Poole on 1 Samuel 2:15, 16: The Sacrilege of Eli's Sons, Part 2
Verse 15: Also before they (Lev. 3:3-5, 16) burnt the fat, the priest’s servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have sodden flesh of thee, but raw.
[Before burnt the fat (thus Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Pagnine, Osiander), בְּטֶרֶם֮ יַקְטִר֣וּן] Before they made to smoke (or kindled [Munster], or had consumed [Vatablus]) the fat (Montanus). Which nevertheless had to be done before according to the law, Leviticus 7:23, 25, as it is gathered from the order of the sentences (Piscator). As in the peace offerings, so in the sin offering, the fat was burned to the Lord (Menochius). And, just as they were not waiting for the burning of the fat, so perhaps neither the separation of that from the flesh; and so they were taking with the flesh the fat due to God alone, as it is probable from 1 Samuel 2:29 (Mendoza). The Jews leave no stone unturned, to relax the rigor of the law concerning not eating the fat, Leviticus 3:16, 17; 7:23, 25; and among other things they conclude that fat to be prohibited that surrounds the flesh, not that which lies in the midst of the flesh. Thus Maimonides’ “Concerning Forbidden Foods” 7:1, 5, 8 (Bochart’s A Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:45:471).
The fat, and the other parts to be burnt with it. See Leviticus 3:3, 4, 9; 7:31. So this was an additional injury; for lest the fork should mistake and injure them, they took such parts as they best liked whilst it was raw, when it might be better discerned.
[Give to me flesh so that I might cook for the priest, לִצְלוֹת] To roast (Montanus) [similarly all]. It was customary that the priest receive boiled flesh from the offerer (Vatablus on verse 16). But these priests were averse to boiled flesh, as in the peace offerings they had been accustomed to be served; and they were demanding roasted, or more skillfully seasoned, flesh; just as the Israelites, not content with Angels’ food gathered with their hands, were devising various preparations of it, Numbers 11:8 (Mendoza).
[For I shall not take from thee cooked flesh, but raw, כִּ֥י אִם־חָֽי׃] But raw (Syriac, Arabic, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus, Drusius, Osiander, Munster), understanding, I desire (Osiander). Except (but [Piscator], but rather [Montanus]) living (Drusius); except in the place of but, as in Greek εἰ μή, except; as in that place, man is not justified by the works of the law, ἐὰν μὴ διὰ πίστεως, except by faith, that is, but (Drusius). Now, uncooked flesh he calls living, that is, raw (Drusius, Mendoza): with the metaphor taken from wild and famished beasts, which devour flesh raw and living (Mendoza). Thus flowing water is called living; and pure wine, living; the present time, living, for the past has perished, and the future has not yet been born, as it were. Sometimes living flesh is used for healthy flesh: See Leviticus 13:10, 15. For the life of the flesh is health and soundness (Mendoza).
Verse 16: And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently (Heb. as on the day), and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
[And the offerer was saying to him, וַיֹּ֙אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו הָאִ֗ישׁ] And a man was saying to him (Montanus), understanding, the offerer (Munster, Septuagint, Tigurinus). To whom that man was responding (Pagnine). But if that man was saying (Junius and Tremellius, similarly the English, Dutch).
[Let it first be kindled according to custom] According to the custom today, or the present custom; or which had persisted unaltered unto this day. Thus he severely criticizes the audacity of the priests, who do not fear to trample upon the living and flourishing law (Mendoza).
[קַטֵּ֙ר יַקְטִיר֤וּן כַּיּוֹם֙ הַחֵ֔לֶב] They shall cause to smoke as the day the fat (Montanus); let the fat be burned first (as it is fitting) (Septuagint). To God certainly, the first portion, as it were, of the feast was to be offered (Menochius). For at feasts the first and best portion is wont to be bestowed upon the most noble (Sanchez). Let them offer, I pray, on the present day (Syriac, similarly the Arabic). Let them rather burn now, etc. (Junius and Tremellius). Let them kindle the fat, according to that which is customary at this day (Tigurinus); as today, ὡς σήμερον, that is, actually today, or even now. For it is a כ/Kaph ἀληθινὸν, of truth; that is to say, as truly as it is this day. Thus elsewhere, Swear to me כַּיּוֹם, even now (Drusius). Certainly, as at this day, they shall burn the fat (Dutch). Let them kindle on that day, etc. (Munster), or now, or immediately. Hebrew: as on this very day (English); today let them cause to smoke (Pagnine); according to this day, that is, according to this time, or at this time, or at this very moment, in this very hour. It is a Synecdoche of the whole (Piscator). Let it be kindled today, which is to say, What thou art desiring is to be delayed no longer: wait a little; there shall be satisfaction for thy wishes and desires forthwith; for all things will be completed this day, even indeed at the customary hour, namely, of the morning. If thou art determined to violate the divine law, etc., cease from this one provision: I yield all my rights to thee; take my portions, provided that thou refrain from the divine portions, interrupt not the due order of the sacrifice. Thus he was deserving of no small commendation, in upholding religion to his own detriment (Mendoza). It is to be observed that the priests were required to eat only holy things; but those were also eating profane things. For the burning of the fat was after the likeness of the firstfruits, after which the remainder of the victim was considered holy; which before that was profane (Martyr). Thus also among the Gentiles, only with the sacrifice completed, was it lawful to eat of it. Whence the proverb: He often devours sacred things not sacrificed; which was cast at those intemperate and devoted to their bellies, which sort were the sons of Eli (Lapide).
Take as much as thy soul desireth; we are content to relinquish our parts to thee, only let not God be wronged of his due.
[Who, answering, says to him: By no means, וְאָמַ֥ר׀ לוֹ֙ כִּ֚י עַתָּ֣ה תִתֵּ֔ן] And he was saying to him, that thou shalt give now (Montanus, similarly Jonathan). He was saying to him, Nay, thou shalt give right now (Junius and Tremellius). Others thus: He was say, By no means, but thou shalt given now (Pagnine, similarly the Septuagint, Syriac, Arabic, Munster, English). It is written לוֹ, to him, and it is read לוֹא/not. Both have an agreeable sense (Drusius out of Kimchi). Avenarius wants לוֹא/not to be read instead of לוֹ, to him, but three editions do not acknowledge that Qere, neither is it necessary to that (Cappel’s Sacred Criticism 133).
[For thou shalt give now, otherwise I will take it by force,וְאִם־לֹ֖א לָקַ֥חְתִּי בְחָזְקָֽה׃]And if thou givest not, I will take by force (Pagnine, similarly Munster, Syriac, Arabic, Septuagint), or, with determination (Piscator).I compel thee, whether thou be willing or unwilling (Drusius).
 Hebrew: גַּם֮ בְּטֶרֶם֮ יַקְטִר֣וּן אֶת־הַחֵלֶב֒ וּבָ֣א׀ נַ֣עַר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן וְאָמַר֙ לָאִ֣ישׁ הַזֹּבֵ֔חַ תְּנָ֣ה בָשָׂ֔ר לִצְל֖וֹת לַכֹּהֵ֑ן וְלֹֽא־יִקַּ֧ח מִמְּךָ֛ בָּשָׂ֥ר מְבֻשָּׁ֖ל כִּ֥י אִם־חָֽי׃  From Mishneh Torah.  Galatians 2:16.  See, for example, Jeremiah 2:13; John 4:10, 11; 7:38.  Leviticus 13:10: “And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the rising be white in the skin, and it have turned the hair white, and there be quick raw flesh (וּמִֽחְיַ֛ת בָּשָׂ֥ר חַ֖י) in the rising…”  Leviticus 13:15: “And the priest shall see the raw flesh (אֶת־הַבָּשָׂ֥ר הַחַ֖י), and pronounce him to be unclean: for the raw flesh (הַבָּשָׂ֥ר הַחַ֛י) is unclean: it is a leprosy.”  Hebrew: וַיֹּ֙אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו הָאִ֗ישׁ קַטֵּ֙ר יַקְטִיר֤וּן כַּיּוֹם֙ הַחֵ֔לֶב וְקַ֙ח־לְךָ֔ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּאַוֶּ֖ה נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ וְאָמַ֥ר׀ לוֹ֙ כִּ֚י עַתָּ֣ה תִתֵּ֔ן וְאִם־לֹ֖א לָקַ֥חְתִּי בְחָזְקָֽה׃  Hebrew: כַּיּוֹם.  Genesis 25:33: “And Jacob said, Swear to me this day (כַּיּוֹם); and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.”  Johannes Habermann, Avenarius (1516-1590), was a learned Lutheran pastor and Hebrew scholar, Professor at Jena and Wittenberg.