1 Samuel 2:30 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 2:30, NIV: Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: 'I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.' But now the LORD declares: 'Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.

1 Samuel 2:30, ESV: Therefore the LORD, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that your house and the house of your father should go in and out before me forever,’ but now the LORD declares: ‘Far be it from me, for those who honor me I will honor, and those who despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

1 Samuel 2:30, KJV: Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

1 Samuel 2:30, NASB: Therefore the LORD God of Israel declares, ‘I did indeed say that your house and the house of your father was to walk before Me forever’; but now the LORD declares, ‘Far be it from Me—for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me will be insignificant.

1 Samuel 2:30, NLT: 'Therefore, the LORD, the God of Israel, says: I promised that your branch of the tribe of Levi would always be my priests. But I will honor those who honor me, and I will despise those who think lightly of me.

1 Samuel 2:30, CSB: "Therefore, this is the declaration of the Lord, the God of Israel: 'I did say that your family and your forefather's family would walk before me forever. But now,' this is the Lord's declaration, 'no longer! For those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disgraced.

What does 1 Samuel 2:30 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord has brought His charge against Eli through an unnamed prophet. After reminding Eli that He had honored his family with the holy responsibility of the priesthood and the rewards that came with it, the Lord asked the old priest why he has scorned the sacrifices and offerings by honoring his worthless sons (1 Samuel 2:12) over the Lord and His people (1 Samuel 2:27–29).

Now the Lord proclaims His judgment. The Lord starts by saying that He had promised that the descendants of Eli's father's house would forever go in and out before Him, serving in the sanctuary as priests. The Lord is not revoking that promise, but He is announcing that the benefits will not be seen. Eli's family has violated their side of that arrangement. As a result, they cannot expect God to continue to provide what they agreed to. In short, the promise of priesthood will still apply to Aaron's line, but it will eventually move from the line of Aaron's son Ithamar, forefather of Eli, to Aaron's son Eleazar and his descendants (1 Chronicles 24; 1 Kings 2:27–35).

The Lord declares that this will happen because of the principle of reciprocal honor. The Lord honors those who honor Him, but He has little respect for those who despise Him. The Lord elevated Eli and his sons to a place of honor as priests in Israel, and they had responded by scorning the Lord and dishonoring the sacrifices made to Him. The Lord would now remove the honor from them.