Photo by Sonia Halliday and Laura Lushington

ON THE COVER: The boy Samuel is brought to the priest Eli by his parents Hannah and Elkanah, fulfilling Hannah’s vow that if God granted her a child, he would be dedicated to God’s service. The glowing scene decorates a window in Canterbury Cathedral, Kent, England. Samuel is one of six extraordinary biblical children born to previously infertile mothers after divine intervention. Their life stories include an experience of dedication to God or being threatened by God with great danger. Susan Ackerman, in “Child Sacrifice-Returning God’s Gift,” elaborates the pattern uniting these six stories and suggests that God’s claim on what comes from the womb is related to earlier Canaanite cults of child sacrifice.