International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
han'-a (channah, "grace," "favor"; Hanna): One of the two wives of Elkanah, an Ephraimite who lived at Ramathaim-zophim. Hannah visited Shiloh yearly with her husband to offer sacrifices, for there the tabernacle was located. She was greatly distressed because they had no children. She therefore prayed earnestly for a male child whom she promised to dedicate to the Lord from his birth. The prayer was heard, and she called her son's name Samuel ("God hears"). When he was weaned he was carried to Shiloh to be trained by Eli, the priest (1 Samuel 1). Hannah became the mother of five other children, three sons and two daughters (1 Samuel 2:2). Her devotion in sending Samuel a little robe every year is one of the tenderest recorded instances of maternal love (1 Samuel 2:19). She was a prophetess of no ordinary talent, as is evident from her elevated poetic deliverance elicited by God's answer to her prayer (1 Samuel 2:1-10).