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1 Kings 1:1-4

Adonijah Tries to Seize the Throne

1:1 King David was very old; 1  even when they covered him with blankets, 2  he could not get warm. 1:2 His servants advised 3  him, “A young virgin must be found for our master, the king, 4  to take care of the king’s needs 5  and serve as his nurse. She can also sleep with you 6  and keep our master, the king, warm.” 7  1:3 So they looked through all Israel 8  for a beautiful young woman and found Abishag, a Shunammite, and brought her to the king. 1:4 The young woman was very beautiful; she became the king’s nurse and served him, but the king did not have sexual relations with her. 9 

1 tn Heb “was old, coming into the days” (i.e., advancing in years).

2 tn Or “garments.”

3 tn Heb “said to.”

4 tn Heb “let them seek for my master, the king, a young girl, a virgin.” The third person plural subject of the verb is indefinite (see GKC 460 §144.f). The appositional expression, “a young girl, a virgin,” is idiomatic; the second term specifically defines the more general first term (see IBHS 230 §12.3b).

5 tn Heb “and she will stand before the king.” The Hebrew phrase “stand before” can mean “to attend; to serve” (BDB 764 s.v. עָמַד).

6 tn Heb “and she will lie down in your bosom.” The expression might imply sexual intimacy (see 2 Sam 12:3 [where the lamb symbolizes Bathsheba] and Mic 7:5), though v. 4b indicates that David did not actually have sex with the young woman.

7 tn Heb “and my master, the king, will be warm.”

8 tn Heb “through all the territory of Israel.”

9 tn Heb “did not know her.”

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