Daily Tanach, Monday: Shmuel 1 Chapter 2 Part 2-The sins of Bnei Eily

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

1.     Shmuel’s upbringing:

  • Shmuel would serve before G-d, and wear an apron made of linen [as was worn by all the dignitaries[1]]. His mother would [annually[2]] make him a small coat, and have it brought to him annually when her husband would go up for the pilgrimage to bring his annual offerings [to G-d].
  • Eily blesses Channah and Elkana: Eily blessed Elkana and his wife and said “May G-d place for you offspring from this woman in exchange for her prayer that she prayed before G-d.” They then returned to their place.
  • Channah has five children: G-d helped Channah conceive, and she became pregnant and had three sons and two daughters, and the lad Shmuel grew up with G-d.

2.     Eily hears of the wrongdoing of his sons:  

  • Eily discovers that his sons would lie with the women after birth: Eily was very old, and he heard all that his sons were doing to the Jewish people, that they would lie with women who gave birth in the entrance to the Tent of Meeting [i.e. Ohel Moed]. [Some say that this does not mean that they would literally have relations with the women, but rather that they would delay bringing their afterbirth sacrifices, hence delaying their ability to return home and be with their husbands, and G-d considered it as if they had lied with the women.[3]]
  • Eily confronts his son: Eily confronted his sons asking them why are you doing the above said matters, as I have heard about you all these evil things that you are doing to the nation. My sons, abstain from doing the above, as the rumors that I am hearing about you from the nation of G-d are not good. If man sins against man a judge can come and adjudicate between them, however if one sins to G-d who will help him in the adjudication.
  • The sons of Eily do not listen to him: Unfortunately, the sons of Eily did not heed the words of their father, as G-d desired [i.e. already decreed[4]] to punish them with death.

3.     The upbringing of Shmuel:

  • The lad, Shmuel, grew up very nicely, and he was very well favored by G-d and people.

4.     Eily receives a Divine message of complaint and curse:

  • Eily is told that his family was chosen by G-d for the priesthood: A man of G-d [i.e. Elkana[5], who was one of the 48 prophets of the Jewish people[6]] came to Eily and said to him, so says G-d: I have revealed myself to the House of your father [i.e. Aaron[7]] while they were in Egypt, to the house of Pharaoh. And I chose him from all the tribes of Israel to be a priest for me to offer on my altar the sacrifices and to offer the incense and wear the Eifod in front of Me and I gave to the house of your father all the offerings of the Jewish people.
  • Eily is chastised for the sins of his sons: Why then do you despise My sacrifice and Mincha which I commanded to be offered in My temple. You honor your sons more than Me by letting them partake in the 1st portions of the sacrifice of my people the Israelites. Therefore, says G-d, the G-d of Israel, I had said that your house and your father’s house would walk before Me forever [i.e. that the priesthood would belong to the descendants of the house of Eily, as at first it was given to Pinchas, and due to his lack of leadership in the times of Pilegesh Bigiva, it was removed from him and given to Eily[8]].
  • The punishments-Losing the priesthood, descendants dying at young age: Now, says G-d it would be demoting of Me, as I honor those who honor Me and belittle those who belittle Me. Days will come, and I will uproot your descendants and the descendants of your father’s household, from having an elderly leader amongst them [as the priesthood will be taken away from Avyasar his descendant, and given to Tzadok, a descendant of Pinchas[9]]. You will see pain in My dwelling place with all the good that I will give the Jewish people, as there will not be an elderly leader amongst your descendants for all of days. I will not cut off all your descendants from offering on my altar, in order to make your eyes and soul yearn for what they see, however the descendants of your home will die as young men [at the age of eighteen[10]]. And this shall be for you an omen [that all the above will occur], that Chafni and Pinchas will both die on the same day. I will establish for Myself a new trustworthy priest that will do as My heart and soul desires and I will build for him a trustworthy home and he will walk before My anointed one throughout all the days. All the remainder of your house will come to prostrate themselves to him in order to make a living and receive a loaf of bread. They will ask him to please incorporate them in one of the priesthoods shifts in order so they can get bread.

[1] See Metzudos Dovid 2:18

[2] Rashi 2:19

[3] See Rashi 2:22; Radak ibid; Metzudos Dovid ibid

[4] Rashi 2:25

[5] Rashi 2:27

[6] Radak 2:27

[7] Rashi 2:27

[8] Rashi 2:30

[9] Rashi 2:30

[10] Rashi 3:12

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