Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Samuel 18:21

Saul thought, "I will give her to him that she may become a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him." Therefore Saul said to David, "For a second time you may be my son-in-law today."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Armies;   Daughter;   David;   Humility;   Jealousy;   Malice;   Marriage;   Prudence;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - David;   Marriage;   Michal;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Prayer;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - David;   Michal;   Saul;   Holman Bible Dictionary - David;   Michal;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Michal ;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - David;   Offence;   Samuel, Books of;   Saul;   Snare;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That she may be a snare to him - Saul had already determined the condition on which he would give his daughter to David; viz., that he should slay one hundred Philistines: this he supposed he would undertake for the love of Michal, and that he must necessarily perish in the attempt; and thus Michal would become a snare to him.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-samuel-18.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In the one of the twain - Some prefer “the second time” Job 33:14. The first contract had been broken by giving Merab to Adriel.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-samuel-18.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

1 Samuel 18:21

And Saul said, I will give him her that she may be a snare to him.

Marriage an instrument of intrigue

We are not without examples in profane history of royal parents employing matrimonial contracts as instruments of intrigue or revenge. Antiochus the Great wedded his daughter Cleopatra to Ptolemy Epiphanes, King of Egypt, in order thereby to compass his destruction, though the baseness of the plot defeated itself (Delany). Saul, doubtless, in ordinary circumstances, would have violently resented the marriage of Michal; but he was artful enough to see, in the preliminaries to such a connection, a new opportunity for effecting his deadly purpose, and that, too, by a repetition of the identical stratagem and unworthy knavery which on two former occasions had been foiled. The thing pleased him, and Saul said, I will give him her that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. (J. R. Macduff, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "1 Samuel 18:21". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/1-samuel-18.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him,.... The cause and occasion of his fall and ruin, by means of what he should propose to him as the condition of marriage; but instead of proving a snare to him, as he hoped, she was the means of his deliverance, when Saul sent messengers to slay him, 1 Samuel 19:11,

and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him; provoked by what he should put him upon doing to them. The scheme he had in his head after appears, and what he now said was not openly said before his servants and courtiers, whom he did not trust with his secrets, but this he said within himself, conceived and contrived it in his own mind:

wherefore Saul said to David; who was as yet at court, or whom he sent for on this occasion:

thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain; by marrying one of his two daughters; signifying, that he would not defer the marriage, or put it off to a longer time, as he had done before, but that he should be married immediately to one or other of his daughters; and seeing he could not have the eldest, she being disposed of, he should have the youngest, and so be equally his son-in-law. If we read the words without the supplement, "shalt be my son-in-law in the two", or in both, the sense is, that he should have them both; and so the Jews sayF23T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 19. 2. , that he married them both, first Merab, and after her death Michal; or that he should be his son-in-law on two accounts, one by betrothing Merab, though he was not married to her, and the other by being married to Michal, so that he would be doubly his son in law; but the sense, according to the supplement, is best.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-samuel-18.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a i snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in [the one of] the twain.

(i) So his hypocrisy appears, for under pretence of favour he sought his destruction.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-samuel-18.html. 1599-1645.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

1 Samuel 18:21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in [the one of] the twain.

Ver. 21. Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law.] Here is a fair glove drawn upon a foul hand; there is a great deal of such colluding and colloguing in the world. "Be wise as serpents."

Sit licet in partes circumspectissimus omnes,

Nemo tamen vulpes, nemo cavere potest. ”

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-samuel-18.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

1 Samuel 18:21. And Saul said, &c.— Houbigant renders this, But Saul determined that he would propose to give her to him, that he might be ensnared by means of her, and fall into the hands of the Philistines. It is not to be imagined that Michal, who loved David, would lay any snares for him: Saul prepared the snare by means of her; hoping, that when David should undertake to fight the Philistines for her sake, he would fall in battle. The latter clause of the verse he renders thus: Thou shalt this day be my son-in-law, on another condition. His first condition was, the conquest of Goliath; his second, an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. Nothing can be more despicable than the shuffling, base, and insidious conduct of Saul, throughout this whole transaction. Ludolf, in his History of Ethiopia, b. 1 Chronicles 16 informs us, that it is to this day the custom in Ethiopia to judge of the number of the dead in a battle, not by the heads, but by those signs of victory which Saul demanded from David.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/1-samuel-18.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This day, i.e. suddenly, within a time which probably Saul prefixed.

In the one of the twain: whereas I have only two daughters, and thou wast disappointed of thy expectation in the one by an unexpected accident, thou shalt certainly have the other, which is the same thing. Heb. in the twain. Thus the cities of Gilead is put for one of them, Jude 12:7; and the sides of the ship for one of the sides, Jonah 1:5. Or he saith in the twain, or in both, because he was in effect betrothed to the one, and should be married to the other, and so was I his son-in-law upon a double account.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-samuel-18.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

21.In the one of the twain — Better, In the second shalt thou become my son in law this day. That is, by means of the second daughter; or, thou shalt become doubly my son in law, for the first (Merab) was lawfully thine, and now the second shall certainly be given thee.

This day — Some day designated for the marriage.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-samuel-18.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Days. Hebrew, "In two thou shalt," &c. (Calmet) --- Protestants, "in the one of the twain," Merob or Michol. (Haydock) --- Saul had deceived him with respect to the first; but he promises that he shall have "the second," (Calmet) or two motives induced the king to make him this offer, the victory over Goliath, and the slaughter of 100 Philistines. (Menochius; Tirinus) --- The Septuagint omit this sentence, and read, "And the hand of the Philistines was upon Saul, and Saul commended," &c.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/1-samuel-18.html. 1859.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(21) That she may be a snare to him.—Is it not possible that this dark plot of Saul against a life once so dear to him—a plot which in after days, when the enmity of the king was a matter of general notoriety, became of course known by David—suggested to him (David) the means by which, in the darkest hours of his life, he got rid of the brave Uriah, the husband of Bath-sheba, at the siege of Rabbah? (2 Samuel 11)

In the one of the twain.—More accurately translated. in this second time, or in this second way. The LXX. again leaves out this statement, no doubt because it refers back to the omitted passage in 1 Samuel 18:17-19.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-samuel-18.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.
a snare
Exodus 10:7; Psalms 7:14-16; 38:12; Proverbs 26:24-26; 29:5; Jeremiah 5:26; 9:8
the hand
17; 19:11,12
this day
Reciprocal: Exodus 23:33 - it will surely;  2 Samuel 11:15 - Set ye;  2 Samuel 12:7 - I delivered;  2 Samuel 17:4 - the saying;  Psalm 10:10 - humbleth;  Psalm 11:2 - that;  Psalm 36:3 - The words;  Psalm 37:12 - GeneralPsalm 56:5 - all;  Psalm 62:9 - of high;  Proverbs 10:18 - that hideth;  Proverbs 26:26 - Whose hatred is covered by deceit;  Matthew 2:7 - General

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 18:21". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-samuel-18.html.