Friday, April 13, 2018

Hebrew Rulers with Two Wives

Alice C. Linsley

The antiquity of the custom of ruler's having two wives is evident in the case of Hor-Aha (c. 2925–c. 2775 BC). His wives' names were Benerib and Khenthap. Khenthap is said to be the mother of King Hor Djer in the Cairo Annals Stone.

Lamech, Terah, Abraham, Jacob, Amram, Moses, Jesse, Elkanah, Ashur, and Joash are among the Horite Hebrew with two wives. Abraham's two wives were Sarah (his half-sister) and Keturah (his patrilineal cousin). They resided in separate settlements in Hebron and Beersheba. 

Likewise, Jesse's two wives resided in separate settlements. David's mother probably resided in Bethlehem and Jesse's other wife probably resided in Hebron. This would explain why David was anointed first in Bethlehem and later anointed in Hebron (2 Samuel 2:1-4). 2 Samuel 23:24 mentions three sons, Abishai, Joab and Asahel, born to Jesse's daughter Zeruiah. Zeruiah was David's half-sister.

In 1 Chronicles 4:5, we read that "Ashur, the father of Tekoa, had two wives, Helah and Naarah."

In 1 Chronicles 4:17-18, we read that Mered had two wives and one was "Pharaoh’s daughter Bithiah, whom Mered had married."

In 2 Chronicles 24:1–3 we read:
"Joash was seven years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem forty years. His mother’s name was Zibiah; she was from Beersheba. Joash did what was right in the eyes of the Lord all the years of Jehoiada the priest. Jehoiada chose two wives for him, and he had sons and daughters.

Caleb fathered children by his wives Azubah and Jerioth (1 Chronicles 2:18,19). From Caleb came Hur and Salma, both of Bethlehem. From them came Elimelech who married Naomi. Their kinsman was Boaz who married Ruth. Their son was Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David.

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