BiblicalTraining's mission is to lead disciples toward spiritual growth through deep biblical understanding and practice. We offer a comprehensive education covering all the basic fields of biblical and theological content at different academic levels.
Read More


ELKANAH (ĕl-kā'na, Heb. ’elqānâh, God has possessed)

ELKANAH ĕl kā’ nə (אֶלְקָנָ֖ה, God has taken possession, or God has created). The name of eight men in the OT. 1. One of the descendants of Korah of the family of Levi (Exod 6:24). He was the head of his father’s house (6:25). He is more exactly described as the son of Assir, Korah’s son. Elkanah’s son was called Ebiasaph (1 Chron 6:23).

2. The father of Samuel (1 Sam 1:19). He is described as a man of Ramathaim-zophim of the hill country of Ephraim (1:1). He was the son of Jeroham an Ephraimite.

Elkanah had two wives, the favorite Hannah was barren. His other wife is called Peninnah (1:2).

Because of her grief, his wife Hannah prayed to God for a son whom she would return unto the Lord. God answered her petition and she bore Samuel who after he had been weaned was given to Eli the priest (1:28). Later Hannah bore to Elkanah other sons and daughters (2:21). In 1 Chronicles 6:27 he is listed with the descendants of Levi. Here Elkanah’s father is called Jeroham. His great-grandson Heman was one of the singers in David’s day.

3. An ancestor of Samuel and descendant of Levi (1 Chron 6:25, 36).

4. Another ancestor of Samuel two or three generations closer than number three (6:26, 35).

5. The ancestor of one of the Levites named Berechiah who dwelt in Jerusalem after the return of the Babylonian captivity (9:16).

6. One who joined David at Ziklag (12:6). He was one of David’s mighty men.

7. One of the Levitical doorkeepers who was appointed by David to care for the Ark (15:23).

8. One in Ahaz’ reign who was next in authority to the king (2 Chron 28:7). He was slain by Zichi, a mighty man of Ephraim for having forsaken the Lord.


F. Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews and A History of the Jews, 301; A. Edersheim, Bible History, IV (1890), 5; A. Pieters, Notes on Old Testament History (1950), 124.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(’elqanah, "God has possessed"):

(1) An Ephraimite, the father of Samuel (1Sa 1:1-28; 2:11-20). Of his two wives, Hannah, the childless, was best beloved. At Shiloh she received through Eli the promise of a son. Elkanah, with Hannah, took the young Samuel to Shiloh when he was weaned, and left him with EIi as their offering to Yahweh. They were blessed with three other sons and two daughters.

(2) The second son of Korah (Ex 6:24), who escaped the fate of Korah, Dathan and Abiram (Nu 26:11).

(3) One "next to the king" in Jerusalem in the time of Ahaz; slain by one Zichri of Ephraim in war with Pekah (2Ch 28:7).

(4) One of the Korahites among David’s "mighty men" (1Ch 12:1,6).

(5) A Levite, possibly the same as (2) above (1Ch 6:23,15,36).

(6) Another Levite of the same line (1Ch 6:26,35).

(7) Another Levite, ancestor of Berechiah (1Ch 9:16).

(8) Another Levite (if not the same as (4) above), one of the "doorkeepers for the ark" (1Ch 15:23).