Anna Praises God
Luke 2:36-38 (ASV)
And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher (she was of a great age. and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
Anna had been a widow for many years. She lived with her husband for seven years before she passed. We don’t know how old she was when she married, but more than likely she’d been a widow for at least fifty to sixty years, if not longer. She lived at the temple. She was extremely faithful and obedient to God.
Some scholars believe that she’d been widowed for eighty-four years, while other scholars believe the passage states she was eighty-four years old. Either way we know she’d reached an advanced age.
She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks unto God, and spake of him to all them that were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna, an old woman and prophetess, then approached the couple. They were probably still trying to figure out all that Simeon had told them. We are told that Anna praised God and told everyone in the temple that “the one had come who would redeem us.”
We can only wonder how the people reacted to this news. We know that most Jews believed the Messiah would come as a military commander to forcibly take back his kingdom. Most of them did not expect for him to come as a baby that would eventually die on the cross for our sins.
Could even Simeon and Anna have understood all that was to come? Given their prophecies, we can say…maybe.
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