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Special Article
April 26, 2004

Death of an Arabian Jew

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(8):833-839. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.8.833

A 69-year-old Judean man presents with chronic low-grade fever, pedal edema, and abdominal pain. His condition deteriorates over several weeks with the appearance of shortness and foulness of breath, pruritus, convulsions of every limb, and gangrene of the genitalia. Just before he dies, he orders dozens of the leading men of his kingdom imprisoned and instructs his sister to kill them all after he is gone. Who is he and what is the likely cause of his death?