Then Saul said to David, “Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife. Only be valiant for me and fight the LORD’S battles.” For Saul thought, “Let not my hand be against him, but let the hand of the Philistines be against him.” And David said to Saul, “Who am I, and who are my relatives, my father’s clan in Israel, that I should be son-in-law to the king?” But at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.
Now Saul’s daughter Michal loved David. And they told Saul, and the thing pleased him. Saul thought, “Let me give her to him, that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him.” Therefore Saul said to David a second time, “You shall now be my son-in-law.” And Saul commanded his servants, “Speak to David in private and say, ‘Behold, the king has delight in you, and all his servants love you. Now then become the king’s son-in-law.’”
Comment: It is surprising how much can be fitted into just six verses. Saul’s daughter had been promised as the prize for beating Goliath. It reads as if Saul said to David ‘Ok you can have my first daughter Merab but in the meantime fight a few battles for me.’ It states that his secret hope was that the Philistines would kill David. And David very understandably says that he was not from a social class who should be married into royalty. So Saul gives Merab in marriage to another guy.
We don’t know how much time passed. Maybe there was a murmuring against Saul because he didn’t keep his promise made at the time of the Goliath fight. He has heard the whisper that Michal, another daughter, likes David. We are told that by this offer of marriage Saul hoped to do evil upon David. Thus a second time Saul offers his daughter to him in marriage. Saul is still planning David’s death, and pushes his servants to encourage David to accept. Tomorrow we will get the very dangerous bride-price spelt out!
Prayer: Help me to walk wisely through the minefields of this life, O Lord.
One thought on “1 Samuel 18: 17-22….Arranged marriages.”
Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. Saul’s motives for David’s marriage to his daughter are, unfortunately not pure. He is hoping, and planning David’s death. God sees our motives, and knows our thoughts and the intents of our mind. And as we also know the whole story, and what happens in the end, God, and David win regardless of the devious plans of King Saul. God’s plans will not be thwarted. God bless you.
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