1 Samuel 2:16
And if any man said to him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as your soul desires; then he would answer him, No; but you shall give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) And if not, I will take it by force.—The solemn ritual of the sacrifice was not only transgressed by these covetous, greedy, ministering priests, but the worshippers were compelled by force to yield to these new lawless customs, probably introduced by these sons of the high priest Eli.

1 Samuel 2:16-17. Nay, but thou shalt give it me now, &c. — This was the very height of haughty impiety. That such submissive language did not prevail with them to have so much respect for God, as to permit his portion to be presented to him in the first place, especially as they offered to the priest more than his share afterward, manifested excessive profaneness and contempt of things sacred. To what pitch of wickedness may not a man arrive who has shaken off the fear of God, and all sense of his presence and power! Men abhorred the offering of the Lord — Nothing brings religion so much into contempt with the people as the open profaneness of those that are ministers of it. The validity, however, and efficacy of God’s ordinances, do not depend altogether on the piety of those that minister in them. So that it was a sin in the people to neglect divine institutions because of the wickedness of the priests. But it was a still much greater sin in the priests to give them occasion so to do.2:11-26 Samuel, being devoted to the Lord in a special manner, was from a child employed about the sanctuary in the services he was capable of. As he did this with a pious disposition of mind, it was called ministering unto the Lord. He received a blessing from the Lord. Those young people who serve God as well as they can, he will enable to improve, that they may serve him better. Eli shunned trouble and exertion. This led him to indulge his children, without using parental authority to restrain and correct them when young. He winked at the abuses in the service of the sanctuary till they became customs, and led to abominations; and his sons, who should have taught those that engaged in the service of the sanctuary what was good, solicited them to wickedness. Their offence was committed even in offering the sacrifices for sins, which typified the atonement of the Saviour! Sins against the remedy, the atonement itself, are most dangerous, they tread under foot the blood of the covenant. Eli's reproof was far too mild and gentle. In general, none are more abandoned than the degenerate children of godly persons, when they break through restraints.The Law of Moses defined exactly what was to be the priest's portion of every peace offering Leviticus 7:31-35, as it also gave express directions about the burning of the fat Leviticus 7:23-25, Leviticus 7:31. It was therefore a gross act of disobedience and lawlessness on the part of Hophni and Phinehas to take more than the Law gave them. Incidental evidence is afforded by this passage to the existence of the Levitical law at this time. 13-17. the priests' custom with the people—When persons wished to present a sacrifice of peace offering on the altar, the offering was brought in the first instance to the priest, and as the Lord's part was burnt, the parts appropriated respectively to the priests and offerers were to be sodden. But Eli's sons, unsatisfied with the breast and shoulder, which were the perquisites appointed to them by the divine law (Ex 29:27; Le 7:31, 32), not only claimed part of the offerer's share, but rapaciously seized them previous to the sacred ceremony of heaving or waving (see on [235]Le 7:29); and moreover they committed the additional injustice of taking up with their fork those portions which they preferred, while still raw. Pious people revolted at such rapacious and profane encroachments on the dues of the altar, as well as what should have gone to constitute the family and social feast of the offerer. The truth is, the priests having become haughty and unwilling in many instances to accept invitations to those feasts, presents of meat were sent to them; and this, though done in courtesy at first, being, in course of time, established into a right, gave rise to all the rapacious keenness of Eli's sons. Take as much as thy soul desireth; we are content to relinquish our parts to thee, only let not God be wronged of his due. And if any man said unto him, let them not fail to burn the fat presently,.... Or stay till they have offered the fat, as the Targum; let that be done in the first place, which may be quickly done, in a very little time, and let as much haste be made as can be to do it:

and then take as much as thy soul desireth; by which it appears that the men that brought the sacrifice had more religion at heart, and were more concerned for the honour and glory of God than the priest; being willing to suffer in their property, but could not bear that the Lord should be dishonoured, and so rudely treated: they were willing the priests should take what they pleased of theirs, though they had no right to any; only they desired the Lord might be served first, which was but reasonable:

then he would answer him, nay, but thou shall give it me now, and if not, I will take it by force; signifying, he would not stay till the fat was burnt, and the Lord had his portion, but he would have it directly; and if he would not give it him freely, he would take it whether he would or not; to such a height of insolence and impiety were the priests arrived, as to put it in the power of their servants to make such wicked demands, and treat God, and those that brought their sacrifices to him, in such a contemptuous manner.

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

(n) Not passing for their own profit, so that God might be served rightly.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. presently] “Immediately:” the usual meaning of the word in the E. V., e.g. Matthew 26:53.

he would answer him, Nay] The correct reading of the Heb. gives “Nay” in place of “him.” Cp. note on 1 Samuel 2:3. 9 The feet of His saints He will keep,

And the wicked perish in darkness;

For by power no one becomes strong.

10 The Lord - those who contend against Him are confounded.

He thunders above him in the heavens;

The Lord will judge the ends of the earth,

That He may lend might to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed.

The Lord keeps the feet of the righteous, so that they do not tremble and stumble, i.e., so that the righteous do not fall into adversity and perish therein (vid., Psalm 56:14; Psalm 116:8; Psalm 121:3). But the wicked, who oppress and persecute the righteous, will perish in darkness, i.e., in adversity, when God withdraws the light of His grace, so that they fall into distress and calamity. For no man can be strong through his own power, so as to meet the storms of life. All who fight against the Lord are destroyed. To bring out the antithesis between man and God, "Jehovah" is written absolutely at the commencement of the sentence in 1 Samuel 2:10 : "As for Jehovah, those who contend against Him are broken," both inwardly and outwardly (חתת, as in 1 Samuel 2:4). The word עלו, which follows, is not to be changed into עליהם. There is simply a rapid alternation of the numbers, such as we frequently meet with in excited language. "Above him," i.e., above every one who contends against God, He thunders. Thunder is a premonitory sign of the approach of the Lord to judgment. In the thunder, man is made to feel in an alarming way the presence of the omnipotent God. In the words, "The Lord will judge the ends of the earth," i.e., the earth to its utmost extremities, or the whole world, Hannah's prayer rises up to a prophetic glance at the consummation of the kingdom of God. As certainly as the Lord God keeps the righteous at all times, and casts down the wicked, so certainly will He judge the whole world, to hurl down all His foes, and perfect His kingdom which He has founded in Israel. And as every kingdom culminates in its throne, or in the full might and government of a king, so the kingdom of God can only attain its full perfection in the king whom the Lord will give to His people, and endow with His might. The king, or the anointed of the Lord, of whom Hannah prophesies in the spirit, is not one single king of Israel, either David or Christ, but an ideal king, though not a mere personification of the throne about to be established, but the actual king whom Israel received in David and his race, which culminated in the Messiah. The exaltation of the horn of the anointed to Jehovah commenced with the victorious and splendid expansion of the power of David, was repeated with every victory over the enemies of God and His kingdom gained by the successive kings of David's house, goes on in the advancing spread of the kingdom of Christ, and will eventually attain to its eternal consummation in the judgment of the last day, through which all the enemies of Christ will be made His footstool.

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