But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.
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George Leo Haydock
With sorrow. Hebrew apayim, "of faces, indignation, (Calmet) sorrow "(Menochius) or that was presented before him. Chaldean and many others translate, "a chosen: "(Calmet) Protestants, "a worthy portion. "(Haydock)
The shew-bread is called, "the bread of the face "because it stood before the Lord. Joseph sent to each of his brethren, "a portion of his faces "as the Hebrew expresses it; (Genesis xliii. 33.) or of such meat as was placed upon his table. In the East, the master of a family has all set before him, and he sends to each his portion, to the place where he is sitting. (Chardin, Perse.)
Thus Elcana sent some more excellent, or "double "part to his beloved Anna, (Calmet) grieving inwardly that she had no children, to whom he might also send. (Haydock)
By this distinction, he wished to alleviate the sorrow of his wife. (Menochius)
Womb. Sterility was deemed a curse, and a mark of God's displeasure, with which women were often reproached. Hence Anna prays so earnestly that God...
Let us not take this with a grain of salt; instead let us learn also from this the highest values, and when we fall foul of some disaster, even if we are suffering grief and pain, even if the trouble seems insupportable to us, let us not be anxious or beside ourselves but wait on God’s providence. He is well aware, after all, when is the time for what is causing us depression to be removed—which is what happened in her case as well. It was not out of hatred, in fact, or of revulsion that he closed her womb, but to open to us the doors on the values the woman possessed and for us to espy the riches of her faith and realize that he rendered her more conspicuous on that account.… Extreme the pain, great the length of grief—not two or three days, not twenty or a hundred, not a thousand or twice as much; instead, “for a long time,” it says, for many years the woman was grieving and distressed, the meaning of “for a long time.” Yet she showed no impatience, nor did the length of time undermi...