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Tuesday, March 18 2014
1 Samuel 1: Hannah's Dedication Of Samuel
"I have lent him to the LORD as long as he liveth"
"Hannah" is the English rendering of the Hebrew name, pronounced khawn-naw, which means favored. When we first read of Hannah however, she was not feeling at all favored - even though she most certainly was highly favored by the LORD (Who was and is Jesus Christ - see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God).
As was the case with a few other prominent women of Bible history (e.g. Sarah, the mother of Isaac, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist; see A Biography Of Abraham: Sarah and Jesus And John: Similarities And Differences), Hannah was not able to have the children that she wanted until such time that a birth for a greater purpose would be achieved. To make matters worse, Hannah's husband, a Levite (see Numbers 3: When Were The Levites Set Apart? and Numbers 4: The Levite Clans; see also Are Levites 'Jews'?) named Elkanah, had a second wife who was not only having children that she wished to have, but was cruelly and relentlessly mocking Hannah for being childless.
"1:1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 1:2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.
It is obvious why Hannah, not Peninnah, was favored by the LORD. Peninnah was cruel and selfish, while Hannah was a faithful woman of God.
"1:7 And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat. 1:8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?
Hannah's prayer was answered (see also How to Pray: 12 Biblical Principles Of Personal Prayer). She named her child "Samuel," the Hebrew name shawm-oo-ale, meaning heard by God. Interestingly, as was the case with John the Baptist, Samuel too was born under a Nazirite vow (see the Fact Finder question below).
"1:17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.
When Samuel was born, he remained with Hannah only until he was weaned.
"1:21 And the man Elkanah, and all his house, went up to offer unto the LORD the yearly sacrifice, and his vow. 1:22 But Hannah went not up; for she said unto her husband, I will not go up until the child be weaned, and then I will bring him, that he may appear before the LORD, and there abide for ever. 1:23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word. So the woman abode, and gave her son suck until she weaned him." (1 Samuel 1:21-23 KJV)
Hannah then took her child to Eli the High Priest, where "I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD."
"1:24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. 1:25 And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. 1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. 1:27 For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: 1:28 Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there." (1 Samuel 1:24-28 KJV)
Fact Finder: Was a "Nazarite vow" something that mothers of Nazarites declared too?
This Day In History, March 18
37: The accession of Caligula, the third Roman emperor (the first two, Augustus and Tiberius, are recorded in the Bible; see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Whatever Happened To Those Romans?).
235: Emperor Alexander Severus (official name Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexander Augustus) and his mother Julia Mamaea were killed by Roman troops near Moguntiacum (modern Mainz), thereby ending the Severan dynasty.
978: English King St. Edward the Martyr was murdered at Corfe Castle in a plot by his stepmother who wanted her own son Ethelred made king.
1241: The Battle of Chmielnik; Mongols overran the Polish army in Krakow.
1286: Alexander III, 45, king of Scotland 1249-1286, died. He was the last major ruler of the dynasty of kings descended from Malcolm III Canmore (ruled 1058-1093), who consolidated royal power in Scotland.
1314: Jacques de Molay, the last "Grand Master of the Knights Templar," was burned at the stake.
1438: Albrecht II ("the Bear") was elected King of Germany and Holy Roman Emperor (the official title of the "Holy Roman Empire" was actually the "Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation"; see The Holy Roman Empire).
1584: Ivan IV, the first czar of Russia, died. His cruelty and oppression earned him the nickname Ivan the Terrible.
1673: Lord Berkeley of England sold his half of the colony of New Jersey to the Quakers.
1834: In Dorset, England, 6 laborers were sentenced to 7 years banishment to a penal colony in Australia for forming a trade union. They became known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs.
1850: American Express was founded by Henry Wells and William Fargo.
1913: King George I of Greece was assassinated.
1916: On the Eastern Front during the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), the Russians countered the Verdun assault with an attack at Lake Naroch. The Russians lost 100,000 men and the Germans 20,000 (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1921: The Treaty of Riga was signed between the U.S.S.R. and Poland. It fixed the Russian-Polish frontier. It gave Poland large parts of Belorussia and the Ukraine. The treaty was superseded by a Polish-Russian treaty of 1945.
1922: Mahatma Gandhi was sentenced to 6 years in prison for civil disobedience.
1938: Mexico nationalized all foreign-owned oil properties within its borders.
1940: Hitler and Mussolini met at the Brenner Pass in the Alps and agreed that Italy would eventually join the war.
1965: Russian Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov exited his spacecraft Voskhod 2 to become the first human to walk in space.
1965: King Farouk I of Egypt died in exile in Italy.
1967: The oil tanker Torrey Canyon was wrecked off the Cornish coast of England, spilling 919,000 barrels of oil into the sea.
1968: The U.S. Congress repealed the requirement for a gold reserve to back U.S. currency. The U.S. Dollar thereafter became only printed paper with a declared value.
1969: Richard Nixon began the secret bombing of North Vietnamese forces in Cambodia; it lasted 14 months. Nixon kept it a secret for domestic political reasons, the North Vietnamese said nothing because they didn't want the world to know that they were in Cambodia.
1989: A 4,400-year-old mummy was found near the Pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.
1996: The Palestinian Authority (formerly known as the terrorist organization the Palestine Liberation Organization) renamed the Gaza Strip and the West Bank as the "District of Gaza" and the "Northern Counties of Palestine" (see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace).