WHEN KING DAVID was nearing the end of his days, not even his electric blanket could fend off the ominous chill he felt rising in his bones. The fires of life were all but out, and in an effort to rekindle them for the old man and at the same time preserve their own jobs, the establishment enlisted the aid of a beautiful young woman named Abishag. In the hope that she, if anybody, could start his blood coursing again, they persuaded her to join him in the sack. By this time, however, the old man was past rising to the occasion, and not long afterward—perhaps as the result of his unsuccessful attempts to do so—he died. When one of his sons offered to make an honest woman of Abishag by marrying her, the establishment turned him down on the grounds that by taking over his father's girlfriend, he was just making a play for taking over his father's throne. What finally became of Abishag is not recorded, and perhaps it is just as well.
This sad story makes it clear that in peace as well as in war there's no tragic folly you can't talk a nation's youth into simply by calling it patriotic duty.
1 Kings 1-2
- Originally published in Peculiar Treasures