The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall he thunder upon them: the LORD shall judge the ends of the earth; and he shall give strength unto his king, and exalt the horn of his anointed.
All Commentaries on 1 Samuel 2:10 Go To 1 Samuel 2
Augustine of Hippo
Are these words going to be regarded as simply the words of one mere woman giving thanks for the birth of her son? Are people’s minds so turned away from the light of truth that they do not feel that the words poured out by this woman transcend the limit of her own thoughts? Surely, anyone who is appropriately moved by the events whose fulfillment has already begun, even in this earthly pilgrimage, must listen to these words and observe and recognize that through this woman (whose very name, Hannah, means “God’s grace”), there speaks, by the spirit of prophecy, the Christian religion itself, the City of God itself, whose king and founder is Christ. There speaks, in fact, the grace of God itself, from which the proud are estranged so that they fall, with which the humble are filled so that they rise up, which was in fact the chief theme that rang out in her hymn of praise. Now it may be that someone will be ready to say that the woman didn’t utter a prophecy but merely praised God in an outburst of exultation for the son who was granted in answer to her prayer. If so, what is the meaning of this passage, “He has made weak the bow of the mighty ones, and the weak have girded themselves with strength. Those who were full of bread have been reduced to want, and the hungry have passed over the earth. Because the barren woman has given birth to seven, while she who has many children has become weak.” Had Hannah herself really borne seven children, although she was barren? She had only one son when she spoke these words; and even afterwards she did not give birth to seven, or to six, which would have made Samuel the seventh. She had in fact three male and two female children. And then observe her concluding words, spoken among that people at a time when no one had yet been king over them: “He gives strength to our kings and will exalt the horn of his anointed.” How is it that she said this, if she was not uttering a prophecy?
Therefore, let the church of Christ speak, the “city of the great king,” the church that is “full of grace,” fruitful in children. Let it speak the words that it recognizes as spoken prophetically about itself, so long ago, by the lips of this devout mother, “My heart is strengthened in the Lord; my horn is exalted in my God.” Her heart is truly strengthened and her horn truly exalted, because it is “in the Lord her God,” not in herself, that she finds strength and exaltation.