(More Bible Studies Available @ www.marktabata.com)
It is written:
2 Samuel 6:23-Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.
2 Samuel 21:8-So the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite;
Skeptics of the Bible claim that there is a contradiction between these two passages of Scripture. It is claimed that in the first passage, Michal the daughter of Saul “had no children.” Yet then we are told about the “five sons of Michael the daughter of Saul” in the second passage.
Is this a contradiction?
Not at all.
Notice that the second passage (2 Samuel 21:8) qualifies it’s statement about about the “five sons of Michal” by saying, “whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.” Samuel is quick to remind us that these five sons were not Michal’s biological children. Indeed, we are told in 1 Samuel 18:19 that Adriel was her brother-in-law.
1 Samuel 18:19-But it happened at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
The “five sons” mentioned here were actually Michal’s nephews, whom she raised. Furthermore, Lisle points out that there are some manuscript difficulties that provide more insight into the matter:
“33. How many children did Michal have? Second Samuel 6: 23 contradicts 2 Samuel 21: 8. Failure to read the text carefully or to do textual transmission analysis. Michal had no biological children of her own (2 Samuel 6: 23). The critic didn’t read 2 Samuel 21: 8 carefully, because it does not say that Michal birthed any children at all—only that she “brought up” (KJV, translating from the Hebrew), i.e. raised, five children for Adriel. Moreover, the critic should have realized his mistake since Michal was not married to Adriel, but to David. Thus, these five children were birthed by Merab (Michal’s sister)—Adriel’s wife. So, even in the KJV there is no contradiction. Moreover, the critic failed to recognize (or disclose) any textual transmission analysis, because there is some evidence of transmission confusion in this passage. In a number of the ancient manuscripts, Merab and not Michal is mentioned in 2 Samuel 21: 8. (See page 493, BIBLIA HEBRAICA, 1973 Kittel Stuttgart edition, footnote b for 2 Samuel 21: 8, identifying text variants.) The critic would have realized this (or at least would have been alerted to the fact that a translation or transmission factor was relevant to the question) if he had bothered to check other English translations, such as the NASB, the NIV, the NLT, or the ESV. The Chaldee manuscript lists both, specifying “the five sons of Merab which Michal the daughter of Saul brought up. . . .”” (Dr Jason Lisle, Keeping Faith in an Age of Reason: Refuting Alleged Bible Contradictions, 36 (Kindle Edition); Green Forest, AR; Master Books)
Skeptics of the Bible have yet to find a legitimate contradiction, and hence the Word of God continues to stand.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.
Leave a Reply