a many-pronged fork used in the sacrificial services (1 Sam.
2:13, 14; Ex. 27:3; 38:3) by the priest in drawing away the
flesh. The fat of the sacrifice, together with the breast and
shoulder (Lev. 7:29-34), were presented by the worshipper to the
priest. The fat was burned on the alter (3:3-5), and the breast
and shoulder became the portion of the priests. But Hophni and
Phinehas, not content with this, sent a servant to seize with a
flesh-hook a further portion.
pugilist or client, one of the two sons of Eli, the high priest
(1 Sam. 1:3; 2:34), who, because he was "very old," resigned to
them the active duties of his office. By their scandalous
conduct they brought down a curse on their father's house (2:22,
12-27, 27-36; 3:11-14). For their wickedness they were called
"sons of Belial," i.e., worthless men (2:12). They both perished
in the disastrous battle with the Philistines at Aphek (4:11).
(See PHINEHAS T0002941.)
ascent, the high priest when the ark was at Shiloh (1 Sam. 1:3,
9). He was the first of the line of Ithamar, Aaron's fourth son
(1 Chr. 24:3; compare 2 Sam. 8:17), who held that office. The
office remained in his family till the time of Abiathar (1 Kings
2:26, 27), whom Solomon deposed, and appointed Zadok, of the
family of Eleazar, in his stead (35). He acted also as a civil
judge in Israel after the death of Samson (1 Sam. 4:18), and
judged Israel for forty years.
His sons Hophni and Phinehas grossly misconducted themselves,
to the great disgust of the people (1 Sam. 2:27-36). They were
licentious reprobates. He failed to reprove them so sternly as
he ought to have done, and so brought upon his house the
judgment of God (2:22-33; 3:18). The Israelites proclaimed war
against the Philistines, whose army was encamped at Aphek. The
battle, fought a short way beyond Mizpeh, ended in the total
defeat of Israel. Four thousand of them fell in "battle array".
They now sought safety in having the "ark of the covenant of the
Lord" among them. They fetched it from Shiloh, and Hophni and
Phinehas accompanied it. This was the first time since the
settlement of Israel in Canaan that the ark had been removed
from the sanctuary. The Philistines put themselves again in
array against Israel, and in the battle which ensued "Israel was
smitten, and there was a very great slaughter." The tidings of
this great disaster were speedily conveyed to Shiloh, about 20
miles distant, by a messenger, a Benjamite from the army. There
Eli sat outside the gate of the sanctuary by the wayside,
anxiously waiting for tidings from the battle-field. The full
extent of the national calamity was speedily made known to him:
"Israel is fled before the Philistines, there has also been a
great slaughter among the people, thy two sons Hophni and
Phinehas are dead, and the ark of God is taken" (1 Sam.
4:12-18). When the old man, whose eyes were "stiffened" (i.e.,
fixed, as of a blind eye unaffected by the light) with age,
heard this sad story of woe, he fell backward from off his seat
and died, being ninety and eight years old. (See ITHAMAR
Eli, Heb. eli, "my God", (Matt. 27:46), an exclamation used by
Christ on the cross. Mark (15:34), as usual, gives the original
Aramaic form of the word, Eloi.
mouth of brass, or from old Egypt, the negro. (1.) Son of
Eleazar, the high priest (Ex. 6:25). While yet a youth he
distinguished himself at Shittim by his zeal against the
immorality into which the Moabites had tempted the people (Num.
25:1-9), and thus "stayed the plague" that had broken out among
the people, and by which twenty-four thousand of them perished.
For his faithfulness on that occasion he received the divine
approbation (10-13). He afterwards commanded the army that went
out against the Midianites (31:6-8). When representatives of the
people were sent to expostulate with the two and a half tribes
who, just after crossing Jordan, built an altar and departed
without giving any explanation, Phinehas was their leader, and
addressed them in the words recorded in Josh. 22:16-20. Their
explanation follows. This great altar was intended to be all
ages only a witness that they still formed a part of Israel.
Phinehas was afterwards the chief adviser in the war with the
Benjamites. He is commemorated in Ps. 106:30, 31. (See ED
(2.) One of the sons of Eli, the high priest (1 Sam. 1:3;
2:12). He and his brother Hophni were guilty of great crimes,
for which destruction came on the house of Eli (31). He died in
battle with the Philistines (1 Sam. 4:4, 11); and his wife, on
hearing of his death, gave birth to a son, whom she called
"Ichabod," and then she died (19-22).