This research is an exegesis of 1 Samuel 2:27-36. It includes a literary analysis, involving context, vocabulary, and textual difficulties. It also includes a historical analysis, involving a source critical analysis, a form critical analysis, a traditio-historical analysis, and historical criticism. And it includes a contemporary analysis.
Between the judges of Israel and its kings stood two families that contrasted the two ways of receiving God's word. Elkanah's family is faithful to the commands of God to yearly visit Him at his sanctuary in Shiloh. Eli and his family, the priests at Shiloh, are faithless to the commands of God, for while Eli discharges the duties of a priest well enough, he utterly fails to discharge his duties as a parent, so that his sons who are to be priests after him violate Levitical commands (cf. 1 Sam. 2:12-17 with Lev. 3:3-5,16, 7:29-34, 17:10-14).
The historical context of the first few chapters of 1 Samuel is the period of the judges, when (Judges 21:25) everyone did what he wanted. Although Eli's children Hophni and Phinehas are compelling the women to "lay with them" much as cult prostitutes of other pagan temples, few or none are refusing them and no one demands that these two boys be stoned to death (Deut. 22:13-30). Elkanah's family seems unique in Godliness, but Elkanah has another wife, which bigamy was never sanctioned by God.
Into these contrasting families walks an unknown prophet. The reader is not even told whether Eli the high priest knows him; but the man who ministers at the Ark of the Covenant is told of God's plans indirectly. This is another contrast between Eli's and Elkanah's family: Hannah hears a message from God's anointed (1 Sam. 1:9-18) because she is in distress, yet continues to faithfully pursue God's blessing. Eli, who is Gods anointed, has shunned His law and hears only of judgment from a stranger. This is a message both to the people at that time, for whom m...