And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. … And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. …
Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself today in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!
And David said unto Michal, It was before the LORD, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel: therefore will I play before the LORD.
And I will yet be more vile than this, and will be base in my own sight: and the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall I be had in honour.
Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death. – 2 Samuel 6:16-23

*   *   *

This must have been some blowout fight, one the entire palace heard and long remembered the details. Two lovers, intense in their passion, but whose differences ultimately shatter any compatibility. Outwardly here, we have her expectations of how royalty should act and appear – Michal (short for Michelle) had, after all, been raised as the king’s daughter – while David was a man of the people.

In the terse portrayal of Michal, we are given a heartbreaking tragedy. She was, after all, given to David as his wife (after David had presented her father the foreskins of 200 slain Philistines – twice the requisite payment), then given to another when David was forced to flee (and escaped with his life because of Michal’s concealment, 1 Samuel 19:11-17), before they were reunited. It’s the stuff of Hollywood.

The chilling line, though, of having no child of her own cuts sharply. After their rupture, the king had more wives and lovers. The queen, however, was shunned to the day of her death.

*   *   *

But notwithstanding the Wrath of the Adversary, their Innocency will appear with its open Face; for the Time is now a hasting, wherein it will be seen who are but nominally, and who are really righteous. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)


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