A. Eli and his sons.
1. The wickedness of Hophni and Phinehas:
a. What does Scripture mean when it calls Eli’s sons “Sons of Belial?” I Sam. 25:17; II Kings 21:10-13; II Cor. 6:15.
b. What particular sins did these men commit in the tabernacle?
c. Why were their sins so serious? Ex. 39:30, 31; Ez. 44:23.
2. Eli’s failure to discipline his sons:
a. What was Eli’s responsibility as father? Deut. 21:18-21; Prov. 23:13, 14.
b. What was his responsibility as High Priest? II Chron. 26:16; John 2:13-22.
3. The coming of the prophet to Eli:
a. Upon whom did the prophet lay the blame for the wickedness of Hophni and Phinehas?
b. What punishment was prophesied against Eli’s house?
c. Was this punishment fulfilled? I Sam. 4:11; 22:9-20; 23:6; I Kings 2:27.
a. What lesson can we learn from Eli’s failure as a father?
b. How does Eli’s failure as High Priest point to the need for a better High Priest? Heb. 7:26, 27.
B. Samuel called to be a prophet.
1. The times:
a. What is meant in 3:1; “the word of the Lord was precious in those days ?’ ’
b. Does the answer to this question have anything to do with Israel’s spiritual condition? Amos 8:11-13.
c. What is the significance of Samuel’s call to be a prophet? Deut. 18:15-22; Judg. 2:16, 18.
2. Samuel’s call:
a. Why did the Lord call Samuel in the way He did? Chap. 3:7.
b. What was Samuel’s first message as prophet?
c. What was Eli’s reaction to this prophecy? What does this tell us about Eli?
d. What does 3:19 mean: “The Lord was with him and did let none of his words fall to the ground?” Deut. 18:22.
C. Israel’s battles with the Philistines.
1. The battles:
a. Why did Israel go to fight against the Philistines to whom they had been subject for so long a time?
b. Was their confidence misplaced?
2. The outcome of the battles:
a. Why was Israel defeated even though she had the ark along in the second battle? Deut. 28:7, 25; 31:16, 17; I Sam. 7:3; Ps. 78:57-62.
b. Why did Israel put her confidence in the ark? Was this wrong? Heid. Cat., Lord’s Day XXXIV, 94, 95.
c. What happened when Eli heard the news? What to him was the greatest disaster?
d. Why was the loss of the ark such a blow to Eli and Israel? Ps. 78:60, 61.
e. What does the name “Ichabod” mean and why was it given?
f. Is Ps. 78:60, 61 prophetic? Mark 9:31; 10:33; Luke 24:7; Rom. 4:25; 8:32.