Couples in the Bible: Elkanah and Hannah

Elkanah is an Ephrathite and has two wives. The first is Hannah, who is childless, and the second is Peninnah, who has children.  {1 Samuel 1:1-2}

Each year they go to Shiloh to offer their sacrifice. To Peninnah and her children, Elkanah gave a portion but to Hannah he gave a double portion “because he loved her”. However, Peninnah enjoys provoking her.

Elkanah does not understand why she is so grieved and sad, asking if he’s not better than ten sons. {1 Samuel 1:3-8}

 Hannah was deeply troubled and prayed to the Lord so fervently that Eli—the priest—thought she was drunk. She ask “let your servant find favor in your eyes” and went away no longer sad. {1 Samuel 1:9-18}

Hannah finally had a son, Samuel

After arriving back home, Hannah has a son she named Samuel. She kept him with her until he was weaned and then took him and a sacrifice to the temple. She left Samuel with Eli to be trained and raised for God. She says “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”   {1 Samuel 1:27-28}

Hannah prays and sings a song of praise to God. {1 Samuel 2:1-11} She visited Samuel each year at the temple, bringing him a new robe and bore three more sons and two daughters. {1 Samuel 2:18-21}

Lessons from Elkanah and Hannah:

  1. They loved one another
  2. Playing favorites caused problems
  3. Elkanah didn’t understand her desire to be a mother
  4. Hannah prayed fervently
  5. Hannah thanked God in advance and believed he would answer her prayers
  6. Hannah praised God when he did answer her prayers
  7. Hannah kept her promise from God

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