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Anna - A Seer of Truth
Series: Women Who Rocked in Bible Times-Stories of Those Who Shaped Their Culture and Still Inspire You Today
Shanna D. Gregor
There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Luke 2:36-38 NIV
We know very little about the lives of some of the most fascinating and influential women mentioned in the Bible. The Prophet, Anna's story is only three verses long, and yet those few words provide hope, inspiration and a great deal of wisdom for us today. The first thing we discover is Anna was a prophetess. A prophet's purpose was to speak for God and declare His truth. The title of ''prophetess'' tells us she dedicated her life to a close relationship with God. Most likely, she was well known for sharing God's wisdom and knowledge with those who came to the temple long before Mary and Joseph presented their son, Jesus.
As we look deeper into who Anna is, her father, Penuel, was a descendent of the tribe of Asher. It's easy to brush over this part of Anna's story because her lineage can be lost on us as we read names of people who are unfamiliar to us. If you take a closer look, this information carries a lot of weight in her identity. Asher, Abraham's great-grandson, was Jacob's eighth son, the second son born to Zilpah, Leah's servant. Asher's descendants became one of the twelve tribes of Israel.
Before Moses died, he blessed the tribes of Israel, and about the tribe of Asher he said, ''Most blessed of sons is Asher; let him be favored by his brothers, and let him bathe his feet in oil. The bolts of your gates will be iron and bronze, and your strength will equal your days.''
The last sentence in verse 36 allows us to assume Anna was only married for a short time-seven years before her husband died: she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. Some commentaries suggest this is better translate ...
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