"As it is Written" — פלטיאל בן ליש Palti(el) ben Laish


  • 1st King = SAUL had many (wives and) children including: Jonathan, Ish-Boshet, Merav and Michal
  • 2nd King = DAVID had many wives (and children), his first wife is Michal (daughter of King Saul)

TEXT #1: I Samuel 18:17-29

MERAV: (17) Saul said to David, “Here is my older daughter, Merav; I will give her to you in marriage; in return, you be my warrior and fight the battles of ADONAI.” Saul thought: “Let not my hand strike him; let the hand of the Philistines strike him.” (18) David replied to Saul, “Who am I and what is my life—my father’s family in Israel—that I should become Your Majesty’s son-in-law?” (19) But at the time that Merav, daughter of Saul, should have been given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite.

MICHAL: (20) Now Michal daughter of Saul had fallen in love with David; and when this was reported to Saul, he was pleased. (21) Saul thought: “I will give her to him, and she can serve as a snare for him, so that the Philistines may kill him.” So Saul said to David, “You can become my son-in-law even now through the second one.”... (25) And Saul said, “Say this to David: ‘The king desires no other bride-price than the foreskins of a hundred Philistines, as vengeance on the king’s enemies.’”—Saul intended to bring about David’s death at the hands of the Philistines.— (26) When his courtiers told this to David, David was pleased with the idea of becoming the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, (27) David went out with his men and killed two hundred Philistines; David brought their foreskins… Saul then gave him his daughter Michal in marriage. (28) When Saul realized that ADONAI was with David and that Michal daughter of Saul loved him, (29) Saul grew still more afraid of David; and Saul was David’s enemy ever after.

TEXT #2: I Samuel 25:42-44

(42) Then Abigail… became his [David’s] wife. (43) Now David had taken Ahinoam of Jezreel; so both of them became his wives. (44) Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti son of Laish from Gallim.

TEXT #3: II Samuel 3:14-16

(14) David also sent messengers to Ishbosheth son of Saul, to say, “Give me my wife Michal, for whom I paid the bride-price of one hundred Philistine foreskins.” (15) So Ishbosheth sent and had her taken away from [her] husband, Paltiel son of Laish. (16) Her husband walked with her as far as Bahurim, weeping as he followed her; then Abner [Saul’s army commander] ordered him to turn back, and he went back.


1. Love/less marriage:

  • Why does Saul want Merav to marry David? (see Text #1, verse 17)
  • Why does Saul want Michal to marry David? (see Text#1, verses 20, 21, 25)
  • Why does Michal want to marry David? (Text #1, verses 20 and 28)
  • Why does David want to marry Michal? (Text #1, verse 26) And how might verse 14 in TEXT#3 add to our understanding of David’s feelings for Michal?

2. Based on Saul’s actions in these 2 verses (TEXT #1 verse 19 and TEXT #2 verse 44) how would you describe Saul? Think of 3 adjectives: _____________ , ___________________ , _______________

3. TEXT #3 verse 16 describes a very poignant scene where Michal is ordered to leave her second husband, Palti(el) in order to resume her position as David’s wife.

  • What do you imagine is going through Palti’s mind as he weeps behind her?
  • What do you think Michal might be feeling about Palti?