|Hophni and Phinehas |
"Sons of Belial," who, though knowing externally and professionally, "knew not the Lord" experimentally and practically (1 Samuel 2:12, compare Jeremiah 22:16; Titus 1:16). Greediness, violent rapacity, wherewith they made themselves fat with the chiefest of the offerings of God's people, (and this in the sanctuary itself, so that "men abhorred the offering of the Lord,") and even lust indulged with the women assembling at the door of the tabernacle, were their crying sins. These in accordance with the prophecies of a man of God, and of Samuel, brought on both a violent death in one day. In vain Israel relied on the ark of God when Hophni and Phinehas were its escort. If Eli had "restrained them" firmly when "they made themselves vile," and had Israel thoroughly amended their ways, the ark, so far from falling into the foe's hands, would have been the pledge of victory over the foe (Jeremiah 7:4; Isaiah 48:2). (See ELI.) (1 Samuel 2; 3; 4).