"Great Catch of Fish," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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God Answers Hannah
1 Samuel 1:9-11, 19-20; 2:1-10 Commentary
by Sara Koenig
The title for this narrative lectionary is apt: from a place of deep sadness Hannah prays to God, vowing that if God will give her a son, she will dedicate that son to God. And God answers!1
She has her son, Samuel, whose name commemorates her request. Obviously, this is not always the case: there is no simple formula that if we want something enough and pray for it hard enough, God will give it. But God answers Hannah, and she responds with a prayer extolling God’s power to reverse people’s situations.
The narrative lectionary, however, is not the same as the canonical text, and the verses not included tell a fuller story. Verses 1-8 explain that Hannah is barren (1 Samuel 1:2). Hannah, whose name means “favored” or “gracious,” is only one of Elkanah’s two wives. The other wife, Peninnah, whose name means “fertile” or “prolific” has children, but she is also cruel to Hannah. Described as a “rival” to Hannah, Peninnah provokes Hannah over her childlessness (1 Samuel 1:6). The text tells us that the reason Peninnah provokes Hannah is “because the LORD had closed [Hannah’s] womb” (1 ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 421: God Answers Hannah
October 18, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Oct. 18, 2020, (God Answers Hannah) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded on Sept. 29, 2020, via Zoom for Working Preacher.