“And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not restrain them” (v13). Eli’s tragic sin was that he knew his adult sons, priests of God’s temple, were abusing their positions and hurting the people who came to worship, and yet he did nothing. He questioned them (2:23), but he did not remove them from their roles or punish them, and therefore Eli was included in God’s judgment.
“It is the Lord …” (v18). In our own circles of influence, rather than denying or excusing sin, God calls us to actively participate in both justice and mercy.