1 Samuel 2:34 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Samuel 2:34, NIV: 'And what happens to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will be a sign to you--they will both die on the same day.

1 Samuel 2:34, ESV: And this that shall come upon your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, shall be the sign to you: both of them shall die on the same day.

1 Samuel 2:34, KJV: And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.

1 Samuel 2:34, NASB: And this will be the sign to you which will come in regard to your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas: on the same day both of them will die.

1 Samuel 2:34, NLT: And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day!

1 Samuel 2:34, CSB: This will be the sign that will come to you concerning your two sons Hophni and Phinehas: both of them will die on the same day.

What does 1 Samuel 2:34 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The Lord's prophetic judgment of Eli, the priest of Israel, reaches its painful climax. Eli was guilty, at least, of allowing his two boys to abuse their role as priests serving in the sanctuary. He confronted them at some point (1 Samuel 2:22–25), but he did not stop them (1 Samuel 3:13). In fact, the old priest seems to have benefitted from their demands of the choicest parts of the sacrifices for themselves (1 Samuel 2:12–17, 29).

Through an unnamed prophet, the Lord has revealed to Eli that all his future descendants will die young—perhaps even violently (1 Samuel 2:32–33). Since Eli will not himself live to see those days, the Lord promises to give Eli a sign to prove this will happen: both of Eli's sons, Hophni and Phinehas, will die on the same day. Such an unlikely tragedy would clearly be the confirmation that everything the Lord has predicted will happen.

This prophecy is later fulfilled when Eli's sons are killed in a battle with the Philistines and the ark of the covenant is captured (1 Samuel 4:10–18).