The Downfall of the House of Eli HaCohen // Simply Tanach: Shmuel's "Book of Shmuel" (Shmuel I: Perakim 1-7) -- *Perek 2*
The Main Text:
1 א

(א) וַתִּתְפַּלֵּ֤ל חַנָּה֙ וַתֹּאמַ֔ר עָלַ֤ץ לִבִּי֙ בַּֽיקוק רָ֥מָה קַרְנִ֖י בַּֽיקוק רָ֤חַב פִּי֙ עַל־א֣וֹיְבַ֔י כִּ֥י שָׂמַ֖חְתִּי בִּישׁוּעָתֶֽךָ׃ (ב) אֵין־קָד֥וֹשׁ כַּיקוק כִּ֣י אֵ֣ין בִּלְתֶּ֑ךָ וְאֵ֥ין צ֖וּר כֵּאלֹקֵֽינוּ׃ (ג) אַל־תַּרְבּ֤וּ תְדַבְּרוּ֙ גְּבֹהָ֣ה גְבֹהָ֔ה יֵצֵ֥א עָתָ֖ק מִפִּיכֶ֑ם כִּ֣י אֵ֤ל דֵּעוֹת֙ יקוק ולא [וְל֥וֹ] נִתְכְּנ֖וּ עֲלִלֽוֹת׃ (ד) קֶ֥שֶׁת גִּבֹּרִ֖ים חַתִּ֑ים וְנִכְשָׁלִ֖ים אָ֥זְרוּ חָֽיִל׃ (ה) שְׂבֵעִ֤ים בַּלֶּ֙חֶם֙ נִשְׂכָּ֔רוּ וּרְעֵבִ֖ים חָדֵ֑לּוּ עַד־עֲקָרָה֙ יָלְדָ֣ה שִׁבְעָ֔ה וְרַבַּ֥ת בָּנִ֖ים אֻמְלָֽלָה׃ (ו) יקוק מֵמִ֣ית וּמְחַיֶּ֑ה מוֹרִ֥יד שְׁא֖וֹל וַיָּֽעַל׃ (ז) יקוק מוֹרִ֣ישׁ וּמַעֲשִׁ֑יר מַשְׁפִּ֖יל אַף־מְרוֹמֵֽם׃ (ח) מֵקִ֨ים מֵעָפָ֜ר דָּ֗ל מֵֽאַשְׁפֹּת֙ יָרִ֣ים אֶבְי֔וֹן לְהוֹשִׁיב֙ עִם־נְדִיבִ֔ים וְכִסֵּ֥א כָב֖וֹד יַנְחִלֵ֑ם כִּ֤י לַֽיקוק מְצֻ֣קֵי אֶ֔רֶץ וַיָּ֥שֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם תֵּבֵֽל׃ (ט) רַגְלֵ֤י חסידו [חֲסִידָיו֙] יִשְׁמֹ֔ר וּרְשָׁעִ֖ים בַּחֹ֣שֶׁךְ יִדָּ֑מּוּ כִּֽי־לֹ֥א בְכֹ֖חַ יִגְבַּר־אִֽישׁ׃ (י) יקוק יֵחַ֣תּוּ מריבו [מְרִיבָ֗יו] עלו [עָלָיו֙] בַּשָּׁמַ֣יִם יַרְעֵ֔ם יקוק יָדִ֣ין אַפְסֵי־אָ֑רֶץ וְיִתֶּן־עֹ֣ז לְמַלְכּ֔וֹ וְיָרֵ֖ם קֶ֥רֶן מְשִׁיחֽוֹ׃ (פ)

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(יא) וַיֵּ֧לֶךְ אֶלְקָנָ֛ה הָרָמָ֖תָה עַל־בֵּית֑וֹ וְהַנַּ֗עַר הָיָ֤ה מְשָׁרֵת֙ אֶת־יקוק אֶת־פְּנֵ֖י עֵלִ֥י הַכֹּהֵֽן׃ (יב) וּבְנֵ֥י עֵלִ֖י בְּנֵ֣י בְלִיָּ֑עַל לֹ֥א יָדְע֖וּ אֶת־יקוק׃ (יג) וּמִשְׁפַּ֥ט הַכֹּהֲנִ֖ים אֶת־הָעָ֑ם כָּל־אִ֞ישׁ זֹבֵ֣חַ זֶ֗בַח וּבָ֨א נַ֤עַר הַכֹּהֵן֙ כְּבַשֵּׁ֣ל הַבָּשָׂ֔ר וְהַמַּזְלֵ֛ג שְׁלֹ֥שׁ־הַשִּׁנַּ֖יִם בְּיָדֽוֹ׃ (יד) וְהִכָּ֨ה בַכִּיּ֜וֹר א֣וֹ בַדּ֗וּד א֤וֹ בַקַּלַּ֙חַת֙ א֣וֹ בַפָּר֔וּר כֹּ֚ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר יַעֲלֶ֣ה הַמַּזְלֵ֔ג יִקַּ֥ח הַכֹּהֵ֖ן בּ֑וֹ כָּ֚כָה יַעֲשׂ֣וּ לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל הַבָּאִ֥ים שָׁ֖ם בְּשִׁלֹֽה׃ (טו) גַּם֮ בְּטֶרֶם֮ יַקְטִר֣וּן אֶת־הַחֵלֶב֒ וּבָ֣א ׀ נַ֣עַר הַכֹּהֵ֗ן וְאָמַר֙ לָאִ֣ישׁ הַזֹּבֵ֔חַ תְּנָ֣ה בָשָׂ֔ר לִצְל֖וֹת לַכֹּהֵ֑ן וְלֹֽא־יִקַּ֧ח מִמְּךָ֛ בָּשָׂ֥ר מְבֻשָּׁ֖ל כִּ֥י אִם־חָֽי׃ (טז) וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו הָאִ֗ישׁ קַטֵּ֨ר יַקְטִיר֤וּן כַּיּוֹם֙ הַחֵ֔לֶב וְקַ֨ח־לְךָ֔ כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר תְּאַוֶּ֖ה נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ וְאָמַ֥ר ׀ לו [לֹא֙] כִּ֚י עַתָּ֣ה תִתֵּ֔ן וְאִם־לֹ֖א לָקַ֥חְתִּי בְחָזְקָֽה׃ (יז) וַתְּהִ֨י חַטַּ֧את הַנְּעָרִ֛ים גְּדוֹלָ֥ה מְאֹ֖ד אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י יקוק כִּ֤י נִֽאֲצוּ֙ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים אֵ֖ת מִנְחַ֥ת יקוק׃ (יח) וּשְׁמוּאֵ֕ל מְשָׁרֵ֖ת אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י יקוק נַ֕עַר חָג֖וּר אֵפ֥וֹד בָּֽד׃ (יט) וּמְעִ֤יל קָטֹן֙ תַּעֲשֶׂה־לּ֣וֹ אִמּ֔וֹ וְהַעַלְתָ֥ה ל֖וֹ מִיָּמִ֣ים ׀ יָמִ֑ימָה בַּֽעֲלוֹתָהּ֙ אֶת־אִישָׁ֔הּ לִזְבֹּ֖חַ אֶת־זֶ֥בַח הַיָּמִֽים׃ (כ) וּבֵרַ֨ךְ עֵלִ֜י אֶת־אֶלְקָנָ֣ה וְאֶת־אִשְׁתּ֗וֹ וְאָמַר֙ יָשֵׂם֩ יקוק לְךָ֥ זֶ֙רַע֙ מִן־הָאִשָּׁ֣ה הַזֹּ֔את תַּ֚חַת הַשְּׁאֵלָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׁאַ֖ל לַֽיקוק וְהָלְכ֖וּ לִמְקֹמֽוֹ׃ (כא) כִּֽי־פָקַ֤ד יקוק אֶת־חַנָּ֔ה וַתַּ֛הַר וַתֵּ֥לֶד שְׁלֹשָֽׁה־בָנִ֖ים וּשְׁתֵּ֣י בָנ֑וֹת וַיִּגְדַּ֛ל הַנַּ֥עַר שְׁמוּאֵ֖ל עִם־יקוק׃ (ס)

(כב) וְעֵלִ֖י זָקֵ֣ן מְאֹ֑ד וְשָׁמַ֗ע אֵת֩ כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֨ר יַעֲשׂ֤וּן בָּנָיו֙ לְכָל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאֵ֤ת אֲשֶֽׁר־יִשְׁכְּבוּן֙ אֶת־הַנָּשִׁ֔ים הַצֹּ֣בְא֔וֹת פֶּ֖תַח אֹ֥הֶל מוֹעֵֽד׃ (כג) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָהֶ֔ם לָ֥מָּה תַעֲשׂ֖וּן כַּדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָנֹכִ֤י שֹׁמֵ֙עַ֙ אֶת־דִּבְרֵיכֶ֣ם רָעִ֔ים מֵאֵ֖ת כָּל־הָעָ֥ם אֵֽלֶּה׃ (כד) אַ֖ל בָּנָ֑י כִּ֠י לֽוֹא־טוֹבָ֤ה הַשְּׁמֻעָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אָנֹכִ֣י שֹׁמֵ֔עַ מַעֲבִרִ֖ים עַם־יקוק׃ (כה) אִם־יֶחֱטָ֨א אִ֤ישׁ לְאִישׁ֙ וּפִֽלְל֣וֹ אֱלֹקִ֔ים וְאִ֤ם לַֽיקוק יֶֽחֱטָא־אִ֔ישׁ מִ֖י יִתְפַּלֶּל־ל֑וֹ וְלֹ֤א יִשְׁמְעוּ֙ לְק֣וֹל אֲבִיהֶ֔ם כִּֽי־חָפֵ֥ץ יקוק לַהֲמִיתָֽם׃ (כו) וְהַנַּ֣עַר שְׁמוּאֵ֔ל הֹלֵ֥ךְ וְגָדֵ֖ל וָט֑וֹב גַּ֚ם עִם־יקוק וְגַ֖ם עִם־אֲנָשִֽׁים׃ (ס)

(כז) וַיָּבֹ֥א אִישׁ־אֱלֹקִ֖ים אֶל־עֵלִ֑י וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵלָ֗יו כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יקוק הֲנִגְלֹ֤ה נִגְלֵ֙יתִי֙ אֶל־בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יךָ בִּֽהְיוֹתָ֥ם בְּמִצְרַ֖יִם לְבֵ֥ית פַּרְעֹֽה׃ (כח) וּבָחֹ֣ר אֹ֠תוֹ מִכָּל־שִׁבְטֵ֨י יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל לִי֙ לְכֹהֵ֔ן לַעֲל֣וֹת עַֽל־מִזְבְּחִ֗י לְהַקְטִ֥יר קְטֹ֛רֶת לָשֵׂ֥את אֵפ֖וֹד לְפָנָ֑י וָֽאֶתְּנָה֙ לְבֵ֣ית אָבִ֔יךָ אֶת־כָּל־אִשֵּׁ֖י בְּנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃ (כט) לָ֣מָּה תִבְעֲט֗וּ בְּזִבְחִי֙ וּבְמִנְחָתִ֔י אֲשֶׁ֥ר צִוִּ֖יתִי מָע֑וֹן וַתְּכַבֵּ֤ד אֶת־בָּנֶ֙יךָ֙ מִמֶּ֔נִּי לְהַבְרִֽיאֲכֶ֗ם מֵרֵאשִׁ֛ית כָּל־מִנְחַ֥ת יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל לְעַמִּֽי׃ (ל) לָכֵ֗ן נְאֻם־יקוק אֱלֹקֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ אָמ֣וֹר אָמַ֔רְתִּי בֵּֽיתְךָ֙ וּבֵ֣ית אָבִ֔יךָ יִתְהַלְּכ֥וּ לְפָנַ֖י עַד־עוֹלָ֑ם וְעַתָּ֤ה נְאֻם־יקוק חָלִ֣ילָה לִּ֔י כִּֽי־מְכַבְּדַ֥י אֲכַבֵּ֖ד וּבֹזַ֥י יֵקָֽלּוּ׃ (לא) הִנֵּה֙ יָמִ֣ים בָּאִ֔ים וְגָֽדַעְתִּי֙ אֶת־זְרֹ֣עֲךָ֔ וְאֶת־זְרֹ֖עַ בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יךָ מִֽהְי֥וֹת זָקֵ֖ן בְּבֵיתֶֽךָ׃ (לב) וְהִבַּטְתָּ֙ צַ֣ר מָע֔וֹן בְּכֹ֥ל אֲשֶׁר־יֵיטִ֖יב אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וְלֹֽא־יִהְיֶ֥ה זָקֵ֛ן בְּבֵיתְךָ֖ כָּל־הַיָּמִֽים׃ (לג) וְאִ֗ישׁ לֹֽא־אַכְרִ֤ית לְךָ֙ מֵעִ֣ם מִזְבְּחִ֔י לְכַלּ֥וֹת אֶת־עֵינֶ֖יךָ וְלַאֲדִ֣יב אֶת־נַפְשֶׁ֑ךָ וְכָל־מַרְבִּ֥ית בֵּיתְךָ֖ יָמ֥וּתוּ אֲנָשִֽׁים׃ (לד) וְזֶה־לְּךָ֣ הָא֗וֹת אֲשֶׁ֤ר יָבֹא֙ אֶל־שְׁנֵ֣י בָנֶ֔יךָ אֶל־חָפְנִ֖י וּפִֽינְחָ֑ס בְּי֥וֹם אֶחָ֖ד יָמ֥וּתוּ שְׁנֵיהֶֽם׃ (לה) וַהֲקִימֹתִ֥י לִי֙ כֹּהֵ֣ן נֶאֱמָ֔ן כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר בִּלְבָבִ֥י וּבְנַפְשִׁ֖י יַעֲשֶׂ֑ה וּבָנִ֤יתִי לוֹ֙ בַּ֣יִת נֶאֱמָ֔ן וְהִתְהַלֵּ֥ךְ לִפְנֵֽי־מְשִׁיחִ֖י כָּל־הַיָּמִֽים׃ (לו) וְהָיָ֗ה כָּל־הַנּוֹתָר֙ בְּבֵ֣יתְךָ֔ יָבוֹא֙ לְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֺ֣ת ל֔וֹ לַאֲג֥וֹרַת כֶּ֖סֶף וְכִכַּר־לָ֑חֶם וְאָמַ֗ר סְפָחֵ֥נִי נָ֛א אֶל־אַחַ֥ת הַכְּהֻנּ֖וֹת לֶאֱכֹ֥ל פַּת־לָֽחֶם׃ (ס)

(1) And Hannah prayed: My heart exults in the LORD; I have triumphed through the LORD. I gloat over my enemies; I rejoice in Your deliverance. (2) There is no holy one like the LORD, Truly, there is none beside You; There is no rock like our God. (3) Talk no more with lofty pride, Let no arrogance cross your lips! For the LORD is an all-knowing God; By Him actions are measured. (4) The bows of the mighty are broken, And the faltering are girded with strength. (5) Men once sated must hire out for bread; Men once hungry hunger no more. While the barren woman bears seven, The mother of many is forlorn. (6) The LORD deals death and gives life, Casts down into Sheol and raises up. (7) The LORD makes poor and makes rich; He casts down, He also lifts high. (8) He raises the poor from the dust, Lifts up the needy from the dunghill, Setting them with nobles, Granting them seats of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s; He has set the world upon them. (9) He guards the steps of His faithful, But the wicked perish in darkness— For not by strength shall man prevail. (10) The foes of the LORD shall be shattered; He will thunder against them in the heavens. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. He will give power to His king, And triumph to His anointed one.

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(11) Then Elkanah [and Hannah] went home to Ramah; and the boy entered the service of the LORD under the priest Eli. (12) Now Eli’s sons were scoundrels; they paid no heed to the LORD. (13) This is how the priests used to deal with the people: When anyone brought a sacrifice, the priest’s boy would come along with a three-pronged fork while the meat was boiling, (14) and he would thrust it into the cauldron, or the kettle, or the great pot, or the small cooking-pot; and whatever the fork brought up, the priest would take away on it. This was the practice at Shiloh with all the Israelites who came there. (15) [But now] even before the suet was turned into smoke, the priest’s boy would come and say to the man who was sacrificing, “Hand over some meat to roast for the priest; for he won’t accept boiled meat from you, only raw.” (16) And if the man said to him, “Let them first turn the suet into smoke, and then take as much as you want,” he would reply, “No, hand it over at once or I’ll take it by force.” (17) The sin of the young men against the LORD was very great, for the men treated the LORD’s offerings impiously. (18) Samuel was engaged in the service of the LORD as an attendant, girded with a linen ephod. (19) His mother would also make a little robe for him and bring it up to him every year, when she made the pilgrimage with her husband to offer the annual sacrifice. (20) Eli would bless Elkanah and his wife, and say, “May the LORD grant you offspring by this woman in place of the loan she made to the LORD.” Then they would return home. (21) For the LORD took note of Hannah; she conceived and bore three sons and two daughters. Young Samuel meanwhile grew up in the service of the LORD.

(22) Now Eli was very old. When he heard all that his sons were doing to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who performed tasks at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting, (23) he said to them, “Why do you do such things? I get evil reports about you from the people on all hands. (24) Don’t, my sons! It is no favorable report I hear the people of the LORD spreading about. (25) If a man sins against a man, the LORD may pardon him; but if a man offends against God, who can obtain pardon for him?” But they ignored their father’s plea; for the LORD was resolved that they should die. (26) Young Samuel, meanwhile, grew in esteem and favor both with God and with men.

(27) A man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus said the LORD: Lo, I revealed Myself to your father’s house in Egypt when they were subject to the House of Pharaoh, (28) and I chose them from among all the tribes of Israel to be My priests—to ascend My altar, to burn incense, [and] to carry an ephod before Me—and I assigned to your father’s house all offerings by fire of the Israelites. (29) Why, then, do you maliciously trample upon the sacrifices and offerings that I have commanded? You have honored your sons more than Me, feeding on the first portions of every offering of My people Israel. (30) Assuredly—declares the LORD, the God of Israel—I intended for you and your father’s house to remain in My service forever. But now—declares the LORD—far be it from Me! For I honor those who honor Me, but those who spurn Me shall be dishonored. (31) A time is coming when I will break your power and that of your father’s house, and there shall be no elder in your house. (32) You will gaze grudgingly at all the bounty that will be bestowed on Israel, but there shall never be an elder in your house. (33) I shall not cut off all your offspring from My altar; [but,] to make your eyes pine and your spirit languish, all the increase in your house shall die as [ordinary] men. (34) And this shall be a sign for you: The fate of your two sons Hophni and Phinehas—they shall both die on the same day. (35) And I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest, who will act in accordance with My wishes and My purposes. I will build for him an enduring house, and he shall walk before My anointed evermore. (36) And all the survivors of your house shall come and bow low to him for the sake of a money fee and a loaf of bread, and shall say, ‘Please, assign me to one of the priestly duties, that I may have a morsel of bread to eat.’”

2 ב

SUPPORTING TEXTS:

Three examples of "mishpat" used as "custom":
3 ג

(יב) וַיֹּ֣אמֶר מָנ֔וֹחַ עַתָּ֖ה יָבֹ֣א דְבָרֶ֑יךָ מַה־יִּֽהְיֶ֥ה מִשְׁפַּט־הַנַּ֖עַר וּמַעֲשֵֽׂהוּ׃

(12) Then Manoah said, “May your words soon come true! What rules shall be observed for the boy?”
4 ד

(ט) וְעַתָּ֖ה שְׁמַ֣ע בְּקוֹלָ֑ם אַ֗ךְ כִּֽי־הָעֵ֤ד תָּעִיד֙ בָּהֶ֔ם וְהִגַּדְתָּ֣ לָהֶ֔ם מִשְׁפַּ֣ט הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִמְלֹ֖ךְ עֲלֵיהֶֽם׃ (ס)

(9) Heed their demand; but warn them solemnly, and tell them about the practices of any king who will rule over them.”
5 ה

(יד) וַתֵּ֡רֶא וְהִנֵּ֣ה הַמֶּלֶךְ֩ עֹמֵ֨ד עַֽל־הָעַמּ֜וּד כַּמִּשְׁפָּ֗ט וְהַשָּׂרִ֤ים וְהַחֲצֹֽצְרוֹת֙ אֶל־הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְכָל־עַ֤ם הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ שָׂמֵ֔חַ וְתֹקֵ֖עַ בַּחֲצֹֽצְר֑וֹת וַתִּקְרַ֤ע עֲתַלְיָה֙ אֶת־בְּגָדֶ֔יהָ וַתִּקְרָ֖א קֶ֥שֶׁר קָֽשֶׁר׃ (ס)

(14) She looked about and saw the king standing by the pillar, as was the custom, the chiefs with their trumpets beside the king, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets. Athaliah rent her garments and cried out, “Treason, treason!”
Example of "cheilev" not being THE "cheilev":
6 ו

(יח) וּקְח֧וּ אֶת־אֲבִיכֶ֛ם וְאֶת־בָּתֵּיכֶ֖ם וּבֹ֣אוּ אֵלָ֑י וְאֶתְּנָ֣ה לָכֶ֗ם אֶת־טוּב֙ אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וְאִכְל֖וּ אֶת־חֵ֥לֶב הָאָֽרֶץ׃

(18) Take your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you shall live off the fat of the land.’
Example of another prominent Tanach character (a decidedly NON-Kohen) wearing an Ephod (using the same words as with Shmuel):
7 ז

(יד) וְדָוִ֛ד מְכַרְכֵּ֥ר בְּכָל־עֹ֖ז לִפְנֵ֣י יקוק וְדָוִ֕ד חָג֖וּר אֵפ֥וֹד בָּֽד׃

(14) David whirled with all his might before the LORD; David was girt with a linen ephod.
Famous Gemarah about Chofni and Pinchas NOT sinning:
8 ח

אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר רבי יונתן כל האומר בני עלי חטאו אינו אלא טועה שנאמר ושם שני בני עלי (עם ארון ברית האלהים) חפני ופנחס כהנים לה׳ סבר לה כרב דאמר רב פנחס לא חטא מקיש חפני לפנחס מה פנחס לא חטא אף חפני לא חטא אלא מה אני מקיים אשר ישכבן את הנשים מתוך ששהו את קיניהן שלא הלכו אצל בעליהן מעלה עליהן הכתוב כאילו שכבום...

Rabbi Shmuel bar Naḥmani said that Rabbi Yonatan said: Anyone who says that the sons of Eli sinned is nothing other than mistaken, as it is written: “And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Pinehas, were there priests of the Lord” (I Samuel 1:3). The Gemara explains: Rabbi Yonatan holds in accordance with the opinion of Rav, as Rav said: Pinehas did not sin. And the verse juxtaposes Hophni to Pinehas; just as Pinehas did not sin, so too Hophni did not sin. The Gemara asks: How, then, do I establish the meaning of the verse: “Now Eli was very old, and heard all that his sons did to all Israel; and how they lay with the women that assembled at the door of the Tent of Meeting” (I Samuel 2:22), which indicates otherwise? The Gemara answers: Since the sons of Eli delayed sacrificing the bird-offerings of women who had given birth, a pair of doves brought as part of the purification process, and this delay caused the women not to go to their husbands in timely fashion, the verse ascribes to Hophni and Pinehas liability as if they had lain with them. They were guilty of nothing more than negligence and carelessness...

Our "normal" understanding of sinning types:
9 ט

(ט) הָאוֹמֵר, אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב, אֶחֱטָא וְאָשׁוּב, אֵין מַסְפִּיקִין בְּיָדוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת תְּשׁוּבָה. אֶחֱטָא וְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם, יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ. אֶת זוֹ דָּרַשׁ רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בֶּן עֲזַרְיָה, מִכֹּל חַטֹּאתֵיכֶם לִפְנֵי יקוק תִּטְהָרוּ (ויקרא טז), עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַמָּקוֹם, יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר. עֲבֵרוֹת שֶׁבֵּין אָדָם לַחֲבֵרוֹ, אֵין יוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים מְכַפֵּר, עַד שֶׁיְּרַצֶּה אֶת חֲבֵרוֹ...

(9) One who says: I shall sin and repent, sin and repent, they do not afford him the opportunity to repent. [If one says]: I shall sin and Yom HaKippurim will atone for me, Yom HaKippurim does not effect atonement. For transgressions between man and God Yom HaKippurim effects atonement, but for transgressions between man and his fellow Yom HaKippurim does not effect atonement, until he has pacified his fellow. This was expounded by Rabbi Elazar b. Azariah: “From all your sins before the Lord you shall be clean” (Leviticus 16:30) for transgressions between man and God Yom HaKippurim effects atonement, but for transgressions between man and his fellow Yom HaKippurim does not effect atonement, until he has pacified his fellow...

How can God KEEP Chofi and Pinchas sinning? Perhaps we can look at Rambam's approach to "Hardening Pharaoh's heart":
10 י

(יד) אבל אמרו וחזקתי את לב פרעה וגו' ואחר כך ענשו והמיתו יש בו מקום לדבר ויעלה ממנו בידינו שורש גדול, והסתכל מאמרי בזה הענין, ושים אליו לבך, וחבר אותו על דברי זולתי ובחר לך הטוב, והוא שפרעה וסיעתו אלו לא היה להם חטא אלא זה שלא שלחו ישראל, היה הענין מסופק על כל פנים שהוא מנעם מלשלוח אותם כמו שאמר כי אני הכבדתי את לבו ואת לב עבדיו, ואחר כן היה מבקש ממנו לשלחם, והוא מוכרח שלא לשלחם, ואחר כך לענשו כאשר לא שלחם ולהמיתו הוא וכל סיעתו זה היה עול בלא ספק וסותר לכל מה שהקדמנו, אלא נשאר שאין הענין כן, אבל פרעה וסיעתו מרו בבחירתם מבלי הכרח, וחמסו הגרים אשר היו בתוכם ועולו עליהם עול גמור כמו שאמר בביאור, ויאמר אל עמו הנה עם בני ישראל רב ועצום ממנו הבה נתחכמה לו וגו', וזאת הפעולה היתה מהם בבחירתם וברוע לבבם ולא היתה עליהם בזה הכרחה, והיה עונש השם להם על זה למנעם מן התשובה עד שיחול עליהם מן העונש מה שהיה ראוי להם מן הדין שזה ענשם...

(14) As regards, however, the words of God, (Exodus 14:4) "and I will harden the heart of Pharaoh", afterwards punishing him with death, there is much to be said, and from which there may be deduced an important principle. Weigh well what I say in this matter, reflect upon it, compare it with the words of others, and give preference to that which is best. If Pharaoh and his counsellors had committed no other sin than that of not permitting Israel to depart, I admit that the matter would be open to great doubt, for God had prevented them from releasing Israel according to the words, (Exodus 10:1) "For I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his servants". After that, to demand of Pharaoh that he send them forth while he was forced to do the contrary, and then to punish him because he did not dismiss them, finally putting him and all his followers to death, would undoubtedly be unjust, and would completely contradict all that we have previously said. Such, however, was not the real state of affairs, for Pharaoh and his followers, already of their own free will, without any constraint whatever, had rebelled by oppressing the strangers who were in their midst, having tyrannized over them with great injustice, as Scripture plainly states, (Exodus 1:9-10) "And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel is more numerous and mightier than we, come let us deal wisely with it". This they did through the dictates of their own free will and the evil passions of their hearts, without any external constraint forcing them thereto. The punishment which God then inflicted upon them was that He withheld from them the power of repentance, so that there should fall upon them that punishment which justice declared should he meted out to them...

Two examples of "zeroah" used as "strength":
11 יא

(כא) בֶּן־אָדָ֕ם אֶת־זְר֛וֹעַ פַּרְעֹ֥ה מֶֽלֶךְ־מִצְרַ֖יִם שָׁבָ֑רְתִּי וְהִנֵּ֣ה לֹֽא־חֻ֠בְּשָׁה לָתֵ֨ת רְפֻא֜וֹת לָשׂ֥וּם חִתּ֛וּל לְחָבְשָׁ֥הּ לְחָזְקָ֖הּ לִתְפֹּ֥שׂ בֶּחָֽרֶב׃

(21) O mortal, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; it has not been bound up to be healed nor firmly bandaged to make it strong enough to grasp the sword.
12 יב

(טו) שְׁ֭בֹר זְר֣וֹעַ רָשָׁ֑ע וָ֝רָ֗ע תִּֽדְרוֹשׁ־רִשְׁע֥וֹ בַל־תִּמְצָֽא׃

(15) O break the power of the wicked and evil man, so that when You look for his wickedness You will find it no more.
Two other examples of "Bayis Ne'eman":
13 יג

(כח) שָׂ֥א נָ֖א לְפֶ֣שַׁע אֲמָתֶ֑ךָ כִּ֣י עָשֹֽׂה־יַעֲשֶׂה֩ יקוק לַֽאדֹנִ֜י בַּ֣יִת נֶאֱמָ֗ן כִּי־מִלְחֲמ֤וֹת יקוק אֲדֹנִ֣י נִלְחָ֔ם וְרָעָ֛ה לֹא־תִמָּצֵ֥א בְךָ֖ מִיָּמֶֽיךָ׃

(28) Please pardon your maid’s boldness. For the LORD will grant my lord an enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD, and no wrong is ever to be found in you.
14 יד

(לח) וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־תִּשְׁמַע֮ אֶת־כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֲצַוֶּךָ֒ וְהָלַכְתָּ֣ בִדְרָכַ֗י וְעָשִׂ֨יתָ הַיָּשָׁ֤ר בְּעֵינַי֙ לִשְׁמ֤וֹר חֻקּוֹתַי֙ וּמִצְוֺתַ֔י כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר עָשָׂ֖ה דָּוִ֣ד עַבְדִּ֑י וְהָיִ֣יתִי עִמָּ֗ךְ וּבָנִ֨יתִי לְךָ֤ בַֽיִת־נֶאֱמָן֙ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר בָּנִ֣יתִי לְדָוִ֔ד וְנָתַתִּ֥י לְךָ֖ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃

(38) If you heed all that I command you, and walk in My ways, and do what is right in My sight, keeping My laws and commandments as My servant David did, then I will be with you and I will build for you a lasting dynasty as I did for David. I hereby give Israel to you;