HOPHNI AND PHINEHAS (Heb. חָפְנִי, Egyptian ḥfn (r), "tadpole"; Heb. פִּנְחָס, Egyptian pi-nḥsy, "the dark-skinned one"), the two sons of eli who served with him as priests in Shiloh (I Sam. 1:3). The fact that both had Egyptian names may be explained by the family's Pharaonic connection (I Sam. 2:27). The Bible designates them "sons of belial ," "thoroughly worthless individuals" (Sperling), and describes in detail the ways in which they abused their priestly privileges. They intimidated sacrificers into giving them meat for their own use (I Sam. 2:13–17), and took sexual advantage of the women who worked at the entrance to the tabernacle (I Sam. 2:22). Hophni and Phinehas disregarded their father's rebuke (2:22–25), and he did not admonish them further (3:13). Accordingly, Eli received prophetic messages of doom (2:27–36; 3:11–18), foretelling, among other things, the death of Hophni and Phinehas on the same day (2:34). At the time of the battle between the Philistines and Israel at Aphek (I Sam. 4), the Ark of the Covenant of God was taken from Shiloh by Hophni and Phinehas in the belief that its presence on the battlefield would ensure victory. Instead, the results were disastrous: Israel's army was defeated, Hophni and Phinehas were killed, and the Ark was captured by the Philistines. When the news reached Eli (4:14ff.), he, too, died. Phinehas' pregnant wife went into labor on hearing of the calamity and died while giving birth. She called her orphaned son Ichabod ("where is the glory?"; 4:19–22). The narrative of Hophni and Phinehas, which is also the account of the decline of the priestly house of Eli, is accompanied by the parallel narrative of the ascent of Samuel. The text emphasizes the character differences between Hophni and Phinehas and Samuel (cf. e.g., I Sam. 2:11 with 12; 2:13–17 with 18–20; 2:22–25 with 26). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: S.R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel (19132), 29–50; H. Ranke, Ägyptishe Personennamen, 1 (1935), 239; T.J. Meek, in: AJSLL, 56 (1939), 113–20; L. Waterman, in: AJSLL, 58 (1941), 55–56; Koehler-Baumgartner, 321, 759; W.F. Albright, Yahweh and the Gods of Canaan (1968), 143, esp. n. 34. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: S.D. Sperling, in: DDD, 169–71.

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Hophni and Phinehas — Hophni (Hebrew: חָפְנִי, Modern Hofni Tiberian Ḥop̄nî) and Phinehas or Phineas (Hebrew: פִּינְחָס, Modern Pinehas Tiberian  …   Wikipedia

  • Hophni and Phinehas — Sons of Eli, priests at Shiloh, who behaved dishonourably, and were killed by the Philistines when the Ark [[➝ ark]] was captured (1 Sam. 4). The news of this disaster caused Eli to have a fatal heart attack …   Dictionary of the Bible

  • PHINEHAS — (Heb. פִּנְחָס), name of three biblical figures: (1) Son of eleazar , son of aaron the priest (Ex. 6:25; cf. genealogies in Ezra 7:1–5; I Chron. 5:28–41; 6:35–38). When the Israelites suffered a plague in punishment for indulging in the orgiastic …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Phinehas — noun a) Any of a number of Old Testament men, including a son of Eli and a grandson of Aaron. And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them. b) of biblical… …   Wiktionary

  • Hophni — (fl. 11th cent BCE)    Israelite priest, son of Eli. The Bible describes Hophni and his brother Phinehas as following an evil way and they died in battle against the Philistines (I Samuel 2 4) …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • PRIESTS AND PRIESTHOOD — Definition of Priesthood The priests are the principal functionaries in divine services, their special task being to engage in cultic ceremonies which they conducted mainly in the Temple. In general the priests post is authorized by hereditary… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Phinehas —    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… …   Easton's Bible Dictionary

  • Phinehas —    1) (fl. ?13th cent BCE)    Israelite priest, grandson of Aaron. He slew Zimri and as a reward he and his descendants were granted the priesthood (Numbers 25). He was also given a holding on Mount Ephraim. Phinehas continued to officiate and… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • 1 Samuel 4 — 1 And the word of Samuel came to all Israel. Now Israel went out against the Philistines to battle, and pitched beside Ebenezer: and the Philistines pitched in Aphek. 2 And the Philistines put themselves in array against Israel: and when they… …   The King James version of the Bible

  • ELI — (Heb. אֵלִי; (YHWH is) exalted ), a priest in the sanctuary of the Lord at shiloh during the period of the Judges (I Sam. 1:9). The father of hophni and phinehas , Eli s ancestry is not recorded in the Bible, but his two sons bear Egyptian names …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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