What Happened To Abishag

What Happened To Abishag?

What Happened To Abishag? Abishag in the Bible was a beautiful Shunammite woman whose story is recorded in 1 Kings 1 and 2. She was connected to King David in a very interesting manner. When connected to David, Abishag was a na’arah, meaning youth and/or virginity, but not necessarily both. The Hebrew Bible tells us that she was chosen to be a helper and servant to King David in his old age. Abishag had a duty to lie next to King David and pass along her animal heat and vigor (“they put covers on him, but he could not get warm“), while not having sex with him (1 Kings 1:4). The Bible tells us that as King David advanced in years, his health declined. Eventually, whether through declining faculties or an illness, he was unable to keep warm, even when fully clothed.

This ailment seems to have been a problem at night, so his servants devised a plan to keep him warm. They said: “Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm” (1 Kings 1:2). David accepted, and, in searching, they found Abishag who was a “very beautiful” virgin (1 Kings 1:40). She was brought to live at the palace with King David. Abishag saw King David’s needs and warmed him with her body at night. The Bible says there was no sexual relationship between them (1 Kings 1:4), although it was assumed that Abishag would become a de facto member of King David’s harem – a concubine or secondary wife. Today, some scholars point to the possibility that Abishag is the female protagonist in the Song of Songs

What Happened To Abishag?

What The Scriptures Say

Abishag’s story continues even after David’s death. King David’s son Solomon had been chosen by his father to take over the throne, but another of David’s sons, Adonijah, styled himself as king instead (1 Kings 1:5). It is said that he was older than Solomon and had plenty of followers. Thus, posing a real threat to Solomon’s succession. While Adonijah was celebrating his coronation as king, David had Solomon anointed king at Bathsheba’s and Nathan’s request. Upon hearing the news of his brother’s installation as king, Adonijah was afraid and appealed to Solomon that he be allowed to live in spite of his designs on the throne. King Solomon granted him mercy (1 Kings 1:5–53).

However, it is rather unfortunate that Adonijah did not stop scheming for long, and he had his eye on Abishag. When David passed away and King Solomon began his rule, Adonijah approached Bathsheba and requested that she go before King Solomon and ask him to give him Abishag as a wife (1 Kings 2:13–17). Bathsheba relayed the request, but King Solomon saw through Adonijah’s plot to take the throne. In those days, it was believed that to marry a former king’s wife was to lay claim to the throne, and, since Abishag was considered as one of David’s concubines (even though they had never been intimate), Adonijah’s request to marry her was full of intrigue. King Solomon saw this as another attempt by Adonijah to overthrow him and take his throne. And therefore ordered his immediate execution (1 Kings 2:19–25).

What Happened To Abishag?

1 Kings 1:1-4 – “Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms, that my lord the king may be warm.” So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.”

1 Kings 1:3 – “So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king.”

1 Kings 1:1-53 – “Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm. Therefore his servants said to him, “Let a young woman be sought for my lord the king, and let her wait on the king and be in his service. Let her lie in your arms, that my lord the king may be warm.” So they sought for a beautiful young woman throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not. Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him. …

Group 1 – What Happened To Abishag

1 Kings 2:17And he said, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.”

2 Kings 11:2 – “But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Joram, sister of Ahaziah, took Joash the son of Ahaziah and stole him away from among the king’s sons who were being put to death, and she put him and his nurse in a bedroom. Thus they hid him from Athaliah, so that he was not put to death.”

2 Samuel 11:3 – “And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”

1 Kings 2:1-46 – “When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, that the Lord may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’ “Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, …

Group 2 – What Happened To Abishag

2 Samuel 12:1-31 – “And the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him and said to him, “There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.” …

Isaiah 1:1-31 – “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth; for the Lord has spoken: “Children have I reared and brought up, but they have rebelled against me. The ox knows its owner, and the donkey its master’s crib, but Israel does not know, my people do not understand.” Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One of Israel, they are utterly estranged. Why will you still be struck down? Why will you continue to rebel? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. …

Group 3 – What Happened To Abishag

1 Kings 1:1 – “Now King David was old and advanced in years. And although they covered him with clothes, he could not get warm.”

Genesis 14:1 – “In the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,

1 Samuel 25:43 – “David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives.”

Genesis 2:24 – “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Isaiah 11:1 – “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.

2 Kings 21:1 – “Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Hephzibah.”

1 Kings 2:1 – “When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying,

2 Kings 18:2 – “He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Abi the daughter of Zechariah.”

Group 4 – What Happened To Abishag

Genesis 1:1-31 – “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. ...”

Isaiah 15:1 – “An oracle concerning Moab. Because Ar of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone; because Kir of Moab is laid waste in a night, Moab is undone.”

Amos 1:1 – “The words of Amos, who was among the shepherds of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.”

Daniel 9:25 – “Know therefore and understand that from the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem to the coming of an anointed one, a prince, there shall be seven weeks. Then for sixty-two weeks it shall be built again with squares and moat, but in a troubled time.”

Group 5 – What Happened To Abishag

Isaiah 14:29 – “Rejoice not, O Philistia, all of you, that the rod that struck you is broken, for from the serpent’s root will come forth an adder, and its fruit will be a flying fiery serpent.”

Isaiah 1:1 – “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.”

Daniel 3:5 – “That when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, you are to fall down and worship the golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.”

Isaiah 3:1-26 – “For behold, the Lord God of hosts is taking away from Jerusalem and from Judah support and supply, all support of bread, and all support of water; the mighty man and the soldier, the judge and the prophet, the diviner and the elder, the captain of fifty and the man of rank, the counselor and the skillful magician and the expert in charms. And I will make boys their princes, and infants shall rule over them. And the people will oppress one another, every one his fellow and every one his neighbor; the youth will be insolent to the elder, and the despised to the honorable. …

Group 6 – What Happened To Abishag

Daniel 3:1-30 – “King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, whose height was sixty cubits and its breadth six cubits. He set it up on the plain of Dura, in the province of Babylon. Then King Nebuchadnezzar sent to gather the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces to come to the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Then the satraps, the prefects, and the governors, the counselors, the treasurers, the justices, the magistrates, and all the officials of the provinces gathered for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And they stood before the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. And the herald proclaimed aloud, “ …

Esther 1:1 – “Now in the days of Ahasuerus, the Ahasuerus who reigned from India to Ethiopia over 127 provinces,

Esther 2:7 – “He was bringing up Hadassah, that is Esther, the daughter of his uncle, for she had neither father nor mother. The young woman had a beautiful figure and was lovely to look at, and when her father and her mother died, Mordecai took her as his own daughter.”

Ezra 4:6 – “And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.”

Group 7 – What Happened To Abishag

2 Chronicles 11:18 – “Rehoboam took as wife Mahalath the daughter of Jerimoth the son of David, and of Abihail the daughter of Eliab the son of Jesse,

2 Chronicles 21:17 – “And they came up against Judah and invaded it and carried away all the possessions they found that belonged to the king’s house, and also his sons and his wives, so that no son was left to him except Jehoahaz, his youngest son.”

1 Kings 17:1Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.”

2 Kings 22:1 – “Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jedidah the daughter of Adaiah of Bozkath.”

2 Kings 8:26 – “Ahaziah was twenty-two years old when he began to reign, and he reigned one year in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Athaliah; she was a granddaughter of Omri king of Israel.”

1 Kings 15:2 – “He reigned for three years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Maacah the daughter of Abishalom.”

Group 8 – What Happened To Abishag

2 Kings 11:1 – “Now when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal family.”

2 Kings 8:2 – “So the woman arose and did according to the word of the man of God. She went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years.”

1 Kings 11:40 – “Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. But Jeroboam arose and fled into Egypt, to Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.

1 Kings 11:1-43 – “Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart. For when Solomon was old his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not wholly true to the Lord his God, as was the heart of David his father. For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. ...”

Group 9 – What Happened To Abishag

1 Kings 9:26 – “King Solomon built a fleet of ships at Ezion-geber, which is near Eloth on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom.”

1 Kings 10:22 – “For the king had a fleet of ships of Tarshish at sea with the fleet of Hiram. Once every three years the fleet of ships of Tarshish used to come bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.”

2 Samuel 21:1 – “Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year. And David sought the face of the Lord. And the Lord said, “There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gibeonites to death.”

1 Kings 6:1 – “In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord.”

1 Kings 8:2 – “And all the men of Israel assembled to King Solomon at the feast in the month Ethanim, which is the seventh month.”

2 Samuel 17:25 – “Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.

Group 10 – What Happened To Abishag

1 Kings 4:1-34 – “King Solomon was king over all Israel, and these were his high officials: Azariah the son of Zadok was the priest; Elihoreph and Ahijah the sons of Shisha were secretaries; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was in command of the army; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; Azariah the son of Nathan was over the officers; Zabud the son of Nathan was priest and king’s friend; ...”

2 Samuel 12:8 – “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.”

1 Kings 3:1-28 – “Solomon made a marriage alliance with Pharaoh king of Egypt. He took Pharaoh’s daughter and brought her into the city of David until he had finished building his own house and the house of the Lord and the wall around Jerusalem. The people were sacrificing at the high places, however, because no house had yet been built for the name of the Lord. Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father, only he sacrificed and made offerings at the high places. And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place. Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings on that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” …

Group 11 – What Happened To Abishag

1 Kings 1:4 – “The young woman was very beautiful, and she was of service to the king and attended to him, but the king knew her not.”

1 Kings 1:5 – “Now Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, “I will be king.” And he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.”

2 Samuel 2:18 – “And the three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel was as swift of foot as a wild gazelle.”

1 Samuel 14:50 – “And the name of Saul’s wife was Ahinoam the daughter of Ahimaaz. And the name of the commander of his army was Abner the son of Ner, Saul’s uncle.”

1 Kings 1:7 – “He conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah and with Abiathar the priest. And they followed Adonijah and helped him.”

1 Kings 2:25 – “So King Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he struck him down, and he died.”

2 Samuel 3:3 – “And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;

Group 12 – What Happened To Abishag

2 Samuel 11:1-27 – “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. …

1 Samuel 1:2 – “He had two wives. The name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other, Peninnah. And Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

2 Samuel 5:1-25 – “Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron and said, “Behold, we are your bone and flesh. In times past, when Saul was king over us, it was you who led out and brought in Israel. And the Lord said to you, ‘You shall be shepherd of my people Israel, and you shall be prince over Israel.’” So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel. David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. …

Group 13 – What Happened To Abishag

1 Samuel 18:1-30 – “As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt. And David went out and was successful wherever Saul sent him, so that Saul set him over the men of war. ...”

2 Samuel 3:1-39 – “There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. And David grew stronger and stronger, while the house of Saul became weaker and weaker. And sons were born to David at Hebron: his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam of Jezreel; …

Judges 14:19 – “And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon and struck down thirty men of the town and took their spoil and gave the garments to those who had told the riddle. In hot anger he went back to his father’s house.”

Group 14 – What Happened To Abishag

Ruth 1:1-22 – “In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. The name of the man was Elimelech and the name of his wife Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Chilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem in Judah. They went into the country of Moab and remained there. But Elimelech, the husband of Naomi, died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They lived there about ten years, and both Mahlon and Chilion died, so that the woman was left without her two sons and her husband. ...”

Deuteronomy 32:49 – “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel for a possession.”

Judges 4:6 – “She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, ‘Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking 10,000 from the people of Naphtali and the people of Zebulun.”

Group 15 – What Happened To Abishag

Numbers 12:1 – “Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman.”

Deuteronomy 22:19 – “And they shall fine him a hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name upon a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife. He may not divorce her all his days.”

Leviticus 19:18 – “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

Exodus 21:10 – “If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, or her marital rights.”

Leviticus 18:18 – “And you shall not take a woman as a rival wife to her sister, uncovering her nakedness while her sister is still alive.”

Exodus 2:21 – “And Moses was content to dwell with the man, and he gave Moses his daughter Zipporah.”

Genesis 41:45 – “And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-paneah. And he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.”

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