Divrei Hayamim I – Three: Michal

I’m doing a slight switch-up today, and instead of focusing on what’s in the text of today’s chapter, I want to actually focus on what – or in this case, who – isn’t there. This chapter continues the trend of delving into the genealogy of our favorite biblical characters, and this time focuses on King David. We get shoutouts to each of his wives for the sons they produced for him. For example, “The fifth, Sephatiah, to Abital; the sixth, Ithream, to Eglah his wife (Chronicles I 3:3).” Fine. However, I can’t help but notice that someone is missing from the chapter. Michal, David’s first wife and queen, King Saul’s daughter, doesn’t even get a mention in this chronology of David. And the sad reason is that it’s because she was barren, and without contributing to his line, seems to have been erased from his life. We see throughout Tanakh that there are women who experience fertility issues, but part of the reason that we even know their stories is that those issues are somehow overcome and they do have the longed-for children (i.e. sons) that they were praying for. But what about Michal? She’s left childless to the end, and now her very existence seems to be ignored. I know we have to read through the context of the time, but it actually breaks my heart that this woman was so brushed aside just because she didn’t give the king sons. So I’m remembering Michal, and all other voiceless women, removed from the pages of text and history because they didn’t do what others expected of them.

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