Monday, January 11, 2016

How Many Wives Did David Have?

O. T. #673  "How Many Wives Did David Have?"
January 11, 2016
2 Samuel 3
These are the sons born to David in Hebron...2 Samuel 3:2-5


The civil war between the house of Saul and the house of David was a long drawn out ordeal. It
cost both sides of a nation to weaken-Israel and Judah. They lost sight of God's vision and purpose for them, which was to settle into the Promised Land (Gen 12:7), drive out the Canaanites (Deut. 7:1-4), and obey God's laws (Deut. 8:1). So they fought with each other instead of uniting for those purposes. Their energies depleted and their resources were being exhausted.
Do we ever consider if we have common goals with our enemy that are bigger than our differences?
Do we loose sight of our purpose? How can we work together instead of separate? What would it take to bring us together working toward a common goal?
David grew stronger in Judah and Saul's house grew weaker in northern Israel.


David was in Hebron for 7 1/2 years. During that time he committed polygamy. During that time, having more than one wife was a socially acceptable practice by kings. (Keep in mind, David is in his thirty's.) David had six sons by six different wives  mentioned here, while others are mentioned in 5:14. Not mentioned here are Michal, his first wife who returned to David, was barren, and Bethsheba, who wed David in Jerusalem, whose first son with David died. He did not set a good example for his sons to follow. His family became a mess because of it.

Swindoll lists the total size of David's immediate family as 20 sons and 1 daughter, excluding the children of concubines not named in Scripture.

 Polygamy was one of the dark spots in David's life that later came back to haunt him. God warned against it specifically in Deuteronomy 17:14-17.

The MacArthur Bible Commentary explains about the six sons which David born while he is in Hebron:
  1. Ammon, son of Ahinoam the Jezreelite; he raped and defiled his half-sister Tamar and later by the command of Absalom, was killed for his crime (chapter 13).
  2. Chileab, son of Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; he apparently died before he was able to enter into position to contend for the throne, because nothing more is said about him.
  3. Absalom, son of Maacah, a Geshurite princess from a region in Syria, not Israel; David may have married her as part of a diplomatic agreement made with Taimai, the Geshurite king, to give David an ally north of Ishbosheth; later Absalom, in fear for his life, fled to Geshur.
  4. Adonijah, son of Haggith; he was a prominent figure in the contention for David's throne at the end of his reign (1 Kings 1-2), but was assassinated, allowing  the throne to be given to Solomon; she was probably married to David after his accession to the throne.
  5. Shephatiah, whose name means "The Lord judges," was the son of Abital, whose name meant "My Divine Father is Dew." (Nothing more is said about them.)
  6. Ithream, son of Eglah, last on the list.
The inclusion of these sons indicates all who would have been in contention for the throne. His enormous family became an important issue later in his life. Rape, murder, rebellion, and greed all resulted from the jealous rivalries among the half brothers. Sounds like Jacob. David would have known about his forefather Jacob,his 12 sons and their jealousy with Joseph. But, as now, men's hormones are raging while in their 30's, yet that is no excuse for David's sinful ways.

Are we teaching our sons and grandsons the ways of God concerning commitment to one wife in marriage?


Try to be at peace with everyone, humbling myself.

Pray for God's solution to resolving my differences with others.

Share God's ways for our life concerning sex and marriage and faithfulness.

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