King David’s Family Tree

RootofJesseThe order of marriage is represented by the numbers, as is the line of succession which occurred. Please also visit Why So Many Wives? Polygamy for an objective sociological and psychological discussion of polygamy, and it’s ramifications.

The names are presented first in their Anglicised version, then in their Jewish version from the Complete Jewish Bible, Copyright David H. Stern. Naturally, females are in pink and males are in lavender For royalty, right? “Ben” should be “ben,” but the software wouldn’t allow lowercase. It means “son of” and is used instead of a surname, as surnames didn’t exist at that time. People were associated with their place of birth or their father. For example, Benaiah ben Jehoiada, denotes the chief bodyguard of Daviyd Melek. There are twelve Benaiah’s in the Bible; several who were contemporaries of Daviyd Melek. So to know who is who, look for the lineage notated.

Regarding the “Sons of Primary Wives,” only the sons with the first right of inheritance were recorded. There may have been additional sons born to those wives. Also, don’t forget that wives may have had daughters, not sons; so if a woman is not connected to a son’s name, it does not mean she was barren. 2 Samuel 6:23 states that Michal remained childless, however, if you take that word to the baseline Hebrew meaning, it is a male word יָ֫לֶד or yeled. Michal’s lack of offspring, eliminated King Saul’s lineage from the line of succession which led to the Messiah.

MikhalslineAlso, due to disease and the high incidence of death in childbirth, not all of Daviyd’s wives would have been alive at the same time. That may help to account for why there were so many. For example, Abigail’s son is presumed to have died, as he is never considered the next successor after Amnon. Establishment of a lineage did necessitate multiple partners, and this was accepted, common Biblical practice.

It is also of interest that concubines were secondary wives of a lower status, as they would not have paid a dowry before being married. They could have been chosen by David, or given to David as slaves, political gifts, or they could also have been taken from Ishbosheth when David took power, as was the norm for royalty. There are a number of different opinions about the rights and status of concubines. I would recommend you do your own research and read as widely as possible, to get close to the truth. Customs have changed over time, and information has been lost. Please note that the son of a concubine could become the successor, under certain circumstances.

There is no mention or hint of Daviyd Melek having any illegitimate sons, or engaging in any immoral action, other than the trouble which occurred with BathSheba, which left him scarred. I doubt he would have done it again.

Names do vary from source to source, such as Bathsheba, BathSheba, Bath-Sheba, Bat-Shua, Batsheva, Bethsabee, Uriyah’s isha (isha is wife in the Orthodox Jewish Bible), etc.
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