Elkanah was the husband of Hannah and the father of prophet Samuel. He was recorded to have treated Hannah with live and care despite not being able to give him a child, a character that was rare in those days.
Whenever the day came for Elkanah to sacrifice, he would give portions of the meat to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters. But to Hannah he gave a double portion because he loved her, and the LORD had closed her womb. 1 SAMUEL 1:4–5
Elkanah plays a relatively minor role in the story of Hannah and Samuel, but even so, he serves as a positive example of godly love that goes against the grain of culture.
Elkanah was the husband of two wives, Hannah and Peninnah.
Peninnah had children, but Hannah did not, and this was a source of great tension between the two wives. In the culture of Bible times, one of the most important roles a woman could fulfill was to bear children for her husband. If she was unable to do that, she was often despised or ignored by her husband and treated disdainfully by other women. In fact, Peninnah would often provoke Hannah because of this and cause her to become very sad and upset whenever they went up to worship at the tabernacle at Shiloh.
Elkanah, however, demonstrated godliness by going against the grain of his culture and showing true love for his wife Hannah. When they would offer sacrifices and then prepare to eat the meal as part of the sacrifice, Elkanah would give Hannah a double portion of food as a demonstration of his care for her even while she was unable to bear children.
Later the Lord blessed Hannah and Elkanah and allowed Hannah to become pregnant. She eventually gave birth to the great prophet Samuel.
The priest who presided over the tabernacle during Elkanah’s time was Eli, who gave a blessing to Hannah that she might be able to conceive. Years later, Samuel would be raised by Eli in the tabernacle, and he would even replace him as priest.