And her adversary also provoked her severely to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.
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Verecundus of Junca
The word rival [aemulare] has a threefold meaning. First, it means to emulate [imitari], as in “Seek after the greater gifts.” We also read, “It is good that you always be emulated for the good.” Second, it is to envy [invidere], even one’s enemy, as was said through Samuel to Saul: “God has taken the kingdom from you and has given it to your rival [aemulo].” Peninnah, moreover, who played the role of the synagogue, was envied by Hannah because Hannah had not begotten a child in her barrenness. “Hannah’s rival [aemula] afflicted and agitated her severely.” The term rival here indicates enmity or envy. But “agitated” signifies “oppressed” [obprimebat], a metaphorical expression drawn from the act of choking on a piece of meat that one has suddenly regurgitated. Third, aemulare means “to anger,” as was demonstrated when the apostle said, “Shall we be angered [aemulamur] by the Lord? Are we stronger than he?” In other words, it means to provoke a temper.