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Bridgeway Bible Dictionary


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At the time when Eli was chief priest and chief administrator in Israel, the tabernacle was at Shiloh, in central Israel. Eli sat outside the tabernacle to give advice and settle disputes, while his sons carried out the routine work connected with the sacrifices and ceremonies (1 Samuel 1:3; 1 Samuel 1:9; 1 Samuel 4:18).

Eli’s sons were corrupt, but Eli did not remove them from office, even though he disagreed with their conduct. God announced to Eli, first through a prophet and then through the boy Samuel, that he would punish Eli’s household with shame, poverty and early death. Only one would be left functioning as a priest, and eventually he too would be removed (1 Samuel 2:12-36; 1 Samuel 3:11-14). (For the fulfilment of these prophecies see 1 Samuel 4:11; 1 Samuel 14:3; 1 Samuel 22:11-20; 1 Kings 2:26-27.)

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Bibliography Information
Fleming, Don. Entry for 'Eli'. Bridgeway Bible Dictionary. 2004.

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