Hebrew History Part 11

Contact: David Parham 940-322-4343


We continue our studies this week as we study ďThe Time of the JudgesĒ


Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen how Judges came to rule in the nation of Israel and watched the children of Israel repeat the error of falling away from God. When this happened, the people would fall under oppression, and (as we have studied in the last 2 weeks), God would raise up a deliverer after they forsook their evil and sought Godís face again in honesty and truth. This week we begin our study on Eli who was a priest and A Judge.

1 Sam 1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

1 Sam 1:2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

1 Sam 1:3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, were there.

1 Sam 1:4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

1 Sam 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

1 Sam 1:6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.

1 Sam 1:7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

1 Sam 1:8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

1 Sam 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.

1 Sam 1:10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

1 Sam 1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

1 Sam 1:12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the LORD, that Eli marked her mouth.

1 Sam 1:13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

1 Sam 1:14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

1 Sam 1:15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

  1. ELI as Priest and Judge

Eli was the high priest, and was in charge of worship and sacrifice in the tabernacle at Shiloh. It was to him that the Israelites looked to for guidance and leadership in religious and civil affairs. We open our study as we see Hannah coming to Eli with a very serious matter in Hannahís life. She was deeply grieved since she was unable to bear a child. She made a vow to God that she would dedicate the baby to God if she could have a child. (verse 11) When a woman is of age and really desires to have children and for whatever reason is barren, it brings a lot of heartache into that womanís life. We all know of friends who have suffered through this agony, and it is such a relief and blessing in their life if God grants them a child. Some women may never have children, but other methods such as adoption allow the family the opportunity to raise children. In Hannahís case, God heard her cry and answered. We see in verse 14 that Eli thought that Hannah was drunk rather than praying to God. This should be a lesson to us to not judge others too quickly, but be sure before we speak. This woman was in great agony of spirit, and she desired help from God. And when we come with a broken and contrite spirit, that is when God seems to really listen to us.


Psa 34:18 The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Psa 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.

Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

  1. The Religion of Israel at this time

In the days of Eli, we find that religion was at an all-time low.

1 Sam 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD.

We see that even Eliís sons knew not the Lord at this time. As a father, Eli should have done a better job in his own household, but it is not uncommon to see men of God who are serious in serving God forsake their own children for the work of God. King David was a man like that whose children were not given a lot of supervision and religious training when they were young, and you know the heartache and despair this brought to David in his latter years. Under Eliís jurisdiction, his own sons assumed priestly responsibilities. But being unsaved, the took advantage of the people who came to sacrifice and worship.

1 Sam 2:13 And the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;

1 Sam 2:14 And he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh, unto all the Israelites that came thither.

1 Sam 2:15 Also before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.

1 Sam 2:16 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.

1 Sam 2:17 Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

Not only did these young men rob God in demanding the priestly portion before sacrifice was made, but they conducted themselves in such a manner that the people abhorred bringing their sacrifice to Shiloh. It is a sad sad day when those who bear the name of God do not honor and glorify His name. But we have it going on back then, and many today only worship God in name only. Their hearts are far from him. There is a verse in 1 Peter that talks of how hard it will be for the sinners to be saved if judgment has to begin at Godís house. And when the people naming Godís name do not live consecrated lives, judgment will come.

1 Pet 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

1 Pet 4:18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

The answer to that question is that the ungodly and sinner will not appear. So many churches today are no longer concerned for the things of God, but spend much of their time in social activities or doing book reports on what man thinks about various issues. And neither of those things are wrong in the proper setting and proper time. But when we come to Godís house, we should read Godís Word, and study about how He wants us to live. There are lots of good books on how to live, but none greater and none of significance like the Bible. It never fails.

We see in verses 22-25 of 1 Samuel Chapter 2 that the young men refused to listen to their father when he attempted to rebuke them for their evil deeds.

1 Sam 2:22 Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did unto all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.

1 Sam 2:23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.

1 Sam 2:24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make the Lord's people to transgress.

Eli was at this time attempting to stop their evil, but if we wait until late in life to teach our children, many times they will refuse to hear us.

We see in verse 27 that an unnamed prophet rebukes Eli because he honored his sons more that God.

1 Sam 2:27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house?

1 Sam 2:28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel?

1 Sam 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

1 Sam 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

1 Sam 2:31 Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.

1 Sam 2:32 And thou shalt see an enemy in my habitation, in all the wealth which God shall give Israel: and there shall not be an old man in thine house for ever.

1 Sam 2:33 And the man of thine, whom I shall not cut off from mine altar, shall be to consume thine eyes, and to grieve thine heart: and all the increase of thine house shall die in the flower of their age.

1 Sam 2:34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.

1 Sam 2:35 And I will raise me up a faithful priest, that shall do according to that which is in mine heart and in my mind: and I will build him a sure house; and he shall walk before mine anointed for ever.

1 Sam 2:36 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left in thine house shall come and crouch to him for a piece of silver and a morsel of bread, and shall say, Put me, I pray thee, into one of the priests' offices, that I may eat a piece of bread.

It is a sad day when man honors their own children more than God, but that is not that uncommon. If you go out around the cities of America today on the Lordís Day, you will find many a family entertaining their children with many different activities rather than bringing the children to Godís house to learn of Godís ways. This is a serious matter, because all the entertainment will fade away into fond memories, where the things a child learns about God will last a lifetime.

Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Eliís laxity had provoked Godís judgement as we see in verse 34. Both sons would lose their lives in a day and a faithful priest would minister in their place. As promised, the young men both die. Every time God pronounces judgment, there comes judgment.

1 Sam 4:11 And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain.

Oh that we might learn not to try God and go our own way. The pure and righteous path is a path that leads to happiness and joy. Satanís path always looks appealing, but the ends thereof are the ways of death. Sin has a price, and sin continuing without repentance leads to serious consequences.

1 Sam 4:18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

We see that Eli was so wrapped up in his sons that he lost total control of himself when he heard the news of his sons deaths, and falls and died himself. Children are a real blessing and heritage from the Lord, but we must not worship our children. God and God only should be worshipped and put first in our lives. The best any parent can do is to raise a child up in the church and teach them to study their bible. When they come to know the Lord, we then have a promise from God that no matter who leaves this life first, we shall see them again in Heaven one day. What a promise that is unbreakable.

III.  Samuel is raised up as Prophet, Priest, and Judge.

The early life of Samuel was much like Eliís sons. The environment was similar, but he had a mother that was dedicated to God. What is the value of a Godly mother? It is a value that we can not ascertain, but if you have a Godly mother, or had one that has gone on to be with the Lord, thank God for her.

1 Sam 1:9 So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD.

1 Sam 1:10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.

1 Sam 1:11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

1 Sam 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.

Hannah did not forget who gave her this child. She was dedicated and given to God. And Hannah gave Samuel over to God as a dedicated Nazarite, one known as set apart to God. We as Christians should so live that others about us know that God is real and important in our lives. I once heard that if you were put on trial for being a Christian, and none of your church members or friends could testify in your behalf, could the world convict you of being a Christian? If not, then your light is not shining like God would like it to shine. When it shines like God desires for it to shine, everyone around you will know you are a Christian, and most likely you will face ridicule. But that is ok. They ridiculed my Lord, and Iím on His side and that is the winning side. Read the last chapter of the Bible. As that Cathedralís Song goes, Iíve read the back of the book and we win.

1 Sam 1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

1 Sam 1:25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli.

1 Sam 1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD.

1 Sam 1:27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him:

1 Sam 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.

We see she takes baby Samuel to Shiloh to worship after he was weaned. She did not forget her vow like so many do today. When we vow a vow to God, we should not defer to pay it. She took the child to Shiloh and he remained there until Israelís defeat and the death of Eli.

Jer 7:12 But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel.

Jer 7:13 And now, because ye have done all these works, saith the LORD, and I spake unto you, rising up early and speaking, but ye heard not; and I called you, but ye answered not;

Jer 7:14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh.


Apparently the shrine at Shiloh was destroyed when the Philistines took the Ark and defeated Israel in the days of Eli.

Samuel was the last of the Judges. Being the last, he exercised civil jurisdiction throughout the land of Israel. He also gained recognition as the first prophet in Israel since the days of Moses.

1 Sam 3:11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

1 Sam 3:12 In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house: when I begin, I will also make an end.

1 Sam 3:13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.

1 Sam 3:14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering for ever.

This was the first prophecy that Samuel received, and this came in the temple at Shiloh. Prophets continued after Samuel until the days of Malachi. There have been no prophets since then, but Jesus was more that a prophet. His order was like the order of King Melchisedec which was prophet, priest, and King. But those that come today and say they are prophets of God are false teachers that are misleading people. Some things have come to an end, and the prophecies have ceased as far as adding to Godís Word. It is finished and complete.

1 Cor 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

1 Cor 13:9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

1 Cor 13:10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.

That which is perfect has come, and Jesus has done away with those things that were in part, although much disagreement exists on this today.

1 Sam 7:9 And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.

Samuel officiated as the leading priest after the death of Eli. This was unusual in that he was not in the lineage of Aaron to whom the responsibilities of high priesthood belonged. He was of the tribe of Levi, but not the family of Aaron. I am sure that God will raise up whomever He chooses to do His work. We may not understand, but we do know that God uses the base things of the world to confound the wise.

1 Cor 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

1 Cor 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

1 Cor 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

As we saw in Gideonís battle a few weeks ago, God won that battle and they knew He won the battle. If God used the mighty of this world to do His work, then we could question whether it is God or that great person doing it. But when God uses simple folks like you and I to get the Gospel preached to the lost, we know that it is all of God.

1 Sam 2:2 There is none holy as the LORD: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

1 Sam 2:3 Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogance come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.

1 Sam 2:4 The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength.

We see 20 years after the defeat of the Philistines that Samuel is used by the Lord to turn from idolatry.

Samuel dwelt in Ramoth, and he was a circuit riding judge, covering Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpeh.

1 Sam 7:16 And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places.

1 Sam 7:17 And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD.

Many believe that Samuel founded a school of the prophets. Although a great man, like Eli, he came to see his own sons become guilty of sinning and not walking in his good foot steps.

1 Sam 8:1 And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

1 Sam 8:2 Now the name of his firstborn was Joel; and the name of his second, ABIOS: they were judges in Beersheba.

1 Sam 8:3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

It is a sad day when judges and people of God turn aside from righteousness and pervert judgment. In America, so many times we see our court systems fail and those who need serious judgment get off on light sentences, while another lesser crime gets a very stiff sentence. But one day the Great Righteous Judge will come and all things will be judged fairly and righteously. Jesus is that fair and impartial Judge. Today he is the author of salvation to all who will come to Him, but when Jesus returns, He comes as Judge.

Samuel was given the unique privilege of anointing the first 2 kings of Israel. Saul and David

1 Sam 9:7 Then said Saul to his servant, But, behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? for the bread is spent in our vessels, and there is not a present to bring to the man of God: what have we?

1 Sam 9:8 And the servant answered Saul again, and said, Behold, I have here at hand the fourth part of a shekel of silver: that will I give to the man of God, to tell us our way.

1 Sam 9:9 (Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet was beforetime called a Seer.)

We see that people came from near and far to seek council of Samuel the prophet.

He was sought by Saul even after his death. Remember the story of Saul going to the witch of Endor and having her call up Samuel from the dead.

1 Sam 28:7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

1 Sam 28:8 And Saul disguised himself, and put on other raiment, and he went, and two men with him, and they came to the woman by night: and he said, I pray thee, divine unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall name unto thee.

1 Sam 28:9 And the woman said unto him, Behold, thou knowest what Saul hath done, how he hath cut off those that have familiar spirits, and the wizards, out of the land: wherefore then layest thou a snare for my life, to cause me to die?

1 Sam 28:10 And Saul sware to her by the LORD, saying, As the LORD liveth, there shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing.

1 Sam 28:11 Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel.

1 Sam 28:15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

After a full life, we see Samuel died and was buried in Ramah.

1 Sam 25:1 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

We should all number our days, because time is slipping by. Today is the day that we should serve God with our whole heart while it is still day.


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