I Samuel 1 & 2

In the hill country, 22 miles north of Jerusalem, lived Elkanah of the priestly tribe of Levi.

Elkanah had two wives, Hannah and Peninnah.  Elkanah loved Hannah, but the Lord had closed her womb.  Peninnah, however, had given birth to numerous sons and daughters.  When Elkanah and his family went to the Shiloh to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts, he gave Peninnah and her children portions that they too might sacrifice.  Though Hannah was barren, Elkanah gave her a double portion.  Her rival taunted her in order to provoke her to grief and crying.  Year after year Peninnah tormented Hannah making her life so miserable that her tears were her only food.

Hannah would rise and pray with bitter tears.  She vowed that if the Lord would give her a son, she would dedicate her child to the Lord.  Eli, the priest of Shiloh saw her and supposed that she was drunk.  She said, “I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord.”  Eli granted her shalom and promised that God would hear her petition.

Elkanah knew his wife and the Lord remembered and nine months later she gave birth to a boy.  She did not go up to Shiloh the next year, but waited until he was weaned and then lent him to the Lord for life.

The boy was named Samuel, he was the last of the Judges as well as a priest.   He would anoint Saul and then David as kings of Israel.

Hannah’s song in chapter 2 is similar to David’s in 2 Samuel 22 and to the song of Mary in Luke 1:46-55.

Prayer from Treasury of Prayer

God the Father Almighty, maker of all things, You looked on the affliction of Your barren servant Hannah and did not forget her but answered her prayers with the gift of a son.  so hear our supplications and petitions and fill our emptiness, granting us trust in Your provision, so that we, like Hannah, might render unto You all thankfulness and praise, and delight in the miraculous birth of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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