1 Samuel 2:31 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 2:31, NIV: The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age,

1 Samuel 2:31, ESV: Behold, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

1 Samuel 2:31, KJV: Behold, the days come, that I will cut off thine arm, and the arm of thy father's house, that there shall not be an old man in thine house.

1 Samuel 2:31, NASB: Behold, the days are coming when I will eliminate your strength and the strength of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house.

1 Samuel 2:31, NLT: The time is coming when I will put an end to your family, so it will no longer serve as my priests. All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age.

1 Samuel 2:31, CSB: Look, the days are coming when I will cut off your strength and the strength of your forefather's family, so that none in your family will reach old age.

What does 1 Samuel 2:31 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord continues to declare His judgment on Eli. This is for allowing his sons to wickedly abuse their power as priests and thereby insult the worship of God. Through His unnamed prophet, the Lord has said He will remove the priestly role—and the honor which comes with it—from Eli's household and descendants (1 Samuel 2:30; 3:12–14).

Now the Lord declares, in the common language of judgment prophecies, "behold, the days are coming." This means it won't be long before God cuts off Eli's strength and the strength of his father's house. The prediction is that God will shrivel up Eli's branch of the family line from Aaron. All of Eli's descendants will die young. None of them will reach old age as his line continues to shrink and move closer to extinction. Every son or generation of sons will die in the prime of their lives.

This prophecy will be fulfilled first with the death of Eli's own sons (1 Samuel 4:11), then a massacre of his descendants by Saul (1 Samuel 22:18–19), and then finally by David's removal of Eli's descendant Abiathar from the priesthood (1 Kings 2:26–27).