› Forums › Religion › Who was Merab in the bible › Reply To: Who was Merab in the bible
According to the Bible, Merab served as little more than a pawn in the plans of others. First, she was offered as a reward for valor, then as bait in Saul’s trap. Finally, her five sons were sacrificed to the Gibeonites to compensate for Saul’s atrocities.
Merab was the daughter of king Saul. Merab first appeared—though she was not mentioned by name— during the confrontation between David and Goliath. Saul had promised his daughter’s hand in marriage, along with riches and a lifetime tax exemption, to whoever managed to kill the Philistine giant. David, having been sent on an errand to his older brothers on the front lines, volunteered for the job, even as battle-hardened soldiers cowered.
Despite killing Goliath, however, Saul did not immediately reward David as promised. Instead, while Israel celebrated its young new hero, Saul grew jealous and paranoid. Twice he tried unsuccessfully to run David through with a spear.
MERAB Daughter of King Saul When that failed, Saul began sending David on dangerous military missions, promising the very reward that David had already earned: Merab’s hand in marriage. “Only serve me bravely and fight the battles of the LORD,” Saul insisted (1 Samuel 18:17). His real plan was to expose David to the Philistines and let them do his dirty work.
Saul’s plan backfired. Not only did David refuse the invitation to wed Merab, but he continued to succeed against the Philistines, gaining more popularity with each victory. Merab was given to Adriel of Meholah instead. Merab then went unmentioned for many years, until David was seated on Israel’s throne.
David had summoned the Gibeonites to find out how he could make restitution for Saul’s attempt to annihilate them. (Israel had sworn an oath to spare the Gibeonites years earlier, but in an incident not recorded in scripture, Saul had attacked them.) The Gibeonites asked for seven male descendants of Saul, and David obliged, handing over five of Merab’s sons, along with two other members of Saul’s household. The seven men were executed and their bodies put on display as a reminder of Saul’s misdeeds.
Merab was the older of two daughters of Saul. The youngest daughter, Michal, fell in love with David and eventually became his wife.