Mother of a Rapist


Heart of the Story: After Saul dissolved David’s marriage to Michel, David married Ahinoam.

Story Line: After King Saul married Michal (Saul’s daughter and David’s first wife) to Paltiel, David married Ahinoam. Ahinoam was from the hill country of Judah. The Bible didn’t record how David felt about Ahinoam. Neither does the Bible record any of Ahinoam’s physical or psychological attributes. David may have married Ahinoam to solidify his political base with the tribe of Judah. Likely, Ahinoam’s father gave David needed supplies when they married and possibly provided David with provisions during the 6-7 years David was on the run from King Saul.

When David was in sworn service to the Philistine King of Gath, the king gave David the village of Ziklag. In the early years of their marriage Ahinoam lived there with David. When the Amalekites captured Ahinoam and David’s second wife (Abigail) in a raid on Ziklag, David grieved. Then, David rallied his men and pursued the Amalekites. The outcome was that he killed many of the Amalekites. David got back his  two wives; and seized huge amounts of plunder that the Amalekites had with them.

David and Ahinoam’s son, Amnon, was born at Hebron during David’s time as king of Judah. As first-born son, Amnon became the Crown Prince, King David’s successor.  As David’s first’s wife but more importantly because she was the mother of the Crown Prince, Ahinoam had power in David’s harem that may have extended to his court as a whole.

Pondering Relationships: The Bible never recorded that Ahinoam attempted to use her power to influence any of David’s decision. However, her son grew up with a sense of entitlement that extended to his flaunting Mosaic Law and raping his half-sister, Tamar. Although the Bible recorded that David was furious when he learned that Amnon raped Tamar, he took  no action. Bible readers aren’t exactly sure why David didn’t punish Amnon for his cruel rape of Tamar. Perhaps, Ahinoam intervened with David to protect her son from David’s anger. I can imagine Ahinoam asking David how he could justify punishing Amnon for raping Tamar when not too long before  Amnon’s rape, David took Bathsheba from her home and had sex with her. David even colluded with his General to have Bathsheba’s husband killed.

Reflection:  Sometimes arranged marriages resulted in love or at least real affection between the spouses. Is there any reason to believe that David and Ahinoam  were a loving couple?

If you are interested in reading more information about obscure Bible characters, go to my website Carolyn Roth Ministry and consider purchasing my book Lesser Known Bible Characters (

Copyright June 30, 2016; carolyn a. roth.







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