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Fausset's Bible Dictionary [1]

 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 ( Psalms 59:6;  Psalms 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  Psalms 59:9, "because of his (the enemy's) strength"; see  Psalms 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 ( Psalms 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  Psalms 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 ( Psalms 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.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [2]

Mi'chal. (Who Is Like God?). The younger of Saul's two daughters,  1 Samuel 14:49, who married David. The price fixed on Michal's hand was no less than the slaughter of a hundred Philistines. David, by a brilliant feat, doubled the tale of victims, and Michal became his wife. Shortly afterward, she saved David from the assassins, whom her father had sent to take his life.  1 Samuel 19:11-17.

When the rupture between Saul and David had become open and incurable, she was married to another man, Phalti or Phaltiel, of Gallim.  1 Samuel 25:44. After the death of her father and brothers at Gilboa, David compelled her new husband to surrender Michal to him.  2 Samuel 3:13-16.

How Michal comported herself in the altered circumstances of David's household, we are not told; but it is plain from the subsequent occurrences, that something had happened to alter the relations of herself and David, for on the day of David's greatest triumph, when he brought the Ark of Jehovah to Jerusalem, we are told that, "she despised him in her heart." All intercourse between her and David ceased from that date.  2 Samuel 6:20-23. Her name appears,  2 Samuel 21:8, as the mother of five of the grandchildren of Saul.

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [3]

When Michal, the younger daughter of King Saul, fell in love with David, Saul promised her to David as wife, provided David could kill one hundred Philistines as the bride-price. Saul, being jealous of David, hoped David would be killed in the attempt, but David was spectacularly successful ( 1 Samuel 18:20-27).

Not long after the marriage, Saul laid a plot to kill David in David’s house, but Michal’s quick thinking saved him ( 1 Samuel 19:11-17). When David was forced to flee from Saul, Saul took Michal and gave her as wife to another man, Paltiel ( 1 Samuel 25:44).

After Saul died, David came out of hiding and was proclaimed king, though some of Saul’s former followers disputed his right to the throne. David then forced Michal’s return to him as his wife. This strengthened his claim to Saul’s throne, but it left Paltiel broken-hearted ( 2 Samuel 3:13-16). There seems to have been no revival of Michal’s original love for David. She was actually hostile to him when he danced for joy at bringing the ark to Jerusalem. She bore him no children ( 2 Samuel 6:16;  2 Samuel 6:20-23).

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

MICHAL. Younger daughter of Saul, offered to David, as a snare, on condition that he would slay one hundred Philistines. The popularity of David led Saul to seek his life. He had David’s house surrounded, but Michal deceived the messengers, and contrived David’s escape by the window (  1 Samuel 19:11-17 ). Saul then gave Michal to Paltiel. When Abner negotiated with David to deliver Israel to him, the king stipulated for Michal’s return. This was accomplished, though the record does not make it clear whether directly from Ishbaal (Ishbosheth) at the Instance of David, or through Abner (  2 Samuel 3:14 f.). Paltiel followed weeping, but was rudely dismissed by Abner. The closing scene between Michal and David is pathetic. David’s dance before the ark was unseemly in the eyes of Michal, and she rebuked him. His answer was equally curt. The statement that Michal died childless may mean that she was divorced (  2 Samuel 6:16 f.). The estrangement was probably due to the numerous wives that now shared David’s prosperity and Michal’s authority.

J. H. Stevenson.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [5]

Younger daughter of Saul, and wife of David. She helped David to escape when her father sought his death. When David was being persecuted she was given as wife to Phaltiel; but when David came into power he demanded of Abner that she should be restored to him. She did not share David's zeal for the Lord, for when he brought up the ark and danced in joy before it, she not only despised him in her heart but reproached him for it. On this account she was barren the rest of her days.  1 Samuel 18:20-28;  1 Samuel 19:11-17;  1 Samuel 25:44;  2 Samuel 3:13,14;  2 Samuel 6:16-23 . In  2 Samuel 21:8 , for 'Michal,' it should probably be read '[the sister of] Michal,' that is, Merab, as in  1 Samuel 18:19 . Michal is an instance of how altogether beyond the natural mind are the leadings of the Spirit of God: cf.  1 Corinthians 2:14 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [6]

The younger of Saul's two daughters, in love with David, and whom Saul reluctantly gave to him in marriage,  1 Samuel 14:49   18:20-29 . She saved her husband's life from assassins sent by her father, by a stratagem that gave him time to escape,  1 Samuel 19:14-15 . Her father then gave her in marriage to Phalti,  1 Samuel 25:44 , from whom David some years after recovered her,  2 Samuel 3:12-21 .

When David brought the ark of God to Jerusalem, she conceived and expressed great disgust at his pious joy, and the affections of the king remained alienated from her till her death,  2 Samuel 6:16-23 . Her hatred of unfashionable zeal in religion was stronger than her love of her husband and her God. She left no children.

People's Dictionary of the Bible [7]

Michal ( Mî'Kal ). The second daughter of Saul,  1 Samuel 14:49, and the wife of David. During David's exile she was married to another, Phalti, or Palti,  1 Samuel 25:44;  2 Samuel 3:15, with whom she lived for ten years. After the accession of David to the throne she was restored to him,  2 Samuel 3:13-14; but an estrangement soon took place between them, and on the occasion of one of the greatest triumphs of David's life—the bringing up of the ark to Jerusalem—it came to an open rupture between them, after which her name does not again occur.  2 Samuel 6:23.

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

 1 Samuel 14:49,50 1 Samuel 19:12-17 Psalm 59 1 Samuel 25:44 2 Samuel 3:13-16 1 Chronicles 15:29 2 Samuel 21:8  1 Samuel 18:19

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

 1 Samuel 14:49 1 Samuel 18:20-29 1 Samuel 19:11-17 1 Samuel 25:44 2 Samuel 3:14-16 2 Samuel 6:16-23 2 Samuel 21:8

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [10]

Saul's daughter. ( 1 Samuel 18:20) The name signifies, who is it all? from Mi and Col, the whole. Her history we have in the Scriptures of David.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

mı̄´kal ( מיכל , mı̄khāl , contracted from מיכאל , mı̄khā'ēl , "Michael" (which see); Μελχόλ , Melchól ): Saul's younger daughter (  1 Samuel 14:49 ), who, falling in love with David after his victory over Goliath ( 1 Samuel 18:20 ), was at last, on the payment of double the dowry asked, married to him ( 1 Samuel 18:27 ). Her love was soon put to the test. When Saul in his jealousy sent for David, she was quick to discern her husband's danger, connived at his escape, and not only outwitted and delayed the messengers, but afterward also soothed her father's jealous wrath ( 1 Samuel 19:11-17 ). When David was outlawed and exiled, she was married to Palti or Paltiel, the son of Laish of Gallim ( 1 Samuel 25:44 ), but was, despite Palti's sorrowful protest, forcibly restored to David on his return as king ( 2 Samuel 3:14-16 ). The next scene in which she figures indicates that her love had cooled and had even turned to disdain, for after David's enthusiastic joy and ecstatic dancing before the newly restored Ark of the Covenant, she received him with bitter and scornful mockery ( 2 Samuel 6:20 ), and the record closes with the fact that she remained all her life childless ( 2 Samuel 6:23; compare  2 Samuel 21:8 where Michal is an obvious mistake for Merab). Michal was evidently a woman of unusual strength of mind and decision of character. She manifested her love in an age when it was almost an unheard-of thing for a woman to take the initiative in such a matter. For the sake of the man whom she loved too she braved her father's wrath and risked her own life. Even her later mockery of David affords proof of her courage, and almost suggests the inference that she had resented being treated as a chattel and thrown from one husband to another. The modern reader can scarce withhold from her, if not admiration, at least a slight tribute of sympathy.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [12]

Mi´chal (who as God?), youngest daughter of King Saul . She became attached to David, and made no secret of her love; so that Saul, after he had disappointed David of the elder daughter [MERAB], deemed it prudent to bestow Michal in marriage upon him . Saul had hoped to make her the instrument of his designs against David, but was foiled in his attempt through the devoted attachment of the wife to her husband. Of this a most memorable instance is given in . When David escaped the javelin of Saul he retired to his own house, upon which the king set a guard over-night, with the intention to slay him in the morning. This being discovered by Michal, she assisted him to make his escape by a window, and afterwards amused the intended assassins under various pretences, in order to retard the pursuit. When these were detected, Michal pretended to her father that David had threatened her with death if she did not assist his escape. Saul probably did not believe this; but he took advantage of it by canceling the marriage, and bestowing her upon a person named Phalti . David, however, as the divorce had been without his consent, felt that the law against a husband taking back a divorced wife could not apply in this case: he therefore formally reclaimed her of Ishbosheth, who employed no less a personage than Abner to take her from Phalti, and conduct her with all honor to David. It was under cover of this mission that Abner sounded the elders of Israel respecting their acceptance of David for king, and conferred with David himself on the same subject at Hebron .

The reunion was less happy than might have been hoped. On that great day when the ark was brought to Jerusalem, Michal viewed the procession from a window, and the royal notions she had imbibed were so shocked at the sight of the king not only taking part in, but leading, the holy transports of his people, that she met him on his return home with a keen sarcasm on his undignified and unkingly behavior. This ill-timed sneer, and the unsympathizing state of feeling which it manifested, drew from David a severe but not unmerited retort: and the Great King, in whose honor David incurred this contumely, seems to have punished the wrong done to him, for we are told that 'therefore Michal, the daughter of Saul, had no child to the day of her death' . It was thus, perhaps, as Abarbanel remarks, ordered by Providence that the race of Saul and David should not be mixed, and that no one deriving any apparent right from Saul should succeed to the throne.