What does 1 Samuel 1:10 mean?
ESV: She was deeply distressed and prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly.
NIV: In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the LORD, weeping bitterly.
NASB: She, greatly distressed, prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly.
CSB: Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears.
NLT: Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord.
KJV: And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore.
NKJV: And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the Lord and wept in anguish.
Verse Commentary:
After the meal during the annual family feast and sacrifice in Shiloh, Hannah has made her way to the temple of the Lord. This was before the construction of the permanent temple in Jerusalem (1 Kings 6:2) and would have been the tabernacle built after the exodus from Egypt (Exodus 25:9). Eli the priest sits by the door (1 Samuel 1:9).

Hannah is experiencing deep anguish, which seems to be a tragic part of the annual tradition of coming to this feast. She is distraught over her inability to have children. Every year, her husband honors her at this feast by giving her a double portion of the meat for the meal. Every year, her husband's other wife torments her for being unable to have children. Every year, she continues to grieve (1 Samuel 1:1–8).

Hannah and her husband both understand that her infertility is ultimately God's choice (1 Samuel 1:5). Now Hannah takes her grief and her distress to the Lord, which may also have been part of the annual tradition. Still weeping, she prays to God and makes Him an offer in hopes that He will honor her request (1 Samuel 1:11).

This demonstrates great faith. Hannah is convinced that the Lord has the power to give her children and so she takes her request directly to Him. This also requires humility. After all, He could have given her children already had He chosen to do so. To make a request to the same God who allowed your pain requires setting aside resentment. It means a difficult, faithful acknowledgement of His place as Creator and provider.

Peter put it this way in the New Testament: "Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:6–7).
Verse Context:
First Samuel 1:1–20 describes how Samuel the prophet came to be born. His mother Hannah was barren and mocked by her husband's other wife, who had many children. During a family feast at Shiloh, Hannah prayed out of her deep despair. She vowed to give her son back to God if He would allow her to conceive. Once Eli, the priest, understood that Hannah was not drunk, he told her the Lord would grant her request. Satisfied, she returned home and soon gave birth to a boy. She named him Samuel.
Chapter Summary:
Elkanah lives in Ephraim with two wives. Hannah is barren, while his other wife has many children. At the annual family sacrifice and feast in Shiloh, Hannah weeps and pours out her grief before the Lord. She vows to give a son to Him for lifelong service if the Lord gives her a boy. After confronting Hannah for drunkenness and then seeing that she was praying from her depth of emotion, Eli the priest blesses Hannah and affirms her prayer. Elkanah and Hannah conceive, and she gives birth to a son that she names Samuel. Once he is weaned, she presents him to Eli at the temple and gives him over to the Lord as long as he lives.
Chapter Context:
First Samuel 1 begins the story of Samuel with the account of his unlikely-seeming birth. Samuel's mother Hannah is barren. During a family trip to temple of the Lord in Shiloh, she weeps bitterly before the Lord and pours out her grief. She vows to give a son back to the Lord if He will allow her to bear one. Eli the priest blesses her and affirms her prayer. Before long, Samuel is conceived and born. Once he is weaned, Hannah brings the boy and a large sacrifice to the temple. She gives Samuel over to the Lord.
Book Summary:
First Samuel introduces the key figures who led Israel after the era of the judges. The books of 1 and 2 Samuel were originally part of a single text, split in certain translations shortly before the birth of Christ. Some of the Bible’s most famous characters are depicted in this book. These including the prophet Samuel, Israel’s first king, Saul, her greatest king, David, and other famous names such as Goliath and Jonathan. By the end of this book, Saul has fallen; the book of 2 Samuel begins with David’s ascension to the throne.
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