1 Samuel 2:23
And he said to them, Why do you such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Samuel 2:23-24. And he said, Why do ye do such things? — He reproved them, but far too gently, as these and the following words manifest. This might proceed partly from the coldness of old age, but it arose chiefly from his too great indulgence to his children. I hear of your evil dealings by all this people — Their wickedness was so notorious that there was a general complaint of it, which should have moved him to much greater severity than merely to reprove and chide them. He ought to have restrained them, and if he could not otherwise have done it, to have inflicted those punishments upon them which such high crimes deserved, according to God’s law, and which he, as high-priest and judge, was in duty bound to inflict without respect of persons. Nay, my sons, for it is no good report that I hear — This is the language of a father, not of a zealous judge. Ye make the Lord’s people to transgress — By causing them to neglect and despise the service of God, and tempting them to lewdness.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.Women that assembled - Or, "Served." See the marginal reference and note. Probably such service as consisted in doing certain work for the fabric of the tabernacle as women are accustomed to do, spinning, knitting, embroidering, mending, washing, and such like. 22-24. the women that assembled at the door of the tabernacle—This was an institution of holy women of a strictly ascetic order, who had relinquished worldly cares and devoted themselves to the Lord; an institution which continued down to the time of Christ (Lu 2:37). Eli was, on the whole, a good man, but lacking in the moral and religious training of his family. He erred on the side of parental indulgence; and though he reprimanded them (see on [236]De 21:18), yet, from fear or indolence, he shrank from laying on them the restraints, or subjecting them to the discipline, their gross delinquencies called for. In his judicial capacity, he winked at their flagrant acts of maladministration and suffered them to make reckless encroachments on the constitution, by which the most serious injuries were inflicted both on the rights of the people and the laws of God. Such things, as those above mentioned, 1 Samuel 2:13,22. Eli’s sin in this matter was not only that he reproved them too gently, and generally, and sparingly; but especially that he contented himself with a verbal rebuke and did not

restrain them, as is said 1 Samuel 3:13, and inflict those punishments upon them, of putting them out of their priest’s office, and cutting them off from God’s people; which such high crimes deserved by God’s law, and which he as judge and high priest ought to have done, without all respect of persons.

By all this people, that dwell here, or come hither to worship. And he said unto them, why do ye such things?.... As to impose upon the people that bring their offerings, by taking more than is due, and in a very indecent and imperious manner; and especially to defile the women when they came to worship: these were very scandalous sins, and deserved a more severe reprimand, and indeed a greater chastisement than by mere words; Eli should have rebuked them more sharply, and laid open the evil of their doings, and as a judge punished them for them:

for I hear of your evil doings by all this people; the inhabitants of Shiloh, or who came thither to worship, who were continually making their complaints to Eli; which still shows his backwardness to reprove them in the manner he did until he was obliged to it by the continual remonstrances of the people against the practices of his sons; he did not attend to the information he had from a few persons, until it became general.

And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings by all this people.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. for I hear of your evil dealings] Rather, for I hear evil things of yon from all this people.Such conduct as this on the part of the young men (the priests' servants), was a great sin in the sight of the Lord, as they thereby brought the sacrifice of the Lord into contempt. נאץ, causative, to bring into contempt, furnish occasion for blaspheming (as in 2 Samuel 12:14). "The robbery which they committed was a small sin in comparison with the contempt of the sacrifices themselves, which they were the means of spreading among the people" (O. v. Gerlach). Minchah does not refer here to the meat-offering as the accompaniment to the slain-offerings, but to the sacrificial offering generally, as a gift presented for the Lord.
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