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HEBREW: 4764 brm Merab 4324 lkym Miykal
NAVE: Merab Michal
EBD: Merab Michal
Meonenim | Meonenim, Oak Of | Meonothai | Mephaath | Mephibosheth | Merab | Meraiah | Meraioth | Meran | Merarath | Merari


In Bible versions:

daughter of Saul
daughter of Saul; wife of David

he that fights or disputes
who is perfect?


Strongs #04764: brm Merab

Merab = "increase"

1) the eldest daughter of king Saul; promised to David but given
instead to Adriel the Meholathite; mother of 5 children

4764 Merab may-rawb'

from 7231; increase; Merab, a daughter of Saul:-Merab.
see HEBREW for 07231

Strongs #04324: lkym Miykal

Michal = "who is like God"

1) daughter of king Saul, sister of Jonathan, wife of king David, and
mother of five; given to David as wife for the bride price of 100
Philistine foreskins; while still married to David, her father gave
her in marriage to another, Phaltiel; at the death of Saul, David
forced her to return

4324 Miykal me-kawl'

apparently the same as 4323; revulet; Mikal, Saul's
see HEBREW for 04323

Merab [EBD]

increase, the eldest of Saul's two daughters (1 Sam. 14:49). She was betrothed to David after his victory over Goliath, but does not seem to have entered heartily into this arrangement (18:2, 17, 19). She was at length, however, married to Adriel of Abel-Meholah, a town in the Jordan valley, about 10 miles south of Bethshean, with whom the house of Saul maintained alliance. She had five sons, who were all put to death by the Gibeonites on the hill of Gibeah (2 Sam. 21:8).

Michal [EBD]

rivulet, or who as God?, the younger of Saul's two daughters by his wife Ahinoam (1 Sam. 14:49, 50). "Attracted by the graces of his person and the gallantry of his conduct, she fell in love with David and became his wife" (18:20-28). She showed her affection for him by promoting his escape to Naioth when Saul sought his life (1 Sam. 19:12-17. Comp. Ps. 59. See TERAPHIM). After this she did not see David for many years. Meanwhile she was given in marriage to another man, Phalti or Phaltiel of Gallim (1 Sam. 25:44), but David afterwards formally reclaimed her as his lawful wife (2 Sam. 3:13-16). The relation between her and David soon after this was altered. They became alienated from each other. This happened on that memorable day when the ark was brought up in great triumph from its temporary resting-place to the Holy City. In David's conduct on that occasion she saw nothing but a needless humiliation of the royal dignity (1 Chr. 15:29). She remained childless, and thus the races of David and Saul were not mixed. In 2 Sam. 21:8 her name again occurs, but the name Merab should probably be here substituted for Michal (comp. 1 Sam. 18:19).

Merab [NAVE]

Daughter of King Saul, 1 Sam. 14:49.
Betrothed to David by Saul, 1 Sam. 18:17, 18; but given to Adriel to wife, 1 Sam. 18:19.

Michal [NAVE]

MICHAL, daughter of Saul. Given to David as a reward for slaying Goliath, 1 Sam. 18:22-28.
Rescues David from death, 1 Sam. 19:9-17.
Saul forcibly separates them and she is given in marriage to Phalti, 1 Sam. 25:44.
David recovers, to himself, 2 Sam. 3:13-16.
Ridicules David on account of his religious zeal, 2 Sam. 6:16, 20-23.


(increase), eldest daughter of King Saul. (1 Samuel 14:49) In accordance with the promise which he made before the engagement with Goliath, ch. (1 Samuel 17:25) Saul betrothed Merab to David. ch. (1 Samuel 18:17) Before the marriage Merab?s younger sister Michal had displayed her attachment for David, and Merab was then married to Adriel the Meholathite to whom she bore five sons. (2 Samuel 21:8)


(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.


MERAB - me'-rab (merabh "increase"; Merob): The elder daughter of Saul (1 Sam 14:49), promised, though not by name, to the man who should slay the Philistine Goliath (1 Sam 17:25). David did this and was afterward taken by Saul to court (1 Sam 18:2), where he was detained in great honor. Merab was not, however, given to him as quickly as the incident would lead one to expect, and the sequel showed some unwillingness on the part of some persons in the contract to complete the promise. The adulation of the crowd who met David on his return from Philistine warfare and gave him a more favorable ascription than to Saul (1 Sam 18:6-16) awoke the angry jealousy of Saul. He "eyed David from that day and forward" (1 Sam 18:9). Twice David had to "avoid" the "evil spirit" in Saul (1 Sam 18:11). Saul also feared David (1 Sam 18:12), and this led him to incite the youth to more dangerous deeds of valor against the Philistines by a renewed promise of Merab. He will have David's life, but rather by the hand of the Philistines than his own (1 Sam 18:17). Merab was to be the bait. But now another element complicated matters--Michal's love for David (1 Sam 18:20), which may have been the retarding factor from the first. At any rate Merab is finally given to Adriel the Meholathite (1 Sam 18:19). The passage in 2 Sam 21:8 doubtless contains an error--Michal's name occurring for that of her sister Merab--though the Septuagint, Josephus, and a consistent Hebrew text all perpetuate it, as well as the concise meaning of the Hebrew word Yaladh, which is a physiological word for bearing children, and cannot be translated "brought up." A Targum explanation reads: "The 5 sons of Merab (which Michal, Saul's daughter brought up) which she bare," etc. Another suggestion reads the word "sister" after Michal in the possessive case, leaving the text otherwise as it stands. It is possible that Merab died comparatively young, and that her children were left in the care of their aunt, especially when it is said she herself had none (2 Sam 6:23). The simplest explanation is to assume a scribal error, with the suggestion referred to as a possible explanation of it. The lonely Michal (2 Sam 6:20-23) became so identified with her (deceased) sister's children that they became, in a sense, hers.

Henry Wallace


MICHAL - mi'-kal (mikhal, contracted from mikha'el, "Michael" (which see); Melchol): Saul's younger daughter (1 Sam 14:49), who, falling in love with David after his victory over Goliath (1 Sam 18:20), was at last, on the payment of double the dowry asked, married to him (1 Sam 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 Sam 19:11-17). When David was outlawed and exiled, she was married to Palti or Paltiel, the son of Laish of Gallim (1 Sam 25:44), but was, despite Palti's sorrowful protest, forcibly restored to David on his return as king (2 Sam 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 Sam 6:20), and the record closes with the fact that she remained all her life childless (2 Sam 6:23; compare 2 Sam 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.

John A. Lees

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