1 Kings 1:3
So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
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(3) A Shunammite.—Shunem is in the territory of Issachar (Joshua 19:18), and in the plain of Jezreel (1Samuel 28:4), near Mount Gilboa. As Eusebius, describing its position carefully, calls it “Sulem,” and as this variation of name is confirmed by its ready identification with the modern village of Solam, it has been conjectured (see Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, SHULAMITE), ingeniously and not improbably, that Abishag is the “fair Shulamite” of the Song of Solomon (1Kings 6:13). The conjecture certainly throws some light on the occurrences of 1Kings 2:13-25. Probably the whole notice of Abishag is only introduced on account of her subsequent connection with the fate of Adonijah.

1:1-4 We have David sinking under infirmities. He was chastised for his recent sins, and felt the effects of his former toils and hardships.Since the Jewish law allowed polygamy, David's conduct in following - what has been said to have been - physician's advice, was blameless. 3. a Shunammite—Shunem, in the tribe of Issachar (Jos 19:18), lay on an eminence in the plain of Esdraelon, five miles south of Tabor. It is now called Sulam. A fair damsel; whose beauty might engage his affections, and refresh his spirits, and invite him to those embraces which might communicate some of her natural heat to him, as was designed.

A Shunammite, of the city of Shunem in Issachar, Joshua 19:18. See 2 Kings 4:8.

So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel,.... Not only a damsel, but a beautiful one, that she might be the more acceptable to the king; who otherwise, if deformed and ugly, would not have endured her in his sight, or received at her hands, and much less suffered her to lie in his bosom:

and found Abishag a Shunammite; a native of the city Shunem, a city in the tribe of Issachar, Joshua 19:18;

and brought her to the king; for his approbation of her, and to make her his concubine wife, as he did.

So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag {c} a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.

(c) A city in the tribe of Issachar, Jos 19:18.

3. a fair damsel] Such as might be fitted to be one of the royal wives. A similar direction is given when Vashti has been deposed, and a new queen is to be sought for Ahasuerus (Esther 2:2).

all the coasts] In the English of the Bible this word has no necessary reference to sea-board land, as it has in our modern use, but often signifies, as here, borders, territories.

Abishag a Shunammite] The Hebrew has ‘the Shunammite’, as though she either was already, or from subsequent events became, well known. She was a native of Shunem, a city belonging to the tribe of Issachar and lying north of Jezreel and south of Mt Gilboa (see Joshua 19:18; 1 Samuel 28:4). The Syriac and Arabic read Sulamite (cf. Song of Solomon 6:13).

Verse 3. - So [Heb. and] they sought (cf. Esther 2:2), for a fair [this word points to the same conclusion as "virgin" in per. 2] damsel throughout all the coasts [i.e., borders (costa = rib, side). An old writer speaks of the "coasts and quarters of heaven"] of Israel, and found Abishag [ = "Father of error." Names compounded with Ab, "father," were and are very common in the East. We have, e.g., Ab-salom in Per. 6, and Abi-athar in Per. 7] a [Heb. the] Shunammite [Shunem, a town of Issachar (Joshua 19:18), now called Solam, "a flourishing village encompassed by gardens" (Porter), and "in the midst of the finest cornfields in the,world" (Grove), lies on the lower slope of "Little Hermon," and has before it the wide plain of Esdraelon. Another Shunammite appears in the sacred history (2 Kings 4:8)] and brought her to the king. 1 Kings 1:3They then looked about for a beautiful girl for this purpose, and found Abishag of Shunem, the present Sulem or Solam, at the south-eastern foot of the Duhy of Little Hermon (see at Joshua 19:18), who became the king's nurse and waited upon him. The further remark, "and the king knew her not," is not introduced either to indicate the impotence of David or to show that she did not become David's concubine, but simply to explain how it was that it could possibly occur to Adonijah (1 Kings 2:17) to ask for her as his wife. Moreover, the whole affair is to be judged according to the circumstances of the times, when there was nothing offensive in polygamy.
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