Eli’s Sons – ATA

COMPLAINT:
Did Eli correct his sons (1 Samuel 2:22-24) or not (1 Samuel 3:11-13)? Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Did Eli correct his sons? The answer depends on what is meant by correct. Did he acknowledge their wicked deeds and rebuke them for it? Yes. Did he take action against them to make them stop what they were doing? No.

Notice the texts:

‘Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. So he said to them, ‘Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the LORD’s people transgress. If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the LORD, who will intercede for him?’ Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the LORD desired to kill them. (1 Samuel 2:22-25)

He spoke against their evil deeds, but he did not stop what they were doing, as 1 Samuel 3 reveals:

Then the LORD said to Samuel: ‘Behold, I will do something in Israel at which both ears of everyone who hears it will tingle. In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from beginning to end. For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.  (1 Samuel 3:11-13)

He rebuked, but did not restrain his sons. The texts do not contradict.


A response to 1001 Bible Contradictions.

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