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1 Samuel 3:14

ESV Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli 's house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever."
NIV Therefore I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ "
NASB Therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the wrongdoing of Eli’s house shall never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.'
CSB Therefore, I have sworn to Eli’s family: The iniquity of Eli’s family will never be wiped out by either sacrifice or offering."
NLT So I have vowed that the sins of Eli and his sons will never be forgiven by sacrifices or offerings.'
KJV And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be purged with sacrifice nor offering forever.
NKJV And therefore I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”

What does 1 Samuel 3:14 mean?

This may be the most sobering part of the Lord's judgment against Eli and his descendants (1 Samuel 2:27–36; 3:11–13). The Lord says their sins will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering. The sacrificial system was the means God established by which those in Israel could have their sins atoned for (or paid for or covered over) by the blood of animals. The Law even allowed for specific offerings to cover the sins of the priests (Leviticus 4:3–12).

The sins of Eli's sons, though, were a special case. They knowingly and willfully sinned (Numbers 15:30–31) by corrupting and scorning the sacrificial system of Israel itself (1 Samuel 2:12–17, 29). So, the Lord's judgment on them was that no sacrifice or offering could cover over their offenses against God. The ones charged with offering sacrifices on behalf of the people could not be forgiven by means of sacrifice because they had so distorted and corrupted the holy practice.

The New Testament is clear that forgiveness from God is available only through the blood of Christ who was crucified to pay the price of our sin (Hebrews 9). Only through faith in Him can any of us be forgiven (Ephesians 2:1–10). However, Hebrews 10:26 warns that those who reject that sacrifice on their behalf and continue sinning face the same danger as Eli's household: "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries."

Hebrews 10 goes on to say, "How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, 'Vengeance is mine; I will repay.' And again, 'The Lord will judge his people.' It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God" (Hebrews 10:29–31).
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