1 Samuel 2:13 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 2:13, NIV: Now it was the practice of the priests that, whenever any of the people offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged fork in his hand while the meat was being boiled

1 Samuel 2:13, ESV: The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand,

1 Samuel 2:13, KJV: And the priests' custom with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was in seething, with a fleshhook of three teeth in his hand;

1 Samuel 2:13, NASB: And this was the custom of the priests with the people: when anyone was offering a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come while the meat was cooking, with a three-pronged fork in his hand.

1 Samuel 2:13, NLT: or for their duties as priests. Whenever anyone offered a sacrifice, Eli's sons would send over a servant with a three-pronged fork. While the meat of the sacrificed animal was still boiling,

1 Samuel 2:13, CSB: or the priests' share of the sacrifices from the people. When anyone offered a sacrifice, the priest's servant would come with a three-pronged meat fork while the meat was boiling

What does 1 Samuel 2:13 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The previous verse declared that Eli's two sons, priests who served under his supervision in the tabernacle, were worthless men who did not know the Lord (1 Samuel 2:12). This verse provides an example of their complete disregard for the Lord and the sacrificial system He established for Israel.

The law of Moses made it clear that the priests were to receive a portion of the sacrifices of the people for their own personal food. Deuteronomy 18:3 describes this as the priests' due from the people. The Law also made it clear, however, exactly which parts of the animal were to go to the priests. During a peace offering, the fat was to be burned on the altar, and the priests were to receive the breast meat and the right thigh (Leviticus 7:29–36).

Over time, the people of the Israel paid less and less attention to the law of Moses and blended their worship of the Lord with the practices of the pagan worshipers of the false gods and idols of the day. The custom at Shiloh may have come from one of those other religions.

Those bringing the peace offering would also receive a portion of the meat to eat by God's design (Leviticus 7:11–18). That meat would apparently be boiled (Numbers 6:19–20). The custom during this time was that the priest's servant would bring a three-pronged fork and plunge it into the pot. The priest kept for himself whatever was pulled out (1 Samuel 2:14), likely in addition to the breast and thigh meat he received following the offering.