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Encyclopedia > Eli (Biblical priest)

Eli (Hebrew: עֵלִי, Standard ʻEli Tiberian ʻĒlî ; "Ascent") was, according to the Books of Samuel, the name of a priest of Shiloh, and one of the last Israelite Judges before the rule of kings in ancient Israel. Hebrew redirects here. ... Hebrew redirects here. ... Tiberian Hebrew is an oral tradition of pronunciation for ancient forms of Hebrew, especially the Hebrew of the Bible, that was given written form by masoretic scholars in the Jewish community at Tiberias in the early middle ages, beginning in the 8th century. ... The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... Shiloh may be: Shiloh (Biblical) Shiloh (river), river in the Samarian region of the West Bank Shilo (town), an Israeli settlement near the location of Biblical Shiloh Shiloh (book), the Phyllis Reynolds Naylor novel Battle of Shiloh, a major 1862 battle of the American Civil War Shiloh and Other Stories...


Biblical narrative

Eli abruptly appears in the biblical narrative, when Hannah, who is childless, prays to God for a child. Eli, who is sitting at the foot of the doorpost in the sanctuary at Shiloh, hears her prayer and thinks Hannah is drunk, but after he is assured by her of her motivation and sobriety, he blesses her and her hope for a child. Subsequently Hannah has sex with her husband, and she becomes pregnant; when the child is born and weaned, she leaves him in the care of Eli. Though the text at face value states that the child was Samuel, most textual scholars believe that it originally referred to Saul[1] (since the explanation given for Samuel's name is awkward, but a far better fit for Saul's)[2]. Hannah is a human name, which can either be a first name or a last name. ... Drunkenness, in its most common usage, is the state of being intoxicated with alcohol (i. ... In mathematics, particularly in topology, a topological space X is sober if every irreducible closed subset of X is the closure of exactly one singleton of X. An irreducible closed subset of X is defined to be a nonempty closed subset of X which is not the union of two... Coition of a Hemisected Man and Woman (c. ... There are several persons in the Bible called Elkanah: A Levite, ancestor of a certain Berechiah. ... A pregnant woman Pregnancy is the process by which a mammalian female carries a live offspring from conception until it develops to the point where the offspring is capable of living outside the womb. ... A breastfeeding infant Breastfeeding is the practice of a woman feeding an infant (or sometimes a toddler or a young child) with milk produced from her mammary glands, usually directly from the nipples. ... For other uses, see Sam. ... Textual criticism or lower criticism is a branch of philology or bibliography that is concerned with the identification and removal of errors from texts. ... Saul (Hebrew Shaul meaning demanded) is: 1. ...

The sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, meanwhile, were behaving wickedly, for example by taking for themselves all the prime cuts of meat from sacrifices, and by having sex with the women who served at the sanctuary entrance. Despite Eli's castigation of their behaviour, the sons continued, and so, according to the text, an unidentified man of God prophecies to Eli that Eli and his family will be punished for this, with most of the men dying by the sword in youth, and only a few surviving to work at the temple. In addition, although Eli had previously been promised by God that his family would be priests of Yahweh forever, according to the man of God, God has changed his mind. As a sign of the accuracy of this future, Eli is told by the man of God that his sons will die on the same day. Phinehas or Pinhas - פִּינְחָס, Standard Hebrew Pinəḥas, Tiberian Hebrew Pînəħās is a name shared by two characters in the Hebrew Bible. ...

Eli goes on to train up Samuel, and when Samuel hears Yahweh speaking to him, he at first thinks it is Eli, but Eli, who doesn't himself hear Yahweh calling Samuel, eventually realises the truth, and instructs Samuel on how to respond. Samuel is told that Yahweh's threat (which isn't elaborated further) will be carried out on Eli and his family, and that there is nothing that can be done to prevent it. Eli asks Samuel what he had been told, insisting that he be told the whole truth, and so Samuel does; Eli reacts by saying that Yahweh will do what he judges best. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tetragrammaton. ...

The text then skips to some years later, when Samuel has grown up, at which point the Philistines attack at Ebenezer, eventually capturing the Ark of the Covenant from the Israelites. Eli, who is 98 and blind, is unaware of the event until he asks about all the commotion; a man from the battlefield had run to Shiloh to report on events. When Eli is told what had happened, he dies from a broken neck, having fallen over backwards, and been frail; he had judged Israel for a total of 40 years. Map showing the location of Philistine land and cities of Gaza, Ashdod, and Ascalon Map of the southern Levant, c. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... An Israelite is a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, descended from the twelve sons of the Biblical patriarch Jacob who was renamed Israel by God in the book of Genesis, 32:28 The Israelites were a group of Hebrews, as described in the Bible. ...


According to the Book of Judges, the Philistine incursions spanned a period of 40 years, and that Samson, who fought the Philistine incursions, judged Israel for 20 years. Therefore some scholars, like Kessler[3] and Nowack[4], have argued that there is likely to have been some overlap between the time of Samson and that of Eli[5]. However, the Book of Judges always mentions the years of oppression, in contrast to the period of a judge's dispensation; and hence since the early parts of Eli's rule do not seem to have external oppression this appears to rule out overlap with the Philistine oppression that Samson, a previous judge, lived under[6]. Book of Judges (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. ... Samson and Delilah, by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) Samson, Shimshon (Hebrew: שִׁמְשׁוֹן, Standard Šimšon Tiberian ; meaning of the sun – perhaps proclaiming he was radiant and mighty, or [One who] Serves [God]) or Shamaun (Arabic) is the third to last of the Judges of the ancient Children of Israel...


Though his own genealogy is not given by the text, a number of scholars who trust the bible at face value have determined a genealogy for Eli, based on that given to his sons in other passages. Abiathar is described by the Book of Chronicles as being a direct (paternal) descendant of Ithamar; the Books of Samuel state that Abiathar was a son of Ahimelek and that Ahimelek was a son of Ahitub, who is the brother of Ichabod. Consequently since the narrative states that Ichabod was the son of Phinehas, and that Phinehas was the son of Eli, a number of scholars have drawn the conclusion that Eli must be a descendant of Ithamar[7]. Genealogy is the study and tracing of family pedigrees. ... Abiathar (Heb. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... Itamar (איתמר, ʼÎṯāmār, sometimes spelled Ithamar) is a masculine Hebrew first name which is mostly used in Israel. ... The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... Categories: Hebrew Bible/Tanakh-related stubs | Hebrew Bible/Tanakh people ... Ichabod, in the Bible, is the son of Phinehas. ...

It is the opinion of most textual scholars that the continued misbehaviour of Eli's sons and the castigation Eli receives as a result from the man of God (1 Samuel 2:27-36) is a later redaction, more in line with the views of the religious establishment at the time of Josiah. Without the passage, the Israelites's defeat, and the deaths of Phinehas and Hophni, appear as quite ordinary events, and suggest that there is no automatic divinely given protection over Israel, while with the passage the defeat is explained away as punishment for not following correct religion closely enough [8]. Redaction generally refers to the editing of text to turn it into a form suitable for publication, or to the result of such an effort. ... Josiah or Yoshiyahu (יֹאשִׁיָּהוּ supported of the LORD, Standard Hebrew Yošiyyáhu, Tiberian Hebrew Yôšiyyāhû) was king of Judah, and son of Amon and Jedidah, the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath. ...

Since Eli appears in the narrative abruptly and without introduction, some biblical scholars have argued that there may have originally been further, narratively earlier, accounts of Eli and of Shiloh that were excised by the compiler of the Books of Samuel. An alternate theory is that the story is more than it appears at face value, with Eli actually a cipher for El, and Samuel as a cipher for Yahweh, and the Eli-Samuel narrative as one which refers to the change from El being seen as head of the pantheon to Yahweh being seen as chief deity. Eli is simply an alternative spelling of El, while Samuel literally means name of god - in Jewish tradition the tetragrammaton was often not used directly but only a reference to it would be mentioned. This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... This article is about algorithms for encryption and decryption. ... Ēl (אל) is a northwest Semitic word and name translated into English as either god or God or left untranslated as El, depending on the context. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tetragrammaton. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Yahweh. ...

Eli, for example, is present when Hannah prays, responds to her prayer, and when he wishes for her to have children she becomes pregnant; when the child and weaned is born she takes him to Eli, having promised to give him to God. He is introduced as an old man, and though the text describes his eyes as becoming weak, it immediately says that the lamp of God (or lamp of El) is not quite extinguished; as time progresses Samuel gradually becomes more prominent, with the people starting to listen to him, while Eli becomes blind and eventually dies when the Ark of the Covenant is captured. Notably, it is the sons of Eli that are described as performing the actual priestly role, and Eli does nothing more than sit in the sanctuary; the term sons of Eli could simply be a priestly title, much like son of God (more literally son of El) was used [9]. Thus, in this theory, the narrative describes how the priests of El were seen as corrupt, Yahweh-worship then came to power, while that of El faded away, his chief priests were killed, the Ark was taken by the Philistines, and the priesthood of El in general became looked down upon. A late 19th-century artists conception of the Ark of the Covenant, employing a Renaissance cassone for the Ark and cherubim as latter-day Christian angels The Ark of the Covenant (ארון הברית in Hebrew: aron habrit) is described in the Hebrew Bible as a sacred container, wherein rested the stone... Son of God is a biblical phrase from the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), and the New Testament. ...

References and Notes

  1. ^ see Saul
  2. ^ eg. footnotes in the New American Bible
  3. ^ Kessler, The Chronology of Judaism and The First of the Kings
  4. ^ Nowack, Richter-Ruth
  5. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia
  6. ^ ibid
  7. ^ This article incorporates text from the 1901–1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, a publication now in the public domain.
  8. ^ ibid, Books of Samuel
  9. ^ for example, 2 Samuel 7:14 describes David as being a son of God

Saul (Hebrew Shaul meaning demanded) is: 1. ... In 1970, the New American Bible (NAB) was first published. ... The Jewish Encyclopedia was an encyclopedia originally published between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... David and Goliath by Caravaggio, c. ...

See also



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