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Michal was the youngest daughter of King Saul,[1] and the first wife of King David.

Marriage to David[]

Saul had promised that whichever Israelite warrior could defeat the Philistine giant Goliath would be given one of Saul's daughter's in marriage.[2] However, Saul delayed in fulfilling this promise to David. Eventually, Saul told David that he could marry his older daughter Merab, so long as David continued to fight the Philistines.[3] Saul hoped that David would eventually die in battle before he had to fulfill the promise. David did not die in battle, but remained humble and did not press the issue to Saul.[4] Eventually, Saul ended up giving Merab in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite.[5]

Michal began to love David at this time of his great military deeds, and this was eventually made known to Saul.[6] Saul thought that he could use this against David. Again he called David and promised him that he would be his son-in-law.[7] David reminded Saul that, as a man from a humble background, he would not be able to afford the dowry due a king's daughter.[8] Saul, however, did not require money, instead asking for the crazy dowry of 100 Philisitine foreskins.[9] Essentially, what Saul was asking was for David to kill 100 soldiers of Israel's enemies, and bring him proof. This was an incredibly difficult task, and Saul hoped that David would die while attempting such a dangerous mission. But Saul was badly mistaken. Instead, this offer pleased David, and he went and killed 200 Philistines, and brought their foreskins to the king as proof.[10] Having paid the dowry, David was able to marry Michal. But Saul became even more afraid and jealous of David.[11]

Eventually, Saul's jealousy of David got the point where he could no longer keep it under control, and sought directly to have David killed. Saul sent men to David's house to kill him, but Michal heard of it and warned David.[12] She let David out of the house through the window, and he was able to escape.[13] When Saul's men came to the house, she laid an image in David's bed and put clothes on it, tricking Saul's men by saying that David was sick in bed.[14] When Saul heard this, he sent a second group of messengers to the house, demanding that they go into the bedroom and kill David there.[15] When they came to the room they saw the image, the Michal's ruse was discovered.[16] When Saul demanded to know why Michal tricked him, she told him that David had threatened to kill her if she did not help him escape.[17]

Separation from David and return[]

As the feud with the king continued, David acquired more wives, such as Abigail, the widow of Nabal.[18] During that campaign, Saul worked behind the scenes, annulling the marriage of David and Michal and giving her to Paltiel the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.[19] When Saul died in battle, David was proclaimed king in Hebron, but Saul's surviving son Ish-bosheth was also proclaimed king, and the two kings fought a civil war for control of Israel. During this time, Michal continued to live with Paltiel, in territory under the authority of her brother Ish-bosheth.

As the civil war continued, David grew stronger, while Ish-bosheth grew weaker.[20] Eventually, Ish-bosheth's claim to the throne was dealt a fatal blow when Abner, the commander of his army, defected to David's side.[21] Abner sought to make a covenant with David, and promised to bring the rest of Israel over to David's side.[22] David agreed to the covenant with Abner, but first asked that Abner bring Michal back to David.[23] David then sent word to Ish-bosheth, demanding that he give him back Michal, to whom David had lawfully been married.[24] Ish-bosheth complied, and brought Michal from the house of Paltiel.[25] Abner accompanied Michal on the journey to Hebron, where David was. But Paltiel kept following them, weeping along the way for the loss of his wife. When they got to Bahurim, Abner demanded that Paltiel depart and return home, so he did, and Michal's marriage to David was renewed.[26]

During David's reign[]

Although Michal had been returned to David, their marriage was no longer the same. At one point during David's reign, David decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, Israel's new capital city. This was a momentous occasion, as it showed that Israel was bringing proper worship and obedience to God back to the centre of the nation. It was a time of great joy and celebration for the people, and King David was in the midst of the celebration, "leaping and dancing before the LORD".[27] Michal, however, did not join the celebrations, remaining in the house. When she looked out and saw David's actions, she despised him in her heart. David continued on, offering sacrifices to God, and generously distributing food to all the people for a feast.[28] When David returned from the celebrations, he went to bless his household. But Michal went out to meet him, accusing him of dishonouring himself for dancing among the servants and common people, without wearing any of his royal robes.[29] David answered her that he was not dancing before the people, but before God,[30] and that it was right for him to act humbly before God.[31]

After this incident David and Michal no longer had marital relations, and Michal remained childless to the day of her death.[32]

Verses[]

  1. 1 Sam. 14:49 (Link)
  2. 1 Sam. 17:25 (Link)
  3. 1 Sam. 18:17 (Link)
  4. 1 Sam. 18:18 (Link)
  5. 1 Sam. 18:19 (Link)
  6. 1 Sam. 18:20 (Link)
  7. 1 Sam. 18:22 (Link)
  8. 1 Sam. 18:23 (Link)
  9. 1 Sam. 18:25 (Link)
  10. 1 Sam. 8:27 (Link)
  11. 1 Sam. 8:29 (Link)
  12. 1 Sam. 19:11 (Link)
  13. 1 Sam. 19:12 (Link)
  14. 1 Sam. 19:14 (Link)
  15. 1 Sam. 19:15 (Link)
  16. 1 Sam. 19:16 (Link)
  17. 1 Sam. 19:17 (Link)
  18. 1 Sam. 25:42 (Link)
  19. 1 Sam. 25:44 (Link)
  20. 2 Sam. 3:1 (Link)
  21. 2 Sam. 3:11 (Link)
  22. 2 Sam. 3:12 (Link)
  23. 2 Sam. 3:13 (Link)
  24. 2 Sam. 3:14 (Link)
  25. 2 Sam. 3:15 (Link)
  26. 2 Sam. 3:16 (Link)
  27. 2 Sam. 6:16 (Link)
  28. 2 Sam. 6:19 (Link)
  29. 2 Sam. 6:20 (Link)
  30. 2 Sam. 6:21 (Link)
  31. 2 Sam. 6:22 (Link)
  32. 2 Sam. 6:23 (Link)
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