The barren wife of Elkanah of Ramathaim, she was frequently reproached by his other wife, Peninnah, for this fact. She poured out her grief before the Lord at Shiloh, and promised that if she had a son she would give him into God's service. She and her husband had a son, and she named him Samuel ("name of God" or "God hears"), since God had heard her plea.
Hannah is the mother of the prophet Samuel, who, through her prayers, is rewarded a child. She herself is also considered a prophet. Hannah's prayer becomes the model, in rabbinic Judaism, for prayer in general.