Hannah is on top of the world. She has just brought her dear little son, the child for whom she had prayed so long, to Shiloh to Eli the priest. Little Samuel would now serve the Lord, fulfilling the promise she had made before he was conceived. Hannah's prayers have been answered, and now she would uphold her end of the bargain.
We might think that a mother would be upset to leave her son behind, sorrowful to be far away from him much of the year, but Hannah realizes that she is giving Samuel the best possible gift. He will now belong to God, and God will care for him perfectly.
So Hannah cries out in joy: “My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in my victory.”
The Hebrew in this verse offers some important clues to the deep meaning of Hannah's prayer. The first verb, translated here as “exults,” is alats, and it does mean “to exult” but also “to rejoice” or even “to triumph.” Hannah's joy knows no bounds because it is a response to God and His work in her life. Her whole being, all the strength she has, rises up to God. The verb here is rum, and while “is exalted” serves nicely as a translation, the word also includes shades of offering and triumph. Hannah presents herself to God yet again, completely, joyfully, triumphantly.
What's more, Hannah's enemies no longer have power over her. God has answered her prayers; He is in control. She merely has to look down and smile upon those who once opposed her. In fact, the verb translated here as “derides” is rachab, and it means simply “to enlarge.” Hannah opens her mouth, perhaps to deride those who tormented her or perhaps simply to show them her great satisfaction.
She can do this because she rejoices in her victory. The verb for “rejoice” here is samach, and it emphasizes the sheer gladness and pleasure that Hannah is experiencing because God has answered her prayers.
Indeed, Hannah's heart overflows with exultation, and her prayer expresses her joy in the God Who has so graciously heard her and given her her heart's desire.
(1 Samuel 2:1 – NRSV-CE; Hebrew words from Biblehub.com)