Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 5

David’s wives and family

2 Samuel 5:13-16

David’s first wife was Michal, the daughter of Saul. Saul took Michal away from him, but David later reclaimed her for himself (3:13-16).

Before David’s rule began, David married two more wives (1 Samuel 25:42-44). Their names were Ahinoam and Abigail. In this, David was simply following the customs of his time. It was usual for a rich man to have more than one wife. The Bible records some of the troubles and arguments that such arrangements caused (for example, Genesis 29:31 to 30:24; 1 Samuel 1:1-8).

Deuteronomy 17:14-20 contains the special laws that Israel’s king had to follow. One of those laws was that the king must not take many wives. David did not obey that law. While he was in Hebron, David was the king of Judah, the southern part of Israel. During those 7 years, he married at least 4 more women, and he had his first 6 sons (3:1-5).

Then David moved to Jerusalem, where he ruled all Israel. There, he married several more women, including Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon (11:27). He also took several concubines. These were women of lower rank, for example maids, with whom he had sex. There were at least 10 of them (15:16). Later, there was a young woman called Abishag, who acted as David’s nurse in his old age. David slept with her but they did not have sex (1 Kings 1:1-4).

In addition to Solomon, David’s wives gave birth to more than 10 sons (1 Chronicles 3:5-9) and several daughters (13:18) while he ruled in Jerusalem. He was king there for a period of 33 years.

Next part: Philistia's army tries to catch David (2 Samuel 5:17)


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