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Q: #478. How many wives did King David have in the Bible?

     A: We cannot not know for certain how many wives David had. We are told the names of some of his wives in the verses below, however, it says in (2 Sam 5:13) that when David got to Jerusalem he “took more wives.” We are not given the names of these women. In addition, David had an unknown number of “concubines.” (1 Chr 3:9)(2 Sam 5:13)(2 Sam 16:21-22)(2 Sam 20:3 tells us he had at least 10). Following is a list of the wives of David that we know the names of, along with where they were from, and Bible verses that mention them.

Wives Of David, Where FromVerses
Michal(1 Sam 18:20-27)(1 Sam 19:11-17)(1 Sam 25:44)(2 Sam 3:13-14)
Ahinoam of Jezreel(1 Chr 3:1)(2 Sam 3:2)(2 Sam 2:2)
Abigail of Carmel(1 Chr 3:1)(2 Sam 3:3)(2 Sam 2:2)
Macaah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur(1 Chr 3:2)(2 Sam 3:3)
Haggith(1 Chr 3:2)(2 Sam 3:4)
Abital(1 Chr 3:3)(2 Sam 3:4)
Eglah(1 Chr 3:3)(2 Sam 3:5)
Bathsheba(2 Sam ch.11 – ch.12)(1 Kin ch. 1)

***Note: Some believe that David was also married to Merab based upon (1 Sam 17:25), however (1 Sam 18:17-19)(2 Sam 21:8) appears to disprove this. (Because Michal was childless [2 Sam 6:23], it appears that she helped raise her sister Merab’s 5 sons [2 Sam 21:8 – see KJV translation].)

***Note: Based upon (2 Sam 12:8), some believe that after Saul died, David married his wives. The fact that Saul and David both had wives named “Ahinoam” is also is used to reach this conclusion. However, most scholars believe there were two ladies named “Ahinoam.” The best evidence pointing to this is that David’s wife “Ahinoam” is always referred to as “Ahinoam of Jezreel” (1 Sam 25:43) or “Ahinoam the Jezreelitess” (1 Sam 27:3)(1 Sam 30:5)(2 Sam 2:2)(2 Sam 3:2)(1 Chr 3:1), while Saul’s wife “Ahinoam” is referred to as “the daughter of Ahimazz” (1 Sam 14:50).

     Three of these wives, Michal, Abigail, and Bathsheba, are prominent in Scripture, but the other 5 are mentioned only in the verses given in the chart.

     In (Deut 17:17), God forbid kings from taking multiple wives. David, as well as kings which followed (including his son Solomon who had 700 wives and 300 concubines: 1 Kin 11:3), disobeyed this command.

Copyright: © Steve Shirley

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