The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)
1 Samuel 1 - Elkanah, son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite, had two wives, one named Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah was barren. When Elkanah went to sacrifice to the Lord every year he would give portions to Peninnah and all her sons and daughters, and to Hannah he would give double because he loved her even though the Lord had closed her womb. Hannah's rival, Peninnah, used to provoke her severely and irritate her because Hannah was barren. Hannah wept an would not eat. Elkanah asked her why she cried, was he not better than having ten sons? After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah went and presented herself to the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. She prayed for a son, promising the Lord that she would make him a nazirite for Him. Eli saw her moving her mouth, for she was praying silently, and thought Hannah was drunk. He told her to put away her wine but Hannah told him she was praying. Eli told her to go, that the Lord would grant her petition, so Hannah went back to her quarters. They woke in the morning, worshipped the Lord, then went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew Hannah and she was given a son whom she named Samuel. Elikanah wanted to go and sacrifice to the Lord for the vow he kept, but Hannah did not want to present Samuel to God until he was weaned. When Samuel was weaned Hannah took him up along with a three year old bull, and ephah of flour and a skin of wine. She brought Samuel to Eli, telling him that she was the women he saw before praying, and she had brought Samuel to stay with him as a nazirite.
2:1-10 - Hannah says a prayer to the Lord for her son Samuel.
2:18-21 - Hannah used to bring Samuel a linen ephod every year they came to sacrifice. Eli would bless them, asking that Hannah be blessed with more children for the gift that she made to the Lord. The Lord took note of Hannah and she bore three more sons and two daughters
2:22 - Eli was old and heard all that his sons were doing in Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
1 Samuel 3 - No mention of any women.
4:19-22 - The wife of Phinehas was pregnant, and when she heard the ark of God was captured by the Philistines and her father-in-law and husband were dead she bowed and gave birth, for her labor pains overwhelmed her. As she was about to die the women attending her told her to not worry, for she had had a son. She named the child Ichabod which means "The glory has departed from Israel" for the ark had been taken and because of her father-in-law and husband.
Babies, babies, babies. Women need to have babies. Male Babies, preferably. And if they do not they are pretty much useless. And the greatest glory God can bless them with is sons. I think it's funny that Hannah's husband, Elkanah, even asked her why she was so upset. Wasn't he enough for her? Did she have to have sons to be happy? Hell, he loved her even thought she was barren. I guess her "rival" (which I find to be an incredibly catty translation, by the by) picked on her so much that she couldn't be happy without a child, no matter how much her husband loved her. Really kind of sad.
Oh, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of the "Hey, you may be dying but at least you popped out a son! Aren't you happy?" That's just pure gold, right there.
Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 5-8