Sons of David

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The sons of King David are mentioned both as a group and individually several times in the biblical accounts of the reigns both of David and his successor Solomon.


The number of sons mentioned by name in the Hebrew Bible is 19. In addition, two further unnamed sons are recorded as having been born in Jerusalem, one, probably both, having died in infancy. One of these was the first child born of David's adulterous relationship with Bathsheba.

Only one of David's daughters, Tamar,[1] is mentioned by name.[2]


The named sons are as follows. First those born in Hebron:

  • Amnon, David's firstborn, born in Hebron to Ahinoam of Jezreel. Absalom killed him after he raped Absalom's full sister, Tamar.
  • Kileab (or Daniel), second son, whose mother was Abigail from Carmel. He probably died young since there is no record of his life.
  • Absalom, the third son, born to Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. He was killed by Joab (1 Chronicles 3:1-2) after he mounted a rebellion against his aging father David.
  • Adonijah, the fourth son of King David from Haggith (2 Samuel 3:4). He made a play for the throne during the life of David (1 Kings 1:11ff). Solomon had him executed.[3]
  • Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital.
  • Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, "David’s wife".
The sons born to David in Jerusalem included the sons of Bathsheba
  • The infant who died without being named [4]
  • Shimea, or Shammua, probably the first surviving child of Bathsheba
  • Shobab, from Bathsheba
  • Nathan (son of David), Bathsheba the ancestor of Jesus according to the Genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:31, considered by some to be the maternal line via Heli, possible father of Mary.
  • Solomon, Bathsheba, the ancestor of Jesus according to the Genealogy of Jesus in Matthew, often considered to be Joseph's line.
Nine other sons born of other wives
  • Ibhar, Elishua, Elpelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet, and one further unnamed son, who would also have died in infancy.


  1. ^ 2 Samuel 13:1-22
  2. ^ Sue Sandidge, King David in the Valley of the Shadow of Middle Age, 2002: "This brings the number of David's sons who are mentioned by name in the Bible to 19. That number does not include David's daughters, whose names the Bible does not give, except for Tamar's. If the reader has trouble keeping all these children straight (in which case the reader is referred to the Appendix, where a chart, “David, His Wives and His Children,” lists them all), the reader may find consolation in the fact that David himself often could not seem to keep track of all of ..."
  3. ^ 1 Kings 2:13-25
  4. ^ 2 Samuel 12:16-19