Who Was King David’s Mother? (Part 2 – David the Outcast)

Psalm 51:5 (KJV) – “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

In Part 1 of this series, we brought out how that in this Psalm, David was not referring to being born into the sin nature because they didn’t understand that concept yet.

David Was an Outcast Among his Family

Let’s look into this and find out why I say this. David had two half-sisters (Zeruiah, Abigail) according to 1st Chronicles 2:15(b) -16(a) …David the seventh:  (16)  Whose sisters were Zeruiah, and Abigail…. The father of David’s half-sisters was not Jesse. 2 Samuel 17:25(b)  …Abigail the daughter of Nahash, sister to Zeruiah Joab’s mother.

Nahash, the father of Zeruiah and Abigal, David’s half-sisters, was an Ammonite king, according to 1 Samuel 11:1  Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead1 Samuel 12:12  And when ye saw that Nahash the king of the children of Ammon came against you, ye said unto me, Nay; but a king shall reign over us: when the LORD your God was your king.

David’s father was Jesse, not Nahash. It seems that David’s mother (whom Jewish tradition names as Nitzevet, the daughter of Adael) had been previously married to Nahash, King of Ammon and Zeruiah and Abigail were David’s half-sisters through his mother’s previous marriage to Nahash. This would also help explain why Nahash showed kindness to David, perhaps out of respect for David’s mother, Nahash’s former wife, and the mother of two of Nahash’s children, according to 2 Samuel 10:2  Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me. And David sent to comfort him by the hand of his servants for his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the children of Ammon.

Jesse seems to have been the second husband of David’s mother, and David’s mother seems to have been the second wife of Jesse, the first wife being the mother of David’s seven older half-brothers. Jesse’s first wife would have been in better standing before the `righteousness of the law’ since his first wife had not been married to, or the concubine of, a heathen king, as was David’s mother.

This perhaps explains why David’s half-brothers, Jesse’s older sons, would have felt they were superior to David, and thus treated David as an outcast. This may also be why David would be accused of being proud, for thinking he was as good as them….1st Samuel 17:28 …and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart…

David may not have been considered, by his father Jesse, as a `true’ son as David’s half-brothers were. On a side note, you might think Jesse would not have treated his son this way, since Jesse himself was one quarter Moabite, being the grandson of Ruth, a Moabitess. Ruth 4:21-22  And Salmon begat Boaz, and Boaz begat Obed,  (22)  And Obed begat Jesse, and Jesse begat David.

Samuel had called Jesse and his sons, and thus expected `all’ his sons, to the sacrifice. 1 Samuel 16:5  And he said, Peaceably: I am come to sacrifice unto the LORD: sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. And he sanctified Jesse and his sons, and called them to the sacrifice.

Jesse had been told to bring `his sons’ by the prophet Samuel and seems to have been confident he had obeyed the prophet, even knowing he did not bring David. 1 Samuel 16:11  And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither. This reinforces the understanding that sometimes God chooses those whom men esteem to be worthless to be the most used in His kingdom!

It seems that David’s mother was a Jewish woman, because she seems to have had a relationship with God, as David states in Psalms 86:16  and save the son of thine handmaid. This was a phrase of respect and submission to the Lord.

David’s mother does not seem to have been an Ammonite, as the Law states in Deuteronomy 23:3  An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:

In the next post we’ll look at some other speculations of who the mother of King David was.

Published by Jason Fulmer

Jason Fulmer is a Pastor and Personal Development Teacher. He currently operates two blogs: PastorFulmer.com where he posts Bible-based Pastoral articles, and NextLevelLiving.blog where he posts Bible-based leadership and development articles. His life's goal is to encourage men and women to go to THEIR next level of living and leading. He believes the best way to accomplish this goal is through Education and Example!

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