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Palti, son of Laish

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Maciejowski Bible Leaf 37 3

Michal being taken from Palti

Palti (or Paltiel), son of Laish, who was from Gallim, was the second husband of Michal, Saul's daughter.[1].

Michal was originally David's wife, but Saul gave her to Palti after she helped David escape from Saul. Later when David became king of Judah and Ish-bosheth Saul's son (and Michal's brother) was king of Israel, David demanded her return to him, in return for peace between them. This Ish-bosheth did.[2]

The account says that Palti "followed her weeping as far as Bahurim. But Abner said to him 'Go Back!'. And he turned back."[3]. According to the Talmud, Palti never consummated his marriage with Michal, but kept a sword between them while in bed to separate them. The Talmud explains his weeping as sorrow over the loss of a good deed, and not as weeping for the loss of Michal herself:

Is it not written (II Samuel 3.16), He went weeping? —This was for losing the good deed [of self-restraint]. Hence [he followed her] to [the town called] Bahurim (literally, youths), implying that they both had remained like unmarried youths and not tasted the pleasure of marital relations.[4]


  1. 1 Samuel 25:44
  2. 2 Samuel 3:13-15
  3. 2 Samuel 3:16
  4. Sanhedrin 19b

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