So this reading has a passage I’ve been waiting to talk about. Honestly, this is a passage I should probably research more before writing about it, but I want to respond to this one before I read what other’s have to say. I do think I’m going to look for a book on Michal, though. She fascinates me.
So Michal is at home in Jerusalem, now. She’s been reunited with David for a while. And there’s the first interesting thing. When he demands her return, nothing is said about her response. It’s said that the man she was given to in David’s absence follows her, crying. But it doesn’t say whether she cries to leave him. It doesn’t say whether she is happy to see David, or angry that he’s pulled her away from the man she’s been married to for years by then.
What is said here is that she’s Saul’s daughter. Yes, pretty much every time they mention Abigail, the remind us that she’s Nabal’s widow, so it could be that identifying her as Saul’s daughter is a mere formality. He was the man from whom David received her. The one source I did consult, as is my habit, was the FaithLife Study Bible. They suggest that this may be significant, or, rather, they simply draw attention to the fact that she is ‘primarily identified as Saul’s daughter, not as David’s wife.’ I tend to believe that’s as significant as Abigail’s first husband, though. Patterns matter.
So what is her problem? Is she actually embarrassed by his public display as she claims? Or is she bitter about his treatment of her, demanding her back the way he did? She helped David escape her father because she loved him, but she was left there, with a man that, from all indications, suffered some significant mental health issues. Why didn’t she flee? I’m pretty sure Jonathan would have helped her get away, and David had other wives with him in exile. Did she choose to stay? Did Saul succeed in turning her against David? Or did she feel abandoned because David left her there? Did she love her second husband as much as he obviously loved her? It would be hard to imagine a man being so in love with a woman that he would follow her through the city, openly weeping, if she were resentful or even indifferent toward him.
The thing is, we just don’t know. We don’t know if David ever wrote to her. We don’t know if he told her to stay with her father or promised to send for her and wasn’t able to until after she’d been remarried. We don’t know how she felt about being reunited with him. We don’t know a lot of things.
All we know is that she despised him for exposing himself in public. He’d behaved commonly, as one of the vulgar fellows, not as a king. Was she really that conceited? She was a princess. Or did she just despise him and that was a handy criticism? Don’t know. Again.
She was judged for it, though. Whether David just never ‘went in to her’ again or God directly ‘closed her womb,’ she was childless. As we’ve seen through other women, this was a disgrace, a humiliation. Especially as his other wives are all giving him children.
Michal is one of those characters I’d love to be able to get to know. My heart goes out to her. Yes, she’s obviously wrong, but she’s also obviously in a great deal of pain. I wonder what opportunities she had to find comfort. In her second husband, maybe? I’m not sure there’s anything more here to uncover, to decipher. I think she’s just a sad mystery lost to the ages. Hopefully, though, hopefully her faith was sufficient that I will get to see her some day, to give her a hug, and to ask her myself. Being denied a child is hardly indicative of an eternal judgment.