What does 1 Samuel 1:13 mean?
ESV: Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.
NIV: Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk
NASB: As for Hannah, she was speaking in her heart, only her lips were quivering, but her voice was not heard. So Eli thought that she was drunk.
CSB: Hannah was praying silently, and though her lips were moving, her voice could not be heard. Eli thought she was drunk
NLT: Seeing her lips moving but hearing no sound, he thought she had been drinking.
KJV: Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
NKJV: Now Hannah spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard. Therefore Eli thought she was drunk.
Verse Commentary:
Hannah prayed intensely in the temple, moving her lips without making a sound. She had traveled to Shiloh for an annual sacrifice along with her husband, his second wife, and their children. Hannah, herself, had no children, which was an especially bitter situation in that era. Even so, her husband loved her greatly. Yet, Hannah grieved over her lack of children, and her husband's second wife purposely provoked her (1 Samuel 1:1–8). Distraught, Hannah prayed to God and wept (1 Samuel 1:10). She vowed to give a son to the Lord for his entire life if God would make her able to have a son (1 Samuel 1:11).

Eli, the high priest of the temple at Shiloh, began to watch her at some point (1 Samuel 1:9, 12). Hannah was apparently so animated in her prayer, even though she was silent, that she appeared drunk to him. This would not have been an outrageous assumption. The annual family feast likely included much eating and drinking, and she had just come to the temple from the feast (1 Samuel 1:9). Hannah, though, had not been drinking (1 Samuel 1:15). The intensity of her grief had compelled her to pour out her request to the Lord with all the emotion she was feeling. It wasn't pretty, but it was real. It was a prayer of genuine faith.
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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