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As recounted in 1 Kings 1-2, when King David grew old, he had trouble keeping warm while lying down, no matter how much covering was laid on top of him. To remedy this, a beautiful young virgin named Abishag from the village of Shunem in the land belonging to the Israelite tribe of Issachar was recruited to be a concubine to the king. In this role, she lay next to David and warmed him with her body, as well as performing other needed tasks for him. However, the Bible specifically says that David did not have sexual relations with her. After David died, there was rivalry for the throne between David's sons Solomon (whom David himself had designated to be his successor) and Adonijah (who regarded himself as the rightful successor to David, since he was older than Solomon). After Solomon had prevailed and become king, Adonijah went to Solomon's mother Bathsheba, and asked that she request King Solomon on his behalf to allow Abishag to be given to him (Adonijah) as his wife. However, Solomon detected treachery in this request, perceiving that Adonijah -- in conspiracy with Joab (the commander of the army under David) and the high priest Abiathar -- was planning to usurp the throne -- an action to which the appropriation of Abishag as his wife would lend an appearance of legitimacy. Solomon therefore ordered that Adonijah be executed. There is no specific mention of what happened to Abishag after that episode, although there is speculation that she became just one of the vast number of wives and concubines that King Solomon possessed (as noted in 1 Kings 11:3).
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