1 Samuel 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.
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(15) Before they burnt the fat.—This was a still graver offence against the ritual of the sacrifice. A contemptuous insult was here offered to the Lord. This fat was not to be eaten or taken by any one; it was God’s portion, to be burnt by the priest on the altar (Leviticus 3:16; Leviticus 7:23; Leviticus 7:25; Leviticus 7:30-31).

In all these strange rites and ceremonies there was a higher symbolism involved. This was ruthlessly set at nought and trampled on by these reckless, covetous guardians of the worship of Israel.

Portions of the sacrifice fell legally to the ministering priests in lieu of fee. It was fair “that they which ministered at the altar should live of the altar.” The “heave leg” and the “wave breast” of the slaughtered victim were theirs by right, and these the sacrificing priest was to receive after the fat portion of the sacrifice had been burnt upon the altar. But to take the flesh of the victim, and roast it before the symbolic offering had been made, was a crime which was equivalent to robbing God. It dishonoured the whole ceremony.

He will not have sodden flesh.—The meaning of this is, these priests and their attendants insisted on having the best part of the sacrificed victim raw, not boiled—that is, fresh, full of juice and strength—before the offering had been made.

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. The fat, and the other parts to be burnt with it. See Leviticus 3:3,4,9 7:31. So this was an additional injury; for lest the fork should mistake and injure them, they took such parts as they best liked whilst it was raw, when it might be better discerned.

Also before they burnt the fat,.... Which belonged to the Lord, and was to be offered to him by fire, in the first place, as it ought to be; and the order of sacrificing required that he should have his part first before the priest or the owner: but so impious were the priests become, that

the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed; not to the priest that offered, but to the man that brought his sacrifice to be offered by the priest:

give flesh to roast for the priest; meaning, not what was his by law, as the breast and shoulder, though for these he ought to have stayed until the fat was offered to the Lord; but other parts of the peace offering, which he had no right unto, for roasting or boiling, and yet in an imperious manner demanded it by his servant:

for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw though this was not the only reason of this demand, because they liked roast meat better than boiled; but because the three forked flesh hook did not always bring up the best pieces out of the boiling pot; and therefore he resolved to have flesh raw, that he might have the best, as well as dress it to his own liking.

Also before they burnt the {m} 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.

(m) Which was commanded first to have been offered to God.

15. Also] Even. The climax of their transgression was the offence against Jehovah.

sodden] Boiled: the perf. of ‘seethe’ is ‘sod’ (Genesis 25:29), and the past partic. ‘sodden.’

1 Samuel 2:15They did still worse. "Even before the fat was consumed," i.e., before the fat portions of the sacrifice had been placed in the altar-fire for the Lord (Leviticus 3:3-5), the priest's servant came and demanded flesh of the person sacrificing, to be roasted for the priest; "for he will not take boiled flesh of thee, but only חי, raw, i.e., fresh meat." And if the person sacrificing replied, "They will burn the fat directly (lit. 'at this time,' as in Genesis 25:31; 1 Kings 22:5), then take for thyself, as thy soul desireth," he said, "No (לו for לא), but thou shalt give now; if not, I take by force." These abuses were practised by the priests in connection with the thank-offerings, with which a sacrificial meal was associated. Of these offerings, with which a sacrificial meal was associated. Of these offerings, the portion which legally fell to the priest as his share was the heave-leg and wave-breast. And this he was to receive after the fat portions of the sacrifice had been burned upon the altar (see Leviticus 7:30-34). To take the flesh of the sacrificial animal and roast it before this offering had been made, was a crime which was equivalent to a robbery of God, and is therefore referred to here with the emphatic particle גּם, as being the worst crime that the sons of Eli committed. Moreover, the priests could not claim any of the flesh which the offerer of the sacrifice boiled for the sacrificial meal, after burning the fat portions upon the altar and giving up the portions which belonged to them, to say nothing of their taking it forcibly out of the pots while it was being boiled.
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