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How many children did Michal have?
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Stephen
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How many children did Michal have?

According to the Aramaic and Hebrew manuscripts, Michal had no sons, but according to some Hebrew manuscripts, Michael did have sons. Scholars tend to agree there is a scribal error in the Hebrew text for 2 Sam. 21:8. The New Bible Dictionary (1962) says "Many scholars substitute Merab for Michal in 2 Sam. 21:8, regarding it as an ancient scribal error, saying that after her death her sons were hanged to atone for Saul's slaughter of the Gibeonites, a breaking of Israel's covenant."

The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says, "the record closes with the fact that she remained all her life childless (2 Sam. 6:23; compare 2 Sam. 21:8 where Michal is an obvious mistake for Merab)."

2 Sam. 6:23 in Hebrew and Aramaic are in agreement where it says Michal had no children. However, the Hebrew text of 2 Sam. 21:8 says she had five sons.

The New World Translation renders 2 Samuel 6:23 from the Hebrew:
"So, as regards Mi´chal, Saul's daughter, she came to have no child down to the day of her death."

2 Samuel 6:23 from Aramaic:
Therefore Michal, daughter of Saul, never bore children to the day she died.

The Aramaic and Hebrew agree and all the English translations I have viewed seem to be the same in this regard. However, the difference or discrepancy is found in 2 Samuel 21:8 where it says Michal had "five sons."

The New World Translation renders 2 Sam. 21:8 from the Hebrew:
"Consequently the king took the two sons of Riz´pah the daughter of A´iah whom she bore to Saul, Ar·mo´ni and Me·phib´o·sheth, and the five sons of Mi´chal the daughter of Saul whom she bore to A´dri·el the son of Bar·zil´lai the Me·hol´ath·ite."

Jay P. Green's Hebrew Interlinear (and translation) renders this similar to the New World Translation with "five sons of Michal."

2 Samuel 21:8 from Aramaic

And David took the two sons of Rizpah, a daughter of Anah ["Aiah" in some translations], she who had given birth to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth. He also took five sons of Nadab, daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel, son of Barzillai of Meholah ["the Meholathite"].

George Lamsa's English translation from the Aramaic says, "But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Ana, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Nadab the daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Azriel, the son of Barzillai the Meholathite"

What scholars refer to as a scribal error in the Hebrew is rendered in the same manner in the King James Version and several others. Notice how the Aramaic says the "five sons" belong to Nadab. The Aramaic helps clear up what appears to be the discrepancy in the Hebrew manuscript.

The 1599 edition of the Geneva Bible has a note concerning the error: "Here Michal is named for Merab Adriel's wife, as it appears in 1 Samuel 18:19 for Michal was the wife of Paltiel, 1 Samuel 25:44 and never had a child 2 Samuel 6:23 ."

The New International Version renders verse 8: "five sons of Saul's daughter Merab" with the following reference note: "Two Hebrew manuscripts, some Septuagint manuscripts and Syriac (see also 1 Samuel 18:19 most Hebrew and Septuagint manuscripts Michal"

The New Revised Standard Version (1989) renders verse 8: "five sons of Merab" with the following reference note: "Two Heb Mss Syr Compare Gk: MT Michal"

The New World Translation reference edition has a very interesting note concerning this: "The Targums read: 'The five sons of Merab (which Michal, Saul's daughter, brought up) which she bare.'"

Other translations:

New American Standard Bible, "five sons of Merab"

Amplified Bible places the name "Merab" in brackets, "five sons of [Merab]"

New Living Translation, "five sons of Saul's daughter Merab"

English Standard Version, "five sons of Merab"

With Christian love,
Stephen


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10-24-2009 12:21 PM
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JWHVACR
Older Man


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RE: How many children did Michal have?

The Septuagint (the OT Bible of 1st Century Christians) says, "So, the king took the two sons of Respha (the daughter of AiAh, Saul’s concubine) who gave birth to Ermoni and MephiBosheth, and the five sons of Michol (Saul’s daughter), who she bore to EsdriEl (the son of BarZilLai the Moulathite)."

Although the names are similar, this woman had another husband.


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11-01-2009 07:37 AM
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