The story of Hannah in the Bible is a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness and goodness. Hannah’s heartbreak is one many can relate to and so her story is all the more powerful. And once again we get a powerful reminder that God cares about us. Through Hannah’s experience, like so many other women of the Bible we find lessons in faithfulness and trusting in God’s timing.
Who Is Hannah In The Bible?
Hannah in the Bible is an Old Testament woman, her story is one of pain, faithfulness, and waiting on God for healing and the answer to her prayers. Despite her painful story of years of unanswered prayer and waiting for God to move in difficult circumstances. The story of Hannah is a beautiful reminder that God’s timing is not ours and His plan is perfect. But let’s go a little deeper, just who is the Hannah of the Bible?
The story of Hannah in the Bible can be found in the book of 1st Samuel and takes place at an important time in Israel’s history. The tribes of Israel are becoming a united nation and 1st Samuel chronicles the nation’s transition from being led by judges to a monarchy under their first king. And it is here in the pages of history that we find one woman named Hannah, and are introduced to her story and God’s plan for her life.
The Meaning Of Hannah In The Bible:
Hannah’s name comes from the Hebrew name Channah, which means “favor” or “grace.” How perfect a name for the woman in whom we see a picture of God’s promise, favor, and grace?
You might wonder what tribe did Hannah come from? Hannah’s husband was an important Levite, so it’s reasonable to assume that Hannah in the Bible was from the same tribe as her husband. They lived in one of the Levite cities in the territory of Ephraim.
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The Story Of Hannah In The Bible
We are introduced to Hannah in the Bible in the first part of 1st Samuel in the Old Testament. We aren’t told much about this Old Testament woman, but we are quickly plunged into her story and how God heard her prayer.
Hannah In The Bible Verse
Hannah in the Bible story can be found in the Old Testament book of 1 Samuel:
There was a certain man from Ramathaim, a Zuphite[a] from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. He had two wives; one was called Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had none. 1 Samuel 1:1-2 NIV
It’s in this verse that we meet Hannah for the first time, much like Deborah, and Rahab and so many women in the Bible we don’t get a lot of background to her story or Hannah’s status. In this verse, we learn quite a bit about her husband Elkanah and we also discover that she is one of two wives this man had. We also discover at the very end of this verse of Hannah’s infertility. In ancient Israel, this would have been a very big thing. You needed an heir, to inherit your property and carry on your family name so having children was important.
Year after year this man went up from his town to worship and sacrifice to the Lord Almighty at Shiloh, where Hophni and Phinehas, the two sons of Eli, were priests of the Lord. Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the Lord had closed her womb. Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to the house of the Lord, her rival provoked her till she wept and would not eat. 1 Samuel 3-7
Hannah is not the first barren woman highlighted in the Bible, Sarah the wife of Abraham, Rebekah the wife of Isaac, and Rachel the wife of Jacob were all barren, but Hannah’s response is vastly different than these other women in the Bible. Instead of lashing out at those who bullied her, or turning her back on God. Instead, she brought her pain and anguish to the only one who could do something about it. This passage tells us that even though God didn’t answer her prayers, year after year she returned to the Lord.
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” As she kept on praying to the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long are you going to stay drunk? Put away your wine.” “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the Lord. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” 1 Samuel 1:12-16
Looking to dive deeper into the story of Hannah in the Bible? Check out our printable study guide!
Sometimes all we can do is cry, when our anguish is too great, our burdens too heavy, and our hearts too broken to even whisper words. This is where we find Hannah in the Bible, in the presence of the Lord weeping. Unlike the woman with the issue of blood or even the woman at the well, we don’t see an imidate answer to Hannah in the Bible’s silent prayer. Can you see Hannah standing there weeping, -not quiet tears but the sobs of a woman in anguish, the passage says weeping bitterly-? And yet even in her pain she never gives up her faith that He could answer her prayers.
… and the Lord remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah became pregnant and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel,[b] saying, “Because I asked the Lord for him.” 1 Samuel 1:19b
The Lord remembered her… one lonely woman who’d prayed year after year for a child. God remembered her, even though she thought she’d been forgotten, even though she felt empty, her God remembered her. How beautiful is that? God remembered Hannah’s pain and fulfilled the desires of her heart.
It’s so easy to feel like we’ve been forgotten as we’ve fallen through the cracks but this little verse is a reminder that even when the world passes us by, He has not forgotten us. We haven’t fallen through the cracks, invisible in the multitudes, instead, we like Hannah in the Bible we are seen, we are known, we are remembered.
What Was Hannah’s Problem?
Hannah in the Bible was childless, in her culture this was seen as something to be ashamed of. Because she was barren her husband’s second wife bullied her until she wept. Despite her husband’s love for her, her arms were empty and her prayers for a child remained unanswered until one day she was driven into the presence of God at the end of her rope.
How many years did Hannah pray for a son? The Bible doesn’t tell us how long Hannah in the Bible prayed, only that she remained faithful year after year as she waited for the Lord to grant her request. The Jewish Women’s Archive has some interesting information on this and why Hannah’s husband married a second woman.
Why Was It So Important For Hannah To Have A Child?
A family needed an heir to inherit after the death of the father, but also a son to carry on the family name. This was very important in those days.
Did Hannah Keep Her Promise To God?
When Samuel has weaned Hannah in the Bible brought her son to the temple and kept her promise to the Lord. Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord and gave him back to God to do His work. Fulling Hannah’s vow to give this child she had prayed so long for back to the one who had answered her prayers.
God kept His promise to Hannah, and Hannah kept her promise to God y surrendering her treasure back to Him. Instead of weeping over her choice to honor her promise we find that she reacts with a prayer about the faithfulness of God:
“My heart rejoices and triumphs in the Lord; My horn (strength) is lifted up in the Lord, My mouth has opened wide [to speak boldly] against my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. “There is no one holy like the Lord, There is no one besides You, There is no Rock like our God. “Do not go on boasting so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And by Him actions are weighed (examined). “The bows of the mighty are [a]broken, But those who have stumbled equip themselves with strength.
“Those who were full hire themselves out for bread, But those who were hungry cease [to hunger]. Even the barren [woman] gives birth to seven, But she who has many children withers away. “The Lord puts to death and makes alive; He brings down to Sheol (the grave) and raises up [from the grave]. “The Lord makes poor and makes rich; He brings low and He lifts up. “He raises up the poor from the dust, He lifts up the needy from the ash heap To make them sit with nobles, And inherit a seat of honor and glory; For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, And He set the land on them.
“He guards the feet of His godly (faithful) ones, But the wicked ones are silenced and perish in darkness; For a man shall not prevail by might. “The adversaries of the Lord will be broken to pieces; He will thunder against them in the heavens,
The Lord will judge the ends of the earth; And He will give strength to His king, And will exalt the horn (strength) of His anointed.” 1 Samuel 2:1-10 AMP
Lessons From Hannah In The Bible
The lessons that we can learn from Hannah in the Bible are many, she is a picture of walking in faith, grace, and trusting God to fulfill the desires of our heart. What can I learn from Hannah in the Bible? Let’s take a look at some of the many lessons we can glean from this woman in the Bible.
Hannah In The Bible Reminds Us To Come To God
One of the lessons we can learn from Hannah in the Bible is that God remembers us, even when we feel forgotten or passed over God sees us. He knows our needs, the desires of our hearts, and the burdens we carry. He will not forget us, we can’t fall through the cracks, we are his cherished children.
Hannah brought her desires to God in prayer. Not once, but over and over again. In the same way, we should bring our wants and needs to our heavenly Father in prayer. Hannah knew that the Lord was faithful, and so she remained faithful despite the pain she experienced in the waiting season of her life. Hannah’s Story Tells Us That God Remembers Us
Hannah In The Bible Shows Us How To React
Hannah in the Bible is a wonderful picture of how we should react when people hurt us, she doesn’t lash out, doesn’t try to hurt them back instead she shows grace and instead comes to God with her pain.
Hannah Is A Picture Of An Intimate Relationship With God Looks Like
Hannah pours out her soul to God, this is a wonderful picture of an intimate relationship with God. The things she would never share with anyone else, the silent battles we fight, the burdens we carry we can lay all of these at the feet of Jesus and pour out our soul to the one who knows us best.
Hannah In The Bible Reminds Us To Pray Fervently
The story of Hannah in the Bible is a wonderful reminder that we shouldn’t just pray once and give up but cultivate a strong and fervent prayer life. It’s a reminder to storm heaven’s gates with your petitions, even when it seems like God is silent.
Hannah’s Story In The Bible Reminds Us To Never Give Up Hope
Hannah’s story shows us that we should never give up hope but cling to God’s promises when life is difficult. Hannah remained faithful and trusted God. Even when His timeline didn’t match her own.
Hannah In The Bible
There is so much we can take away from Hannah’s life, from hope, to our prayer life, and even our relationship with others. Hannah’s faith is a beautiful reminder to trust God in the midst of our pain and surrender to His plan for our life.
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