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David And Abishag: The Purpose Of 1 Kings 1:1–4

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Chapter Summary

The first four verses of 1 Kings create a problem in terms of their position and purpose. The story begins with king David's illness, described in terms of the inability of the sovereign to become warm. In terms of recent critical studies on the Deuteronomistic History, the various literary critical approaches have been unable to arrive at a consensus regarding the nature of the opening texts of 1 Kings, either in terms of their origin or in terms of their purpose. Gwilym H. Jones describes David's health problem as senility and sees it, along with the appearance of Adonijah, as a means of preparation for the rise and fall of Adonijah's claim to the throne. Walter Brueggemann relates Abishag and even the references to the king's warmth to the king's lack of virility that creates "a functional vacancy on the throne&t;.

Keywords: Abishag; Adonijah; Deuteronomistic history; king David



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