Biblical Archaeology Review 41:3, May/June 2015

Strata: How Many?

Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2015

How many women are said to love a man in the Hebrew Bible?

Answer: One

Only Queen Michal is said to love a man (1 Samuel 18:20). Her father, King Saul, uses his knowledge of her love as a lure for David, who is outshining Saul in both leadership and military success. Saul offers David the hand of his youngest daughter—Michal—for the price of 100 Philistine foreskins. The jealous Saul believes David will fail in his attempt to meet the brideprice and die at the hands of the Philistines. Much to Saul’s dismay, David succeeds in obtaining the brideprice and is granted Michal.

From the moment Michal is said to love David, she becomes a pawn in the political maneuverings between her father and her husband. David is never said to have loved Michal, and his treatment of her compared to his other wives seems to indicate that she spent her life in a loveless political marriage without children.

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