"The miraculous circumstances surrounding the birth and the call of Samuel make it clear that he had a divine calling before he entered mortality, and that he was chosen to play an important role in the history of Israel," wrote David R. Seeley in Studies in Scripture, Vol. 3.
"The agonizing years of the barrenness of his mother Hannah . . . are reminiscent of other great women in the Bible who were, in time, to become mothers of great men: Sarah, Rebekah, the wife of Manoah, and Elizabeth, who were to become the mothers of Isaac, Jacob, Samson, and John the Baptist."Hannah took the grief of her childlessness to the temple and there promised that if she were to be blessed with a son, she would dedicate him, all the days of his life, to the Lord. (1 Sam. 1:9-11.)
The language of her vow that "there shall no razor come upon his head" (1 Sam. 1:11) is very similar to the language of the Nazarite vow specified in Numbers 6 and taken by Samson in Judges 13:5-7.
"It is almost certain that she had in mind for Samuel a lifelong Nazarite vow," Seeley wrote.
When Hannah delivered Samuel to the temple at Shiloh she prayed a prayer in the form of a song (or poem) of joyous thanksgiving and praise. (1 Sam. 2:10-10.)
Articles on this page may be used in conjunction with the Gospel Doctrine course of study.
Information compiled by Gerry Avant
Sources: Story of the Old Testament, by J.A. Washburn; Studies in Scripture, Vol. 3, Edited by Kent P. Jackson and Robert L. Millet; and October 1983 general conference report.