According to Jewish tradition and texts like the Talmlud, Michal was so beautiful, married men would be tempted to leave their wives for her.I can’t say what Michal looked liked for sure. No one can. So people dive into the cliche question–was she pretty or ugly? I can’t answer that fully either.
But I have formed some theories about her looks and attractiveness by going back to the Bible.
The Unique Look of Benjaminites
During the reign of the judges, the tribe of Benjamin nearly became extinct due to the vicious fights with the other tribes of Israel. None of the other tribes wanted their daughters to marry into the tribe, So the Benjaminites married local maidens of Shiloh. Thus, the tiniest tribe had a makeover.Their new look would have set them apart from the other Israelites.
The King James Version of the Bible describes Saul as: “a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people.” (1 Samuel 9:2)
Other versions like the New International Version replaces some words and reads “as handsome a young man as could be found anywhere in Israel, and he was a head taller than anyone else.”
Though different versions and translations of the Bible use different word choice, the meaning is same.
Simply put, Saul was the tallest and best looking man in Israel.
Did Michal inherit her father’s good looks and height? We don’t get any description of her mother, but because Saul was the tallest man in Israel, she probably was on the taller side. She definitely wasn’t ugly.
One of a Kind
The Benjaminish woman was somewhat of a novelty item in Israel. It all started the moment Jacob saw Rachel (mother of Benjamin). Benjaminite women were rare during the reigns of the judges, Saul, and David,. Many, many centuries later, the king chose Esther as queen out of multiple maidens.
Rachel, the Shiloh women, and Esther were all specially handpicked to be wives. I believe Michal was as well.
David would have found Michal appealing.
Imagine. A shepherd from the tribe of Judah marrying a woman from the tribe of Benjamin. A poor boy marrying a princess. Absurd!
David liked the impossible—and obtaining Michal was impossible.
Photo from pixabay.
On-line Tanach Class: Michal taught by Mordechai Torczyner
King James and New International Version of the Bible: Judges 21, 2 Samuel 9: 2, Book of Esther.