Relatively Unknown Women of the Bible: Abishag & Salome

In the Bible, women are seen as the wives, mothers, and siblings of kings, average man, and other significant individuals mentioned in infamous religious stories. In this article, you will encounter some of the relatively unknown females of the Bible, including Abishag, who found herself at the center of what some people view as a slightly controversial political account.


When King David grew older, his courtiers felt he needed a young woman to keep him warm at night as his final days approached. They wanted to find a beautiful girl to become his companion even though he had a vast number of wives and concubines already as part of his harem. They choose Abishag the Sunammite to take on the responsibility and she is brought to the king. She becomes the king’s attendant and while she is stunning and young, her role is more like a caretaker or nurse rather than a lover. In 1 Kings 1:1, it is stated ” She became the king’s attendant and served him, but the king did not know her sexually.”

Because the king has a dreputation with women, the fact that he is unable to establish a more physical relationship with Abishag poses a problem. He feels degraded. Later on, the relationship between Abishag and David creates a political twist. Adonijah is interested in having Abishag as his own and asks Bathshba for assistance. He said, ‘Please ask King Solomon-he will not refuse you-to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife. [1 Kings 2:17].

Solomon is not pleased and sees the request as a way for his brother to obtain the throne. He believes that allowing Adonijah to have possession of one of the king’s concubines would place him in better favor for being next in line to rule. Bathsheba replies, ‘Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to your brother Adonijah as his wife.’ King Solomon answered his mother, ‘And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom as well! For he is my elder brother; ask not only for him but also for the priest Abiathar and for Joab son of Zeruiah!’

In the end, the request was denied.


Well-known followers of Jesus in the Bible are mostly male, yet there have been a handful of women who followed Jesus during His life. Salome is one of the women who followed Jesus. At the time of His passion, a great deal of His followers did not want to be associated. However, Salome remained a faithful disciple and stayed close , watching his execution from a distance. Following the Sabbath, she with other women went to the tomb to anoint the body. In traditional circles, Salome is seen as the wife of Zebedee and the mother of James and John, even though it hasn’t been noted in the Bible.

Passages involving Salome include:

·    There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. [Mark 15:40]

·    When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him [Mark 16:1]