Eli and Annas – 2 People Who Left A TERRIBLE Lasting Legacy

Leave a lasting legacy for good

Allow God to use YOU to leave a lasting legacy for good like He was able to use Hannah. But Eli And Annas chose to disobey God and suffered grave consequences!

As First Samuel opens, a woman named Hannah is in the Temple crying out to God to give her a son. God had made her highly favored by her husband, but he had two wives. The other wife constantly harassed her and made fun of her because she could not have children.

Hannah had asked God for a son many times before, but this day found her crying out to God for His intervention. Maybe she felt she couldn’t handle the harassment any longer. She had not eaten for several days; now she cried out to God and told Him that if He would give her a son, she would give that son back to Him as soon as he was weaned.

Eli was the high-priest in the Temple at that time. I Samuel 1:10 says “And Hannah was in distress of soul, praying to the Lord and weeping bitterly.” Eli saw her, thought she was drunk, and reprimanded her for being in the Temple. She told him that she was not drunk, but just praying fervently for God to give her a son.

When Eli heard what she said, he told her to “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.” God did answer Hannah’s prayer for a son and she named him Samuel. After he was weaned, she honored her promise to God and brought him to the Temple to live permanently to be brought up in the ways of God.

Hannah came back every year to see Samuel when they came to town for their yearly sacrifice, and brought him new clothes that she had made for him. Because she kept her word and gave Samuel back to God, He blessed her with 5 more children.


The Sons of Eli, The High Priest

According to 1 Samuel 2:12, “the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the Lord.” The following verses tell of how they desecrated the holy offerings to God, finally ending with verse 17, “Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord: for the men abhorred the offering of the Lord.”


Dake’s Reference Bible says they committed 5 grievous sins:

   –They were sons of Belial, which means that they chose to serve the devil instead of God. (vs 12)

   –They knew not the Lord, which means that they refused to serve the Lord. This becomes the root of all sin. (vs 12)

   –They made the other people abhor the offering of the Lord by forcibly taking sodden and raw flesh from offerers contrary to the law. This robbed the offerers of meat that rightfully belonged to them. (vs 13 – 17)

   –They committed adultery with women who gathered at the door of the tabernacle of worship. (vs 22)

   –They refused to obey truth and quit sinning even when they were confronted with the terrible things they had done. (vs 25)

Since Eli was a direct descendant of Aaron, the first High Priest, he, his sons, and their descendants would have continued to be inheritors of the priesthood forever (Exodus 29:9) had they not disobeyed God.


Judgment Against Eli and His Sons

Finally, because of their gross disobedience, God sent a man to Eli to warn of future judgment against him and his sons. His whole priestly line would be destroyed forever. I Samuel 2:14 – 36.

Eli was told that both of his sons would die in the same day, and that he would die also. God had raised up Samuel as a small child, and would give him great favor to lead Israel as a high priest and judge who would teach the people to follow God.

In I Samuel 4 the Israelites went to war against the Philistines. There were 30,000 Israelites slain in the battle, along with Hophni and Phineas, the sons of Eli. When the messenger came to tell Eli the news of the defeat and slaughter, he fell backwards off the bench on which he was sitting and broke his neck. By now he was 98 years old and very heavy. He had judged Israel for 40 years.

So his sons died just as he had been warned. Maybe Eli had started out well, but he didn’t teach his sons to follow God. Just as had been prophesied, his descendants were not allowed to be priests, and his whole priestly family line was destroyed forever.


Annas the High Priest During the Time of Jesus

A High Priest named Annas is very noted in New Testament history. He was the head of the Sanhedrin. The Sanhedrin always met in the ‘Hall of Hewn Stones’ on the south side of the Court of the Priests. This was within part of the Temple itself. 40 years before the destruction of Jerusalem, Annas transferred the Sanhedrin meeting place to ‘the Bazaars’. Then afterwards he moved the meeting place again to the City itself. It is almost certain that these Bazaars (or the Temple-markets) were owned by the sons of Annas the High-Priest, and that they occupied part of the Temple-court. In short, the Temple-market and the Bazaars of the sons of Annas are identical.

The above paragraph is taken from Jewish Antiquity about Annas and the things he did during his time as high priest.


So Annas and his sons profaned the Temple and its sacrifices. Things had gotten so bad that the people finally revolted and the Temple Markets were shut down. This happened after Jesus overturned the tables and proclaimed it to be an unholy place instead of the holy one that God had intended.

Both Eli and Annas perverted the House of God, but even worse, they allowed their sons to be perverted, greedy, and unholy. They were both in positions that were holy to God, and they flippantly desecrated God’s Holy Temple. It had been built by God’s instruction, and was a holy place where people could go to get forgiveness of any sin they had committed. These two high priests had taken God’s mercy and forgiveness and made it all about greed, extortion, and extreme ungodliness.

But God had great plans for the life of Samuel from the moment of his birth. He intended to use him to restore holiness, blessing, and honor to the Nation of Israel. Samuel stayed true to God all his life, and God was able to use him in a mighty way to leave a lasting legacy for good.

God also has a plan for your life. But you have a choice! Will you ask Him to show you His plan and allow Him to work through you to accomplish His plan? It will take you out of your comfort zone, open doors you never imagined, and stretch you more than you ever thought you could be stretched. But at the end of the day you will know that you are in the center of God’s Will.


There is nothing on earth that can compare with God choosing YOU to accomplish supernatural things for His Glory!

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God has radically changed my life, and I want to share the awesome things I am learning with you. I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life.


This post written by Cathy Deaton.

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About Cathy Deaton


My name is Cathy Deaton, Owner of Fan the Flame Ministries. God has radically changed my life, and He has shown me that I am to share the awesome things I am learning with the Millennial Generation (1981 – 1996), but I love connecting with Christians of all ages.  I have found that the Holy Spirit is an awesome teacher when I listen to, obey, and apply what He teaches to my life. You truly can make a difference for God in an uncertain world.