na was the mother of the prophet Samuel, she was barren, but her condition did not prevent her from having a child. Ana is certainly one of the best-known women in the Bible, despite appearing briefly in the first chapters of the book of Samuel.
A virtue that calls our attention is their faith and perseverance. Ana was a determined woman, even in an adverse situation – for being sterile – she did not lose heart and poured out all her faith in the God of the impossible.
Another point that we can highlight was when he received the word of the priest Eli. Ana stood in faith as if she had already reached her goal in God. We can see his gratitude and the firmness of his words after receiving God’s blessing.
Ana and Penina
According to the Bible, Elkanah – Samuel’s father – had two wives: Ana and Penina. Polygamy was common in Old Testament times. Because Ana is sterile, Elcana probably married Penina in order to have descendants. With that Penina had sons and daughters.
Learn: Why did God allow polygamy in the Old Testament?
The atmosphere at Elcana’s home was troubled. Penina took advantage of the fact that Ana was sterile to irritate her ( 1 Samuel 1: 6 ). Elcana’s home was going through a family war: wives are said to be rivals. There was no harmony in the house and the fact that Ana was Elkana’s favorite wife made Penina even more jealous ( 1 Samuel 1: 5 ).
We have a similar case with the problems caused by polygamy in the lives of Jacob, Leah and Rachel. Ana, like Raquel, was also sterile and a favorite wife. The rivalry between the wives – which extended in the book of Genesis from chapters 29 to 49 – was a big problem in the house of Jacob.
See: Who was Leah?
The competitive environment oppressed Ana. Despite being loved by her husband, she felt sad, humiliated and often stopped eating ( 1 Samuel 1: 8 ).
Once in the temple – with a bitter soul – Ana opened her heart to God and prayed with all her strength, making a vow: “O Lord of Hosts, if you pay attention to the humiliation of your servant, remember me and do not forget of your handmaid, but give him a son, then I will dedicate him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and his hair and beard will never be cut “( 1 Samuel 1:11 ).
Know: What does the Nazirian vote mean?
While praying silently – in tears – Ana was observed by Eli, a temple priest. Thinking that she was drunk, the priest scolded her saying, “How long will you remain drunk? Abandon the wine!” ( 1 Samuel 1: 13-14 ).
Embarrassed, Ana explains the reason for her anguish and the priest portrays himself saying: “Go in peace; and the God of Israel grant you the petition that you have asked him” ( 1 Samuel 1:17 ). After the word released by Eli, Ana he no longer had a sad face and was fed ( 1 Samuel 1:18 ).
Ana and Samuel
Ana was a woman of faith and understood that everything depended on the will of God. And so it was: God remembered Ana and she became pregnant ( 1 Samuel 1: 19-20 ). The boy was named Samuel, which means, “I asked the Lord for it.”
Know: Who was samuel in the Bible?
Ana dedicated Samuel’s life to the Lord. To fulfill his vow, he introduced the boy – already weaned – to priest Eli and thanked God for the miracle granted ( 1 Samuel 1: 27-28 ). The thanks also came in prayer form in 1 Samuel 2: 1-10, where Hannah declares her faith in God.
Hannah and Elkanah returned home to Ramah and Samuel remained in the care of priest Eli serving the Lord ( 1 Samuel 2:11 ).
The boy dedicated himself to the work in an exemplary way and every year Ana visited Samuel and gave him a linen tunic made by his own hands ( 1 Samuel 2:19 ). On one of these visits, priest Eli prophesied once again about the life of Ana who had 3 more sons and 2 daughters ( 1 Samuel 2:21 ).
Ana’s dedication of her son’s life to God has brought even more fruit. Little Samuel grew up in the ways of the Lord and became a great prophet and leader of Israel. After blessed Ana fulfilled her vow with God who poured out even more blessings on her life.
These are the factors that make Ana a remarkable character in the Bible: a woman of faith, who fought in prayer and grasped God’s promises for her life with determination.
Ana, the prophetess
The Bible makes reference to a second Ana in the New Testament, known as ‘Ana, the prophetess’. There is no connection between the Old Testament Ana and the New Testament Ana. According to the biblical passage in the Gospel of Luke 2: 36-37 , the prophetess was the daughter of Fanuel, of the tribe of Aser.
She was a widow and an old age. When Joseph and Mary introduced the baby Jesus to the temple, the prophetess had the opportunity to meet him and spoke about the Messiah to those present who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem ( Luke 2: 36-38 ).