David's Wives: Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba

Melissa A. Jackson

in Comedy and Feminist Interpretation of the Hebrew Bible

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199656776
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191742170 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Theological Monographs

David's Wives: Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba

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Of David's wives, Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba feature more prominently than a passing mention, and each of their stories, appearing throughout 1 and 2 Samuel and the beginning of 1 Kings, exhibits elements of comedy. Michal, yet another trickster, challenges both the patriarchal and the monarchical establishment. Abigail, whose story is the most comically rich of the group, successfully navigates a treacherous course between two comic fools. Reversal defines the story of Bathsheba, a character transformed from victim to victor in a move that wrenches her story from the grasp of tragedy and delivers it to comedy's realm. As with other women of the Deuteronomistic History whose deeds are pressed into the service of the patriarchal agenda, these three wives, along with Abishag, and the comedy of their narratives work to preserve the ‘man’ David. However, reading their stories comically gives them renewed roles as subversive characters who undermine the ‘ideal’ David.

Keywords: 1 Samuel; 2 Samuel; 1 Kings; Abigail; Abishag; Bathsheba; comedy; David; Deuteronomistic History; Michal, trickster

Chapter.  11706 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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