As per the Old Testament of the Bible, King David when he was stricken with age, was provided for with a ‘YOUNG‘ virgin to cause heat to his body. One ought to read the King James Version to get to the poetic expression, which is excerpted as follows from I Kings 1 chapter verses 1-4:
1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
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.
4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
The words which drew my curiosity were “YOUNG VIRGIN” and “KNEW HER NOT”! King David must have been around 70 years of age when this episode took place. It is not clear whether Ms Abishag was able to produce enough heat by “lying in his bosom”! Nevertheless Abishag’s story does not end there, subsequent to the death of King David, Adonijah, the son of David and Haggith wanted to marry her and needed the permission of the then King, Solomon. Haggith being the co-wife to Bathsheba, the uterine mother of King Solomon, approached Bathsheba and requested for the hand of Abishag on behalf of Adonijah. The bizarre developments which take place at this request borders on the internecine succession battles of the prince siblings: King Solomon tells his mother as follows:
And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; …… (I KINGS 2:22)
I have dealt with, what could possibly have been the motives for King Solomon linking Abishag with the kingdom of Israel, in an earlier blog.
In the present context, when i read the news item which said that Mr. Berlusconi, was to marry a lady 48 years his junior, it set my mind thinking on the heat generating concept promoted by the servants of King David! What is interesting about Berlusconi and differentiates him from King David is that Berlusconi has not waited till his body has stopped producing “HEAT”, instead has made arrangements ON HIS OWN in the name of MARRIAGE! Our PLAYBOY owner HUGH HEFNER, who must be beyond his seventies, also wanted to marry a YOUNG LADY and in the last few days before the scheduled date, the wedding was called off!
In the meanwhile there have been a spate of GAY MARRIAGES, both in the US and in the UK. So the definition and purpose of MARRIAGE have not merely changed, but people have started making their own arrangements with companions and bringing those relationships under the umbrella of marriage!
When the old E V Ramasami Naicker, wanted to marry his helper Maniammai, there was a huge furore in the Dravida Kazhagam and some were of the opinion why a old man at that age had to have ‘PRURIENT” thoughts? It was presumed that marriage by an old man was ONLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF ‘CAPTIVE’ SEX!
But now i am happy and somewhat relieved that the society has accepted not only marriages between an old man and a young lady but between same sex also. Thereby the society appears to have matured to look at marriage as something which is beyond SEX and CHILDREN!
I for one am happy for BERLUSCONI, as i see him as a person who has concealed his tax commitments more than his liaisons! Whether the MARRIAGE would still have an ‘exclusivity of sex’ clause, would be interesting to watch. If the future Mrs. Berlusconi also decides to receive wild oats like her husband had been known for sowing earlier, Clarke Gable’s memorable line in GONE WITH THE WIND: “Who might the happy father be?” might be the answer to watch out for!
Long live mighty age-gap and gender indifferent marriages!