Abigail was the wife of the wicked Nabal, who became a wife of David after the death of Nabal. Abigail was of good character even though her husband was a cheat. It was because of her good character that she averted bloodshed and a punishment from the LORD God upon David. This kind, organized, courageous and wise intelligent woman is an example to independent women of Christ in today’s world. 1 Samuel 25:1-44
We know that Abigail was a beautiful woman with good understanding and was married to Nabal. Nabal was a cruel, obstinate, and stiff-necked man who practiced evil works. Nabal was from the house of Caleb. Abigail lived in Maon her husband had a business in Carmel.
Abigail was of good character even though her husband was a cheat. Before we look at Abigail we need to understand what happened between David and Nabal. David was not king at this time and had been camped near the lands of Nabal who was a wealthy rancher. David heard that Nabal sheared sheep and sent out ten young men to ask Nabal to sheer his sheep. These ten young men were to greet Nabal in Peace for him and his house and peace to all that he had.
David had performed a valuable service for Nabal while in the wilderness. He had protected his flock from the Philistine and David expected to be compensated for his service. David had protected Nabal his shepherds and his flocks for a long time. He did not expect compensation until Nabal made his money at the harvest of sheep shearing. David was kind and polite to Nabal so not to intimidate him. Nor did David ask for a specific payment.
Nabal, in true fashion for his character, demanded to know who David was, and who the son of Jesse is. This was a great insult since David was well known throughout Israel. David had been warring the Philistines for King Saul and had killed ten thousands Philistine. (1 Samuel 18:5-9). Nabal continued to show his ungenerous nature by refusing to his bread, water and meat to give it to men he does not know. The young men returned to David who was greatly insulted.
David, in true fashion for his character, instructed his men to put on his sword. David took with him four hundred men, and left two hundred to stay with the supplies. One young man told Abigail what had transpired and that David was coming with about four hundred men to wipe out Nabal.
Abigail jumped into action and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. That was really fast preparation to gather all that food even in these days. This speaks volumes of her wealth, her strength, and her organizational skills in a time of crisis. If they had this much food at their fingertips it really shows want an ungenerous man Nabal was. David had only asked for fair payment for his services he had rendered to Nabal.
Abigail not only prepared and organized food for David she also organized her route to get to David without her husband knowing. Verse 20 tells us she rode on the ass down by the covering of the hills. She did not tell her husband what she was going against his treatment of David. David had sworn an oath: “May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.” (1 Samuel 25:22).
When Abigail saw David she hastened to dismount form the donkey, she fell on her face before David and bowed down to the ground. Abigail gave her appeal to David. David had sworn to kill all the males especially Nabal. Because of this it would have been impossible for a male to appeal to David. However, before him fell a beautiful Abigail who was not pretentious, privileged or rich, not even as an equal to David. Abigail came as a humble servant to David. There was not grief in her heart, no offence to him. Abigail added that since the LORD had held David back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging himself with blood shed causelessly, and then remember your handmaid.
Abigail reached David and he received her advice. David thanked the LORD God that He had sent her this day. David told Abigail she had kept him from avenging himself by his own hand and causing bloodshed. David had realized that had the LORD not sent Abigail he would have killed all the males left tin Nabal. Verse 35 tells us “David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.”
Abigail went to Nabal and he held a feast in his house. Nabal He held a feast of a king and his heart was merry and he got very drunk. Nabal did not have a clue the danger he had brought to his household. All he had to do was invite David to his feast and there would not have been a danger. Apparently the servants and Abigail knew the imminent danger, yet Nabal remained clueless. Abigail did not tell Nabal what had happen until the morning when he was no longer drunk. It is interesting to note that verse 37 tells us that “his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.” Today we would say Nabal became very depressed. This does suggest that Nabal realized what he could have caused if it was not for his wife Abigail who interceded for him and saved all the males in their service. Ten days later the LORD smote Nabal and he died. David did not kill Nabal the LORD struck Nabal until he died.
When David heard that Nabal was dead he knew the LORD had returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head. It was the LORD’s judgment against Nabal that fell on his own head. David sent a messenger to Abigail while she was at Carmen, and asked her to become his wife. Abigail rose in haste and rode on her donkey along with five of her maidens and followed the messengers of David. Abigail became the wife of David.
This is a display of such courage on the part of Abigail. Here she is in front of David and his 400 men. Abigail reminded David that there was a time when he had great trust in the LORD God for all his victories. This was an attempt to refocus the attention of David away from Nabal and back to the LORD. Some might criticize Abigail for being disloyal to her husband and going behind his back and approaching David. Nabal had put everyone in jeopardy because he insulted David with great evil and disrespect. Sometimes in life women have to make a choice of good against evil. If that means going against the husband then that is what has to be done. Abigail reacted in order to save those in her household caused by her husbands bad and dangerous judgment.
Abigail gives a marvelous example of how to handle a difficult dangerous situation with proper submission. It is important to understand the word “submit.”Abigail did not tell David that Nabal was an evil man who did David wrong. Instead Abigail fell on her face before David and humbly asks that the iniquity fall on her. She did not remain quiet; she did not go inside her home and hide, nor did she become loud and boisterous. It was in humbling herself that saved her servants and her husband as well.
Abigail also gave a marvelous example of how to give respect to her husband when she did not explain to her husband what was really happening. She did not tell her husband he was a fool and had put their male population in jeopardy. Instead she waited until the morning after the banquet and when he was less drunk to explain to him what had happened and how she had brought food to appease the anger of David. She could have become superior and lord it over him what a fool he had been but she did not. She allowed the LORD to control the situation.
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MLA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne “Abigail wife of Nabal:.” Becker Bible Studies Library Oct 2014.<https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1381 ,>.
APA Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2014, October) “Abigail wife of Nabal.” Becker Bible Studies Library. Retrieved from https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1381 ,
Chicago Style Citation:
Holstein, Joanne (2014) “Abigail wife of Nabal:.” Becker Bible Studies Library (October), https://guidedbiblestudies.com/?p=1381 , (accessed).