Michal had no child.
20 But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!”
21 So David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord.
22 I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.”
23 Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

2 Samuel 6:20-23  NASB


Michal had five children.
8 So the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, Armoni and Mephibosheth whom she had borne to Saul, and the five sons of Merab the daughter of Saul, whom she had borne to Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.
2 Samuel 21:8  NASB


SAB Contradiction 306


Merab or Michal?
In the most authoritative Hebrew texts of 2 Samuel 21:8  Merab is not mentioned but Michal is. We will certainly chose here for this reading (Michal) as also the critics who suppose that this is a serious and undeniable Bible Contradiction. We will see.


Previous History
Before David conquered Goliath he had heard that the king would give his daughter (Merab) to the warrior that could slay the giant (1 Samuel 17:25). Later on Saul promised David his daughter Merab, but he broke his promise and Merab was given to another:
So it came about at the time when Merab, Saul’s daughter, should have been given to David, that she was given to Adriel the Meholathite for a wife.  (1 Samuel 18:19  NASB)

Hereafter Saul saw that his second daughter Michal loved David and again he promised David that he could be the king’s son-in-law by marrying Michal. So David and Michal became a couple (1 Samuel 18:27).


Seeming Problem
Isn’t it strange that Michal is said to be the spouse of Adriel and that she got five sons with him instead of her older sister Merab (2 Samuel 21:8  NASB)? For most Bible interpreters this was/is the motivation to suppose that the holy writer mistakenly wrote ‘Michal’ in 1 Samuel 18:27 and that Merab was meant actually. Or is this only an apparent problem?


Read and Conclude
Let’s imagine what we read. Shortly after his marriage with Michal David was on the run for Saul. When we hear later that Michal had five sons with Adriel, it is clear that Merab died soon after here marriage and that Saul gave his daughter Michal to Adriel. Saul was certainly aware that nothing could hurt David more than this? Of course it also did hurt his daughter Michal, but that didn’t seem to be Saul’s concern.


Reunion with David
As soon as David became king in Juda and Israel, he was already 37,5 years then, he claimed that Michal would be brought to him as he was her right husband. Unfortunately Adriel was not her husband anymore. Most probably he died; anyway Michal was given to a certain Paltiel and Michal had to divorce again to return to David (2 Samuel 3:15).


Reunion or Tragedy?
Shortly thereafter the ark of the covenant with the ten commandments was brought to Jerusalem. Michal didn’t partake in the festivities; she looked outside the window and to her irritation she saw David in the poor clothing of a Levite dancing in front of the ark. However she was eager to be present when David turned home to see his family. Then she couldn’t control herself and she humiliated David in public (2 Samuel 6:20 NASB). And then is said that Michal didn’t have children until her death (vs. 23). It is so absolutely clear that the story doesn’t tell about her past, but about the moment of speaking up to the future.


Yes, Michal had five children.
No, after her reunion with David she didn’t have anymore childern.

A Bible Contradiction? No way.


The five sons of Michal are mentioned in 2 Samuel 21:8 as victims of the Gibeonites who asked satisfaction for the cruel persecution Saul and his house (2 Samuel 21:4) organized against them. The sons of Michal must have taken part in this persecutions as only guilty individuals could recieve capital punishment. Was this possible with regard to their age? When we take round years:

David 17 years beats Goliath; 18 years marriage Michal; on the run for Saul 18 – 30 years; king in Hebron 30 – 37,5 years; king in Jerusalem 37,5 – 70 years (1 Samuel 17:42; 2 Samuel 5:4-5).  
Reunion with Michal after about 20 years, David 37,5 years. Her five sons then between 15 and 20 years (reasonable estimate). It would mean that their father Adriel was the one who dragged down his sons in this crime against the Gibeonites that continued after the death of Saul until David’s kingship over Israel.
Adriel was most probably a half-brother of Michal as their children belonged to the house of Saul; which included a direct male lineage from Saul via his son Adriel. (See the article: How many were in Jacob’s family when they came into Egypt?)