1 Samuel 1:13
Now Hannah, she spoke in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
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(13) Now Hannah, she spake in her heart.—Eli was watching the worshippers, and, as Bunsen well remarks, was struck with dismay at her silent earnestness, such heartfelt prayer being apparently not usual at that time, and remembering the condition of the moral life in the precincts of the sanctuary over which he ruled with so weak and vacillating a rule, and how sadly frequent were disorders at the sacrificial meal, at once suspected that the weeping, praying one was a drunken woman. He, however, quickly atoned for his unworthy suspicion.

1:9-18 Hannah mingled tears with her prayers; she considered the mercy of our God, who knows the troubled soul. God gives us leave, in prayer, not only to ask good things in general, but to mention that special good thing we most need and desire. She spoke softly, none could hear her. Hereby she testified her belief of God's knowledge of the heart and its desires. Eli was high priest, and judge in Israel. It ill becomes us to be rash and hasty in censures of others, and to think people guilty of bad things while the matter is doubtful and unproved. Hannah did not retort the charge, and upbraid Eli with the wicked conduct of his own sons. When we are at any time unjustly censured, we have need to set a double watch before the door of our lips, that we do not return censure for censure. Hannah thought it enough to clear herself, and so must we. Eli was willing to acknowledge his mistake. Hannah went away with satisfaction of mind. She had herself by prayer committed her case to God, and Eli had prayed for her. Prayer is heart's ease to a gracious soul. Prayer will smooth the countenance; it should do so. None will long remain miserable, who use aright the privilege of going to the mercy-seat of a reconciled God in Christ Jesus.vows are characteristic of this particular age of the Judges. (Compare Judges 11:30; Judges 21:5; 1 Samuel 14:24.) For the law of vows in the case of married women, see Numbers 30:6-16; and for the nature of the vow, see the marginal references. 12-18. Eli marked her mouth—The suspicion of the aged priest seems to indicate that the vice of intemperance was neither uncommon nor confined to one sex in those times of disorder. This mistaken impression was immediately removed, and, in the words, "God grant," or rather, "will grant," was followed by an invocation which, as Hannah regarded it in the light of a prophecy pointing to the accomplishment of her earnest desire, dispelled her sadness, and filled her with confident hope [1Sa 1:18]. The character and services of the expected child were sufficiently important to make his birth a fit subject for prophecy. Her voice was not heard; partly, to avoid the suspicion of vain-glory; partly, because she would not have others acquainted with her barrenness, which was matter of reproach; and partly, because she would not disturb others, who at this solemn feast were probably employed there in the same work.

Eli thought she had been drunken, because of the multitude of her words, and those uncouth gestures and motions of her face and body, which the vehemency of her passion and her fervency in prayer, caused in her, as it doth frequently in others; and because she was but newly come from a feast, wherein the manner was to eat and drink liberally, (though not to excess.) which he knew very well, both from the general custom of that season, and from the time of the day. Now Hannah, she spake in her heart,.... It was mental prayer she used, some ejaculations of her mind she sent up to God, which she was sensible were well known to him, and she needed not to express vocally:

only her lips moved; as her heart spoke, and sent up her petitions, as if she had used words and phrases in form:

but her voice was not heard: that she might not seem to be ostentatious in her prayer, and that she might not interrupt others in their devotions; and she knew that her voice was not necessary with respect to God:

therefore Eli thought she had been drunken; by the motions she made, and gestures she used, as if she was muttering something to herself, and by her long continuance therein, and it being after a feast she had been at with her husband, and the rest of the family; from all which Eli concluded this must be her case.

Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.
13. Eli thought she had been drunken] Silent prayer was not usual at the time. Eli’s ready suspicion makes it probable that such excesses were not uncommon at the sacrificial feasts. His hasty and uncharitable judgment points to some of the defects of his character."So did he (Elkanah) from year to year (namely give to Hannah a double portion at the sacrificial meal), as often as she went up to the house of the Lord. So did she (Peninnah) provoke her (Hannah), so that she wept, and did not eat." The two כּן correspond to one another. Just as Elkanah showed his love to Hannah at every sacrificial festival, so did Peninnah repeat her provocation, the effect of which was that Hannah gave vent to her grief in tears, and did not eat.
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