Old and weak, Eli the priest, guilty of indulgence for his wicked sons, brought discredit upon the national sanctuary he had loved and served most faithfully through many years. The shameful, adulterous conduct of his sons, Hophni and Phinehas on the very threshold of the tabernacle resulted in a terrible death for them and their families. The women they abused were in some way connected with the service of the tabernacle, perhaps in the liturgical side of the sanctuary worship. By their immoral act, the sons of Eli not only sinned against the women in question but also “against the Lord,” and against their godly father whose voice of rebuke they scorned. With hardening hearts they were suddenly destroyed. Their terrible transgression seemed to be beyond the limit of divine forgiveness.
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