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HOPHNI ():

The older of Eli's two sons who officiated as priests in the tabernacle of Shiloh (I Sam. i. 3). Hophni and his younger brother Phinehas are reproved as sons of Belial, and as rapacious and lustful (I Sam. ii. 12-17, 22). Their misdeeds provoked the indignation of the people, and the divine curse was pronounced first by an unknown prophet and afterward by Samuel (I Sam. ii. 23-36, iii. 11-14). They were both killed on the same day, in a battle between the Israelites and the Philistines (I Sam. iv. 11). The Talmudists do not agree as to the wickedness of both brothers: Rab concluded (Shab. 55b) that Phinehas was not guilty of any of the crimes mentioned, but that Hophni alone committed them; but R. Jonathan, quoted by R. Samuel b. Naḥmani (l.c.), declares that neither was wicked, and that the words in which the crimes are imputed to them in I Sam. ii. 22 have a figurative meaning in this instance.

E. G. H. M. Sel.
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