Eli’s neck being broken may indicate he realized his shortcoming and lack to the fullest extent. Just as the Great Company will experience the feeling of alienation from God when they go into the wilderness at the end of the age, so Eli felt alienation when the Ark, symbolizing God’s presence, was taken. The most munificent judgment we can attribute to Eli is that he pictures the Great Company. However, he was in a dangerous situation, because he was only one step removed from the sins of his sons. Hophni and Phinehas were the guilty ones, but when a person is that close to gross sin, he can incur the same guilt by too much sympathy and the failure to take a stand.
Posts Tagged ‘ Aphek ’
A son of the prophets asked in the name of the Lord that he be smitten. The one who disobeyed “the voice of the LORD” by refusing to do the smiting was slain by a lion. Then that prophet found another man and said, “Smite me.” This time the man smote him but only wounded him instead of killing him. Next the same prophet departed and, disguising himself, waited for King Ahab to come along. As Ahab passed by, the prophet cried out, “I went out into the midst of the battle, and behold, a soldier brought a man to me and said, ‘Keep this man. If by any means he is missing, your life shall be for his life, or else you will pay a talent of silver.’ And as your servant was busy here and there, the man was gone.” Ahab said to the disguised prophet, “So shall your judgment be. You yourself have decided it.” When the prophet removed the disguise, Ahab recognized him as one of the prophets. The prophet then pronounced judgment on Ahab for letting go the man (Ben-hadad) whom God had devoted to destruction. Ahab went back to Samaria “resentful and sullen” (see RSV). Subsequently Ahab mourned and repented, so the destruction of his house was delayed until his son came on the scene (see chapter 21).