The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The House of Eli

1 Sam 3:14 I have sworn to the house of Eli that the iniquity of the house of Eli shall not be expiated by sacrifice or by offering forever.

On another forum someone suggested that everyone from the house of Eli was going to hell. How do you folks see this.

I wrote some of this on another thread: It is clear from scripture that the heart of God desires to save mankind. Whether or not you agree with universal reconciliation, the scriptures declare God’s desires clearly: His love is so intense and powerful that he sent his only son to die. The scripture goes further to say that it is in his heart’s desire that ALL men be saved. So God deeply loves and desires to save all of his creatures. God reveals himself in the Old Testament (and new) to be a person who does NOT punish eternally. This is repeatedly revealed in numerous ways. As you read through the Old Testament, a pattern, or theme develop about God and punishment of sin. It angers and disgusts him and he punishes it. But he always stops, and he has reconciliation as his purpose. His anger has an end. When God was punishing David for the census, he stopped at 70,000 dead and relented. It specifies that. When Jonah was faced with preaching to the Ninevites, he said to God,
“That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love,** a God who relents from sending calamity” **

Is this true? Is he a God who relents? The scriptures affirm it here and in several other places that God’s punishment never lasts forever. This is not just my opinion for the scripture bears it out specifically here in Jonah and in other places such as:

Joel 2:13 - Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, **and he relents from sending calamity. **

So you have this verse saying that he will never forgive Eli’s household. He also said similar things to Israel:

Jeremiah 7:20 20“This is what the Almighty LORD says: My anger and fury will be poured out on this place, on humans and animals, and on trees and crops. **My anger and fury will burn and not be put out.

Jeremiah 13
14Then I will smash them like bottles against each other. I will smash parents and children together, declares the LORD. **I will have no pity, mercy, or compassion when I destroy them.’ ” **

Jeremiah 15
5No one will take pity on you, Jerusalem. No one will mourn for you. No one will bother to ask how you are doing. 6You have left me,” declares the LORD. “You have turned your back on me. So I will use my power against you and destroy you. **I’m tired of showing compassion to you.

Jeremiah 17
4You will lose the inheritance that I gave you. I will make you serve your enemies in a land that you haven’t heard of. I will do this because **you have stirred up the fire of my anger.
It will burn forever. **

There were several statements that gave the impression that God’s punishment would not end. It seemed to contradict what I had originally thought about God’s punishment. **God said it would be forever. ** Then came the clincher:

Jeremiah 18
7“At one time I may threaten to tear up, break down, and destroy a nation or a kingdom. 8But suppose the nation that I threatened turns away from doing wrong. **Then I will change my plans about the disaster I planned to do to it. **
And the very famous passage:

Jeremiah 29 -
10This is what the LORD says: When Babylon’s 70 years are over, I will come to you. I will keep my promise to you and bring you back to this place. 11I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD. They are plans for peace and not disaster, plans to give you a future filled with hope. 12Then you will call to me. You will come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13When you look for me, you will find me. When you wholeheartedly seek me, 14I will let you find me, declares the LORD. I will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I’ve scattered you, declares the LORD. I will bring you back from the place where you are being held captive.

Even when God made straightforward, unequivocal, seemingly irreversible statements about punishment, he would in fact change his mind because of his compassion because that’s the way he is. God does NOT punish or remain angry forever! All along, God intended to show mercy because the wrath that he poured out was with the intent to bring Israel back to him. God responds to repentance. Even hard and fast statements end up not having finality to them because of God’s mercy and the way he revealed it to us. Nothing is impossible with God!

1 Samuel 3:13-14

13 For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them. 14 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.”

Let me guess "forever’ doesn’t mean forever, huh? God didn’t really mean what He said and He meant something else defense. :unamused:

Dude, did you not read the passages in Jeremiah? That’s exactly what God does! He said that the fire of his anger would burn forever, in Jeremiah 17:4. He was talking about Israel’s exile. God went on to be angry for seventy years. That is in Jeremiah 29:10. Do you hear that? He said “forever”, but he meant seventy years. That’s God’s words, not my interpretation. Go back and read it. If you don’t like that God can say forever and not mean it you’re going to have to take it up with him, not me, because that’s what he says in his word.

Dirt, another excellent post. Bob had gone over this very fact that you state in our sunday school class. Amazing huh? But more amazing is that ECT’ers love to avoid these facts. Sure it’s not a blatant Universalism proof, but it def. builds a foundation of reason why EU’ists ebmrace a God who’s mercies never cease.

Well done friend.

Good stuff, DB.

Thanks, guys! It’s weird for me because I never saw those verses before. I’ve read the bible cover to cover several times and taught it for 25 years and it wasn’t until 2 years ago when I was reading Colossians 1:15 - 19 that this thought process started in my mind. Now verses keep jumping out at me. It’s been a fascinating journey!


Of course “forever” means “forever.” Today, I’d stayed up for far too long and was so tired, I felt like I could sleep forever. I got in my car to come to work, but the traffic held me up and it took forever to get here. And then I ordered pizza for supper, and, man, it’s taking FOREVER! In addition, God’s covenant with the Israelites lasted forever. So did the smoke rising from the ruins of Edom. The earth consumed Jonah forever when the fish swallowed him.

And so on.

Or maybe “forever” sometimes means something other than “forever.” Maybe the Hebrew word here has a lexical range that lets it mean something else. And maybe, JUUUUUUST maybe, there is such a thing as poetic hyperbole that Scripture occasionally employs to make a point.

But my pizza is here. I ordered a lot of food. I think it’ll take forever to eat all of. :wink:

That could very well be. :slight_smile:


Romans 11:26
All Israel will be saved.

last i checked, Eli was an Israelite…

more proof that “forever” doesn’t mean forever!

You forgot about Romans 9:27, Corp. When you keep Rom 11:26 in context it doesn’t mean what you say it means. :wink:

27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

Did you just completely ignore the previous posts? HUH? You would be much more convincing if you didn’t do that. Can you admit there are at least some scripture where forever doesn’t mean forever?

Dude, did you not read the passages in Jeremiah? That’s exactly what God does! He said that the fire of his anger would burn forever, in Jeremiah 17:4. He was talking about Israel’s exile. God went on to be angry for seventy years. That is in Jeremiah 29:10. Do you hear that? He said “forever”, but he meant seventy years. That’s God’s words, not my interpretation. Go back and read it. If you don’t like that God can say forever and not mean it you’re going to have to take it up with him, not me, because that’s what he says in his word.


Sometime try working through Paul’s whole argument in Romans 9-11. It’s actually blatantly Universalistic. Israel was called. Israel was rejected, and now a remnant is left, but that remnant (including Gentiles) will help bring the rest back in, and ultimately, as God has shut up all in disobedience, He will have mercy on all. When you prooftext that way without engaging the whole context of the argument in which it appears, well, it’s like reading Romans 7 without going on to Romans 8. It doesn’t work. Then again, it’s precisely the sort of exegesis in which ECT must engage in order to attempt to garner biblical support for itself.

snitz, he’s not going to do that. He picks and chooses his arguments. He demands that folks stay on topic and answer his questions, but ignores many, many scriptural arguments of others and all the while tells people that they are being un-scriptural and emotional. This thread is an example. The scripture blatantly shows God saying forever and not meaning it and he doesn’t even read the scriptures that say it or acknowledge it. I don’t even know why I started posting to him again because it is a waste of time to try to talk to him. Sometimes it seems as if he is a troll the way he ignores arguments, like on this thread, and then makes ridiculous statements that seem designed to aggravate. But I’m not sure. It definitely is a waste of time talking to him. I’m giving up.

I totally agree. :neutral_face:

I’ve often thought that myself. :confused: He does remind me very much of a troll. Talking to them is useless because its only what they want to say, they dont want to hear.

Found this online about trolls.

“There are a number of different types of trolls. In the most classic case, a troll harasses an Internet community for a few weeks, posting contradictory opinions or statements on bulletin boards in an attempt to stimulate a response. Internet trolls are differentiated from people who genuinely wish to present a different viewpoint by their attitudes and aggressiveness; their goal is not to discuss a situation, but to frustrate the members of a discussion board. They often use fallacious arguments or attack the users of a site when they attempt to defend themselves from the troll’s activities.”

Sounds kinda familiar, doesn’t it. :confused:

I’ve told myself i am giving up too many times yet i continue. :unamused: Think i will join you this time.

This whole objection is extremely dumb because it totally ignores intent and original context. This was obviously talking about Israel’s system of animal sacrifice. Obviously THAT doesn’t cover everything. And through Ezekiel we know that God doesnt hold the sins of the fathers against the sons. So we’re probably talking about the immediate household which sinned and no further descendants if any.

Trying to universalize some specific scenario in Scripture never goes well. And Revival, I thought you were Armenian and held to unlimited atonement and surely you don’t think that God holds the sins of OTHERS against them do you?

Or are you really that willing to grasp at straws and compromise your own position in order to desperately try to undermine EU?


I believe Eli’s sons are being held in hell/hades to be resurrected unto final judgment in Rev 20:11-15 to be cast into the lake of fire for eternity. That is what I believe.

Alright, so you’re basically just positing a speculative addition to the scriptural narrative (which we all do at some point). That’s fine. And you may very well be right. But again, eternity has nothing to do with time.

Eternity is a forever state of existence either in the LOF or the NH and NE. :wink: