I received the following question:

Is Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, who’s David’s wife, the same wife Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz, who’s Saul’s wife?  (Due to 2 Samuel 12:8)

II Samuel 12:8. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more!

This seems doubtful. First of all, I think that what is said here is that Saul’s wives and his house would be given into David’s keeping, as the New King James has it. It does not say that David would marry any of Saul’s wives. I know the King James says “into thy bosom,” and the NIV “into your arms.” But the NASB says “into your care.” The Hebrew word is “bosom,” as the KJV. The idea of “bosom” is used for children in Numbers 11:12, Ruth 4:16, and of a pet in II Samuel 12:3. In Isaiah 40:11, it is used of the LORD’s tender care for His sheep. It does indicate closeness, but here it seems to indicate control over them more than anything else.

Secondly, Saul is still alive when David takes Ahinoam in I Samuel 25:43. This would seem to make David to be having an adulterous relationship with her, if she was actually Saul’s wife.

The idea of what the LORD says seems to be that David got control of these things after Saul’s death. For example, we see him giving Saul’s house and all that belonged to him to Mephibosheth in II Samuel 9:9. David had control over all of Saul’s wives after Saul’s death and David taking the throne, and he did with Saul’s family as he would. However, Saul’s wives would probably have mostly been a lot older than David. It is doubtful he married any of them.

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