April 04, 2008
Breadcrumb: Either way, it is bad for Hannah
Hannah, Samuel's mother, was barren for a long time. This wasn't the worst situation for Elkanah (her husband) since he had another wife, Peninnah. Peninnah had many children, and she was constantly provoking Hannah because of her lack. However, once Hannah has her son, Samuel, it seems that the provocations stop. Even though Hannah doesn't keep her son -- she gives him to the temple to be raised by Eli -- the fact that she finally had a son is enough to make her worthy in the eyes of the community; she has fulfilled the duties of a wife. She does go on to have other children (3 sons and 2 daughters, according to 1 Sam. 2:21), which might have been some consolation. On the other hand, it seems that according to the Bible, giving a son up for fostering is better than having no son at all.