the Lord spreading abroad.25 If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the Lord, who can intercede for him?” But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.
26 Now the boy Samuel continued to grow both in stature and in favor with the Lord and also with man.
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