Now that’s a twist, Samuel and his parents worship You, but the other sons are perverted devils.
They’re so much afraid of You that they fear even speaking bad to their father, but they continue to follow the ways of Satan.
I gotta see what happens next?
“And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
And it came to pass at that time, when Eli was laid down in his place, and his eyes began to wax dim, that he could not see;
And ere the lamp of God went out in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was, and Samuel was laid down to sleep” (1 Sam 3:1-3).
God called out Samuel’s name, but he thought it was Eli, his father, so he answered to him. But Eli told him he didn’t call him and for him to go back to bed. This happened three times, the third time Eli told Samuel that it was God calling him and for him to answer to God.
“And the LORD came, and stood, and called as at other times, Samuel, Samuel. Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.
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.
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.
For I have told him that I will Judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.
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 forever” (1 Sam 3:10-14).
Samuel was afraid to tell Eli what God had told him, but Eli wanted to know, so Samuel told him.
“And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground.
And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the LORD.
And the LORD appeared again in Shiloh: for the LORD revealed himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD” (1 Sam 3:19-21).
Israel pitched beside Ebenezer and the Philistines at Aphek to fight and at the end Israel had lost about 4,000 men. So the children of Israel decided to go to Shiloh and retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from Hophni and Phinehas, believing if they had it with them they couldn’t lose the war.
“And when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout, they said, What meaneth the noise of this great shout in the camp of the Hebrews? And they understood that the ark of the Lord was come into the camp.
And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.
Woe unto us! who shall deliver us out of the hand of these mighty Gods? these are the Gods that smote the Egyptians with all the plagues in the wilderness.
Be strong and quit yourselves like men, O ye Philistines, that ye be not servants unto the Hebrews, as they have been to you: quit yourselves like men, and fight.
And the Philistines fought, and Israel was smitten, and they fled every man into his tent: and there was a very great slaughter; for there fell of Israel thirty thousand footmen.
And the ark of God was taken; and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were slain” (1 Sam 4:7-11).
One of the Israel soldiers ran and told Eli that the Philistines had killed his sons and stolen the Ark.
Eli was 98 years old, heavy, and blind. When he heard that the Ark was stolen he was shaken so badly that he fell of his seat backwards and broke his neck and died.
“And she named the child Ichabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.
And she said, The glory is departed from Israel: for the ark of God is taken” (1 Sam 4:21-22).
Israelite Shrines and Worship
Before the Temple of Solomon
Following the conquest Israelite worship was conducted at the tabernacle at Shiloh. This was in keeping with the laws of the sanctuary given in Deut 12:5,13-14.
However, in the books of Joshua through 1 Chronicles at least 20 local shrines, altars or high places are mentioned as pre-Solomonic places of worship, with roughly 1/3 of these referred to in Samuel.
The Israelites did at times follow Canaanite cultic practices, worshiping local Baal and Asheroths. Canaanite worship local shrines involved the erection of sacred pillars representing the deities; the planning of sacred trees; engagement in sacrifice, feasting and ritualized prostitution, and participation in pilgrimages to cult sites.
Human sacrifice was practiced as well. Did worship at Israelites high places differ? It often did, and its important to realized that not all of the outlying shrines were illicit or pagan.
After the apparent destruction of Shiloh the Israelites returned to traditional custom, worshiping God at local, open-air cult sites as the patriarchs had done.
The Baals and Ashteroth were removed, God alone was worshiped and the grossly pagan features of Canaanite worship were absent.
Israelite worship included pilgrimage, the offering of sacrifices and libations, feasting, musical praise and prayer and fasting.
Sites were probably chosen as places of worship on the basis of associations with the patriarchs or on their connection to great moments in Israel’s history or prior appearances of the Lord.
The presence of the ark of the covenant lent sanctity to some sites, as did the tabernacle to others.
Common to all Israelite high places was an altar, but some sites had other associated structures as well.
Prior to the construction of the temple in Jerusalem, worship at local shrines was common practice among the Israelites.
The multiplicity of shrines in early Israel helps us to make sense of the apparently contradictory rules concerning worship that we find in the law.
On the one hand, we see frequent reference to the central sanctuary as “the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name” (e.g., Deut 12:11).
We also see clear indication that the line of Aaron was the only legitimate priestly line; all other Levites were subordinates who were entrusted with sanctuary duties but did not serve as priests.
On the other hand, some texts seem to imply that all Levites had priestly authority.
The solution lies in the fact that Israel did have one central shrine, the place where the ark of the covenant resided and where the priests of Aaron’s line officiated. This shrine was first at Shiloh and later at Jerusalem.
However, most people could not make frequent trips there, and thus there were numerous other sites throughout Israel where the people could worship routinely.
Any Levite – but only a Levite – it appears, could serve as a priest at one of these outlying shrines.
However, if a Levite came to the central shrine, he could perform only subordinate duties (could not wear the priestly vestments or assume the duties of the Aaronic priests).