David’s Son In The Bible

David was many things in life. A shepherd, giant killer, folk hero, singer, songwriter, warrior, fugitive, exile, and eventually a king. The Bible even refers to him as a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14; Acts 13:22).

However, while we may see David as a legend and hero of the faith, we must also remember that he was just as much a son, a brother, a husband, and a father as he was a king or a warrior. David loved the Lord and loved his children, but he too made mistakes, failed in many areas as a parent, and cried out to God for wisdom and forgiveness throughout his life.

But who were David’s children exactly, who did they grow up to be, and how were their lives shaped by their complicated and sometimes troubled relationship with their famous father?

David’s Son In The Bible

First Chronicles 3:1–9 lists the sons of David. The list reads like this:

“These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron:
The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel;
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah.
These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months.
David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there:

Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel. There were also Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet—nine in all. All these were the sons of David, besides his sons by his concubines. And Tamar was their sister.”

Breaking down this list, we first have David’s six sons born in Hebron: 1) Amnon, 2) Daniel, 3) Absalom, 4) Adonijah, 5) Shephatiah, and 6) Ithream.

Next, we have the thirteen sons born to David in Jerusalem: 7) Shimea, 8) Shobab, 9) Nathan, 10) Solomon, 11) Ibhar, 12) Elishama, 13) Eliphelet, 14) Nogah, 15) Nepheg, 16) Japhia, 17) Elishama, 18) Eliada, and 19) Eliphelet.

In addition to the nineteen sons David had by his wives were a number of unnamed sons David fathered through his concubines. He also had a daughter named Tamar. Another son named Jerimoth is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 11:18, although it is unclear whether he is one of the sons mentioned above (using another name) or one of David’s sons by a concubine.

David also had a son with Bathsheba before she bore Solomon. This son died seven days after his birth (2 Samuel 12:16–23), and it is possible that he is not included in this list. If so, the sons of David with his wives would total at least 20. To that total we would add all the unnamed sons of his concubines.

At least three of David’s sons died during David’s lifetime. In addition to the death of Bathsheba’s first son were the deaths of his sons Amnon and Absalom. Another son, Adonijah, was executed shortly after David’s death for trying to usurp the throne (1 Kings 2:25).

David’s son Solomon succeeded him as king and later built the temple of the Lord that David had dreamed of building. Ultimately, Jesus Christ was born as a descendant of David (Matthew 1:1), providing a fulfillment of prophecy and bestowing the greatest possible honor to King David.

David’s Son In The Bible

Bathsheba, however, would go on to have three additional sons with David. They are:

-ShimeaShobab
-Nathan
-Solomon

David’s remaining children that we know of were born in Jerusalem to unnamed wives. They are:

-Ibhar
-Elishana
-Eliphelet
-Nogah
-Nepheg

-Japhia
-Elishama
-Eliada
-Eliphelet
-Tamar, the only daughter named amongst David’s children.

It is likely David had even more sons and daughters that the Bible does not record since we know he had several more unnamed wives and perhaps even more concubines through which he fathered children (1 Chronicles 3:9). Their names are not recorded.

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