1 Samuel 14:49. Saul's younger daughter. Saul had promised David the elder, but gave her to Adriel. (See MERAB.) Meanwhile, Michal loved David; and Saul on hearing of it from his attendants made it a trap for David (1 Samuel 18:21), saying, "thou shalt be my son in law in a second way," and requiring, instead of the dowry paid to the father according to Eastern usage, 100 Philistines' foreskins. The courtiers, by Saul's secret instructions, urged on David, who at first shrank from again subjecting himself to the king's caprice. David killed 200 Philistines, and Saul gave him Michal. She proved a true hearted wife, and saved her husband from Saul's messengers sent to slay him in the morning. Like "dogs" prowling about for prey "at evening," so they besieged David's house, awaiting his coming forth in the morning (Psalm 59:6; Psalm 59:14-15; agreeing naturally with 1 Samuel 19:11). David sets his "watching" and "waiting upon God" against their "watching" and waiting to kill him.
The title of Psalm 59:9, "because of his (the enemy's) strength"; see Psalm 59:12 on Saul's "pride" roused to jealousy of David's fame, and Saul's "lying" accusation of treason against David. Saul's "wandering up and down" for help, when he sought the Endor witch, was the retribution in kind for his wandering up and down persecuting David (Psalm 59:14-15). Michal let him down through the window, and laid in his bed a life-sized teraphim image (Genesis 31:19), and put a goat's hair cloth to cover the head and face from gnats, and the "outer mantle" (beged) over the body. Thus, time was allowed for his escape to Samuel; and when Saul, impatient of waiting until he should come forth in the morning, sent messengers in the evening to take him, she first said he was sick; then on their return, with Saul's command to see and bring him in the bed, her trick was detected and Saul upbraided her; but she said she was constrained by David's threats.
Subsequently, Michal was married to Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Samuel 25:44; 2 Samuel 3:15). After Saul's death Michal and her husband went with the rest of the family to the E. of Jordan and was under Ishbosheth's rule. Thence she was brought to David by Abner, as the king made her restoration the one condition of a league and demanded her from Ishbosheth; so in spite of the tears of Phaltiel, who followed behind to Bahurim on the road up from the Jordan valley to Olivet, and was thence turned back by Abner, David's messenger; and the 20 men with Abner, whose puppet Ishbosheth was, escorted her. The forced parting with her last husband, and David's accession of wives, Abigail and Ahinoam, caused a coolness on her part after an interval of 14 years since she had enabled David to escape at Gibeah.
His ardor for her was certainly at first the same, as his keenness to claim her proves; but she alienated him from her forever by her cutting sneer when, after dancing with all his might before Jehovah, in a thin ephod with short-shoulder dress, as representative of the priestly nation, stripped of royal robes in the presence of the great King, "he returned to bless his household"; instead of pious and affectionate congratulations at the bringing up of Jehovah's ark to Zion, already "despising him in her heart" she came out to meet him, and said in bitter irony, "how glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovered himself!"
Michal had teraphim (1 Samuel 19:13), but like Saul she had no regard for Jehovah's ark (1 Chronicles 13:3), and was offended at the king because in pious enthusiasm he humbled himself to the level of the priests and nation before Jehovah. David replied, mortifying her pride as a king's daughter: "it was before Jehovah who chose me before thy father and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of Jehovah, Israel; therefore will I play (or, have I played) before Jehovah, and I will be yet more vile ... and base in my own sight; and along with (Hebrew) the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, along with them shall I be had in honor," namely, of Jehovah. Probably a band of damsels playing on timbrels accompanied David while dancing in procession, as in Psalm 68:25, "among the damsels playing with timbrels"; the words "them were" of KJV should be omitted, as not in the Hebrew.
Blunt thinks that Michal meant by the "handmaids" her hated rivals Abigail and Ahinoam, and that the gravamen of her pretended concern for his debasement rested here. Saul's pride and disregard of Jehovah caused his rejection, as now the same sins cause the rejection of Michal; just as, on the contrary, David's humility and piety toward Jehovah brought him honor before Jehovah. Therefore he is content to be held still more vile than Michal held him, and to be base in his own sight (Psalm 131:1), in order that thereby he may be honored by Jehovah (Matthew 23:12). So Michal was childless until her death, the nature of her punishment being appropriate to her transgression. Merab is probably the true reading for Michal in 2 Samuel 21:8. (See MERAB.) Otherwise "brought up" must mean that Michal reared the children after their mother Merab's death.
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