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The Bitter Michal

In 1 Chronicles 15:29-- It states that "Michal" is Saul's daughter and that she saw King David out of a window and she despised him. Who was she and what happened to her after Saul and his family were killed?

In hope that David would be killed in the act, Saul offered his daughter Michal to David for the dowry of 100 killed Philistines. David doubled the request by killing 200 Philistines and Saul had to follow through with his offer (1 Samuel 18:20-28). After they were married, Michal protected David when Saul sought to kill him and helped him escape her father's wrath (1 Samuel 19:10-18).

However, while David was in exile because of this personal danger, Saul gave Michal to another man as a wife; to Phalti the son of Laish (1 Samuel 25:44). We are not told how readily Michal went along with this marriage. In later years, when David was king of Judah but not the northern tribes, Abner, the captain of the host of the northern tribes offered to bring these tribes to David. As a prerequisite for any agreement, David demanded the return of Michal as his wife. She was taken from her second husband and given back to David (2 Samuel 3:12-16).

When David brought the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem and rejoiced in the streets with the people, Michal strongly criticized him for his crudeness and lowness (2 Samuel 6:20-23). As a judgment, Michal had no child from that day unto the day of her death. Most Bible scholars think that this also means that David no longer had physical relations with her. The judgment may seem harsh but it is unlikely that this was a one-time offhanded remark. It was simply a window into her heart and revealed the bitterness that had permeated there.

The only mention of Michal after this time is in 2 Samuel 21:8 - "But the king 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." Famine had come on the land of Israel because of Saul's mistreatment of the Gibeonites. When David asked what they required for restitution, the Gibeonites demanded the death of seven of the descendants of Saul. Five of those offered were the sons of Michal's sister, Merab, and Adriel. It is probably that both Adriel and Merab had died and that Michal took on the care of her five nephews. This was another terrible blow to a decidedly sad life. There was evidently no love lost between David and Michal. Although he protected Mephibosheth, he readily offered the five nephews that Michal had brought up.

We hear nothing else of Michal in the Bible. We can only assume that she died as she lived, a bitter and unhappy soul. Those who do not learn to rejoice in the Lord will be destroyed by the root of bitterness.