When the tabernacle (the temple of the LORD, 1 Samuel 1:9; the house of the LORD, 1 Samuel 1:24) was at Shiloh, the priests became corrupt. First Samuel 2 recounts the practices of the wicked sons of Eli.
The custom of the priests with the people was that when any man offered sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come, while the meat was boiling, with a three-pronged fork in his hand, 14 and he would thrust it into the pan or kettle or cauldron or pot. All that the fork brought up the priest would take for himself. This is what they did at Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. (1 Samuel 2:13-14 ESV)
Three-pronged forks, like the one mentioned in this text have been found at a number of archaeological sites where sacrifices were offered by the Canaanites to their gods. The trident pictured here is from Akko (Acco), and is said to date to the 14th-13th century B.C. It appears to have had a wooden handle that would fit into it.
For more information about Shiloh and the biblical events that took place there, see here.
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