Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 21:8

So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Adriel;   Ajah;   Armoni;   Barzillai;   David;   Gibeon;   Meholathite;   Mephibosheth;   Rizpah;   Saul;   Thompson Chain Reference - Michal;   Rizpah;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Gibeonites;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Adriel;   Barzillai;   Mephibosheth;   Merab;   Rizpah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Gibeon;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Murder;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Adriel;   Armoni;   Barzillai;   David;   Gibeah;   Mephibosheth;   Merab;   Michal;   Rizpah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Adriel;   Armoni;   David;   Mephibosheth;   Merab;   Michal;   Rizpah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Adriel;   Aiah;   Armoni;   Beeroth;   Court Systems;   Gibeon;   Hanging;   Meholathite;   Mephibosheth;   Merab;   Michal;   Samuel, Books of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Adriel;   Aiah;   Armoni;   Barzillai;   Ethics;   Haggai;   Israel;   Meholathite;   Mephibosheth;   Merab;   Rizpah;   Rock;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Adriel ;   Aiah ;   Armoni ;   Barzillai ;   Gibeonites ;   Meholathite ;   Mephibosheth ;   Michal ;   Rizpah ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Mephibosheth;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Barzillai;   Mephibosheth;   Rizpah;   Smith Bible Dictionary - A'dri-El;   A-I'ah;   Armo'ni,;   Barzil'la-I;   Mephib'osheth;   Me'rab;   Mi'chal;   Riz'pah,;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Abel-Meholah;   Adriel;   Aiah;   Armoni;   Barzillai;   David;   Heredity;   Meholathite;   Mephibosheth;   Merab;   Michal;   Relationships, Family;   Salvation;   Samuel, Books of;   Saul;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Abel-Meholah;   Adoption;   Adriel;   Atonement;   Burnt Offering;   Crime;   Rizpah;   Soṭ;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Five sons of Michal - whom she brought up - Michal, Saul's daughter, was never married to Adriel, but to David, and afterwards to Phaltiel; though it is here said she bore ילדה yaledah, not brought up, as we falsely translate it: but we learn from 1 Samuel 18:19, that Merab, one of Saul's daughters, was married to Adriel.

Two of Dr. Kennicott's MSS. have Merab, not Michal; the Syriac and Arabic have Nadab; the Chaldee has properly Merab; but it renders the passage thus: - And the five sons of Merab which Michal the daughter of Saul brought up, which she brought forth to Adriel the son of Barzillai. This cuts the knot.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-21.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Rizpah - See the marginal reference. A foreign origin was possibly the cause of the selection of Rizpah‘s sons as victims.

Sons of Michal - An obvious error for “Merab” (1 Samuel 18:19 note).

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-21.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah,.... Saul's concubine, 2 Samuel 3:7,

whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; of whom we read nowhere else; after the name of the latter, it is probable, Jonathan's son was called, before mentioned:

and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite; Michal had no children to the day of her death, nor was she the wife of Adriel, but Merab her sister, 1 Samuel 18:19; wherefore these sons were not whom she "bare", as the word used signifies, but, as we rightly render it, whom she "brought up" or educated, so the Targum, her sister being dead; and so the Jews sayF11T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 19. 2. , Merab brought them forth, and Michal brought them up, therefore they were called by her name; or the words may be supplied thus, "and the five sons of the sister of Michal", and, as in 2 Samuel 21:19, is supplied, "the brother of Goliath". Barzillai is here called the Meholathite, to distinguish him from Barzillai the Gileadite, spoken of in a former chapter, see 2 Samuel 17:27.

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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-21.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

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 f Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:

(f) 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).
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-21.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel — Merab, Michal‘s sister, was the wife of Adriel; but Michal adopted and brought up the boys under her care.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-21.html. 1871-8.

Scofield's Reference Notes

sons

CF. 2 Samuel 6:23. The "five sons" were children of Michal's sister Merab, wife of Adriel, "whom she brought up for Adriel". 1 Samuel 18:19.

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on 2 Samuel 21:8". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/2-samuel-21.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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:

Ver. 8. But the king took the two sons of Rizpah.] By God’s warrant and direction doubtless, who can, at his pleasure, dispense with his own laws.

And the five sons of Michal, the daughter of Saul.] Or, Of Michal’s sister, - via, Merab: whose children, Michal, having none of her own, had adopted and educated. See the like ellipsis, 2 Samuel 21:19, Jeremiah 32:12.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-21.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

2 Samuel 21:8. And the five sons of Michal Or, Merab. From the parallel passage, 1 Samuel 18:19 it appears that Merab, not Michal, was married to Adriel; and therefore, as Houbigant has very fully shewn, we should read Merab in this place, instead of Michal.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/2-samuel-21.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Rizpah; Saul’s concubine, 2 Samuel 21:11 2 Samuel 3:7.

The five sons of Michal, or, of Michal’s sister, to wit, Merab; for Michal had no children, 2 Samuel 6:23, nor was she married to this Adriel, but to Phalti, or Phaltiel, the son of Laish, 1 Samuel 25:44 2 Samuel 3:15; and Merab her sister was married to this very Adriel the Meholathite, 1 Samuel 18:19. And it must be remembered, that the Hebrew language is very short, and full of ellipses or defects of words, which yet may be easily understood from the sense. Particularly relative words are oft lacking, and to be supplied; as Goliath is put for Goliath’s brother, here, 2 Samuel 21:19, and uncle for uncle’s son, Jeremiah 32:7,12. Or, the sons of Merab are called the sons of Michal, to wit, by adoption; or, the near kindred and next heirs of Michal, and brought up by her; for upon that and such-like accounts the title of son is oft given in Scripture, as Genesis 48:5 Exodus 2:10 Deuteronomy 25:5,6 Rth 1:11,12 4:17.

Quest. But why then are not these called the sons of Merab?

Answ. Because they were better known by their relation to Michal, who was David’s wife, and, it may be, alive at this time, and having no children of her own, took these, and bred them up as her own; when Merab was now a more obscure person, and possibly dead many years before this.

Whom she brought up; for so this Hebrew verb, which primarily and properly signifies to bear, is sometimes used, as Genesis 1:23 Ruth 4:17, because the education of children is a kind of bearing of them, as requiring frequently no less care and pains than the bearing doth; whence it is that nurses are reputed as mothers, and sometimes go under that name both in sacred and profane writers. See Ruth 4:16,17; and compare Genesis 16:2 30:3 Numbers 11:12 Galatians 4:19.

The Meholathite; of Abel-meholah in the tribe of Benjamin, Jude 7:22; so he is here called by way of distinction from Barzillai the Gileadite, 2 Samuel 19:31.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-21.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8.Rizpah — A concubine of Saul. 2 Samuel 3:7.

Michal — Rather, Merab. See 1 Samuel 18:19. The insertion of Michal for Merab was, probably, the mistake of an early copyist.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-21.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Of Michol. They were the sons of Merob, who was married to Hadriel; but they are here called the sons of Michol, because she adopted them, and brought them up as her own: (Challoner; Chaldean; St. Jerome, Trad.) or Merob ws called Michol; (Sa) or, what seems most probable, from the word she bore being used, (Cajetan) and as two sisters would hardly have the same name, (Haydock) Micholhas crept into the text instead of Merob. (Capel; Salien; Calmet) (1 Kings xxv. 44.)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-21.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Michal. Some codices, cited in the Massorah, with Septuagint and Syriac, read "Merab", as in 1 Samuel 18:19.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-21.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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:

The five sons of Michal ... whom she brought up for Adriel. Michal has by an error been substituted in the text for Merab, Saul's oldest daughter, who, as appears, 1 Samuel 18:19, was married to Adriel [Septuagint, Esdrieel]. Our translators, not daring to impugn the accuracy of the text, and yet finding it difficult to reconcile the passage before us with the one quoted from the First Book of Samuel, have suggested a conjectural solution by the use of the phrase "brought up," as if Adriel having become a widower by the death of his wife, his five young sons had been reared under the care of their aunt Michal. It is fatal however, to such a hypothesis that there is nothing in the original corresponding to "brought up." [The Hebrew text has yaal

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-21.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Took the two sons of Rizpah.—The suggestion that David took advantage of this opportunity to strengthen himself further against the house of Saul is utterly set aside by two considerations: (1) David could not lawfully refuse the demand of the Gibeonites, since the Law absolutely required that blood-guiltiness should be expiated by the blood of the offender (Numbers 35:33), which, in this case, became that of his representatives; and (2) David’s choice of victims was directly opposed to such a supposition. He spared, for Jonathan’s sake, the only descendants of Saul in the male line, who only could have advanced any claim to the throne, and took (1) the two sons of Rizpah, a concubine of Saul, with whom Abner had committed adultery (2 Samuel 3:7), and (2) five sons of Saul’s eldest daughter Merab, who had been promised in marriage to David himself, and then given to another (1 Samuel 18:17-19). The text has Michal instead of Merab; but this must be an error of the scribe, since it was Merab, not Michal, who was married to “Adriel the Meholathite” (1 Samuel 18:19), and Michal was childless (2 Samuel 6:23). The English phrase “brought up for” is taken from the Chaldee; the Hebrew, as noted in the margin, is bare to.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-21.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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:
Rizpah
3:7
and the five sons
This Adriel did not marry Michal, Saul's younger daughter, but Merab, 1 Sa 18:19; Michael being married to David, and afterwards to Phaltiel; though it is here said she bore (yaledah, not brought up, as falsely rendered, five sons to Adriel. Two of Dr. Kennicott's MSS., however, have Merab, instead of Michal; the Syriac and Arabic have Nadab; and the Chaldee renders the passage thus: "And the five sons of Merab which Michal the daughter of Saul brought up, which she brought forth to Adriel the son of Barzillai."
Michal
or, Michal's sister.
1 Samuel 18:19
brought up for
Heb. bare to.
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 20:16 - Let the Lord;  2 Samuel 21:10 - Rizpah;  Psalm 109:14 - Let the;  Jonah 1:15 - they

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 21:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-21.html.