King David's wives

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David and Abigail

In the Hebrew Bible, King David had many wives.

David's first wife[edit]

King Saul initially offered David his oldest daughter Merab. David did not refuse the offer, but humbled himself in front of Saul to be considered among the King's family.[1] Saul reneged and instead gave Merab in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite.[2] Having been told that his younger daughter Michal was in love with David, Saul gave her in marriage to David upon David's payment in Philistine foreskins.[3]

Saul became jealous of David and tried to have him killed. David escaped. Then Saul sent Michal to Galim to marry Palti, son of Laish.[4] As years passed, David married many women and wanted Michal back. In response to David's plea, Saul’s son Ish-boshet delivered her to David, causing her husband (Palti) great grief.[5]

When David brought the Ark of the Covenant to the City of David Michal watched him from her window. She was displeased with his behavior because he was wearing the linen ephod on that occasion and not what royalty should be wearing in public. However David claimed he did what he did before the Lord and that is what justified him.[6]

Michal had no children with David. [7] Somewhat discrepantly she, rather than Merab, is said to have had 5 sons with Adriel.[8] Many scholars believe this to be an ancient copyist error, that the 5 sons were actually Merab's but an ancient copyist accidentally wrote "Michal" in place of "Merab".[9][10] The name "Michal" appears in the Hebrew Bible and KJV, but many modern translations substitute Merab for Michal, restoring the hypothesized original text.


Batsheva and David

David's wives in Hebron, according to 2 Samuel 3.

The mother's name The son's name
Ahinoam the Yizre'elite His first born was Amnon.
Abigail - the wife of Nabal the Carmelite His second was Kil'av.
Maacah - the daughter of Talmay, king of Geshur The third - Absalom[11]
Haggith The fourth - Adoniyya.
Abital The fifth - Shefatya.
Eglah The sixth Yitre'am.

Wives and children in Jerusalem[edit]

David probably married more wives in Jerusalem or had children by concubines, according to 2 Samuel 5. The number is not clear.



The biblical story of King David and his wives inspired many modern day writers. Some of these books are:

Queenmaker/ India Edghill

A Novel of King David’s Queen.

Bathsheba/ Jill Eileen Smith

Michal/ Jill Eileen Smith

Abigail/ Jill Eileen Smith

Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of The Wives of King David series, draws on Scripture, historical research, and her imagination.

David’s wives/ Haya Shraga

Hebrew: נשות דוד / חיה שרגא בן-איון

The book is written in Hebrew. It is based on the author’s doctorate in which she wrote on the biblical figures:

Michal, Avigail and Batsheva.

Polygamy in the Bible[edit]

Even though polygamy occurs regularly in the Bible, it doesn't necessarily mean it is endorsed by the Bible (although Levirate Marriage, which may result in polygyny, is commanded in the Bible in Deuteronomy 25:5-6). Some scholars argue that this is a critical distinction,[12] while others regard polygamy as part of the complex biblical presentation of human sexuality.[13]


  1. ^ "1 Samuel 18:18". 
  2. ^ "1 Samuel 18:19". 
  3. ^ "1 Samuel 18:18-27". 
  4. ^ "1 Samuel 25:14". 
  5. ^ "2 Samuel 3:14". 
  6. ^ "2 Samuel 6:21". 
  7. ^ "2 Samuel 6:23". 
  8. ^ "2 Samuel 21:8". 
  9. ^ "Did Michal have any children or not?". Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  10. ^ The New Bible Dictionary. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers. 1962. 
  11. ^ Names of daughters are not usually documented in the bible, unless they are part of a biblical story. Maacah and David also had a daughter named Tamar.
  12. ^ "What's The Deal With Polygamy In The Bible? - The Blazing Center". The Blazing Center. 2011-01-28. Retrieved 2017-04-13. 
  13. ^ Unprotected Texts, The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust, HarperCollins Publishers: 2011