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King David's Demise

David's Promise.

"David's Promise."
Abishag, King David, Nathan and Bathsheba.
Frederick Goodall.

King David's Demise

Nathan's scheme to put Solomon on the throne has a good chance of success because we know that David is old and not feeling well. In fact, we are told that he is very cold all of the time and there is a general consensus among scholars that he was senile. His chill was such a problem that David's advisors found a beautiful girl named Abishag to lie with him to keep him warm. While Abishag slept with David to keep him warm and was one of the most beautiful maidens in all of Israel, it says he never had intimate relations with her, thereby confirming his feebleness (1 Kings 1:4).

Solomon mentions some events in Ecclesiastes that have the oddest similarity to some of the events considered here. Recall the special nature of Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 4:11 Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (JPS) (Emphasis added)
Ecclesiastes 4:13 Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king, who knoweth not how to receive admonition any more. 14 For out of prison he came forth to be king; although in his kingdom he was born poor. 15 I saw all the living that walk under the sun, that they were with the child, the second, that was to stand up in his stead. 16 There was no end of all the people, even of all them whom he did lead; yet they that come after shall not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind. (JPS) (Emphasis added)