Bible Answer:

Have you ever wondered how many wives David had? Eight wives of David are named in Scripture. But Scripture tells us that he had other wives plus a number of unknown concubines. Learn what the Bible teaches about each of his wives. The answers are provided in 1 Samuel, 2 Samuel and 1 Chronicles.

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Maacah, Haggith, Abital and Eglah — David’s Wives

David’s fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh wives are Maacah, Haggith, Abital and Eglah. They are listed twice in Scripture. The first time they are mentioned is in 2 Samuel 3:2-5 and 1 Chronicles 3:1-3 repeats the same information.

Sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; and his second, Chileab, by Abigail the widow of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; and the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital; and the sixth, Ithream, by David’s wife Eglah. These were born to David at Hebron. 2 Samuel 3:2-5 (NASB)

It is important to notice that in this passage the numbers refer to the sons born to David. We must remember that David’s first wife, Michal, did not give birth to any children.

Bathsheba — David’s Eighth Wife

King David’s eighth wife is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, and the widow of Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:3). 2 Samuel 11:1-2 tells us that one evening King David was walking on the roof of his house and saw Bathsheba bathing. We are told that she was extremely beautiful. As a result, David decided to engage in sexual activity with her and made her pregnant. The rest of the chapter describes an avalanche of sins that follow in an attempt to cover up David’s adultery. But he forgot that our God sees everything that is done in secret (Matthew 6:4, 6) .

After David arranged for Uriah to be killed while he was in the front line of the battle, the prophet Nathan confronted David about his adultery with Bathsheba and arranging for the murder of Uriah (2 Samuel 12:1-8). David repented and Psalm 51 records his repentance. Yet, the penalty for his sin was that “the sword will never depart from your house” and the child would die (2 Samuel 12:10-15). The child eventually died (2 Samuel 12:15-23). 2 Samuel 12:24 is the only verse that refers to Bathsheba as David’s wife. This reveals that sometime after Uriah died, David and Bathsheba were married.

Bathsheba became perhaps the prominent wife of King David (1 Kings 1:15-16, 28, 31). She was also the mother of King Solomon. He was, after his father David, the most significant king of all Israel. Bathsheba gave King David a total of thirteen children (1 Chronicles 3:5-8). This passage also reveals that Bathshua was alternate name for Bathsheba since Bathshua is the mother of King Solomon.

Conclusion:

1 Chronicles 3:1-4 states that King David’s first seven wives gave him six children, while they lived in Hebron. In the city of Jerusalem, David’s eighth wife, Bathsheba, gave him four sons after the death of her first son. Other wives gave birth to nine more sons. A total of nineteen sons are named here. Then 1 Chronicles 3:9 adds this,

All these were the sons of David, besides the sons of the concubines; and Tamar was their sister. 1 Chronicles 3:9 (NASB)

2 Samuel 5:13-16 and 1 Chronicles 14:3-5 reveal that King David took other wives and concubines.

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Meanwhile David took more concubines and wives from Jerusalem, after he came from Hebron; and more sons and daughters were born to David. Now these are the names of those who were born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet. 2 Samuel 5:13-16 (NASB)

1 Chronicles 14:3-5 is almost identical to 2 Samuel 5:13-16.

Then David took more wives at Jerusalem, and David became the father of more sons and daughters. These are the names of the children born to him in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Beeliada and Eliphelet. 1 Chronicles 14:3-5 (NASB)

Suggested Links:

Does 2 Samuel 12:8 mean God approved of David’s polygamy? What biblical evidence is there for God allowing polygamy?What was a concubine in the Old Testament era? – Wife or mistress?I am a polygamist, what should I do? Does God approve of polygamy? What does the Bible say? Is polygamy supported by 1 Corinthians 7:2?