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Question and Answer

Why do some consider Hannah to be one of the most pious women in the Old Testament?
Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, the mother of Samuel, suffered for years because of her infertility and painful family life (1 Sam. 1:3–7)! Her well-intentioned husband misunderstood her (1:8). ButHannah’s pain drove her to take her problem to the Lord in prayer (1:10–11). She is the only woman in the Old Testament depicted as praying; she is the only woman whose vow is narrated in Scripture; she is the first person in Scripture to address God as the Lord of hosts. After prayer her face was no longer sad (1:18), indicating the Lord’s deep work in her soul. She kept her promise to God and dedicated Samuel to the Lord (1:26–28). Samuel became one of the most effective prophets in Israel’s history (3:19–21), the one who anointed the first two kings of Israel (10:1; 16:13). Hannah’s prayer of rejoicing reaches almost one thousand years in the future and informs Mary’s prayer in the New Testament (2:1–10; Luke 1:46–55). To this day Hannah stands as a model to be followed.

BY Dr. Winfred O. Neely

Dr. Winfred Neely is Vice President and Dean of Moody Theological Seminary and Graduate School. An ordained minister, Winfred has served churches across the city of Chicago, the near west suburbs, and Senegal, West Africa. He is the author of How to Overcome Worry (Moody Publishers) and a contributor to the Moody Bible Commentary and Moody Handbook of Preaching. Winfred and his wife Stephne have been married for forty years and have four adult children and nine grandchildren.

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