|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the child Samuel grew up,.... Increased in stature and in grace, grew more and more in all respects, and better and better, while Eli's sons grew worse and worse; the contrast between these make the one to shine and appear illustrious, and the other to look the blacker: or "he went on, and grew, and was good" (z); as he proceeded on in years, and grew in stature, he appeared more and more to be a good man, a virtuous, holy, and gracious person:
and was in favour both with the Lord, and also with men; the Lord was pleased to give him some tokens of his favour, that he delighted in him, that he was wellpleasing in his sight, and that his person and services were acceptable to him; and the more Eli's sons disgusted the people by their ill lives and conduct, the greater esteem among them did Samuel obtain by his becoming life and conversation; all admired him, spoke well of him, and thanked God that in such bad times he was raising up one among them, of whom they had the most hopeful prospect of usefulness to them.
(z) "ambulans, et grandescens et bonus", Montanus; so Vatablus & Drusius.
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