Sons in the Bible: Sons of King Saul

David and Jonathan

King Saul had six sons that we know of.  With his wife, Ahinoam, he had two daughters {Merab and Michal} and four sons:

Jonathan—means God has given; described as a man of great strength and swiftness, excelled in archery and slinging; he was best friends with David; “Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself” {1 Samuel 18:1}; Jonathan helps David escape from Saul; Saul even attempts to kill his son in a paranoid rage {1 Samuel 20:33}; in the last meeting with David they make a covenant before the Lord and then go their separate ways {1 Samuel 23}; Jonathan died with is brothers and father at the Battle of Gilboa; he was the father to Mephibosheth to whom David showed great kindness upon becoming king

Abinadab—means my father apportions; perished with his father and brothers at the Battle of Gilboa

Jonathan then bowed before David, recognizing him as the next King

Malchishua—means King of help; he died with his father and brothers at the Battle of Gilboa

Ish-bosheth—means man of shame or fire of Baal; after Saul’s death, Abner {Captain of Saul’s army} declares him king over Israel. He was forty years at the time and ruled for two years. He agreed to return Michal to David and seems to give up hope of retaining power. He is assassinated by two of the captains of his own army and is buried in Abner’s grave at Hebron.  David had the two assassins hanged for high treason.

With his concubine, Rizpah, he has two more sons:

Armoni—means chestnut

Mephibosheth—means from the mouth of shame

Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, came to David

After Saul’s death, both of these sons are given by David, who is now king over Judah, along with Merab’s five sons, to the Gibeonites who kills them.

Jonathan’s son—Mephibosheth

            Was five years old when his father and grandfather was killed. His nurse fled with him in a panic, dropping him, and he was never able to walk again.

            Years later, King David sought sought out “someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God”  and Mephibosheth was brought to him. David restored Saul’s inheritance to Mephibosheth and permitted him to live within his palace in Jerusalem.

            His name means from the mouth of shame.

King David honored King Saul and his family to the very end.

Pictures from


  • Natalie Quatrochi

    Rizpah means pieces of tile and/or hot coals. Eliezer Ben Hyrcanus the Great Rabbi was excommunicated by his brother-in-law Gamaliel II, Head of the Sanhedrin, because he declared Aknai’s oven ritually clean. The Sanhedrin ruled it unclean. Aknai (meaning ‘snake’) was pieced together with tiles on sand. Because this oven was made to bake bread and bread signifies the body – I believe symbolically it signified a women’s womb, of a concubine or unclean women, and was the reason Eliezer (biblical Lazarus) was excommunicated and declared dead to the Jewish community. The Bible is a complicated puzzle. What do you think?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.