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Bible Dictionaries

Smith's Bible Dictionary

Eli

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E'li. (ascension). A descendant of Aaron through Ithamar, the youngest of his two surviving sons. Leviticus 10:1-2; Leviticus 10:12, compare 1 Kings 2:27 with 2 Samuel 8:17; 1 Chronicles 24:3. (B.C. 1214-1116). He was the first of the line of Ithamar who held the office of high priest. The office remained in his family till Abiathar was thrust out by Solomon, 1 Kings 1:7; 1 Kings 2:26-27, when it passed back again to the family of Eleazar in the person of Zadok. 1 Kings 2:35. Its return to the elder branch was one part of the punishment which had been denounced against Eli during his lifetime, for his culpable negligence, 1 Samuel 2:22-25, when his sons profaned the priesthood; compare 1 Samuel 2:27-36 with 1 Kings 2:27.

Notwithstanding this one great blemish, the character of Eli is marked by eminent piety, as shown by his meek submission to the divine judgment, 1 Samuel 3:18, and his supreme regard for the Ark of God. 1 Samuel 4:18. In addition to the office of high priest, he held that of judge. He died at the advanced age of 98 years, 1 Samuel 4:18, overcome by the disastrous intelligence that the Ark of God had been taken in battle by the Philistines, who had also slain his sons Hophni and Phinehas.

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Bibliography Information
Smith, William, Dr. Entry for 'Eli'. Smith's Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/sbd/e/eli.html. 1901.

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