Hannah is one of the most spirittual women in the Old Testament. Like several other women in the Bible, she was barren. People in ancient Israel believed that a large family was a blessing from God. Infertility, therefore, was a source of humiliation and shame. To make matters worse, her husband's other wife not only bore children but taunted Hannah mercilessly.
Once, at the house of the Lord in Shiloh, Hannah was praying so intently that her lips moved silently with the words she spoke to God in her heart. Eli the priest saw her and accused her of being drunk. She answered that she was praying, pouring out her soul to the Lord. Touched by her pain,
Eli answered, "Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him." (1 Samuel 1:17, NIV)
After Hannah and her husband Elkanah returned from Shiloh to their home at Ramah, they slept together. Scripture says, "...and the Lord remembered her." (1 Samuel 1:19, NIV). She became pregnant, had a son, and named him Samuel, which means "God hears."
But Hannah had made a promise to God that if she bore a son, she would give him back for God's service. Hannah followed through on that promise. She handed her young child Samuel over to Eli for training as a priest.
God blessed Hannah further for honoring her pledge to him. She bore three more sons and two daughters. Samuel grew up to become the last of Israel's judges, its first prophet, and counselor to its first two kings, Saul and David.