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Reference Guide for David and the Women

One of my favorite Bible personalities is David, King of Israel. Each year when I start my Read the Bible in a Year program, I especially look forward to the books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles when the tapestry of his life is woven before my eyes once more. Scenes of battling the giant Goliath, avoiding the ire of the mad King Saul, his vagabond years, family issues, his battles and heartaches appear, forming a brilliant panorama of glory and intrigue. And woven subtly into that rich fabric are unique strands of the lives of women—seventeen (including one group), to be exact. What an intriguing lot they are as they impacted his story in unforgettable ways.

English: Maciejowski Bible, Leaf 37, the 3rd i...

English: Maciejowski Bible, Leaf 37, the 3rd image, Abner (in the center in green) sends Michal back to David. Palti is shown on the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here are few this blog has already profiled (there are others): https://womenfromthebook.com/2012/08/28/hospitalityor-else-abigails-dilemma/

https://womenfromthebook.com/2012/12/19/rizpah/

https://womenfromthebook.com/2012/12/18/michals-window/

I thought it might be helpful to have a reference guide for later study of these intriguing women, so I have included one below.

Scripture

Woman

Description

1 Samuel  14:49; 18:17-19

Merab

Saul’s older daughter; offered to David after Goliath was slain. Ultimately,  Saul gave her to Adriel the Meholathite. Some posit that David was unable to raise the money for a bride price, hence she was married to another.[1]

1 Samuel 14:49; 19:11-17; 18:18-28; 25:44

2 Samuel 3:13-14; 6:16-23

1 Chronicles 15:29

Michal

Saul’s younger daughter. David married her after presenting the requested bride-price of 100 Philistine foreskins to which he added 100 more. It is said, “She loved David.”

I Samuel 25; 27:3; 30:5

2 Samuel 2:2; 3:2

1 Chronicles 3:1

Ahinoam

Wife from Jezreel; mother of David’s first son, Amnon. She and Abigail were with David during his stay with King Achish of Gath; they were taken captive when Amalekites raided Ziklag; and were among those who went  with David to Hebron when he becomes king of Judah.[2]

I Samuel 25; 27:3; 30:5

2 Samuel 2:2; 3:3

1 Chronicles 3

Abigail

Widow of Nabal. Became David’s wife and bore his second son, Chileab (Daniel). See notes on Ahinoam.

1 Chronicles 2:16-17

Abigail

David’s sister; mother of Amasa.

1 Samuel 28

The Medium of En Dor

Saul consulted her after Samuel died regarding concerns about the Philistines.

2 Samuel 3:3

1 Chronicles 3:2

Maacah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur

Wife. Mother of Absalom and Tamar. Her royal origins may indicate diplomatic implications for Geshur, an Aramean kingdom, and Judah.[3]

2 Samuel 3:3

1 Kings 1:5, 11; 2:13

1 Chronicles 3:2

Haggith

Wife; mother of Adonijah. Her name mentioned in three epithets concerning her son.

2 Samuel 3:5

I Chronicles 3:2

Eglah

Wife; mother of Ithream. Of the six mother-son references concerning David’s sons born at Hebron, only Eglah is designated “wife of David.”[4]

2 Samuel 3:4

I Chronicles 3:3

Abital

Wife;  mother of Shephatiah.

2 Samuel 11

I Chronicles 3:5

Bathsheba (Bathshua)

Widow of Uriah the Hittite. Became David’s wife. Mother of Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, and Solomon.

1 Samuel 26:6

2 Samuel 2:13, 18; 14:1; 16:9

1 Chronicles 2:16

(to cite a few)

Zeruiah

David’s sister; mother of Joab, Abishai, and Asahel—all prominent in the royal bureaucracy. Her status may have derived from being David’s sister, and the mother of  influential men. Her husband is not named.

1 Chronicles 2:16

Abigail

David’s sister.

2 Samuel 14

Wise Woman of Tekoa

Joab sought her assistance to change David’s mind about Absalom’s exile.

2 Samuel 20

Wise Woman of Beth Maachah

She killed Sheba, son of Bichri, to save the city from Joab’s siege.

2 Samuel 3:7; 21

Rizpah

Saul’s concubine whose sons were among the descendants of Saul who were slain as atonement for Saul’s killing of the Gibeonites.

1 Kings 1-2

Abishag

Lovely young Shunammite woman brought to David to care for him while he was dying. She became a political pawn as Adonijah plots to claim the throne upon David’s demise.

2 Samuel 5:3; 15:16; 16: 21;  20:3; 1 Chronicles 3:9

Unnamed concubines

Bore David additional sons. Ten were openly  defiled by Absalom in an attempt to seize his father’s throne. Subsequently these ten were put in seclusion by David and lived as widows until the day of their death.


[1] Carol Meyers, Gen. Ed. Women in Scripture (2000), “Merab,” p. 124.

[2] Meyers, “Ahinoam  2,” p. 48.

[3] Meyers, “Maacah  2,” p. 112.

[4] Meyers, “Eglah,” p. 74.

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About womenfromthebook

Mine is a life-long interest in the women of the Bible, and I enjoy exploring the world in which they lived, and discovering the challenges that they faced. I have enough curiosity about them to last the rest of my life.

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