Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy: “We support biblical families.”

Today’s Chick-fil-A Biblical Family of the Day: Elkanah, Hannah & Peninnah (1 Samuel 1:1-7).

There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

He had two wives; the name of one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it went on year after year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat.

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  • Seraph4377

    *Shakes his head*

    Oh, Elkanah, Elkanah, Elkanah…you may have had good intentions…reading on further, it looks like you did.  But visible favoritism helps no one in the end.

  • Fade Manley

    I keep being quietly horrified at all these examples of how much polygyny in the ancient world sucked for the women.

    I mean, from a cultural standpoint, most of the women in these stories have already hit the lottery. Married off properly! To someone with enough power and money to make it into a story! Often, with children! That’s pretty much the pinnacle of achievement a woman could get to in these societies.* And they STILL have to deal with catering to a single man’s desires, where how much FOOD you get for yourself and your children is dependent on, hey, does he like you or this other wife better? Because if he thinks someone else is prettier (hello, Leah and Rachel!), then you–and all your children–are going to get ignored and shrugged off and treated worse than other people supposedly of the exact same status.

    Oh, but not “ignored” in the sense of not having to take the sexual advances, and go through the hazardous process of giving birth. Still gotta do that. 

    * Not in all historical societies, mind. But this is not the place for me to rant about fiction that assumes every woman before the founding of America was an illiterate drudge married off at fourteen.

  • flat

    Sometimes I don’t know if I want to watch a soap or read the bible.

    The differences are sometimes difficult to notice.

  • aunursa

    This story is familiar to most Jews, as it is read every year during the first day of Rosh Hashanah.  The story continues that Hannah went to the Temple and prayed for a son. Ultimately God answered her prayer, and she dedicated her son to the service of the Lord.  There is much rabbinic commentary on the passage.
    Hannah: Midrash and Aggadah

  • Which is disturbing in and of itself: she didn’t want a child, but to have the stigma of infertility removed. “If you just let me get pregnant with a boy and carry to term, God, you can *keep* the kid.” What is it like, to know that your importance to your mother is primarily symbolic and not personal?

  • Chris M

    I wish this wasn’t a daily feature, but only so that it would last longer!

  • Trixie_Belden

    I know – I’m beginning to enjoy “biblical family of the day” almost as much as “left behind”!

  • Amaryllis

     I think Fred’s more likely to get tired of it than to run out of material, anyway.

  • Amaryllis

    Well, the story says that Hannah does try to keep a relationship with her son, even after she gives him up to the temple: His mother used to make for him a little robe and take it to him each year, when she went up with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifice

     Maybe she felt that having a child in her house only for the three years of his infancy was still better than having no child at all. Maybe she felt that being allowed to make him a “little robe” once a year was still better than never caring for a growing child at all.