Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Rizpah and Michal

Life as a royal woman in the days of the kings was not an easy life. Men used women as political pawns to show power and to get what they wanted. 2 Samuel chapter 3 tells the stories of Rizpah and Michal caught up in political games.

After the death of King Saul, the house of Saul and the house of David fought for control. Rizpah, Saul’s concubine, got caught up in one of these political battles. 

Ishbosheth, Saul’s son, accused Abner, his military captain, of sleeping with Rizpah. Had this been true, Abner would have been guilty of treason, but it was a lie. Abner didn’t take the false accusation lightly. He told Ishbosheth that he was transferring his loyalty from the house of Saul to the house of David.

Now, while David was living as a fugitive in the wilderness, Saul gave Michal to Palti, the son of Laish, from Gallim. When Abner sent word to David wanting to make a covenant together. David agreed, but said first, he wanted his wife Michal returned to him. 

David sent word to Ishbosheth to send Michal to him. Ishbosheth took her away from Palti and led her back to David. This displeased Palti who followed behind her weeping until Abner ordered him to go back home. 

Rizpah was only a concubine, not receiving the respect that came with being an official wife. Then her reputation was questioned due to a power play between Ishbosheth and Abner. 

Michal got passed from one husband to the next with no regard to her feelings. She was given to David. She was taken from David. She was given to Palti. She was taken from Palti. She was given to David again. What a tangled mess!

Read about Rizpah and Michal in Scripture: 2 Samuel 3.

Rizpah and Michal
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