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Sunday, October 2 2011
The Wives Of King David
King David was often a man of extremes. His family was a complex mixture of many wives and children, "beside the sons of the concubines."
"3:1 Now these were the sons of David, which were born unto him in Hebron; the firstborn Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; the second Daniel, of Abigail the Carmelitess: 3:2 The third, Absalom the son of Maachah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur: the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith: 3:3 The fifth, Shephatiah of Abital: the sixth, Ithream by Eglah his wife. 3:4 These six were born unto him in Hebron; and there he reigned seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years.
Also included among the wives of David were the on-again, off-again political marriages with the two daughters of King Saul, Merab and Michal.
"18:17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD's battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.
"I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah"
David's first marriages were with Abigail, the widow of Nabal, and "Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives." The civil war with King Saul was just beginning (see The Civil War Kings), from which "Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish."
"25:39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head.
David had very little military power when the civil war began, so he based his operations from nearby Philistine territory. The Philistines permitted it because they were at war with Saul too (a classic example of political and military expediency - considering that David had only a few years earlier killed the Philistine national hero Goliath). So "David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife."
"27:1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. 27:2 And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.
Ahinoam and Abigail did not have an easy life as the wives of an insurgent civil-war military leader - a situation compounded by their at the same time living in foreign territory that itself was at war with other nations. On one occasion, Ahinoam and Abigail were taken captive by the Amalekites who were at war with the Philistines. They were later rescued by David.
"30:1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 30:2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way. 30:3 So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives." (1 Samuel 30:1-3 KJV)
As the civil war between Saul and David began to turn in David's favor, the LORD had David, who was then the king of Judah, take up residence in Hebron, the city where Abraham lived, and where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are buried together in the family tomb. At that time, David still had "only" two wives - Ahinoam and Abigail.
"2:1 And it came to pass after this, that David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?
With victory at the end of the civil war, David became king of all of Israel. It was then that he captured Jerusalem from the Jebusites and made it the capital of Israel. There, "David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David."
"5:9 So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward. 5:10 And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.
King David's most infamous marriage occurred after he was established as king of all Israel at Jerusalem. David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then arranged to have her husband Uriah killed in battle - for which the LORD rebuked David through the prophet Nathan (see The Prophets: Nathan).
"12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul [see Israelite Monarchy - The Origin]; 12:8 And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 12:9 Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
Fact Finder: (a) What will King David be doing in the Kingdom of God? (b) Why will there be no marriage, for anyone, in the Kingdom of God?
This Day In History, October 2
1263: King Alexander III successfully defended Scotland from an invasion by King Haakon IV of Norway.
1535: French explorer Jacques Cartier renamed a small village in Quebec as Montreal.
1608: The first telescope was demonstrated by its inventor, Hans Lippershey of the Netherlands.
1836: Charles Darwin returned to Falmouth, England, after 5 years of exploration of the southern oceans aboard the HMS Beagle (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution to understand how present-day scientists have changed Darwin's original writings).
1853: Austria passed a law which outlawed the ownership of land by Jews.
1870: In a plebiscite, the Papal States voted for union with Italy. The country's capital moved from Florence to Rome (see also The Struggle For The Papacy).
1901: The first submarine commissioned by the British navy was launched.
1910: The first collision of 2 aircraft occurred, in the air over Milan, Italy.
1924: Delegates at the League of Nations meeting in Geneva adopted a protocol aimed at resolving all international disputes by arbitration. The Second World War followed a few years later (listen also to our Sermon The European World Wars).
1940: During the Second World War, the Empress of Britain, on route to Canada with child evacuees from the bombing of London was sunk by a German submarine. British warships rescued most of the 634 passengers and crew.
1935: Italian forces invaded Abyssinia. Apart from seeking revenge for Italy's defeat at Adua in 1896, Mussolini had imperialist ambitions in Africa. The Italian occupation lasted until 1941. Mussolini had regarded himself as the new leader of the Roman Empire, but he was too late - it had moved north, into Germany (see The Holy Roman Empire).
1940: During the Second World War, the Empress of Britain, on route to Canada with children being sent to safety from the bombing of Britain, was sunk by a Nazi submarine. British warships rescued most of the 634 children and crew.
1964: Scientists announced their findings that smoking causes lung cancer.
1985: A joint U.S.-French expedition announced that it had found the Titanic.