There lived in the hill country of Ephraim a man named Elkanah, who had two wives, Peninnah and Hannah. Hannah was barren, something that Peninnah constantly taunted Hannah about, much to the grief of both her and Elkanah, who loved her dearly.
On one occasion, during a visit to the temple of Shiloh, where she visited each year, Hannah went forth alone, and kneeling before the Lord at the sanctuary, she prayed inaudibly.
In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD . And she made a vow, saying, "O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head."
Eli the high priest, who sat at the entrance to the holy place, observed her move her lips without sound and thought her drunk. He rebuked her, but when she explained that she was merely praying in anguish and grief, he retracted his charges and blessed her.
In course of time, Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son, whom she called Samuel. She hadn't forgotten the promise that she made to the Lord, and after he was weaned, she took the boy with her, young as he was, along with a three-year-old bull, some flour and a skin of wine to Shiloh.
When they had slaughtered the bull, they brought the boy to Eli, and she said to him, "As surely as you live, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you praying to the LORD . I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the LORD . For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD ." And he worshiped the LORD there. (Samuel 2:25-28)
And so Samuel and his parents parted. Each year, when they came up to Shiloh, Hannah brought her son a little robe for him to wear in the temple. After Samuel, Hannah had three sons and two daughters.