Summary: in chapter 2, Samuel is a young priest, ministering before God in a linen ephod. In chapter 3, the LORD establishes a new line of priests and prophets through the calling of Samuel. Priests are not above the law and the LORD will restore to his people a righteous and faithful order of priests. The LORD will not leave himself without a witness among his people (Acts 14:17).
When 1 and 2 Samuel was originally written in Hebrew, it was a single book, or more accurately, a single work written on a single scroll of papyrus or leather, which was probably about 26 feet long. This is close to the normal maximum length for a scroll. Books, with pages, were invented only toward the end of the 1st century AD and came into common use a couple of centuries later. The division of Samuel into two parts took place in the 2nd century BC, when it was translated into Greek. The early Greek translation of the Old Testament is called the Septuagint (a word related to the Greek word for “seventy,” which reflects a tradition that this translation was the work of seventy scholars).
When we read the Psalms, we often wonder about the context in which each was composed. In the case of the Song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2:1-11, which is described as a prayer, we are helped by knowing the context.