I know that King David did not give Michal a will of divorce when Saul gave her to Laish.

Even though that was a forbidden marriage because she did not have a get, how was King David allowed to take her back? I mean, didn't Laish and Michal have intercourse, which would then for sure make her non-permissible for King David to take her back?

Sorry if I'm not being clear, but basically: How was David allowed to take Michal back?

  • 2
    Palti ben Laish did not sleep with her
    – Double AA
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 1:41
  • is there a source for this? Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 1:47

2 Answers 2


See Shabbos 13b with Rashi and Sanhedrin 19-20, Palti put a sword in their bed and never came close to her. He is praised more than Yosef and Boaz for his control.

  • Though one wonders why they didn't just sleep in different beds/rooms... Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 14:36
  • @Isaac That's an excellent point. The bed part really always bothered me because of that story where the tzurba mirabanan died and it turns out he was sleeping in the same bed as his nida wife.
    – user6591
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 14:39
  • 1
    Unless of course this is just a euphemism. And the point is he stayed away from her.
    – user6591
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 14:52

The Judaica Press Shmuel quotes Radak from Sanhedrin 19B that Palti ben Laish made sure not to have intercourse wih her so as not to make her forbidden. Shaul thought that the marriage of Michal and David was invalid and did not require a divorce. Since David regarded it as valid, they made sure that she did not consummate the marriage.

Others say that Shaul coerced David to give her a divorce. Since Michal and Palti did not want to render her forbidden to David, they did not consummate the marriage (which would have made it forbidden take her back).

Abarbanel says that the phrase "had given" does not mean that he gave her in marriage but that he was an elderly man who acted as her guardian so that no-one would think that Michal would or could have committed adultery.

  • To clarify the opinion of Shaul, there was a dispute at the time as to whether Dovid, as a descendent of Rus, would be a valid Jew (Lo yavo amoni/amoni vilo amonis). If the issur held, then the marriage would automatically be nullified, so Michal wouldn't NEED a get from Dovid to be married to Palti. As this was a conditional kiddusin ("she will be married to whomever does x") that ended in a safek (whether Dovid IS CAPABLE of marrying her), it is quite probable that the kiddushin al tanai was retroactively invalid anyhow. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 14:40
  • @IsaacKotlicky Also there was a dispute whether the kiddushim (the orlos of the pelishtim) was shave p'rutah. In any case, the final psak from Shmuel Hanavi was that Rus was a valid giyores so the kiddushin was valid. Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 15:07
  • Actually, wasn't it Do'eg who threatened anyone contradicting him with a sword, stating that it was halacha lemoshe misinai? It was in Yevamos, but I forget which daf... Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 15:32
  • @IsaacKotlicky Shmuel hanavi wrote Megillsa Rus as the psak to remind everyone of the psak of the Bais Din of Boaz. Doeg was the one who brought up Rus claiming that she was also not able to be misgayer. jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5254-doeg he had well-nigh succeeded in proving by his arguments that David, as a descendant of Ruth the Moabite, could not, according to the Law, belong to the congregation of Israel, when the prophet Samuel interposed in David's favor (Yeb. 76b, 77a; Midr. Shemuel xxii.). Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 15:39
  • Right... it was Yitra, not Doeg, who made the threat. That explains why I mixed them up - Doeg has been talked about in more recently and shows up more frequently, in daf yomi... Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 15:46

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