NATHAN REBUKES DAVID 7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master’s house to you, and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more.
2 Samuel 12:8
ESV - 8 And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more.
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I would say that God did not intend or command polygamy, but allowed it (as He did with divorce) as a concession to the hardness of the human heart (Matthew 19:1-12). And, even so, He still permitted even polygamous marriage to serve a purpose by providing social status and personal protection to women in those patriarchal times that they might not have otherwise had. (In the case of Saul and David (and later Solomon), marriage to, or inheritance of, multiple wives may also have been a particular prerogative of royal succession, or a result of efforts by the fathers of women to gain favorable royal treatment, or a product of the pursuit of political ends (1 Kings 3:1).) (In passing, I believe that it was Mark Twain who humorously commented that Jesus had prohibited polygamy when He said that no man can serve two masters.)
God’s giving of Saul’s wives to David meant that David actually took care of and protected those who normally would have been disposed of. There is never any mention of David having sexual relations with any of these wives of Saul. (see also 2 Samuel 9:1) History affords conclusive evidence that he never actually married any of the wives of Saul though some may dispute this. I.e. that David actually married any of Saul’s wives does not appear in Holy Writ. Only one wife (1 Samuel 14:50) and one concubine (2 Samuel 3:7) of Saul’s are mentioned.
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