1 Samuel 2:29
Why kick you at my sacrifice and at my offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honor your sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the most chief of all the offerings of Israel my people?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(29) Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice.—The imagery of the words are taken from Deuteronomy 32:15 : “Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked . . . then he forsook God which made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation.” The image is one drawn from the pastoral life of the people: the ox or ass over-fed, pampered, and indulged, becomes unmanageable, and refuses obedience to his kind master.

And honourest thy sons above me.—Although Eli knew well what was right, yet foolish fondness for his sons seems in part to have blinded his eyes to the enormity of their wickedness. It is also probable that he was influenced not by feelings of weak affection, but also by unwillingness to divert from his own family the rich source of wealth which proceeded from the offerings of the pilgrims from all parts of the land. These considerations induced him to maintain these bad and covetous men as his acknowledged representatives in the national sanctuary of Shiloh. Eli then allowed things, which gradually grew worse and worse, to drift, and merely interfered with a weak rebuke; but the day of reckoning was at hand.

1 Samuel 2:29. Wherefore kick ye, &c. — Using my sacrifices irreverently and profanely; both by abusing them to your own luxury, and by causing the people to abhor them. He chargeth Eli with his sons’ faults. Honourest thy sons — Permitting them to dishonour and injure me, by taking my part to themselves; choosing rather to offend me by thy connivance at their sin, than to displease them by severe rebukes and just punishments. To make yourselves fat — To pamper yourselves. This you did, not out of necessity, but out of mere luxury. Chiefest — Not contented with those parts which I had allotted you, you invaded those which I reserved for myself.2:27-36 Those who allow their children in any evil way, and do not use their authority to restrain and punish them, in effect honour them more than God. Let Eli's example excite parents earnestly to strive against the beginnings of wickedness, and to train up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. In the midst of the sentence against the house of Eli, mercy is promised to Israel. God's work shall never fall to the ground for want of hands to carry it on. Christ is that merciful and faithful High Priest, whom God raised up when the Levitical priesthood was thrown off, who in all things did his Father's mind, and for whom God will build a sure house, build it on a rock, so that hell cannot prevail against it.Wherefore kick ye - See the marginal reference. The well-fed beast becomes unmanageable and refractory, and refuses the yoke, and bursts the bonds Jeremiah 5:5. So the priests, instead of being grateful for the provision made for them, in their pampered pride became dissatisfied, wantonly broke the laws of God which regulated their share of the offerings, and gave themselves up to an unbridled indulgence of their passions and their covetousness.

Honourest thy sons above me - What restrained Eli from taking vigorous action to vindicate God's honor, was his unwillingness to lose for his sons the lucrative office of the priesthood. He was willing to rebuke them, he was grieved at their misdeeds, but he was not willing to give up the wealth and plenty which flowed into his house from the offerings of Israel.

1Sa 2:27-35. A Prophecy against Eli's House.

27. there came a man of God unto Eli, and said … that there shall not be an old man in thine house—So much importance has always, in the East, been attached to old age, that it would be felt to be a great calamity, and sensibly to lower the respectability of any family which could boast of few or no old men. The prediction of this prophet was fully confirmed by the afflictions, degradation, poverty, and many untimely deaths with which the house of Eli was visited after its announcement (see 1Sa 4:11; 14:3; 22:18-23; 1Ki 2:27).

Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice; using them irreverently, contemptuously, and profanely; both by abusing them to your own luxury, and by causing the people to abhor and neglect them? He chargeth Eli with his sons’ faults.

Honourest thy sons above me; permitting them to dishonour and injure me, by taking my part to themselves; choosing rather to offend me by thy connivance at their sin, than to displease them by severe rebukes, and effectual restraints, and just punishments; and so prefer their will, and pleasure, and honour, before mine.

To make yourselves fat; to pamper yourselves. This you did not out of any necessity, but out of mere luxury.

The chiefest of all the offerings; not contented with those parts which I had allotted you, you invaded those choice parts which I reserved for myself. Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice, and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation,.... To be offered in the tabernacle, where the Lord had his dwelling; which they might be said to kick and spurn at, despising them, as if there were not enough of them, nor the best of them given to them for their maintenance; a metaphor taken from cattle well fed and fat, which kick and spurn with their feet at even the owners and feeders of them. The Targum is,"why do ye use force with the holy offerings?''that is, take them away by force, when there was such a sufficient quantity allowed them for their support. Some understand this of their driving away such, that before used to bring their sacrifices to be offered, but being so ill treated, refrained from bringing them:

and honourest thy sons above me; by suffering them to take their part of the sacrifices, and even what did not belong to them, before God had his part, or before the fat was burnt; and by continuing them in their office, to the dishonour of God, his name and worship, when they ought to have been turned out by him and punished; but by this he preferred the honour of his sons before the honour of God, and chose rather that he should be dishonoured, than that they should be censured:

to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people? they took the best pieces of the peace offerings from them by force, having no right unto them; and this they did to indulge their luxury and sensuality, which Eli connived at; and it is highly probable took part of the roasted meat his sons provided for themselves, out of the choicest pieces of the offerings of the people; since he himself is included in this clause, "to make yourselves fat", as his sons might be, and it is certain he himself was, 1 Samuel 4:18.

Wherefore {t} kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

(t) Why have you contemned my sacrifices, and as it were trod them under foot?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
29. Wherefore kick ye] Better, Wherefore do ye trample upon, i.e. treat with contempt.

at my sacrifice and at mine offering] When the words are distinguished, that rendered sacrifice (literally slaying) includes as a general term all sacrifices of slain animals: that rendered offering (literally a gift) is applied to unbloody sacrifices, the so-called meat-offering: but the latter is often used in a wide sense to include all kinds of sacrifice, e.g. in 1 Samuel 2:17. The distinction between the words is fairly observed in the E. V.

in my habitation] The word is used again in 1 Samuel 2:32, and in Psalm 26:8, of the tabernacle. The Heb. is obscure, and the Sept. rendering diverges considerably from the present text, thus, “And wherefore didst thou look upon my offering and my sacrifice with a shameless eye?”

with the chiefest of all the offerings] “With the first,” or, “best part of every offering,” which should have been God’s. See note on 1 Samuel 2:13.Eli's treatment of the sins of his sons. - 1 Samuel 2:22. The aged Eli reproved his sons with solemn warnings on account of their sins; but without his warnings being listened to. From the reproof itself we learn, that beside the sin noticed in 1 Samuel 2:12-17, they also committed the crime of lying with the women who served at the tabernacle (see at Exodus 38:8), and thus profaned the sanctuary with whoredom. But Eli, with the infirmities of his old age, did nothing further to prevent these abominations than to say to his sons, "Why do ye according to the sayings which I hear, sayings about you which are evil, of this whole people." רעים את־דּבריכם is inserted to make the meaning clearer, and כּל־ה מאת is dependent upon שׁמע. "This whole people" signifies all the people that came to Shiloh, and heard and saw the wicked doings there.
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