a High priest of Israel at the time of Samuel's birth (I Sam. 1:9--4:18). Eli was not of the regular line of high-priesthood, but was descended from a younger son of Aaron, Ithamar. It is not known just why this change in the high-priesthood was made. When Solomon came to the throne the position of high priest was given over fully to Zadok, who was descended from Aaron through Eleazar, an older son. (See ABIATHAR.) b Eli, meaning my God, was an exclamation that Jesus uttered while on the cross (Matt. 21:46). In Mark 15:34, Eloi. (See ELOI.)
Meta. The intellect under spiritual discipline. Our first unfoldment is always through the intellect. We get an intellectual concept of Truth and in due season clothe it with substance and life. While Eli (meaning going up, ascent) is typical of the phase of man's consciousness that is always seeking spiritual progress, yet true progress cannot be made by a merely intellectual understanding of Truth. Eli's eyes waxed old; he did not perceive the true aspect of Truth. He was not really progressive. The progressive man is always looking for new aspects of Truth; he is expecting to get a fuller understanding of spiritual laws and of their application. He knows that he will grow, that he will unfold by applying the law, that he will reach the summit, and he is always eager and active in reforming his thoughts and his habits.