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Merab was the eldest daughter of King Saul. She was promised in marriage to David (who later became King David) after David's victory over Goliath, but only as a means to recklessly embolden David in further battles - wars are morally fought when in the genuine defense of one's nation; wars are immorally fought when the purpose is to satisfy any sort of personal covetousness i.e. "From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?" (James 4:1 KJV).

Saul became very jealous of David after his defeat of Goliath; the offer of the king's daughter in marriage was merely intended to get David killed. When that didn't happen (King David was a true man of God and a key ancestor of Jesus Christ, but he was also a man whose hands were covered in blood, a condition that caused The Lord to pass over David as the one who would build the Temple i.e. "Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto My Name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in My sight" 1 Chronicles 22:8 KJV; it was David's son Solomon, a man of peace, who built the House of God, 1 Chronicles 22:9) the insincerity of Saul's offer was made apparent - Merab was given in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite.


Saul had two daughters, the firstborn Merab, and the younger Michal:

King David leading The Ark

"Now the sons of Saul were Jonathan, and Ishui, and Melchishua: and the names of his two daughters were these; the name of the firstborn Merab, and the name of the younger Michal" (1 Samuel 14:49 KJV)

Merab entered recorded Bible History after the young David killed Goliath, a triumph that, along with more military successes later, made David very popular among the people and a potential political rival to Saul, as Saul himself immediately realized:

"So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine" (1 Samuel 17:50 KJV)

"And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabrets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands."

"And Saul was very wroth, and the saying displeased him; and he said, They have ascribed unto David ten thousands, and to me they have ascribed but thousands: and what can he have more but the kingdom? And Saul eyed David from that day and forward." (1 Samuel 18:6-9 KJV)

Saul's solution to David's popularity was to promise his daughter's hand in marriage to David, if David continued to serve Saul well on the battlefield. Saul was however merely encouraging David to become more daring so that "the hand of the Philistines be upon him." When David didn't get himself killed, Saul's insincerity was made apparent - Merab was given in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite with whom Saul maintained an alliance.

"And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight The Lord's battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him."

"And David said unto Saul, Who am I? and what is my life, or my father's family in Israel, that I should be son in law to the king?"

"But it came to pass at the time when Merab Saul's daughter should have been given to David, that she was given unto Adriel the Meholathite to wife." (1 Samuel 18:17-19 KJV)

Fact Finder: What was King David's relationship with King Saul's other daughter, Michal?
See Michal

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