Hannah (Samuel's mother)

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Hannah (Hebrew: חַנָּה) was one Elkanah's wives, along with Peninnah, and the mother of the prophet Samuel.

Biography[edit]

Childlessness[edit]

Hannah was one of Elkanah's two wives. Elkanah's other wife was named Peninnah. Each year, Elkanah would take her family to Shiloh in order to worship God and offer sacrifices. Elkanah favored Hannah, so he gave her double the sacrificial meat he gave to each of the others.

Prior to Samuel's birth, Hannah struggled with childlessness. Peninnah bore her husband children, yet Hannah had yet to do so. Peninnah leveraged the situation and mocked Hannah's childlessness, driving Hannah to tears and to abandon her meal. Elkanah tried to comfort Hannah.

Prayers to God[edit]

Hannah then went to Shiloh's temple and prayed to God. She asked God for a God and promised to make her son a Nazirite and devote him to God if her prayers are answered.

O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction (suffering) of Your maidservant and remember, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life; a razor shall never touch his head.

— 1 Samuel 1:11 (AMP)

She prayed silently, only moving her lips. The priest Eli noticed and mistakenly believed that Hannah was drunk. He confronted her, but Hannah explained the truth of the situation.

No, my lord, I am a woman with a despairing spirit. I have not been drinking wine or any intoxicating drink, but I have poured out my soul before the Lord. Do not regard your maidservant as a wicked and worthless woman, for I have spoken until now out of my great concern and [bitter] provocation.

— 1 Samuel 1:15–1:16 (AMP)

Eli then asked God to answer Hannah's prayers and told Hannah that it alright to leave now. Hannah thanked Eli, returned to her family, and ate. She was feeling better now.

Samuel[edit]

The family then returned from Shiloh to their home in Ramah. Hannah and Elkanah had intercourse, and they conceived a son; God had answered Hannah's prayers. She named him Samuel Because I have asked for him from the Lord.

When the next annual journey to Shiloh's temple came, Hannah announced her intentions to make Samuel a Nazirite and devote him to God the moment Samuel sets foot in the temple. However, since the infant Samuel was not yet ready to become a Nazirite, he would be staying with her at home.

I will not go up until the child is weaned; and then I will bring him, so that he may appear before the Lord and remain there as long as he lives.

— 1 Samuel 1:21 (AMP)

Elkanah agreed to this plan.

A few years later, Hannah weaned Samuel off her, took him to Eli in Shiloh, and offered him to God after sacrificing a bull.

Oh, my lord! As [surely as] your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood beside you here, praying to the Lord. For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my request which I asked of Him. Therefore I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord.

— 1 Samuel 1:26–1:28 (AMP)

Hannah prayed and praised and gave thanks to God.

She and Elkanah then left, leaving Samuel in God's and Eli's hands.

Hannah and Elkanah continued their tradition of traveling to Shiloh to worship and offer sacrifices to God, and each year, Hannah would craft a new robe for Samuel, and Eli would asked God to bless Hannah with more children. Hannah would go on to give birth to three sons and two daughters. Samuel would later become a prophet and appoint Saul as the first King of Israel.