A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story

by Jill Eileen Smith
A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story

A Passionate Hope: Hannah's Story

by Jill Eileen Smith


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Hannah and her husband, Elkanah, share a deep and abiding love, for each other, for their God, and for his tabernacle at Shiloh. Greatly disturbed by the corruption of the priests, they long for restoration and pray for a deliverer. But nothing changes as the years pass. Years that also reveal Hannah to be barren.

Pressured by his family to take another wife, Elkanah marries Peninnah, who quickly begins to bear children. Disgraced and taunted by her husband's new wife, Hannah turns again to prayers that seem doomed to go unanswered. Do her devotion and kindness in the face of Peninnah's cruelty count for nothing? Why does God remain silent and indifferent to her pleas?

Travel back to the dusty streets of Shiloh with an expert guide as Jill Eileen Smith brings to life a beloved story of hope, patience, and deliverance that shows that even the most broken of relationships can be restored.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780800720377
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/06/2018
Series: Daughters of the Promised Land Series , #4
Pages: 364
Sales rank: 445,311
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Jill Eileen Smith is the bestselling and award-winning author of The Wives of King David, the Wives of the Patriarchs, The Loves of King Solomon, and The Daughters of the Promised Land series. Her research into the lives of biblical women has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times. Jill lives with her family in southeast Michigan. Learn more at www.jilleileensmith.com.

Read an Excerpt


Six Months Later

Hannah slipped into the tent her mother had set up on the south side of the tabernacle, where the rest of her Kohathite relatives had placed similar enclosures. Though they were from Ephraim, Kohathites stayed to the south rather than the west with the rest of Ephraim's tribe.

"Can I help you with anything, Ima?" Though she was used to Elkanah's visits at their home in Ephraim, Hannah's pulse still quickened with the sense of urgency. He was coming tonight during this Feast of Weeks to celebrate with them! Would this also be the night they would settle the date for their betrothal?

Adva took a sack of grain from a saddlebag on the donkey's back. The beast had pulled a cart filled with their offerings and food to last their entire family during this feast.

"You can grind the grain for the evening meal." She placed the sack in Hannah's hands and motioned her toward the grindstone at the front of the tent. "There is no time to waste (Unpublished manuscript — copyright protected Baker Publishing Group) if your Elkanah is joining us this night. The men will be back before the bread is fully baked if we do not start now."

"Yes, Ima." Soon he will truly be my Elkanah. But when?

She sank onto the ground and arranged her skirts, poured the grain from the goatskin bag to the stone, and turned the wheel. She worried her lip as she worked, watching as women across their small compound also set about grinding grain. Children ran between the tents, and in the distance a baby cried. If she had a babe so young, she would stay home from such a feast.

She shook herself and gave attention to the grain as she turned the grindstone. As for tonight, she was worrying for nothing, of course. Elkanah and her father would work out the time soon. She had nothing to fear.

* * *

Evening shadows fell across the camp and the moon rose high, a round beacon to accompany the stars in guiding the men from the altar to the tents to celebrate the feast. Hannah watched her mother snatch bowls of garden vegetables, leeks, onions, garlic, and cucumbers, and move them from one end of the rugs where Hannah had spread the food to the other end, replacing them with the bread and dipping oil.

"The men will want to break the bread first. And we must have salt." Adva gave Hannah a frantic look. "Where is the salt?"

Hannah had not thought of that. Her father would want bread and salt between himself and Elkanah. It was a sign of continuing friendship, acceptance. "I don't know. I'm sure we packed it." Her mother would not have forgotten such a simple meal staple.

"Look in the bags. If you can't find it, go ask your sisters-in-law. They may have taken it before I could think to do so."

Hannah simply nodded as her mother frantically rushed about the tent, straightening this pillow or that cushion. Was her mother as nervous about the betrothal as she?

She moved to the bags that had been nearly emptied of tools and utensils and food, searching. Finally, from the last bag that had somehow fallen behind the others, Hannah pulled out a small sack of salt.

"It's here." She straightened and handed the sack to her mother.

"Oh, good." Adva placed the salt in a small bowl and set it near the bread and oil. She rushed to the tent opening and peered into the gathering dusk. Male voices came from a short distance. "They're coming!" She whirled around and hurried to the back of the tent, where she removed her old robe that she used to work in and put on a fresh one. "Go to the tent of your sisters-in-law. You must not be here when he arrives."

Hannah lifted a brow, taken aback by this turn of events.

"I am always here when Elkanah comes."

"Tonight is different."

Hannah tilted her head. "What do you know that I don't?" Elkanah had said nothing to her about setting a date, though she had been sorely tempted to press him.

"You will know soon enough. Now go!" Adva pointed to the tent door. "If things go as I think they might, you may speak with Elkanah outside the tent near the door afterward."


"I will be close enough to listen."

Of course she would. Why should Hannah expect anything different?

"Shall I send one of my sisters-in-law to help you?" she asked.

"Send Malka. Watch her children so she doesn't worry."

Hannah nodded and slipped from the tent. Her mother's nerves were as frayed as an old coat, adding to Hannah's own nervous state. She looked toward the road, where she could see her father leading her brothers and Elkanah in her direction. He carried a clay pot in his hands, no doubt filled with the meat left over from the sacrifice. Her stomach rumbled at the thought of food and the smells of the fresh bread still coming from her parents' tent.

She hurried to the shelter beside theirs and ducked under the flap. "Malka, Ima needs your help." She walked to the corner where Malka had just placed her youngest among the blankets.

She looked at Hannah and smiled. "Watch him carefully. He just ate and is likely to need changing soon." She stood and glanced at her other children. "Be good for Aunt Hannah. Ima will be back soon." To Hannah she said, "There is bread and a little wine waiting for them. Dip the bread in the wine. They will sleep better for me, and I need them to sleep!" She stifled a yawn. "It is unfortunate that Adva could not have allowed you to help tonight. I want nothing more than to rest."

Hannah touched Malka's arm. "I would gladly help her, but she is insistent I not be there for whatever the men plan to discuss."

Malka nodded. "Of course. It was the same way when Dan came to speak to my father. It is the way of things." She touched Hannah's cheek. "You have grown up, my sister. Soon we will be celebrating your wedding feast."

Her smile caused Hannah's heart to flutter. This meal truly was more serious than the ones they had shared in the past. But hadn't she seen it in Elkanah's eyes? Hadn't Meira warned her? Her hands grew moist with the thought of all that could come of this night.

She glanced at the baby, who kicked his feet and cooed. One look around the tent reminded her that she wanted this. She was old enough to enter marriage, and she wanted a family of her own.

Please, Adonai, let this be the night. But also please let things proceed according to Your will.

The end of the meal and time with Elkanah suddenly couldn't come soon enough.


Excerpted from "A Passionate Hope"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Jill Eileen Smith.
Excerpted by permission of Baker Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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