Who was King David’s mother?

Author: BibleAsk Team


David’s mother was Nitzevet bat Adael (also known as Nitzevet bat Adael or Nitzevet daughter of Adael).

She is mentioned briefly in the Bible, particularly in the Book of Samuel. While the name “Nitzevet bat Adael” might not be explicitly mentioned in the Bible, rabbinic traditions and other sources outside the Bible have contributed to identifying her as David’s mother. The additional information about her name and lineage is often found in later commentaries, historical texts, and traditions.

King David’s Mother

There are mainly 2 references to David’s mother in the Bible. The first is when David went to the King of Moab to ask if both his father and mother can stay in Moab:

“And David went thence to Mizpeh of Moab: and he said unto the king of Moab, Let my father and my mother, I pray thee, come forth, and be with you, till I know what God will do for me. And he brought them before the king of Moab: and they dwelt with him all the while that David was in the hold.”

1 Samuel 22:3–4

The second is in Psalms where David references his mother in a Psalm to the Lord as one who was a servant of God:

“Oh, turn to me, and have mercy on me! Give Your strength to Your servant, and save the son of Your maidservant.”

Psalms 86:16

King David’s Family

We do know that David was the son of Jesse who was from the tribe of Judah and lived in Bethlehem and he had 7 other brothers. In fact, he was the youngest of eight brothers:

“Now David was the son of that Ephrathite of Bethlehem Judah, whose name was Jesse, and who had eight sons. And the man was old, advanced in years, in the days of Saul. The three oldest sons of Jesse had gone to follow Saul to the battle. The names of his three sons who went to the battle were Eliab the firstborn, next to him Abinadab, and the third Shammah. David was the youngest. And the three oldest followed Saul”.

1 Samuel 17:12–14

The King had also at least two sisters,“Their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail” (1 Chronicles 2:16). Some scholars point that the father of these girls was not Jesse but Nahash. For in 2 Samuel it points to Abigail as the daughter of Nahash:

“Absalomhad appointed Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether, an Israelite who had married Abigail, the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah the mother of Joab”.

2 Samuel 17:25

Nahash was an Ammonite king (1 Samuel 11:1). The name Nahash is the familiar Hebrew word for “serpent.” It is possible that King David’s mother was a second wife to Jesse David’s father but her name is not mentioned in the Bible.

A Man After God’s Heart

David (c. 1000 bce), was the second king of ancient Israel. He founded the Judaean dynasty and united all the tribes of Israel under a single rule. His son Solomon expanded the empire that he built (1 Kings 4:21). The main narrative of David’s career consists of several chapters in the books 1 and 2 Samuel in the Old Testament.

The king was the youngest son of Jesse. But he was chosen by God and anointed by Samuel the prophet to be the ruler over Israel after Saul disobeyed the Lord (1 Samuel 16:10, 13). He rose to popularity as a national hero when he killed the giant Goliath, a warrior of the Philistines, Israel’s enemies (1 Samuel 17:32-50).

The king’s rise in popularity aroused Saul’s jealousy. And he plotted to kill him. David then fled into southern Judah and Philistia, on the coastal plain of Palestine where he hid for many years. During those years, he got the chance to kill Saul more than once but he refused saying that he will not touch the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 19:1–2; 24:5–7).

After the death of Saul, David was announced a king in Hebron (2 Samuel 5-8). And he conquered the Jebusite-held town of Jerusalem, which he made the capital of his new united kingdom and to which he moved the sacred Ark of the Covenant (2 Samuel 6).

The king subdued the Philistines fully and they were never again a serious threat to the Israelites’ security (1 Chronicles 18). He went on to set up an empire by becoming the ruler of many small kingdoms bordering on Israel, including Edom, Moab, and Ammon (2 Samuel 8). His great victories as a military leader was impaired by interconnected family disputes and political revolts.

David was anointed king by God because he was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:13–14; Acts 13:22). The intent of his heart was to serve his Creator (Psalms 57:7; 108:1), and when he sinned, he repented in sincerity and humility (Psalms 32:5–7; 51:1–17).  The Psalms are also attributed to him, a tribute to his legendary faith, humility and great devotion to God.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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