1 Samuel 2: Eli's Sons

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 91–92


Why should parents correct their children when the children do wrong? What happens if they are not corrected? How does the Lord feel about children being neglected? An additional example of parents’ influence on the lives of their children can be found in 1 Samuel 2.

Understanding the Scriptures

1 Samuel 2

Exalted (v. 1)Lifted high, increased 
Arrogancy (v. 3)Pride 
Weighed (v. 3)Judged 
Girded (v. 4)Clothed, covered 
Ceased (v. 5)Stopped 
Barren (v. 5)Unable to bear children 
Waxed feeble (v. 5)Become weak 
Pillars (v. 8)Posts (Note: This is poetic language. The people did not think and the Bible does not teach that the earth literally sits on posts.) 
Keep the feet (v. 9)Protect and care for 
Prevail (v. 9)Overcome 
Adversaries (v. 10)Enemies 
Anointed (vv. 10, 35)Chosen 
Sons of Belial (v. 12)Worthless, wicked men 
Fleshhook (vv. 13–14)Tool with which priests could reach the sacrifice and remove pieces of the meat 
Abhorred (v. 17)Hated 
Girded (v. 18)Clothed 
Ephod (vv. 18, 28)Part of the attire of a high priest (see Bible Dictionary, “ephod,” p. 666) 
Seed (v. 20)Children 
Lay (v. 22)Have sexual relations 
Intreat (v. 25)Plead for mercy 
Habitation (vv. 29, 32)House 
Despise (v. 30)Look down upon 
Esteemed (v. 30)Valued 
Cut off thine arm (v. 31)Punish by taking away your strength. Arm is symbolic of strength. 
Consume thine eyes (v. 33)Be constantly on one’s mind 
In the flower of their age (v. 33)A young age 
I will build him a sure house (v. 35)I will give him continued posterity. 
Crouch to him (v. 36)Bow down 

1 Samuel 2:12–17, 22—The Sins of Eli’s Sons

According to the law of Moses, the priests were to receive certain portions of the sacrifice to eat, but they were only to receive it after the fat was burned on the altar, and they were to receive no additional pieces. When Eli’s sons took what did not belong to them and took it before they should have, they were robbing God of His offering and cheating the people. Notice that because of Eli’s sons’ actions, the people disliked offering sacrifices (see 1 Samuel 2:17). To make things worse, verse 22 says they committed fornication with women who came to the temple.

Studying the Scriptures

Do two of the following activities (A–D) as you study 1 Samuel 2.

Activity A iconA Song for the Lord

  1. 1.

    Choose what you think would be a good title for Hannah’s song in 1 Samuel 2:1–10.

  2. 2.

    Choose something Hannah said about the Lord in this song that impresses you, and explain why.

Activity B iconApplying the Story Today

After reading 1 Samuel 2:12–17, explain what you think modern Aaronic Priesthood holders could learn from this story. Especially consider what verse 17 says.

Activity C iconBe a Prosecuting Attorney

You have been assigned to bring Eli and his sons to justice. Read 1 Samuel 3:13 and list the crimes you would charge them with and the evidence you have that they are guilty.

Activity D iconThe Duties of Parents

Read Mosiah 4:14–15; Doctrine and Covenants 68:25–31; 93:40–43 and list what the Lord commands parents to teach their children.