How many children did Michal (the daughter of Saul) Have?

Jonathan Shelley
Oct 13, 2015

The Contradiction

(KJV) Contradiction 1: Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no children. 2 Samuel 6:23

(KJV) Contradiction 2: ...And the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul... 2 Samuel 21:8


The Answer

The key to answering this supposed contradiction is simple if you read all of verse 8 in 2 Samuel 21.

2 Samuel 21:8 But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:

2 Samuel 21:8 lets us know that Michal raised Adriel's children who were most likely also her sister Merab's children (*Due to the fact the the sons of Adriel are considered descendants of Saul).

1 Samuel 18:19 But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife.

2 Samuel 6:23 let us know that Michal, the wife of David never bare any children. Then 2 Samuel 21:8 let us know that she did in fact help raise the children of her brother-in-law, Adriel. This is additional information about Michal given to us from God and is no contradiction.


What does the phrase "Brought Up" mean?

Some places in the Bible provide a somewhat ambiguous context to define the phrase "brought up" such as:

  • 2 Kings 10:1-5 - the phrase "brought up" could be caretakers or those that bare Ahab's children.

And Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. And Jehu wrote letters, and sent to Samaria, unto the rulers of Jezreel, to the elders, and to them that brought up Ahab's children, saying,


Yet, if we look at other places that the KJV Bible uses the phrase "brought up" it is clear that this phrase does not always deteremine genetic paternity but rather who spent the time raising/instructing the children/subject, which could be the biological parents or someone else. Consider the following:

  • 2 Chronicles 8:11 - Did Soloman give birth to his wife?

And Solomon brought up the daughter of Pharaoh out of the city of David unto the house that he had built for her: for he said, My wife shall not dwell in the house of David king of Israel, because the places are holy, whereunto the ark of the LORD hath come.


  • 2 Chronicles 10:8 - Rehoboam's friends or brothers?

But he forsook the counsel which the old men gave him, and took counsel with the young men that were brought up with him, that stood before him.


  • Isaiah 49:21 - uses both begotten to mean birth and brought up to mean raised.

Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and am desolate, a captive, and removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been?


  • Isaiah 51:18 - uses brought forth to signify birth and brought up to mean raised.

There is none to guide her among all the sons whom she hath brought forth; neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up.


  • Jeremiah 23:7 - The LORD brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt but they were not all begotten for many of them did not believe in the LORD.

Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;


  • Luke 4:16 - We know Jesus was born in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:1) thus when the Bible states he was brought up in Nazareth it is referring to him being raised there.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.


  • Acts 22:3 - It should be obvious that Paul was not born at the feet of Gameliel but raised by him.

I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day.


What about the Hebrew?

The above examples should be enough to prove that "brought up" can mean something other than to bear, but for those "Hebrew Scholars" that hate God's preserved word in English (KJV Bible), we must consider the textual criticism problems too.

There are many examples shown above that the KJV Bible is consistent in its definition of the phrase "brought up", which provides no contradiction with the fact that the Bible says that Michal bear no children yet helped raise her brother-in-law's sons. Yet, the "Hebrew Scholars" will point to the fact that the underlying Hebrew word translated into English as "brought up" in 2 Samuel 21:8 is the word YALAD, which most if not all lexicons will provide the definition of "to bear". Now we have a problem, is the lexicon the inspired word of God or not? Well, if we say that because the lexicon only provides a definition of "to bear", then also in Genesis 50:23 where the Hebrew word YALAD is used we would have to say that Joseph's grandchildren were literally born on Joseph's knees. I am not a medical professional but I think it would be FOOLISH to believe that all of the wives of Joseph's sons were laid across his lap while they gave birth. I believe most people can realize that the lexicon is wrong by not providing the alternative definition of "brought up", which would then easily provide no contradiction in the KJV Bible nor ruin Genesis 50:23.


Genesis 50:23

And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up (YALAD) upon Joseph's knees.


In response to The Divine Evidence​

Romans 3:3-4

3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? 4 God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.