King David had at least 20 children, from several different wives. The Bible mainly lists his sons, but he may have had other daughters (women were not always registered, because when they married they were counted as part of the husband’s family). David’s best-known son, who inherited the throne, was Solomon.
In David’s day, polygamy was common and, as he was rich and powerful, he could support many women. Some of David’s marriages were also political. However, God had warned that it was not good for a king to have many wives ( Deuteronomy 17: 16-17 ). Throughout his life, David proved to have a weakness for women and this caused many problems in his family.
See the story of David in the Bible here.
The children of David recorded in the Bible
In 2 Samuel 3: 2-5 , 2 Samuel 5: 13-16 and 1 Chronicles 3: 1-9 we find records of some of the sons that David had with each of his wives…
Michal, Saul’s daughter, married David but had no children.
Ainoã (not to be confused with another Ainoã, who was Saul’s wife) had:
- Amnon, David’s first son – he raped his half sister Tamar and was later murdered by his half brother Absalom
Abigail (Nabal’s widow) had:
- Quileabe, also known as Daniel (not to be confused with the prophet Daniel, who lived centuries later)
- Absalom– killed Amnon, then tried to take his father’s throne; ended up dying in battle
- Adonijah– tried to become king when David was old but failed; later he was killed by order of Solomon
- An unnamed son who died a baby, generated by the adultery of David and Bathsheba
- Samua, or Siméia
- Solomon– heir to the throne of David, with God’s approval
David had other children, but the Bible does not say who his mothers were:
Find out here: why was Jesus called the son of David?
1 Chronicles 3: 9 implies that David had other children with his concubines. The Bible probably records only the main children. David had more than ten concubines ( 2 Samuel 15:16 ) and probably had a few dozen children.
David’s family was not very happy. There was a lot of rivalry and at least three of David’s children died a violent death. David was a man after God’s own heart and a good king but he failed as a father. His example shows that even the most blessed men have temptations and make mistakes.