Monday, January 14, 2013

Hannah and Peninah

Good morning brothers and sisters,
Today we're starting the beginning of the story of Samuel, which is the story of Hannah. The Books of I and II Samuel bring Israel from being a loose affiliation of tribes to a kingdom. This part of the story gives us some insights into the religious life of early Israel. It also shows us some of the conflict that can happen within families. Several times in the Bible we encounter families where the husband has more than one wife. It doesn't ever seem to work well. In this case the two wives think of themselves as rivals, which can't make for a good home environment. As is often the case, God can do surprising things to move the story towards justice.

God bless,

1 Samuel 1: 1-8
There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord.

4On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. 6Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

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