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Status, Power, and Children: The Story of Hannah
(1 Samuel 1-2)

The books of Samuel begin with the story of the birth of a son to a woman previously childless. According to the narrative, Hannah, the favored wife of Elkanah, has no children, because YHWH has “closed her womb.” Hannah is not Elkanah’s only wife. His other wife, Peninnah, has several sons and daughters and torments Hannah because of the differences in their families…

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