International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
ab´i -shag , a -bı̄´shag ( אבישׁג , 'ăbhı̄shagh , apparently, "father of wandering," that is, "cause of wandering," or "my father wanders"): The Shunammite woman who became nurse to King David (1 Ki 1-4, 15; 1 Kings 2:17 , 1 Kings 2:21 , 1 Kings 2:22 ). She was chosen for the service with great care on account of her youth and beauty and physical vigor. She ministered to the king, that is, waited on him as personal attendant and nurse. She also "cherished" him in his feebleness - gave to him through physical contact the advantage of her superabundant vitality. This was a mode of medical treatment recommended by the servants of the king, and it appears to have been not wholly unsuccessful. She had an intimate knowledge of the condition of David, and was present at the interview of Bathsheba with David which resulted in the placing of Solomon on the throne. If that act had been questioned she would have been a most important witness. By reason of this and of her personal charms, she might become a strong helper to any rival of Solomon who should intrigue to supplant him. Adonijah sought Abishag in marriage. On the basis of this and of such other evidence as may supposably have been in his possession, Solomon put Adonijah to death as an intriguer.
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Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Abishag'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/isb/a/abishag.html. 1915.