Many years ago, long before the time of Jesus, there was a man called Elkanah. In those days, men could have more than one wife, and he had two wives.
One of his wives was called Peninnah, and she had some sons and daughters; but his other wife, Hannah, had no children.
Many years ago, long before the time of Jesus, there was a man called Elkanah. In those days, men could have more than one wife, and he had two wives. One of his wives was called Peninnah, and she had some sons and daughters; but his other wife, Hannah, had no children.
Now Hannah was Elkanah's favorite wife, and he loved her a lot. He was very generous to her and made sure that she was well looked after. But Peninnah was mean to Hannah because Hannah didn't have any children.
Every year, Elkanah and his two wives used to go to Shiloh to visit the temple to worship God, and one year Hannah got very upset because Peninnah was nasty to her. So Hannah went into the temple by herself to pray. She asked God for a boy baby, and said, "If you will take notice of how unhappy I am, and give me a baby son, then I will give him back to you to always be your servant." She was so upset and crying but not saying anything out loud, that Eli the priest thought she was drunk. He came over and told her to stop getting drunk.
When Hannah explained that she wasn't drunk at all but was very upset, Eli told her that whatever she hd asked for would be given to her by God.
The next morning Elkanah and his family worshipped God in the temple, then started their walk home. Some time afterwards, Hannah did have a baby boy, just as it had been promised. She called his name Samuel, which means 'Asked of God'. Hannah thanked God very much because He had heard her prayer.
When Samuel was still a small boy, Hannah kept her promise that he would serve God. She took him to the temple and left him there to help Eli the priest, and Eli looked after him. Hannah had some more children after Samuel, and Elkanah and Hannah continued to go to the temple every year to worship God. Hannah used to always make new clothes for Samuel and take them with her for Samuel when they went. When Samuel was grown up he took over Eli's job as priest for Israel, and he always did what God wanted and was a good man.
You can read this part of the story of Samuel, in 1 Samuel chapter 1, and chapter 2 verses 18 and 19. .
See if you can answer these questions:
1.Why was Hannah sad?
2.What did Hannah promise she would do with a baby boy?
3. Did she keep her promise?
4. What did she take Samuel every year?