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May 7

David's wife Michal


I would like to get your thoughts on the contradiction in these two verses:


II Samuel 21:8, ""But David took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite."


II Samuel 6:23 " Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death"


Did she bear children or not?


Thanks for the question Gina. These scriptures baffled me once also. Michal was the youngest daughter of Saul. Her elder sister was Merab. Merab apparently died and Mical raised her five children as her own. Jewish sources attest to this also. The scripture above says, "that she brought up for Adriel ...". Adriel was Merab's husband. Maybe he died young also, I don't know. Some translations try to fix this apparent contradiction by putting Merab's name instead of Michal's. Some argue that the word "brought" up denotes the same Hebrew word as if she gave birth to them. However, as Jewish sources say, when a child is adopted for whatever reason in the Hebrew tradition, just like in ours, they become the children of the adoptive parent. Even though Michal did not give birth to them she raised them and was responsible for them.


Now, regarding the second verse, it denotes the disgust that Michal had for David after he had become King and had recovered her back from Phalti. In his hatred of David, King Saul had taken Michal away from David and had given her to another man. When David became King the first thing he did was get his wife, Michal, back from Phalti. She had nothing but disgust for King David after this point, even though she was rightfully his first wife. This verse shows the disgust between them and how that because of this she was not allowed to give David a son to inherit the throne, even as she was the first wife. In Hebrew culture the first wife was the rightful wife and the other wives were always suppose to be secondary, more like concubines.


Interestingly, in II Samuel 3:5 and I Chronicles 3:3 we read of one of David's wives whose name is Eglah. These scriptures are quite interesting. This Eglah is his last wife and bears his last child, Ithream (while in Hebron) Now, in Hebrew the word "Eglah" means "heifer". Yep, like female cow! If you read

I Chronicles 3:3 it states "by Eglah his wife". Now, all the women listed before who had born him sons were his wives also. So, why does the scripture make a point of calling only Eglah his wife. Well, Jewish sources state that it was because Eglah was indeed Michal. It was his "second" taking back of Michal as his wife. Because of his disgust for her, he called her his "heifer", much as Samson told the Philistines that they would not have been able to answer his riddle if they had not "plowed with his heifer". The Rabbi's state that the reason Eglah is called "his wife" in I Chronicles 3:3 is because it was known that she was indeed his "first wife" the "real wife" of David.


Furthermore, Rabbi's state that the phrase in II Samuel 6:3 "she bore no children till the day of her death" denotes that Michal (Eglah) died giving birth to Ithrean. Ithrean died at birth, or shortly thereafter, also. Therefore, "she bore no children till the day of her death". Although she bore this child on the day of her death, she was not able to give David an heir to the throne.


Sorry the answer is so long. I tend to get carried away. Let me know if you have any additional questions about this.


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