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28 I chose[a] your ancestor[b] from all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer sacrifice on my altar, to burn incense, and to bear[c] the ephod before me. I gave to your ancestor’s house all the fire offerings made by the Israelites. 29 Why are you[d] scorning my sacrifice and my offering that I commanded for my dwelling place?[e] You have honored your sons more than you have me by having made yourselves fat from the best parts of all the offerings of my people Israel.’

30 “Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I really did say[f] that your house and your ancestor’s house would serve[g] me forever.’ But now the Lord says, ‘May it never be![h] For I will honor those who honor me, but those who despise me will be cursed!

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  1. 1 Samuel 2:28 tn Heb “even choosing.” The finite verb shortens the sentence for better English style.
  2. 1 Samuel 2:28 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Eli’s ancestor, i.e., Aaron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  3. 1 Samuel 2:28 tn The verb נָשָׁא (nasaʾ) normally means “to carry” or “to bear” and refers to an ephod three times. The issue is whether the context here views the ephod more as a piece of clothing or as a cultic object. Exodus 28:4 classifies the ephod as a garment, which is made of linen (Exod 39:2). But a different verb is used in 1 Sam 2:18 and elsewhere to describe wearing an ephod. The ephod also includes stones with cultic significance as a memorial (Exod 28:12; 39:7). An ephod is associated with or appears as a cultic object (Judg 8:27 and possibly 17:5 and 18:14-20) and can be “in the hand” (1 Sam 23:6) or brought as an object (1 Sam 30:7). David uses an ephod, brought by Abiathar the priest, to consult the Lord’s will (1 Sam 23:9-10; 30:7-8). In keeping with the other infinitives in this verse that refer to priestly activities and functions, the translation “bear the ephod” reflects carrying the ephod which was used for divine consultation.
  4. 1 Samuel 2:29 tc The MT has a plural “you” here, but the LXX and a Qumran ms have the singular. The singular may be the correct reading; the verb “you have honored” later in the verse is singular even in the MT. However, it is more probable that the Lord here refers to Eli and his sons. Note the plural in the second half of the verse (“you have made yourselves fat”).
  5. 1 Samuel 2:29 tn Heb “which I commanded, dwelling place.” The noun is functioning as an adverbial accusative in relation to the verb. Since God’s dwelling place/sanctuary is in view, the pronoun “my” is supplied in the The LXX reads “Why did you look at my incense and my sacrifice with a shameless eye?” The LXX may have read the first verb as being from the root נָבַט (nabat) “to look at” rather than the rare בָּעַט (baʿat) “to kick.” And the final consonants of מָעוֹן (maʿon) are easily confused with עַיִן (ʿayin). But the rest of the variation appears inexplicable as a copying error from either direction.
  6. 1 Samuel 2:30 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis.
  7. 1 Samuel 2:30 tn Heb “walk about before.”
  8. 1 Samuel 2:30 tn Heb “may it be far removed from me.”

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