Why look for a virgin to warm the king? (1 Kings 1:2)

Why look for a virgin to warm the king? (1 Kings 1:2)

1 Now King David was old, advanced in age; and they covered him with clothes, but he could not keep warm. 2 So his servants said to him, “Let them seek a young virgin for my lord the king, and let her attend the king and become his nurse; and let her lie in your bosom, that my lord the king may keep warm.” 3 So they searched for a beautiful girl throughout all the territory of Israel, and found Abishag the Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 4 The girl was very beautiful, and she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not cohabit with her.

Clarify Share Report Asked September 01 2018 My picture Jack Gutknecht

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Mini Aurel Gheorghe
In my opinion, there was nothing sexual about Abishag watching after king David. She was more than likely a servant of the household. 

The scriptures make it clear that she and David did not share an intimate relationship. Abishag duties were to “lie next to David and keep him warm.” However, 1 Kings 1:4 says David did not have sexual relations with her {“but the king knew her not (intimately)”}.

Apparently, David was suffering with poor blood circulation and nothing would keep him warm. It was an idea originated with the people caring for David. They perhaps believed that a beautiful young woman would be a welcomed distraction from his old age ailments - not one of the best ideas. For sure, none of us would get away with such original treatment for peripheral vascular disease.

September 03 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
My understanding is that the Septuagint (LXX) Greek translation of the Old Testament indicates in 1 Kings 1:4 that one of the purposes of keeping the king warm was not only for his comfort, but to restore his sexual vigor, based on a belief that the fertility of the soil and the general prosperity of the people were bound up with the fertility of the king.

When covering the king with blankets failed to produce this desired result, a search for a beautiful young woman was conducted with the specific objective of having her lie with him to maximize the possibility of the restoration of his sexual potency. However, as the verse cited above notes, the king did not have sexual relations with her.

September 02 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
Abishag (Hebrew: אבישג‎ Avishag) was a young woman of Shunem, distinguished for her beauty. She was chosen to be a helper and servant to David in his old age. Among Abishag's duties was to lie next to David and keep him warm ("they put covers on him, but he could not get warm"); however, David did not have sexual relations with her (1 Kings 1:4).

The Interpreter's Bible notes that

the Hebrews...believed that the fertility of the soil and the general prosperity of the people were bound up with the fertility of the king. David by this time was old and decrepit and his sexual vigor is called into question. Attempts are made to remedy the situation. The first cure is to heap clothes upon his bed in order to secure such physical heat as might render him capable. When this fails a search is made for the most beautiful woman in the land. Great emphasis is placed upon her [Abishag's] charms. The LXX supports this by translating in vs. 2, "and let her excite him and lie with him." 

"The fact that the king did not have intercourse with her is decisive in the story. If David was impotent he could no longer be king." 

This is 1 statement that I have never heard of before. I, therefore, would question The Interpreter's Bible on this interpretation.

April 19 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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