Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 2

Hannahís prayer

1 Samuel 2:1

Hannahís prayer (2:1-10) is one of a series of important songs and prayers by women in the Bible. Other examples are Miriamís song (Exodus 15:20-21), Deborahís song with Barak (Judges chapter 5) and Maryís song (Luke 1:46-55).

Poems by women from the ancient world are very rare. Usually, men did not respect women and women had no opportunity to learn to write. However, the Bible always respects those women who served God. Although they did not always serve God in the same ways as men, their work for God was very important. Often the women served God in a better and more loyal manner than the men did.

When Hannah spoke these words, she was speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit. The words were hers, but God gave her the power and knowledge to speak them. That fact becomes clear when we compare Hannahís prayer with other similar passages, for example Luke 1:67-70, or 2 Samuel chapter 22 and 2 Samuel 23:1-4. The fact should not surprise us. Women can speak by the power of the Holy Spirit, even as men can (Luke 1:41-42; 1 Corinthians 11:5). In fact, nobody can declare the truth about God except by the power of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3).

At the start of her prayer, Hannah expresses the joy that God has given to her. A horn is a sharp, bony point that grows on the heads of some animals; Hannah uses the word Ďhorní as a word-picture for strength. God has made her strong and he has saved her from her enemies.

Hannah is not referring to the cruelty of her husbandís second wife (1:6-7). She speaks by the power of the Holy Spirit; she declares future events. God saves his people from all their enemies: from evil deeds, death, the devil and hell.

It was right for Hannah to declare these things as she gave her son to God. Samuelís work for God was an important part of Godís plan to save his people.

Next part: The one and only God (1 Samuel 2:2)

 

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© 2014, Keith Simons.