1 Samuel 4:18

And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck broke, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.
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Caesarius of Arles

AD 542
Harsh preaching provides remedies for souls that are sick and arranges adornments for the healthy. What the Holy Spirit threatens the Lord’s priests through the prophet is not a slight matter. “If you do not declare to the wicked his iniquity,” he says, “I will require his blood at your hand,” and again: “cry, do not cease; lift up your voice like a trumpet, and show my people their sins.” … For this reason, dearly beloved, I absolve my conscience in the sight of God as often as I mention with humility a few words for the salvation of your soul. Indeed, I fear and shudder at the example of Eli, the priest, for, when he heard that his sons were committing adultery, he pretended to kill them or to suspend them from communion, but only gently admonished them, saying, “My sons, it is no good report that I hear about you. If one man shall sin against another, the priest will pray for him; but if the priest himself sins, who shall pray for him?” Now, in spite of this admonition, he fell back...

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
Named the ark There is great reason, by all these circumstances, to hope that Heli died in the state of grace; and by his temporal punishments, escaped the eternal. (Challoner) But many of the Fathers condemn him, and the Scripture says nothing of his conversion, or of that of his children, so that the matter is doubtful. (Calmet) Years. Hebrew, "and heavy. " Forty. Septuagint, "twenty "in which they are followed by many Fathers. (Eusebius; Sulpit.) Some reconcile the two texts by saying, that Heli and Samson judged together for twenty years. But the Septuagint is probably corrupted, as the other versions agree with the original. (Calmet)


AD 420
See what chastity is required in a bishop! If his child is unchaste, he himself cannot be a bishop, and he offends God in the same way as did Eli the priest, who had indeed rebuked his sons, but because he had not put away the offenders, fell backwards and died before the lamp of God went out. - "Against Jovinianus 1.35"

Richard Challoner

AD 1781
Named the ark: There is great reason, by all these circumstances, to hope that Heli died in a state of grace; and by his temporal punishments escaped the eternal.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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