19:11 Saul sent messengers to David’s house to guard it and to kill him in the morning. Then David’s wife Michal told him, “If you do not save yourself 1 tonight, tomorrow you will be dead!” 19:12 So Michal lowered David through the window, and he ran away and escaped.
19:13 Then Michal took a household idol 2 and put it on the bed. She put a quilt 3 made of goat’s hair over its head 4 and then covered the idol with a garment. 19:14 When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, “He’s sick.”
19:15 Then Saul sent the messengers back to see David, saying, “Bring him up to me on his bed so I can kill him.” 19:16 When the messengers came, they found only the idol on the bed and the quilt made of goat’s hair at its head.
1 tn Heb “your life.”
2 tn Heb “teraphim” (also a second time in this verse and once in v. 16). These were statues that represented various deities. According to 2 Kgs 23:24 they were prohibited during the time of Josiah’s reform movement in the seventh century. The idol Michal placed under the covers was of sufficient size to give the mistaken impression that David lay in the bed, thus facilitating his escape.
3 tn The exact meaning of the Hebrew word כָּבִיר (kavir) is uncertain; it is found in the Hebrew Bible only here and in v. 16. It probably refers to a quilt made of goat’s hair, perhaps used as a fly net while one slept. See HALOT 458 s.v. *כָּבִיר. Cf. KJV, TEV “pillow”; NLT “cushion”; NAB, NRSV “net.”
4 tn Heb “at the place of its head.”
5 tn Heb “Send me away! Why should I kill you?” The question has the force of a threat in this context. See P. K. McCarter, I Samuel (AB), 325, 26.