1 Samuel 2:16
And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt 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.

1 Samuel 2:16They 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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