Hannah lived with her husband, Elkanah, and his second wife Peninnah and her children (1 Samuel 1:1-28). The first description of Hannah her lack of children. In ancient Israel, a barren woman was seen as a sign of a woman’s and family’s greatest misfortune.1 Though Hannah bore him no children, he still loved her (1 Samuel 1:5).
When her family went up to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, Peninnah and her children would receive their portion, but Hannah received a worthy portion from Elkanah because of his love for her. Even as she endured the shutting of her womb by the Lord, her adversary provoked her sore, causing her to fret (1 Samuel 1:6). This provocation occurred year after year as she went up to the house of the Lord. She would cry and not eat.
When Elkanah saw her, he asked why she was crying, wouldn’t eat, and heart was grieved (1 Samuel 1:8). He asked if was better to her than ten sons she could bear him. Though she would eat and drink, she went into the temple of the Lord in bitterness of soul, prayed unto Him, and wept sore (1 Samuel 1:10).