LII. But Samuel was a very young child and knew nothing of all these things. And whilst he served before the Lord, the two sons of Heli, which walked not in the ways of their fathers, began to do wickedly unto the people and multiplied their iniquities. And they dwelt hard by the house of Bethac, and when the people came together to
sacrifice, Ophni and Phinees came and provoked the people to anger, seizing the oblations before the holy things were offered unto the Lord. 2. And this thing pleased not the Lord, neither the people, nor their father. And their father spake thus unto them: What is this report
that I hear of you? Know ye not that I have received the place that Phinees committed unto me? And if we waste that we have received, what shall we say if he that committed it require it again, and vex us for that which he committed unto us? Now therefore make straight your ways, and walk in good paths, and your deeds shall endure. But if ye gainsay me and refrain not from your evil devices, ye will destroy yourselves, and the priesthood will be in vain, and that which was sanctified will come to nought. And then will they say: To no purpose did the rod of Aaron spring up, and the flower that was born of it is come to nothing. 3. Therefore while ye are yet
able, my sons, correct that ye have done ill, and the men against whom ye have sinned will pray for you. But if ye will not, but persist in your iniquities, I shall be guiltless, and I shall not only sorrow lest (or and now I shall not blot out these great evils in you, lest) I hear of the day of your death before I die, but also if this befall (or but even if this befall not) I shall be clear of blame: and though I be afflicted, ye shall nevertheless perish. 4. And his sons obeyed him not, for the
Lord had given sentence concerning them that they should die, because they had sinned: for when their father said to them: Repent you of your evil way, they said: When we grow old, then will we repent. 1 And for this cause it was not
given unto them that they should repent when they were rebuked of their father, because they had always been rebellious, and had wrought very unjustly in despoiling Israel. But the Lord was angry with Heli.
219:1 LII. 4. When we grow old we will repent. Cf. Amon in Apostolic Constitutions, (See Introd., p. 61.)
Next: Chapter LIII