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Sunday, July 10 2011
The Last High Priest Of Shiloh
Shiloh was a city located about 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) north of Jerusalem. After the Israelites crossed the Jordan (see also Beyond Jordan) in the time of Joshua, the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant were established at Shiloh.
"18:1 And the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle [see God's Tent] of the congregation there. And the land was subdued before them." (Joshua 18:1 KJV)
The Tabernacle and the Ark remained there for the era of The Judges, approximately three centuries.
"21:19 Then they said, Behold, there is a feast of the LORD [see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM'] in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah." (Judges 21:19 KJV)
Eli served as both high priest and judge of Israel at the end of a chapter of Bible History. There would be only one more judge of Israel, Samuel, before Israel's human monarchy began with Saul and David (see The Civil War Kings). Samuel came to serve the LORD by means of the dedication of his mother Hannah (although the parting of Hannah and Samuel would not be permanent; see the Fact Finder question below).
"1:17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him. 1:18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad. 1:19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. 1:20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD." (1 Samuel 1:17-20 KJV)
"Ye make the Lord's people to transgress"
Samuel's calling was for a purpose. Samuel would eventually continue the service of the LORD that Eli's sons would have maintained, if not for their corruption - that Eli's weakness in correcting, or removing them, produced. God's servants must not only be righteous; they must be strong, whatever the cost (see Do You Want A Servant Or A Serpent?). Eli merely asked (pleaded, actually) his sons to stop doing evil, then permitted them to continue when they ignored him. Samuel grew up watching the pathetic spectacle of a high priest who had become weak, and the liberal behavior of his wicked sons, one of whom would have assumed the position of high priest, if the LORD had permitted it.
"2:12 Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD." (1 Samuel 2:12 KJV)
The judgment from the LORD was delivered to Eli by "a man of God" who was strong (keeping in mind that Eli was still both the high priest and judge of Israel - but not for much longer).
"2:27 And there came a man of God unto Eli, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD, Did I plainly appear unto the house of thy father, when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh's house? [see 1 Corinthians 10:1-9 to understand that it was Jesus Christ talking to Eli] 2:28 And did I choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be my priest, to offer upon mine altar, to burn incense, to wear an ephod before me? and did I give unto the house of thy father all the offerings made by fire of the children of Israel? 2:29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?
The death of Eli and his sons came after a battle against the Philistines in which the Ark was unlawfully removed from the Tabernacle (again, Eli's weakness permitted his wicked sons to take the Ark).
"4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from thence the ark of the covenant of the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth between the cherubims: and the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God." (1 Samuel 4:4 KJV)
The Ark was eagerly returned by the Philistines after the wrath of the LORD came upon them (and upon the Israelites who mishandled it when it was returned; see also Raiders Of The Lost Ark) but it never returned to Shiloh. The city of Shiloh itself became a ruin and was never rebuilt. It is today a barren hill, its rubble long buried and overgrown.
"6:19 And he smote the men of Bethshemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter. 6:20 And the men of Bethshemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us? 6:21 And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjathjearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you." (1 Samuel 6:19-21 KJV)
Fact Finder: Did Samuel later base his service to the LORD in his home town of Ramah, where his mother Hannah lived?
This Day In History, July 10
48 BC: The Battle of Dyrrhachium in Macedonia. Julius Caesar versus Pompey.
138: Emperor Hadrian died. He was succeeded by Antonius Pius (see also Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
988: Dublin, Ireland was founded.
1212: A great fire destroyed much of London, England.
1460: During the Wars of the Roses, Richard of York defeated King Henry VI at the battle of Northampton.
1520: The Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes (also known as Hernando Cortez) was forced from Tenochtitlan, Mexico by Aztec leader Cuauhtemoc.
1553: Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed Queen of England. Her father-in-law, Lord Northumberland persuaded Edward VI to name Lady Jane as his successor. Her reign lasted only 9 days before Queen Mary, Edward's older sister, successfully claimed the throne. Lady Jane was imprisoned for treason and then beheaded in February 1554.
1584: William I of Orange was assassinated at his home in Delft, Holland.
1609: The Catholic states in Germany set up a league under the leadership of Maximillian of Bavaria.
1778: Louis XVI of France declared war on Britain.
1821: The U.S. took Florida from Spain.
1925: The famous "Scopes Monkey Trial" began in Dayton, Tennessee, after high school biology teacher John T. Scopes, 24, was charged with teaching evolution to his students. Clarence Darrow worked for the defense and William Jennings Bryan for the prosecution (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).
1940: During the Second World War, the "Battle of Britain" air war began when German bombers attacked the docks in south Wales (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1943: U.S., British, and Canadian forces invaded Sicily in "Operation Husky."
1953: The Israeli freighter Haifa took aboard its first consignment of iron in Bremen. As part of the reparations agreed to be paid to Israel for Nazi war crimes, along with hard currency payments, shipments of goods would continue without interruption for 12 years.
1960: 7 year old Roger Woodward became the first human to fall accidentally over Niagara Falls and survive.
1962: Telstar, the first television telecommunications satellite, was launched. It made possible the first relaying of TV programs across the Atlantic Ocean.
1985: The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was sunk in the port at Auckland, New Zealand, by a bomb placed by French secret service agents; one crew member was killed.
1992: Manuel Noriega was sentenced to 40 years in prison by a Miami court for alleged drug dealing committed in Panama. According to international diplomatic and military law of sovereign nations, after he was captured and taken to Florida during the U.S. invasion of Panama, Noriega has claimed to be a prisoner of war (Noriega is a general in the Panama military), as well as being diplomatically immune from the civil laws of a foreign country.