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Illuminated manuscript depicting Elkanah and his two wives, c.1430

Elkanah (Hebrew: אֱלְקָנָה’Elqānāh "El has purchased") was, according to the Books of Samuel, the husband of Hannah, and the father of her children including her first, Samuel. Elkanah practiced polygamy; his other wife, less favoured but bearing more children, was named Peninnah. The names of Elkanah's other children apart from Samuel are not given. Elkanah plays only a minor role in the narrative, and is mostly a supporting character to Eli, Hannah, and Samuel.


Elkanah is descended from Kohath and Levi, making him a Levite.[1]

Elkanah was the son of Jeroham, who was the son of Elihu, who was the son of Tohu, who was the son of Zuph.[2] Elkanah is described as having originated from Zuph, specifically Ramathaim-Zophim, which was part of the tribal lands of Ephraim; however, the Books of Chronicles state that he was a Levite.[3] He is the great great great grandson of another Elkanah.


The Talmud lists him as a prophet, along with his wife and son.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ I Chronicles 6:33-38
  2. ^ 1 Samuel 1:1
  3. ^ "Elkanah", Jewish Encyclopedia