Biblical People

Biblical People: Michal

David plays a critical role in the success of King Saul and the nation of Israel. Despite this, Saul’s attitude toward David varies greatly, with Saul often wanting to kill David out of jealousy.

When Saul learns his daughter, Michal, is in love with David, Saul hatches a plan to use her to bring about David’s downfall. 

For a dowry, Saul requests proof that David has killed one hundred Philistines. Saul assumes David will die trying. Instead, David succeeds, even presenting evidence he’s killed twice the requested number. 

David and Michal marry.

When Michal learns of her father’s plan to kill David, she helps her husband escape and then covers for him. But when her father confronts her duplicity, she lies, claiming David forced her to help.

Some time later, when David is on the run, Saul gives Michal to another man. Eventually, David arranges for Michal’s return, and the pair reunite. But they don’t live happily ever after. The fact that he has other wives may have something to do with it.

After David ascends to power, he brings the ark back, celebrating wildly in praise to God. Michal criticizes his excessive public display of worship and despises him for his actions. Though she once loved him, she no longer does.

We can only guess why. Did his celebratory romp repel her? Perhaps she gave her heart to her second husband, or maybe it was because David married other women.

Regardless, Michal never has any children. Might David have rejected her because of her disapproval of his exuberant dance? Or maybe God punished her for criticizing David’s passionate worship. In any regard, a critical spirit is never attractive.

Do we have a critical spirit? What should we do about it?

[Discover more about Michal in 1 Samuel 14:49, 1 Samuel 18–19, 1 Samuel 25:44, 2 Samuel 3:13–14, 2 Samuel 6:16–23, and 1 Chronicles 15:29.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website 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.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at