A Comparison of Hannah & Mary's Prayers

The prayer of Hanna after giving birth to Samuel, and the Magnificat of Mary after conceiving of the Holy Spirit are both beautiful thanksgiving prayers and both remarkably similar to each other. The table below compares both, line by line. The only exception in similarity is Mary's proclamation that all generations will call her blessed - in this regard she is different from Hanna, as her son was "the Son of the Most High."

Little to no explanation is required to see the parallelism of the verses. Perhaps the hardest to see are Hanna's concluding verses. In 1 Sm 2:9, consider "the faithful ones" are the people of Israel, as Mary notes. In 1 Sm 2:10, "his king" and "his anointed" are singular, not plural. Remember: there was no king of Israel in Hanna's time; her son, Samuel, would later annoint Saul and David as the first kings of Israel. We understand "his king" and "his anointed" to be a prophecy of Jesus, which prophecy is called by Mary a "remembrance," which began in the days of Abraham and was handed down through the generations of Israel until her own day.


Prayer of Hannah (1 Sam 2:1-10) Magnificat of Mary (Lk 1:46-55)
1 Hannah also prayed and said, "My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in thy salvation. 46 And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
2 "There is none holy like the LORD, there is none besides thee; there is no rock like our God. 49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
3 Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 50 And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
4 The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble gird on strength. 51 He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
5 Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger. The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn. 53 he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
6 The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.
7 The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts.
8 He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor. For the pillars of the earth are the LORDS, and on them he has set the world.
52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;
9 He will guard the feet of his faithful ones; but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness; for not by might shall a man prevail.
10 The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king, and exalt the power of his anointed."
54 He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."