Re: Michal, Example of Divorce in Ancient Middle East
- Hi Ethel,
oddly enough there is a school of rabbinic thought that holds that David did not divorce Michal, but that his anger over her reaction caused only a temporary rift between them. In this theory, the rift was officially satisfied by a change of name Michal -> Eglah, as seen for example in 2 Sam 3:5 and 1 Chron 3:3. So that way he could save his reputation over the argument, but also get her back as wife.
The logic here is that Eglah is carefully called "David's wife" in both verses, even in a context where multiple wives are listed. Michal is the only other woman to be explicitly given this title (even though it is clear that he married several others), hence the suggestion that the two names in fact refer to the same person.
Of course it's only a theory with not a lot other than tradition going for it, but I found it quite interesting.
All the best
"Triumphal Accounts in Hebrew and Egyptian"
--- In AncientBibleHistory@yahoogroups.com, "ethels" wrote:
> I'm glad I've taken the approach to google any idea that pops into my head because probably someone has taken care of it for me.
> My interest started when reading this with respect to the importance of the Ark of the Covenant. I've loved the description of the Triumphant March but I also believed it shows that David divorced his wife.
> 2 Samuel Chapter 6
> New Jerusalem Bible
> "20 As David was coming back to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him. 'Much honour the king of Israel has won today,' she said, 'making an exhibition of himself under the eyes of his servant-maids, making an exhibition of himself like a buffoon!'
> 21 David replied to Michal, 'I was dancing for Yahweh, not for them. As Yahweh lives, who chose me in preference to your father and his whole family to make me leader of Israel, Yahweh's people, I shall dance before Yahweh and
> 22 lower myself even further than that. In your eyes I may be base, but by the maids you speak of, by them, I shall be held in honour!'
> 23 And to the day of her death, Michal, daughter of Saul, had no children."
> Verse 23 is the one that I think where David officially divorces Michal. It is very ordinary even today. Today woman can charge their husbands for desertion.
> This has been the case until very modern times. I KNOW:) I love quoting from this Bible because of it's use of Yahweh. - ethel jks