When it comes to the character of a Christian woman, we automatically think of a few examples of women in the Bible. In the icon of the Annunciation, the prophesied Saint Anna, daughter of Phanuel, is holding an open phylactery with writing on it: This Child made heaven and earth. Anna the prophetess, served God in the temple from her youth in fasting and prayer. The Prophetess Anna is celebrated on the 3rd of February. Together with Simeon, she welcomed our Lord Jesus Christ in the church, telling all those who were waiting for deliverance in Jerusalem that He was the awaited Messiah.
Saint Anna the prophetess, was the daughter of Phanuil, of the line of Asher. After living with her husband for seven years, which she did by death, she remained in the Temple all her life, praying and fasting. She lived this way of life untiringly and could see the Lord when He was taken to the Temple, forty days after His birth in the flesh, by His Most Holy Mother and Joseph the Right.
Anna, the prophetess, is one of the biblical prophets. The Evangelist Luke calls her a prophetess because she had the Holy Spirit. The vision of the Christ Child was also enjoyed by the prophetess Anna. It has been hypothesized that she was a cultic prophetess because she offered sacrifice for those who were wronged and needed God’s help.
Who is Anna, the prophetess in the Bible?
The righteous Simon was from Jerusalem, like the Prophetess Anna. Together with her and others, they awaited the coming of the Messiah, living around the temple and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. That, being righteous and faithful, Simeon’s soul had become the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. A source of light for his mind, the Holy Spirit was also a source of good guidance¹ for his deeds. So it was through the Spirit of the Lord that it was revealed to the righteous Simeon that he would not die until he saw the long-awaited Saviour. It was also through the Holy Spirit that he was urged to take the infant Jesus in his arms when he was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem. And so Anna witnessed with Simon the passing of the Holy Child.
The Holy Prophetess Anna was an 84-year-old woman of the tribe of Asher who prophesied in the temple in Jerusalem. By her fasting and prayer day and night, by her steadfastness in the pure life, she also was enabled to see the Messiah as a Child, prophesying with praise and thanksgiving about Him, saying to those who were then in the temple², This Child is the Lord, who has established heaven and earth. This is the Messiah Christ, to whom all the prophets have spoken.
Biography of Anna
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Biblical places from Anna’s times
- Jerusalem- The exact location of Jerusalem and its temple
- Jordan- Where is it located?
- Mount of Olives- How are Mount Olives described in the Bible?
What does the name Anna mean in the Bible?
The name Anna has remained immensely popular even today, although it is one of the oldest names that have existed and continue to exist. Etymologically, this name comes from Hebrew, an ancient language with religious history. As a result, Anna’s character has a strong impact, especially in the Christian world. There are also many derivatives of this name because it has been spread to every country. And this country has taken it over and made minor changes to it. From the name Anna, there have been changes depending on the country, such as Anne, Aina, Ania, Ans, or even Anushka in Russian.
The feminine name Anna in the Bible means “to have mercy, to be gracious.”
It is the Latin version of the Hebrew surname Hanna, born by several biblical characters. Anna the prophetess in the Bible, teaches us to give our lives to the song of praise so that our steps may take on the rhythm of the heavenly choirs³. Among the personalities of history and culture who have borne this name are Queens Anne of Brittany, Anne of Austria, and Anne Stuart.
What did Anna the Prophetess do?
Anna, the prophetess, has come to a personal, honest, total relationship with God. Many women put their lives in the Lord’s hands in the Bible. Through Anna’s example, God wants to open people’s hearts to faith in His Son, Jesus Christ.
The Prophetess Anna prophesied about Jesus and witnessed His coming into the world. She is known for the Welcoming of the Lord in Jerusalem.
The Saviour is taken to the Temple by the Virgin Mary and the right Joseph for the fulfillment of the Law. Which required that every firstborn male be dedicated to God on the 40th day after birth. At this time, the mother’s purification was also performed. In the Temple, they are greeted by the righteous Simeon and the prophetess Anna.
Key Verse related to Anna
Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was ancient. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years.
Luke 2:36 (NIV)
Why is the story of Anna known?
At the Feast of the Welcoming of the Lord was also present the elderly daughter of Phanuel, the Prioress Anna, who was in her old age, and who was in the temple day and night in prayer and fasting.
She thanked God for seeing the awaited Messiah clothed in human flesh for the world’s salvation. Thus, today, through the voice of the just Simeon and the humble presence of old Anna, together with the Christ Child, the ancient law of the letter and the new law of the Holy Spirit meet in the temple.
The story of Anna the prophetess is known because she was a witness when Jesus first came to Jerusalem, and she welcomed Him.
She dedicated her life to our Saviour who fulfills the commandment of the Old Law, in the name of us all, to make us all free from the Old Law, but also calls us to receive the New Law, the saving power of faith⁴ in Him, stronger than the Old Law, the saving power of all the peoples of the world. This good news is the most precious gift of today’s greeting to the Lord by Right Simeon at the temple.
What are the characteristics of Anna in the Bible?
The Bible characterizes Anna as:
- a wise woman full of biblical counsel and guidance.
- witness to the coming of the Lord in Jerusalem
In her 84 years, she awaited the glory of Israel, Jesus; she dwelt in spirit at the temple, seeking God day and night at the meeting place.
How long was Anna a widow?
She was a woman of prophecy. A woman from a well-known family, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was also a respected woman of advanced years—one who loved the house of the Lord and served Him.
She was selfless and spent her time in prayer. Anna is a woman who met Jesus and praised God, a true herald of salvation.
Anna has been a widow for 69 years.
Because she was married at the age of 15, and the Bible tells us that at the time of Jesus’ entry into the temple, she was 84 years old. And she only enjoyed marriage for seven years. The prophet Anna became a widow after seven years of living with her husband. She retired to the Temple all her life, bringing Glory to the Highest. She was a woman in the right place at the right time and had a special grace to meet and know Jesus, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
- Anna is a woman a came and prophesied about the child. She praises God and tells everyone that this child is the Messiah. The Holy Spirit tells her clearly that he will be the Savior for all His people.
- She was a widow for 69 years and did not remarry but preferred to dedicate her life to God.
- Anna belonged to the tribe of Asher and is one of the female Biblical heroines and prophets. Because her story it’s not actually about her but about Jesus Christ.