David And Michal Reunited

INTRODUCTION: After David had to escape for his life from his house as his wife Michal let him down through a window, he did not see her again for quite a few years. King Saul and his men periodically searched for David to kill him, even as Israel continued in conflict with the Philistines. After Saul's death, David became king at Hebron, while one of Saul's sons became king at Jerusalem. Seven years of conflict between the divided kingdom ended when The people who had been loyal to Saul, wanted David to be king over all of Israel, and that is when David and Michal were reunited.

NOTE: All scripture is from the 1833 Webster bible.


A - KING SAUL GAVE MICHAL TO BE THE WIFE OF ANOTHER MAN

1 Samuel 25 "40 And when the servants of David had come to Abigail to Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, David hath sent us to thee, to take thee to him for a wife. 41 And she arose, and bowed herself on [her] face to the earth, and said, Behold, [let] thy handmaid [be] a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 42 And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife. 43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives. 44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, who [was] of Gallim."

COMMENTS: During the several years that David avoided armed conflict with King Saul, he took Abigail and Ahinoam to be his wives. There is a good amount of background about how Abigail became David's wife, but all we know about Ahinoam is that she was of Jezreel. Meanwhile, Saul gave his daughter Michal to be the wife of a man named Phalti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim. The scripture provides no other information about him, or why Saul chose him as the new husband for Michal.


B - DAVID REIGNED AT HEBRON AND HAD SIX SONS WHILE THERE

2 Samuel 3 "1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul became weaker and weaker. 2 And to David were sons born in Hebron: and his first-born was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3 And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur; 4 And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; 5 And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron. 6 And it came to pass, while there was war between the house of Saul and the house of David, that Abner made himself strong for the house of Saul. 7 And Saul had a concubine, whose name [was] Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah: and [Ish-bosheth] said to Abner, Why hast thou gone in to my father's concubine? 8 Then was Abner very wroth for the words of Ish-bosheth, and said, [Am] I a dog's head, who against Judah do show kindness this day to the house of Saul thy father, to his brethren, and to his friends, and have not delivered thee into the hand of David, that thou chargest me to-day with a fault concerning this woman? 9 So do God to Abner, and more also, except, as the LORD hath sworn to David, even so I do to him; 10 To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beer-sheba. 11 And he could not answer Abner a word again, because he feared him."

COMMENTS: According to another passage, David was king at Hebron for seven years, so that would be about the period of conflict between the house of Saul and the house of David. 1 Kings 2 "11 And the days that David reigned over Israel [were] forty years: seven years reigned he in Hebron, and thirty and three years reigned he in Jerusalem." Six sons were born to David from six different wives while he was in Hebron. Meanwhile Abner became a very strong military commander under King Ishbosheth, Saul's son. When Ishbosheth made an accusation about Abner and Rizpah, Abner decided to make a pact with David to unite all of Israel with David as king. Ishbosheth did not have the power to stop Abner in his plans to move his loyalty to David.


C - ABNER MADE A PACT WITH DAVID

2 Samuel 3 "12 And Abner sent messengers to David on his behalf, saying, Whose [is] the land? saying [also], Make thy league with me, and behold, my hand [shall be] with thee, to bring about all Israel to thee. 13 And he said, Well; I will make a league with thee: but one thing I require of thee, that is, Thou shalt not see my face, except thou shalt first bring Michal, Saul's daughter, when thou comest to see my face. 14 And David sent messengers to Ish-bosheth, Saul's son, saying, Deliver to [me] my wife Michal, whom I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 15 And Ish-bosheth sent, and took her from [her] husband, [even] from Phaltiel the son of Laish. 16 And her husband went with her, weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner to him, Go, return. And he returned."

COMMENTS: When Abner sent messengers to David to propose joining with him to bring all Israel together, David sent back a positive response, with an ultimatum to bring his first wife Michal. David also sent messengers directly to Ishbosheth, Saul's son, requiring Michal to be given to him. David emphasized that he had espoused her for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines. Abner took Michal back to David, and he only allowed her husband Phaltiel to follow as far as Bahurim, then Abner sent him back.


D - MICHAL DESPISED DAVID'S PUBLIC WORSHIP OF THE LORD

2 Samuel 6 "15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. 16 And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal, Saul's daughter, looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD, and set it in its place, in the midst of the tabernacle that David had pitched for it: and David offered burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before the LORD. 18 And as soon as David had made an end of offering burnt-offerings and peace-offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts. 19 And he dealt among all the people, [even] among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece [of flesh], and a flagon [of wine]. So all the people departed every one to his house. 20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to-day, who uncovered himself to-day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! 21 And David said to Michal, [It was] before the LORD, who chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD. 22 And I shall yet be more vile than thus, and shall be base in my own sight: and by the maid-servants which thou hast spoken of, by them shall I be had in honor. 23 Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child until the day of her death."

COMMENTS: During the time of Samuel, before Saul became king, the ark of God was lost in battle to the Philistines . 1 Samuel 6 "1 And the ark of the LORD was in the country of the Philistines seven months." After the Philistines suffered great loss before the LORD in two of their cities, they sent the ark back into the territory of Israel on a cart. Soon after that it was taken to Kirjath-jearim. 1 Samuel 7 "1 And the men of Kirjath-jearim came, and brought up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab on the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD. 2 And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjath-jearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD." When David became king in Jerusalem he started to bring the Ark of God into the city, but it was not handled in the prescribed manner. 2 Samuel 6 "3 And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that [was] in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio the sons of Abinadab drove the new cart. 4 And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which [was] at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. 5 And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of [instruments made of] fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. 6 And when they came to Nachon's threshing-floor, Uzzah put forth [his hand] to the ark of God, and took hold of it: for the oxen shook [it]. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God smote him there for [his] error; and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perez-uzzah to this day. 9 And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me? 10 So David would not remove the ark of the LORD to him into the city of David: but David carried it aside into the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household."

David wanted very much to properly handle the Ark of the LORD, and to bring it into Jerusalem with great celebration, and then to give it a place of honor in the city that was now the capital of Israel. But when Michal saw David through a window, leaping and dancing before the LORD she despised him in her heart. She apparently did not participate in the public celebration after the ark was placed into the tabernacle that David had set up for it. When David returned to his household, Michal came out to meet him with scorn and mocking for his actions in public. David's response was very direct as he said it was before the LORD, who chose him rather than her father or any from his house, to appoint him ruler over Israel, the people of the LORD. Therefore David said he would celebrate before the LORD, and be even more undignified, and be humiliated in his own sight. David said the maidens that Michal spoke of would hold him in honor, and this was obviously in contrast to Michal who was not considering the LORD above all else. The scripture then records that Michal was childless until the day of her death. This is the woman who had years earlier placed an idol in David's bed after she had let him down through a window to escape from the assassins sent by Saul.


E - the last record of michal

2 Samuel 21 "1 Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David inquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, [It is] for Saul, and for [his] bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2 And the king called the Gibeonites, and said to them; (now the Gibeonites [were] not of the children of Israel, but of the remnant of the Amorites; and the children of Israel had sworn to them: and Saul sought to slay them, in his zeal to the children of Israel and Judah.) 3 Wherefore David said to the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and with what shall I make the atonement, that ye may bless the inheritance of the LORD? 4 And the Gibeonites said to him, We will have no silver nor gold of Saul, nor of his house; neither for us shalt thou kill any man in Israel. And he said, What ye shall say, [that] will I do for you. 5 And they answered the king, The man that consumed us, and that devised against us [that] we should be destroyed from remaining within the borders of Israel, 6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered to us, and we will hang them up to the LORD in Gibeah of Saul, [whom] the LORD chose. And the king said, I will give [them]. 7 But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the LORD'S oath that [was] between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul. 8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to 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: 9 And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them on the hill before the LORD: and they fell [all] seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first [days], in the beginning of barley harvest."

COMMENTS: Sometime in the latter days of David's thirty-three year reign in Jerusalem, after the death of Absalum in his rebellion, there was a famine for three years. David inquired of the LORD and was told this was because Saul had tried to wipe out the Gibeonites who had been given safe haven in the land by an oath in the time of Joshua. Joshua 9 "15 And Joshua made peace with them, and made a league with them, to let them live: and the princes of the congregation swore to them. 16 And it came to pass at the end of three days after they had made a league with them, that they heard that they [were] their neighbors, and [that] they dwelt among them. 17 And the children of Israel journeyed, and came to their cities on the third day. Now their cities [were] Gibeon, and Chephirah, and Beeroth, and Kirjath-jearim. 18 And the children of Israel smote them not, because the princes of the congregation had sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel. And all the congregation murmured against the princes. 19 But all the princes said to all the congregation, We have sworn to them by the LORD God of Israel: now therefore we may not touch them. 20 This we will do to them; we will even let them live, lest wrath be upon us, because of the oath which we swore to them. 21 And the princes said to them, Let them live; but let them be hewers of wood, and drawers of water to all the congregation; as the princes had promised them."

After the LORD had revealed the reason for the famine, David accepted the Gibeonites terms for restitution of the wrong that had been done to them. The Gibeonites asked for seven men of Saul's sons to be given to them, and they would hang them up to the LORD in Gibeah of Saul. There were two sons of Saul's concubine Rizpah, and five sons who were "brought up" by Michal. for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite. We know from 2 Samuel 6:23 (in the previous section of this study) that Michal died without having any children. Her older sister was married to the man named as the father of the other five given to the Gibeonites. 1 Samuel 18 "19 But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite to wife." Scripture does not provide any detail of why Michal would have brought up these sons, but there are sufficient details that indicate such a time frame for that is reasonable.

--- REFLECTIONS IN PRAYER ---

Lord, I accept the fact that before the time of Christ, your chosen men often had multiple wives. This was true of Abraham, Jacob, and of David, a man after God's own heart. There is no indication in scripture that David had sinned before you when he took his first wife Michal away from her second husband, and back to himself, when he became king over all Israel. At the time that was likely the highest point of joy in David's life as he brought the Ark of the LORD into Jerusalem, Michal was disgusted by his unbridled celebration and worship. Michal is a strong contrast to Abigail, who had lavish praise for you LORD, and gave recognition to your choice of David to become king over Israel long before that was brought to pass. Saul had hoped his daughter Michal would be a snare to David, but you frustrated his desire and protected David through many trials. Thank you, Lord, for providing this record that has been an encouragement to me. Because I have placed my faith in you, I believe you will guide me through unexpected difficulties that come my way. Amen, and amen.

Published 22 April 2016