King Saul has two daughters, Merab and Michal. Merab is the oldest.
Saul offers Merab as a wife for David if he will go to war for Saul, to fight the king’s battles for him. But this is a ruse. Saul expects David to die in the military conflict, saving Saul the trouble of killing David himself.
Saul never suspects David will return victorious, but when he does, the king reneges on his promise and marries off Merab to another man, Adriel.
Saul never intended for David and Merab to wed. The all-powerful king merely uses her to entice David to do something life-threatening. In this we see a father who exploits his daughter as bait to bring about his enemy’s death.
Merab and Adriel have five sons. This is the last we hear about her. The bigger story, however, is not over, for David has eyes for her younger sister, Michal.
Have we ever made a promise we had no intention of keeping?
[Discover more about Merab in 1 Samuel 14:49, 1 Samuel 18:17–21, and 2 Samuel 21:8.]
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.