1 Samuel 3:12
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
1 Samuel 3:12. In that day I will perform against Eli, &c. — In that time which I have appointed for this work, which was about twenty or thirty years after this threatening. So long space of repentance God allows to this wicked generation. When I begin, &c. — Though this vengeance shall be delayed for a season, to manifest my patience, and incite them to repentance; yet when once I begin to inflict, I shall not desist till I have made a full end; or, have fully accomplished all my threatenings, which was done in the death of Eli and his sons; and the slaughter of eighty-five priests of this family by Doeg, and the thrusting Abiathar, who escaped that slaughter, out of his office, and so depriving that family of its dignity and honour.3:11-18 What a great deal of guilt and corruption is there in us, concerning which we may say, It is the iniquity which our own heart knoweth; we are conscious to ourselves of it! Those who do not restrain the sins of others, when it is in their power to do it, make themselves partakers of the guilt, and will be charged as joining in it. In his remarkable answer to this awful sentence, Eli acknowledged that the Lord had a right to do as he saw good, being assured that he would do nothing wrong. The meekness, patience, and humility contained in those words, show that he was truly repentant; he accepted the punishment of his sin.When I begin ... - literally, as in the margin: meaning, I will go through with the performance from first to last. 5-18. he ran unto Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou calledst me—It is evident that his sleeping chamber was close to that of the aged high priest and that he was accustomed to be called during the night. The three successive calls addressed to the boy convinced Eli of the divine character of the speaker, and he therefore exhorted the child to give a reverential attention to the message. The burden of [the Lord's message] was an extraordinary premonition of the judgments that impended over Eli's house; and the aged priest, having drawn the painful secret from the child, exclaimed, "It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good." Such is the spirit of meek and unmurmuring submission in which we ought to receive the dispensations of God, however severe and afflictive. But, in order to form a right estimate of Eli's language and conduct on this occasion, we must consider the overwhelming accumulation of judgments denounced against his person, his sons, his descendants—his altar, and nation. With such a threatening prospect before him, his piety and meekness were wonderful. In his personal character he seems to have been a good man, but his sons' conduct was flagrantly bad; and though his misfortunes claim our sympathy, it is impossible to approve or defend the weak and unfaithful course which, in the retributive justice of God, brought these adversities upon him. In that day; in that time which I have appointed for this work, which was about twenty or thirty years after this threatening. So long space of repentance God allows to this wicked generation to make their peace with God, and prevent the execution, as others did in like cases.

All things which I have spoken, by that prophet, 1 Samuel 2:27.

When I begin, I will also make an end; though this vengeance may and shall be delayed for a season, to manifest my patience, and incite them to repentance; yet when once I begin to inflict, I shall certainly go on with it, and not desist till I have made a full end. In that day I will perform against Eli all things which I have spoken concerning his house,.... Or family, that is, by the man of God, 1 Samuel 2:27 as that he would cut off the strength of it, that there should not be an old man in it; and such as remained should be reduced to the utmost poverty and meanness; this shows that that prophecy was antecedent to this, contrary to the sense of some:

when I begin, I will also make an end; not immediately, and at once, but by degrees; he began in the death of Hophni and Phinehas, and went on in the slaughter of Abimelech, and the eighty five priests at Nob, in the times of Saul, and finished in the thrusting out of Abiathar from the priesthood, in the times of Solomon, whereby that family was brought to disgrace and poverty.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. all things which I have spoken] See ch. 1 Samuel 2:27-36.

when I begin, I will also make an end] Literally, ‘beginning and ending,’ i.e. from beginning to end, fully and completely.Verse 12. - I will perform. Literally, "I will raise up," i.e. I will excite and stir up into active energy all the denunciations of the man of God (1 Samuel 2:27), which hitherto have been as it were asleep and at rest. All things which. Better, quite literally, all that I have spoken. When I begin, I will also make an end. In the Hebrew two infinitives used as gerunds, "beginning and ending," i.e. from beginning to end. The Hebrew language constantly thus uses infinitives with great force; as, for instance, in Jeremiah 7:9: "What! stealing, murdering, committing adultery," etc. As soon as Samuel heard his name called out, he hastened to Eli to receive his commands. But Eli bade him lie down again, as he had not called him. At first, no doubt, he thought the call which Samuel had heard was nothing more than a false impression of the youth, who had been fast asleep. But the same thing was repeated a second and a third time; for, as the historian explains in 1 Samuel 3:6, "Samuel had not yet known Jehovah, and (for) the word of Jehovah was not yet revealed to him." (The perfect ידע after טרם, though very rare, is fully supported by Psalm 90:2 and Proverbs 8:25, and therefore is not to be altered into ידע, as Dietrich and Bttcher propose.) He therefore imagined again that Eli had called him. But when he came to Eli after the third call, Eli perceived that the Lord was calling, and directed Samuel, if the call were repeated, to answer, "Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth."
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