“These were the sons of David born to him in Hebron:
The firstborn was Amnon the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel;
the second, Daniel the son of Abigail of Carmel;
the third, Absalom the son of Maakah daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith;
the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
and the sixth, Ithream, by his wife Eglah.
These six were born to David in Hebron, where he reigned seven years and six months.
David reigned in Jerusalem thirty-three years, and these were the children born to him there:
Shammua, Shobab, Nathan and Solomon. These four were by Bathsheba daughter of Ammiel. There were also Ibhar, Elishua, Eliphelet, Nogah, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada and Eliphelet—nine in all. All these were the sons of David, besides his sons by his concubines. And Tamar was their sister.”
Breaking down this list, we first have David’s six sons born in Hebron: 1) Amnon, 2) Daniel, 3) Absalom, 4) Adonijah, 5) Shephatiah, and 6) Ithream.
Next, we have the thirteen sons born to David in Jerusalem: 7) Shimea, 8) Shobab, 9) Nathan, 10) Solomon, 11) Ibhar, 12) Elishama, 13) Eliphelet, 14) Nogah, 15) Nepheg, 16) Japhia, 17) Elishama, 18) Eliada, and 19) Eliphelet.
In addition to the nineteen sons David had by his wives, were a number of unnamed sons David fathered through his concubines. He also had a daughter named Tamar. Another son named Jerimoth is mentioned in 2 Chronicles 11:18, although it is unclear whether he is one of the sons mentioned above (using another name) or one of David’s sons by a concubine.
David also had a son with Bathsheba before she bore Solomon. This son died seven days after his birth (2 Samuel 12:16–23), and it is possible that he is not included in this list. If so, the sons of David with his wives would total at least 20. To that total we would add all the unnamed sons of his concubines.
At least three of David’s sons died during David’s lifetime. In addition to the death of Bathsheba’s first son were the deaths of his sons Amnon and Absalom. Another son, Adonijah, was executed shortly after David’s death for trying to usurp the throne (1 Kings 2:25).
David’s son Solomon succeeded him as king and later built the temple of the Lord that David had dreamed of building. Ultimately, Jesus Christ was born as a descendant of David (Matthew 1:1), providing a fulfillment of prophecy and bestowing the greatest possible honor to King David.