This article is about the prophet Samuel. For the books bearing his name go to Samuel (Books).
Samuel was the son of Elkanah, an Ephrathite, and his wife Hannah. He was a "gift of god" as a result of the prayers of his mother, who had been barren, though her rival wife, Peninnah had children. Hannah pledged her son to the service of God. Samuel would serve as an intern under the high priest Eli who had been also a judge in Israel.
He would go on to be the spiritual adviser to the first two kings of Israel, anointing first Saul and then David to be kings over the united kingdom (which lasted 120 years). His loyalty was broken when Saul failed to obey the instructions that he had given concerning Yahweh's requirements. He would secretly anoint David who would succeed Saul as king.