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2 posted on 12/21/2012 8:49:10 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: 1 Samuel 1:24-28

Birth of Samuel (Continuation)

[24] And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a
three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine; and she brought him
to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. [25] Then they slew
the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. [26] And she said, “Oh, my lord! As
you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, pra-
ying to the Lord. [27] For this child prayed; and the Lord has granted me my pe-
tition which I made to him. [28] Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as
he lives, he is lent to the Lord.”


1:1-28. Samuel’s birth is described with all the elements denoting a miraculous
event, emphasizing divine intervention and the child’s importance. With no hope
of a human solution, a childless woman, humiliated by her husband’s (other) fer-
tile wife, seeks a way out of her anguish by asking God, her only hope, to give
her a son. Her husband loves her, but he cannot understand her (v. 8); Eli, the
priest and head of the shrine at Shiloh, comes to bless her but even he cannot
understand her (vv. 15-17). God is the only one who listens to her, and he ac-
cepts the vow she has made to him (v. 11). Hannah follows in the line of Sarah,
Rachel and the mother of Samson—other women in whom the action of God
could be seen very clearly when he took away the stigma of their barrenness.
But, above all, she is the prototype of the devout woman who perseveres in pra-
yer, convinced that it will be heard. “Why is it necessary to list here all those
who, by praying as they ought to do, won from God the greatest gifts? For it
would be easy for anyone to take an abundant sample of cases based in holy

Hannah gave birth to Samuel, who was to be compared with Moses himself (cf.
Jer 15:1), because although she was sterile, she had faith and prayed to the
Lord (1 Sam 1:9ff). [...] How many favors each of us could tell of if we recalled
with gratitude the gifts we have received in order to praise God for them! Once
they have been watered by the grace of the Holy Spirit through constant prayer,
souls that have gone for a long time without bearing fruit, sterile in the most no-
ble part of their being and with the signs of death on their souls, think whole-
some thoughts and are filled with the knowledge of the truth” (Origen, “De Ora-
tione”, 13, 2-3).

Hannah, who will bear Samuel in her womb, is a figure of Mary and also “a sym-
bol of the Church which carries the Lord. Her prayer is not clamorous, rather it
is calm and refined; she prays in the depths of her heart because she knows
that God listens to her there” (Cyprian, “De Oratione Dominica”, 5).

Samuel comes into the world as a gift from God; he is the one who was “asked
for of the Lord” (cf. v. 20), according to popular etymology of his name. His mis-
sion on earth will be as exceptional as his birth; Hannah presents him at the
shrine: “as long as he lives he is lent to the Lord” (v. 28). Samuel is brought up
by the priest at the shrine of Shiloh (cf. Judg 18:31; 21:19), that is, within the
ancient institutions of the time of the judges; thus, the new institutions he will
establish do not imply any break with or rejection of what went before.

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 12/21/2012 8:52:36 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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