1 Samuel 1

[1]Now there was a certain man from Ramathaim-zophim from the hill country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.

In the other genealogy in the book of Chronicles he Is said to be from the tribe of Levites

1 Chronicles 6:16,26-28

[16]The sons of Levi were Gershom, Kohath and Merari. [26]As for Elkanah, the sons of Elkanah were Zophai his son and Nahath his son, [27]Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son. [28]The sons of Samuel were Joel the firstborn, and Abijah the second.

Could this be a different Elkanah who Is listed in the tribe of Ephraim?


They are the indeed the same. Just as this is the same Elkanah from Exodus 6:24. He is not listed as from the tribe of Ephraim in 1 Samuel 1. He is listed only as an Ephraimite (or Ephrathite as some translations use the word) in the sense that he lived in the land of Ephraim. This can be a bit confusing at times and the precursor of a geographical description helps the reader understand this. "Now there was a certain man from ... the hill country of Ephraim..."

This same usage is seen for the other uses of the same word as below.

David is also an Ephrathite in this sense.

1 Samuel 17:12 Now David was the son of an Ephrathite of Bethlehem in Judah, named Jesse, who had eight sons. (ESV)

Likewise this same geographical description is used in Ruth.

Ruth 1:2  The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. (ESV)

Although Bethlehem is not in the land of Ephraim but in Juda an old name for the city of Bethlehem was Ephratah (Easton's Bible Dictionary) and the citizens there were called Ephrathites for geographic identification terms as well. This can be confusing but the Biblical accounts usually help by pointing out which Ephrathite type they were Rama vs Bethlehem much like we would say Washington state, or Washington D.C. in the United States if the context wasn't obvious.


The Levites were granted inheritance among the children of Israel so Elkanah, the father of Samuel, could be both a Levite (by birth) and an Ephraimite (by location of neighbourhood).

However Robert Young, in his Analytical Concordance, lists 8 different Elkanahs in scripture and appears to treat the Levite as other than Samuel's father due to a gap of 320 years between the two.

He lists four different Elkanahs in I Chronicles 6 but adds a question mark on the fourth and questions whether it is the same as the third :

First :

A grandson of Korah, grandson of Kohath (1490 BC)

I Chron 6:23 Elkanah his son and Ebiasaph his son

Second :

Father of the prophet Samuel and a descendant of the above (1171 BC)

I Chron 6:27 Eliab his son, Jeroham his son, Elkanah his son

I Chron 6:34 The son of Elkanah, the son of Jeroham

NOTE : Robert Young accepts this is the same Elkanah as is mentioned throughout I Samuel chapters 1 & 2. That is, the father of Samuel.

Third :

A descendant of Levi, through Kohath (1490 BC)

I Chron 6:25 The sons of Elkanah : Amasai and Ahimoth

I Chron 6:36 The son of Elkanah, the son of Joel

Robert Young clearly accepts this as another Elkanah and not the father of Samuel. Presumably on the basis of the 320 year difference.

Fourth :

A descendant of Kohath (? same as above ?)

I Chron 6:26 Elkanah : the sons of Elkanah Zophai ...

I Chron 6:35 The son of Zuph, the son of Elkanah

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