What I don’t know about Hannah is Whether Hannah was the first or the second wife of Elkanah?
If Penninah had been troubling her and drove her to the extent of soreness of her soul, was it engendered by a Leah-ish claim of having been the first wife to Elkanah and Hannah as an intruder?, or was Hannah the first wife and Penninah brought in like Hagar?
Facts are not furnish-able from the text of the Bible.
But one thing emerges: Hannah prayed and she conceived and brought forth a boy child. Named him Samuel.
Despite the effusive praise of Hannah in the lines of Deborah and Elisabeth, what is praiseworthy about Hannah is that she DID SOMETHING WHICH NO WOMAN DID, within the Bible.
Even before she conceived the second time, she parted ways with her only child and gave him to serve in the temple.
Can anyone imagine the extent to which Hannah must have felt about her barrenness? That it was provoked by Penninah, rather aggravated by Penninah, and is explicitly stated on the first chapter, but as a gratitude towards God for having removed that taint of having continued a Barren Woman, she was willing to part with Samuel, soon after he was weaned!
That act of Hannah shouts: CALL ME CHILDLESS, BUT NOT BARREN!
That she got at least 4 more children after Samuel was a bonus, but her parting with Samuel – the precious child – notwithstanding her vow before God is AMAZING!
What I don’t know about Hannah is Whether Hannah was the first or the second wife of Elkanah?
In the 90’s of the last century, there was a Columbian footballer by name René Higuita. A name not heard much in this century.
Still in the twenties, and watching a Football World Cup match would not only obliterate other duties, but would excite us to such an extent that the most preposterous players were followed avidly. The towering one over the rest was Rene Higuita, the Columbian Goal keeper.
He was not merely unorthodox in his defence, he was aggressive in his forward moves, sometimes snatching the ball with his foot from the opponent racing with the ball towards the goal which Higuita was to mind. All acts of RECKLESSNESS when successful is not judged by the means, but by the Results achieved. The trouble is that when it fails, the employer of such recklessness is not judged by the overall success achieved despite probability statistics, but is DISCREDITED by the conformists and the dormant bureaucrat! That is what happened to Higuita.
Whether Cocaine made the Medellin footballer so imaginative, skilled and unafraid of a miss, would be a wild guess as the drug tests for footballers had not yet dawned. Whatever that might be, in those days when Adrenaline was what kept me going, Higuita was a person to be followed with wonderment.
To put it in modern management terms, he brought in Disruptive Standards for a footballer. Higuita did not merely want to guard the mouth of the goalposts, but wanted to score goals. His free kicks were confident and many a time sneaking through the chinks of the defence wall.
What had particularly bewildered the sensitivities of me and my pals was his sense of Timing, except for that Roger Milla snatch and score for Cameroon.
It has been reported that he would practice scorpion kicks often with his mates, which in an exhibition match with England, was executed so perfectly that an incoming ball floating over his head was kicked back into play by diving forward flexing his knees and meeting the ball with his heels at that precise moment so as to clear it back for play.
Here’s the video:
Watch and wonder at the timing, but remember that the opponent player was offsided for that float.
The other great attitude Higuita brought to football was his sense of judgement of distance/ speed of the approaching pass to an opponent. When a ball had been passed to his opponent and still in air, Higuita had the uncanny skill of judging if he could intercept the ball before it reached the intended opponent, mostly he succeeded and this led to many of his solo forays into the opponent’s goalmouth with adept dribbling skills.
In this world where the Institutionalised priority of Failure through following accepted procedures are glorified and winning thru unorthodox methods are frowned upon, Higuita stood out standing against the Institutionalised Tide.
Like a Scorpion, when its hands couldn’t reach the tail stung to kill!
There are certain disabilities which are imbedded in a Pawn’s functions, naturally its structure is the least pivotal in a chess board.
The disabilities are that it is unidirectional and that’s forward. Come what may it can never ever turn around.
Secondly, it can never cut a pawn or piece facing it and consequently its prospects of it getting stuck is very high.
Thirdly, it is the piece which is made a scapegoat or an intervener to protect another piece or square.
Despite all these disabilities, the only glimmer of hope for a pawn is that if it were to reach the other end on its march where there is no scope of any further movement, it becomes, rather transmutes itself into a Queen – the most powerful piece in a chess board!
In the Greco – Roman mythologies there are humans who had been elevated to the level of gods, for their endurance based accomplishments. The outstanding example is Hercules. The tasks he had to perform were enormous and the troubles he had to face in pursuit of those tasks were not the ones which could be borne by human beings. When he completed those tasks, he became a Queened pawn. Moses spent forty years in the wilderness with his father in law Jethro and had forgotten his kingly skills of building pyramids, but once he stood before the burning bush and had his calling – Moses became a Queened pawn.
David, the shepherd boy when he was chosen to fight Goliath of Gath on behalf of the Israelites and won the fight became a Queened pawn.
But Ulysses despite being an astute warrior, able leader of men and tactful handler of situations, never got Queened. Because, Ulysses was already a Noble and most of all, he was totally human and made no resolution to spare himself from the temptations which offered themselves in great regularity to him. In fact I see more nobility in Ulysses than the queened pawns.
To become a queened pawn one has to have grit and copious amounts of good fortune to suffer and survive, but to be NOBLE a man has to just have the leadership qualities to make his comrades comply with his demand of them pouring wax into their ears whereas keep his own ears clean to hear the seductive Sirens; but tell the same comrades to tie him to the mast and never ever untie him despite his struggles to be loosened from the mast. He heard the seductive sirens immobilised by his own prescience! That is Nobility! He heard the voice of destruction yet survived, through anticipation and preparation. Not for nothing Homer walks away with the title of the greatest Epic writer.
After Thomas Mann, one man who is interested in dissecting the life of Joseph of Genesis is yours truly. That Joseph is projected as an ever forgiving ‘nice guy’, built since one’s days in the Sunday Schools and uninterruptedly continued till one is hauled to the grave, is thoughtless and one more instance of hallowing the profane!
Joseph, sold by his brothers at 18 and redeemed from the jail around 30, probably became a governor of Egypt immediately thereafter. Joseph’s interpretation of the fat cows kicked in immediately and therefore till 37 years he was flush with prosperity raking in the produce of Egypt and saving all for the rainy days which were to follow.
Most of the Christian preachers in their cherry picked anecdotal sermons fail to factor that Joseph was the son of Jacob, whose mother Rebekah, had instructed the then youthful Jacob to wive from her people and not like his brother Esau. That Jacob followed his mother’s advice and came back with two wives and two more concubines, is well known. But after Joseph became the ruler of Egypt, why didn’t he wive, like his father Jacob from his own people, is interesting. Not only that, joseph married Asenath, daughter of the Priest of Potiphera! Well in those days the Deca Commandments had not yet been given, nor was there a binding rule, except for two precedents by Joseph’s father Jacob, and his father Isaac, who also wived from Padan Aram area.
It was these two events which bring in the concept of wiving within the ‘believer’s community’, which gets formalised through the Rules made by Moses. Joseph breaks those precedents and marries Asenath, forgetting the precedents, especially when he could have, if he had wanted, as Joseph could have easily convinced the Pharoah, who not only valued Joseph’s prescience but was indulgent in getting Joseph’s father and his folks in wagons and allotting the best of the Goshen land to the inferior pastoral band!
The second question that is skimmed over with nuanced interpretation is: Why did not joseph meet his father for more than 8 years after his position and prosperity set in? Leave his father Jacob, who didn’t rein in his elder brothers, why didn’t Joseph have the urge, a fraternal, uterine fraternal longing to meet his brother Benjamin?
Answers pour in only of questions are framed. I may not have the answers, but now that the questions are out, think up an answer in congruence with the Biblical verses.
The historical facts as emerging from the texts of the Bible, may not contain all facts to satisfy our intellect, but that doesn’t mean, we have to rush in and hallow things which have not been ruled out as profane!
Hold your horses!
Maybe, it is not in God’s scheme of things for this generation to know, but it still may be in the scheme of God for this generation to frame the question‼
There is an underlying belief in Christians who are born Christians or who have declared themselves to have become Christians that those who are Christians by belief but are shy – not ashamed- of confessing, that the latter are crypto- Christians not eligible to be called as Christians!
There are verses from the Bible which are adduced by the former, such as:
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels. (Luke 9:26)
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.(Mark 8:38)
Such verses are repeated to assure themselves of a certain superiority and decrying that those Christians wouldn’t inherit the kingdom of God!
Woe unto them who preach such things!
Christianity is an evolutionary process. Learning through hearing, reading or even an epiphanic event are the resources through which Christianity gradually sets into the consciousness of man.
Zacchaeus in Luke 19, did not plan to meet Jesus, but when Jesus tells him to come down from the Sycamore and stays with him, Zacchaeus repents of his rapacity and restores many times the amounts he had wrongfully collected as taxes at Jericho! He became a practising Christian much before he was baptised! To become a practising Christian nothing is a bar. If the Chief Vizier of the Ethiopian queen was convinced by Apostle Philip, that the Eunuch had to be baptised before he started practising Christianity, even that was right.
There is no single formula to Christianity. The hierarchification which goes on in Christianity neither has the sanctions of the teachings of Christ, nor are they sustainable on a sane interpretation of the Bible!
In fact when Jesus’ mother’s sister kneels before Jesus and asks Jesus to make his sons James and John sit on His right and left in His kingdom, He nails it thus:
…but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father. (Matt.22:23)
This is the condition of Jesus’ apostles chosen by Him. What guarantee can a man or a church give to an individual about his place in the kingdom of heaven?
Christians should stop making such distinctions which teem with stupidity. Christianity is an evolutionary process and at what stage a person is and what opportunities he or she had, what is the weightage to his or her contribution are variables beyond the ken of human understanding and therefore, we as humans shouldn’t rush in to judge.
If anyone has any doubts if the Father in heaven (Jehovah) also thought so, please refer to the big talk of Elijah when he distinguishes himself as the only one who had not bent his knees to Baal!
14And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.
15And the LORD said unto him, Go, return on thy way to the wilderness of Damascus: and when thou comest, anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: 16And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. 17And it shall come to pass, that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay: and him that escapeth from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. 18Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him. (I Kings 19 chapter)
See that reply of Jehovah, a passing reference of those 7000 who had not followed Baal! God recognises and en passant counters the superiority claims of Elijah!
If that is the plight of Elijah, a man who feared no man or woman, except that he grew tired of Jezebel’s relentlessness, how much less would be the judgement of mortals who, to borrow a phrase from John the Baptist, would be unworthy to unloose the latchet of the shoes of Elijah say that Declared Christians are superior to those Christians, who confess within the confines of their homes and churches only? I am a declared and born Christian, but that in itself isn’t redeeming as the deeds and belief of man. It is time Indian Christians understood that!