(ascension), a descendant of Aaron through Ithamar, the youngest of his two surviving sons. (Leviticus 10:1,2,12) comp. 1Kin 2:27 with 2Sam 8:17; 1Chr 24:3 (B.C. 1214-1116.) he was the first of the line of Ithamar who held the office of high priest. The office remained in his family till Abiathar was thrust out by Solomon, (1Kings 1:7; 2:26,27) when it passed back again to the family of Eleazar int he person of Zadok. (1 Kings 2:35) Its return to the elder branch was one part of the punishment which had been denounced against Eli during his lifetime, for his culpable negligence. (1 Samuel 2:22-25) when his sons profaned the priesthood; comp. (1 Samuel 2:27-36) with 1Kin 2:27 Notwithstanding this one great blemish, the character of Eli is marked by eminent piety, as shown by his meek submission to the divine judgment, (1 Samuel 3:18) and his supreme regard for the ark of God. (1 Samuel 4:18) In addition to the office of high priest he held that of judge. He died at the advanced age of 98 years, (1 Samuel 4:18) In addition to the office of high priest he held that of judge. He died at the advanced age of 98 years, (1 Samuel 4:18) overcome by the disastrous intelligence that the ark of God had been taken in battle by the Philistines, who had also slain his sons Hophni and Phinehas.
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