Anna in the Bible was an amazing woman of God. Her story in the Bible is short, but her impact on her world would have been great. She is an inspiration to women young and old to live their life for God and to expect the fulfillment of his promises.
Anna Bible Story
The story of Anna in the Bible can be found in Luke 2: 36-38 we have used the Amplified version for depth and clarity below.
And there was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old, having lived with her husband seven years from her maidenhood, And as a widow even for eighty-four years. She did not go out from the temple And she too came up at that same hour, and she returned thanks to God and talked of [Jesus] to all who were looking for the redemption (deliverance) of Jerusalem.
Anna In The Old Testament
Most girls in this period of time married in their teens and Anna in the Bible would have been no different. She would have devoted her life to her husband and her home and any business that she set her hands to like the Proverbs 31 woman.
Proverbs 31: 10- 31 AMP A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman—who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls. The heart of her husband trusts in her confidently and relies on and believes in her securely so that he has no lack of [honest] gain or need of [dishonest] spoil.
12 She comforts, encourages, and does him only good as long as there is life within her. 13 She seeks out wool and flax and works with willing hands [to develop it]. 14 She is like the merchant ships loaded with foodstuffs; she brings her household’s food from a far [country].
15 She rises while it is yet night and gets [spiritual] food for her household and assigns her maids their tasks. 16 She considers a [new] field before she buys or accepts it [expanding prudently and not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties]; with her savings [of time and strength] she plants fruitful vines in her vineyard. 17 She girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental, and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.
18 She tastes and sees that her gain from work [with and for God] is good; her lamp goes not out, but it burns on continually through the night [of trouble, privation, or sorrow, warning away fear, doubt, and distrust]. 19 She lays her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff. 20 She opens her hand to the poor, yes, she reaches out her filled hands to the needy [whether in body, mind, or spirit]. 21 She fears not the snow for her family, for all her household are doubly clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes for herself coverlets, cushions, and rugs of tapestry. Her clothing is of linen, pure and fine, and of purple [such as that of which the clothing of the priests and the hallowed cloths of the temple were made]. 23 Her husband is known in the [city’s] gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. 24 She makes fine linen garments and leads others to buy them; she delivers to the merchants girdles [or sashes that free one up for service]. 25 Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!
26 She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction]. 27 She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat. 28 Her children rise up and call her blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied); and her husband boasts of and praises her, [saying],
29 c]Many daughters have done virtuously, nobly, and well [with the strength of character that is steadfast in goodness], but you excel them all. 30 Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised! 31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates [of the city]!
Her days and nights would have been very full. She must have come from a godly family because she had experienced God’s call on her life early as a young woman.
Anna The Prophetess
Anna in the Bible became a widow at a young age. Most women in that time would have with their parent’s help and after a proper time of mourning would have worked with her father Phanual to arrange for another husband. But Anna was different.
Her heart was for the one true God and her desire only to worship him. It does not appear that Anna had any children during the time of her seven years of marriage to her husband before he passed away. She was a widow longer than she was a married woman spending the majority of her life living for God. Anna is one of the few women in the Bible with the title of Prophetess, we find her among the ranks of Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, and the daughters of Philip the Evangelist.
How Old Was Anna In The Bible
Some translations say that she was 84 years old when she met the savior of her soul. Others translate this that she lived 84 years after her husband had died, making Anna in the Bible 104 years old.
Who Was Anna In The Bible?
Anna in the Bible would have been witness to the rising of the Hasmonean Dynasty and King Hyrcanus ruling over her country Israel and the rebellion of her people against it. She would have been there for the reign of King Herod of Judea, the son-in-law of Hyrcanus II, and his remodeling of the 2nd temple in 19 BC. She would have seen the men bringing the massive quarried stone and set them row upon row and felt the dust rising up in the air as she walked about the temple grounds.
The Bible does not tell us who her husband was and when describing her Dr. Luke does not attach her to her late husband but to her Abba (father) Phanuel making us believe that Phanuel must have greatly outlived her husband.
Mary Fulfills Her Duty
After giving birth to the baby Jesus, the messiah Mary was well aware of the duties in fulfillment of the law. It was very clear and Mary and her husband Joseph went to the temple to fulfill their duty to the old testament law concerning childbirth. They need to make an offering at the temple for purification. Look at: Leviticus 12:6-8, Exodus 13:2, Exodus 13: 12-15 They had no idea other than fulfilling what was lawful what they would encounter as they went to the temple that day. But God did.
As Mary walked up the steps of the Temple carrying her precious child wrapped in her arms, the child that is the creator of the universe did she have any idea all of what God was orchestrating? Could she fathom the greatness in the one that she looked down and cooed at as she walked that dusty trail?
Anna In The Bible – The Testimony Of Two Witnesses
Mary, Joseph, and Jesus came across Simeon and Anna the prophetess there at the temple.
Anna and Simeon didn’t just happen to be at the right place at the right time. They were there for such a time as this. They were there to be a witness. A witness to the coming of the Messiah. The hope for the people of Israel. The hope of the world through him. The Biblical law was clear that there must be two or three witnesses legally to prove that something occurred as we can see,
“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established.” (Deuteronomy 19:15)
And again in,
II Corinthians 13:1 … “This will be the third time I am coming to you. By the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word shall be established.”
Out of every woman born at that time, Anna in the Bible was chosen to be a witness to the redemption of Israel and the world. She and Simeon are the first two to acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Lord. That He was the promise realized by the prophets of old. He was their salvation.
Anna In The Bible – A fulfillment of ancient prophecy
Some may ask how Anna in the Bible recognized Jesus, the answer is found in John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Because of the fact that Anna lived her life devoted to God, she was able to recognize her shepherd when He arrived and through her witness ancient prophecy is fulfilled.
Malachi 3:1-5 (amp) Is fulfilled regarding the coming of the Messiah in their presence.
Behold, I send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], Whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, Whom you desire, behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap; He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.
Then will the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in ancient years. Then I will draw near to you for judgment; I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against the false swearers, and against those who oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, and who turn aside the temporary resident from his right and fear not Me, says the Lord of hosts.
What We Can Learn From Anna In The Bible
The life of Anna in the Bible has so much to teach us, she endured great loss and yet didn’t allow it to drive a wedge between herself and God. Instead, she spent her life seeking Him and letting God lead her. Her life is an example to all of us in our own lives.
Characteristics Of Anna In The Bible
- Anna in the Bible was a woman who sought God with her whole heart.
- Anna recognized her Shepherd because of her time spent seeking Him.
- Anna sought her fulfilment through service to God.
- Anna in the Bible knows God intimetly.
- Anna’s was willing to serve God all the time.
- Anna spent time in the presence of God.
Anna In The Bible A Lifestyle Used By God
Anna in the Bible was so devoted to the Lord that instead of living a life for herself she chose to totally commit her lift to Him. She devoted her days to prayer and fasting.
The name Anna means full of grace, mercy, and prayer. How perfect is that name for Anna in the Bible and like Anna, when we devote ourselves to the Lord, in prayer and fasting we too can make an impact for the kingdom in such amazing ways.
Anna In The Bible’s Witness
Anna in the Bible didn’t keep this news of the Messiah to herself. She proclaimed to all of those around Jerusalem that the Messiah was here. That He was born and her eyes had beheld Him. That salvation had come!
Prophet is the greek word prophetes. It means spokesman. One who proclaims the words of God or speaks for God.
The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
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- What The Adulterous Woman In The Bible Can Teach Us About Mercy
- The Powerful Story Of The Woman At The Well