Who Was Abigail In The Bible? The Old Testament of the Bible tells us that Abigail was the wife of Nabal of Southern Judea, on whose death she became one of the first wives of David (1 Samuel 25), and mother to his son Chileab (son of Abigail). Also, the name Abigail was borne by David’s sister (1 Chronicles 2:16), who was the mother of Amasa, commander of the army of Absalom. We can read the story of Abigail, one of David’s wives in 1 Samuel 25. At the beginning, we are made to understand that Abigail is the wife of a wealthy man named Nabal who was an inhabitant of a town referred to as Maon in the wilderness of Paran, an area close to the Sinai Peninsula. As we are made to understand by the Scriptures, Abigail was “an intelligent and beautiful woman” (1 Samuel 25:3).
Abigail saved her husband and his household, prevented David from doing something rash, and secured an unexpected future for herself. Today, the story of Abigail is one of the most interesting stories in the Bible for a good number of reasons. Nabal, her husband, is rather a bizarre character. For no good reason, Nabal refuses David’s request for food and shelter. Despite knowing of David’s benevolence to his shepherds, Nabal wickedly refuses to help David and his men as they tried hard to keep one step ahead of King Saul. Behold, David’s request was reasonable, but Nabal, who is portrayed as “surly and mean” (1 Samuel 25:3), actually spits in the faces of David’s servants refusing to help them.
Who Was Abigail In The Bible?
The Bible tells us that even though Nabal was aware of David’s benevolence to his shepherds, he refused to help David and his servants, saying “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?” (1 Samuel 25:10-11). However, David did not take this rejection well as he swore to kill every male associated with Nabal’s household (1 Samuel 25:22). The Bible tells us that David has strapped on his sword and was on his way with four hundred armed men (1 Samuel 25:13) when Abigail made him on the road. She offered David gifts of wine, prepared meat, grain, and cakes of figs.
After offering the gifts, Abigail fell down in front of David, pleading with him to show mercy to her husband, Nabal (1 Samuel 25:23). In Abigail’s plea, she shows that she understands Nabal’s character: “Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him” (1 Samuel 25:25). In taking up Nabal’s cause and asking David to spare his life, Abigail proofs herself to be a wise, righteous, and caring woman. In boldness, she took up the risk of approaching David, an angry man bent on revenge, and intercedes for her husband, despite his bad behavior. Her request is a picture of Christ, who offered Himself as a Sacrifice to save foolish sinners from the consequences of their own actions and who continues to intercede for us in the presence of God Almighty (Hebrews 7:25).
What The Scriptures Say About Abigail
We are made to understand by the Scriptures that Abigail’s appeasement saves the day. Courageously, she embraces wisdom and intercedes for her husband’s household. David later thanks Abigail for staying his hand and repents of his own foolish and rash decision to slaughter Nabal’s household (1 Samuel 25:32–34). As a matter of fact, David sees Abigail’s coming to him as a blessing from God and he sends her home in peace (1 Samuel 25:35). Meanwhile, Nabal, insensitive to his wrongdoing and the danger that he had dragged his household into, holds a kingly feast for himself and gets drunk (1 Samuel 25:36). Abigail waits until the next morning for her husband to sober up, and then she tells him everything – how David was on his way to destroy him and his household and how she herself interceded before David for mercy.
When Nabal heard all that his wife had done, he fell ill: “His heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal and he died” (1 Samuel 25:37–38). When David heard of this, he sent a message to Abigail asking her to become his wife, and Abigail responded affirmatively (1 Samuel 25:40–42). The Scriptures invite us not to seek vengeance for ourselves. Rather, we should “leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord” (Romans 12:19; cf. Deuteronomy 32:35). Behold, this is exactly what happened in Abigail’s story. As David was prevented from taking revenge, the Lord God Almighty took care of the matter in due time.
Interesting Lesson from Nabal and David
Interestingly, Nabal and David can be seen as representative of the two responses men have to Christ. Nabal does not repent nor acknowledge his sin; neither does he thanks Abigail for her willingness to risk her own life on his behalf. On the other hand, David’s heart is tender and repentant, and he calls Abigail blessed for her actions. We see here that David is spared the consequences of the sin he had conceived, but Nabal dies in his sin. In the end, Nabal’s wealth, wife, and his own very life are taken from him. Abigail – a savior full of beauty, courage, wisdom, and discretion – enters a love relationship with David. Worth taking note of in this story is that in Abigail, we have a small picture of the Ultimate Savior, the very Source of Beauty, Courage, and Wisdom, who desires a loving relationship with us for all times.
5 Lessons We Can Learn From The Wisdom And Courage Of Abigail
1) Don’t let fear hold you back – 1 Samuel 25:18
1 Samuel 25:18 says “Abigail lost no time…” No matter how threatening or difficult the situation may seem, God’s power within us is greater than we can ever fully comprehend or see. Behold, the Lord God Almighty is capable of using any of us, even those who feel insignificant or powerless, for His greater good. Abigail showed great wisdom in acting quickly, swiftly, and speaking honorably to David. Without wasting time, she took control of the whole situation that was potentially dangerous for both parties. She did not just sit back putting the whole blame on her husband or remain stuck in fear. Abigail sent food and her servants up ahead. She chose wisely to act alone, without Nabal knowing. She met David with honor and respect for how he had cared for her people. God was with her and she took control thereby saving her husband’s household.
2) Be humble and kind as you seek peace with all – 1 Samuel 25:23-24
1 Samuel 25:23-24 says, “When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: “My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you, hear what your servant his to say…” This Scripture makes us understand that Abigail had the courage and strength to shoulder the blame for something that she didn’t do. With all respect for David, she begged forgiveness on behalf of her entire household, and the Lord God used that very moment to show David how wrong it will be to take revenge in his own way. Although Abigail had no idea of how David would respond, she was courageous enough to do the right thing regardless of the danger that surrendered her. She acted with much humility and compassion.
3) We should pay attention to our words and actions because they are powerful – 1 Samuel 25:28-29
1 Samuel 25:28-29 says, “Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling.” Abigail was aware of the power of words and actions. Thus, she carefully chose her words and actions to meet up with her heart desire. She understood that the bigger picture of this story was much significant, so she humbly reminded David of how important it was that God was building greatness in his life, that the Lord God Himself was fighting for David.
4) A true warrior is loyal, faithful, and thinks of others before themselves – 1 Samuel 25:30-31
1 Samuel 25:30-31 says, “When the Lord has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel, my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord has brought my master success, remember your servant.” Regardless of the dangers around, Abigail fought to protect her husband and household. Abigail was not only thinking of herself but of all those she loved and cherished. She was loyal and honored God and her family through her actions. She chose to show great respect towards David, reminding him of God’s favor in his life and the blessings that were to come his way. And with wisdom and discernment, she asked David for only one thing at the end of her plea, that when God brought him success, he would remember her.
5) Always remember that God will fight for you and that you are not alone – 1 Samuel 25:32-33
1 Samuel 25:32-33 says, “David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.” Behold, God fought for Abigail, just as He still faithfully fights for us today. Remember that God did not leave her alone in the face of the prominent danger but made her find favor in the sight of David. Abigail pleased David so much so that when he learned that Nabal was dead, he requested her to get married to him and she accepted.
Who Was Abigail In The Bible?
1 Samuel 25:18-19 – “Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.”
1 Chronicles 3:1 – “These are the sons of David who were born to him in Hebron: the firstborn, Amnon, by Ahinoam the Jezreelite; the second, Daniel, by Abigail the Carmelite,“
1 Samuel 25:39-42 – “When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife.”
Group 1 – Who Was Abigail In The Bible
1 Samuel 25:32-35 – And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand! For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.”
1 Samuel 25:4-42 – David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’” …
Group 2 – Who Was Abigail In The Bible
1 Samuel 25:14-17 – But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.”
2 Samuel 2:2 – “So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.”
1 Samuel 25:17-19 – “Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.” Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.“
Group 3 – Who Was Abigail In The Bible
2 Samuel 3:3 – “And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;“
1 Samuel 27:3 – “And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal’s widow.”
2 Samuel 2:2-3 – “So David went up there, and his two wives also, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. And David brought up his men who were with him, everyone with his household, and they lived in the towns of Hebron.”
1 Samuel 25:1-44 – “Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah. Then David rose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. And there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; he was a Calebite. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. …“
Group 4 – Who Was Abigail In The Bible
1 Samuel 30:1-18 – “Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel. ...”
1 Samuel 25:27-30 – “And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel,“
Group 5 – Who Was Abigail In The Bible
1 Samuel 25:4-8 – David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
1 Chronicles 2:16 – “And their sisters were Zeruiah and Abigail. The sons of Zeruiah: Abishai, Joab, and Asahel, three.”
1 Samuel 25:13 – “And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.”
Group 6 – Who Was Abigail In The Bible
1 Samuel 25:36 – “And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light.”
1 Chronicles 2:17 – “Abigail bore Amasa, and the father of Amasa was Jether the Ishmaelite.“
Group 7 – Who Was Abigail In The Bible
1 Samuel 30:3-5 – “And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David’s two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.“
1 Samuel 25:37-38 – “In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.”
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