A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hannah pleads to God.  Image from 'My Year of Jubilee'

The Birth of Samuel (1 Samuel, Chapter 1) - Samuel is born into a turbulent, polygamist family; and Chapter 1 focuses largely on his mother Hannah.

Hannah is the true love of Elkanah, though he had another wife.  Hannah was barren (it says God 'shut her womb'), but the other wife did.  The other wife's name was Peninnah.  Peninnah was essentially Hannah's archnemesis.  Hannah and Elkanah were in love, but Peninnah bore sons for Elkanah.  This was essentially the life of women in the Bronze Age, by the way.

Anyways, every year Hannah went to the temple and pleaded to God so that she could have a child.  A priest named Eli notices this, and asks her what's wrong.  She explains, and then he tells her to go home, because God has answered her request.

So, she goes home, finally free of her depression, gets 'jiggy' with her husband Elkanah and lo and behold she has a child, which she names Samuel!

One year later, she takes the child to the temple with Elkanah with three bulls, sacrifice one of them, and then she presents the child to the priest Eli.  She then dedicates Samuel to the service of God.

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