Category: Hophni and Phinehas

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit

No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.

Jesus talked about the difference between good and bad people with directness and clarity we don’t often hear repeated. He certainly never claimed we could be perfect. He died, willingly, knowing that was the depth of our need for God’s help. But at the same time, Jesus was very clear about standards of behaviour that we could follow, despite our imperfect ethics. He continually reinforced how critical it was for us to follow those standards, for the sake of others.

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

"Sons of Belial" is a Hebrew term that can help us find stories of abuse in the Bible. There are many examples of abuse in the Bible, but as mentioned previously, the Bible doesn’t categorise abuse in the same way we do now. It refers to abusive behaviours as specific...

Abuse of Power and Influence

Abuse of Power and Influence

In his book, Principle-Centred Leadership, Stephen Covey wrote about the difference between the power and influence that come from coercion and structures, and what can come from character. It appears that in his time on earth Jesus waived his structural...

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Yesterday we started looking at Hophni and Phinehas’s behaviour with the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Was it sexual assault? The strong power imbalance made consent unlikely. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Hophni and Phinehas...

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault?

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault?

Did Hophni and Phinehas commit sexual assault? The writer of 1 Samuel tells us: Now Eli, who was very old, heard about everything his sons were doing to all Israel and how they slept with the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting.1 Samuel...

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Today we start a series looking at Eli, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

When we read 1 and 2 Samuel, and look for what it has to say to us about abuse, we are flooded with stories and examples. This makes sense because what we now categorise broadly as abuse is a grouping of different harmful or toxic behaviours: different sins.

Hannah and the Sons of Eli

Hannah and the Sons of Eli

We aren’t given much detail about the background of Hannah’s story, but it seems most likely her and her family were at Shiloh to celebrate the Passover. It is common to associate the Passover with freedom from slavery, but less common to think about slavery in terms...

Hannah’s character

Hannah’s character

There is so much to admire in Hannah. She is really a lovely person to write about. However, as I write it’s Mothers’ day in Australia, and she is one of those for whom such a day would have been very difficult for many years. Even after she had Samuel, I would...

Wicked people will not oppress them anymore

Wicked people will not oppress them anymore

When God spoke to David about building a temple, 3000 years ago, he promised to make a place of sanctuary for his people. “Wicked people will not oppress them anymore,” he said.

In that passage, the name God uses is still “Yahweh”, given at the time of the Exodus. The mission hasn’t changed either. He also calls himself “the LORD Almighty”, or, Yahweh/Lord of Hosts. It’s the same name Hannah uses when she cries out to God in the agony of her domestic violence: yet another person crying out against oppression.

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