Channah's Prayer and David's Song


The two prayers of Channah and David frame the book of Shemuel, and there are numerous points of contact between the two.  These can be seen in the following table:

תפילת חנה  (שמואל א' ב':א'-י')
 שירת דוד  (שמואל ב' כ"ב:א'-נ"א)
(א)  רָמָה קַרְנִי בַּה' רָחַב פִּי עַל אוֹיְבַי כִּי שָׂמַחְתִּי בִּישׁוּעָתֶךָ (ב-ד)  ה'... מָגִנִּי וְקֶרֶן יִשְׁעִי... וּמֵאֹיְבַי אִוָּשֵׁעַ
(ב)  אֵין קָדוֹשׁ כַּה' כִּי אֵין בִּלְתֶּךָ וְאֵין צוּר כֵּאלֹהֵינוּ (לב)  כִּי מִי אֵל מִבַּלְעֲדֵי ה' וּמִי צוּר מִבַּלְעֲדֵי אֱלֹהֵינוּ
(ד)  וְנִכְשָׁלִים אָזְרוּ חָיִל (מ)  וַתַּזְרֵנִי חַיִל
(ז)  מַשְׁפִּיל אַף מְרוֹמֵם (כח)  וְאֶת עַם עָנִי תּוֹשִׁיעַ וְעֵינֶיךָ עַל רָמִים תַּשְׁפִּיל
(ח)  מְצֻקֵי אֶרֶץ וַיָּשֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶם תֵּבֵל (טז)  מֹסְדוֹת תֵּבֵל
(י)  עָלָיו בַּשָּׁמַיִם יַרְעֵם (יד)  יַרְעֵם מִן שָׁמַיִם ה'
(י)  וְיִתֶּן עֹז לְמַלְכּוֹ וְיָרֵם קֶרֶן מְשִׁיחוֹ (נא)  מִגְדּוֹל יְשׁוּעוֹת מַלְכּוֹ וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לִמְשִׁיחוֹ


Most of these parallels are distinctive as they are unique to these two chapters and are not found elsewhere in Tanakh.1  Their concentration bolsters the contention that David's song is meant to hark back to Channah's prayer.


It is possible that David's song comes to answer the major question left open by Channah's prayer.  Who is the "מַלְכּוֹ" and "מְשִׁיחוֹ" to which Channah refers (see also the discussion in Channah's Prayer)?  The settling of this question is the focus of the entire book of Shemuel.  For the first part of the book, the reader wonders whether the answer is Shaul, and he is even referred to as "‎‎‏‏מְשִׁיחַ ה'‏"‎.2  It is only at the end of the book that the concluding verse of David's song "מִגְדּוֹל יְשׁוּעוֹת מַלְכּוֹ וְעֹשֶׂה חֶסֶד לִמְשִׁיחוֹ לְדָוִד וּלְזַרְעוֹ עַד עוֹלָם" provides the ultimate answer to this question.  Thus, David's song provides closure to Channah's prayer and the entire book of Shemuel.