Worthy Women Series #6: Abigail

David and Abigail

 

Hello my fellow sisters in Christ!

It’s been a while since I published my last post but I hope by God’s grace that I’ll post more regular posts from now; especially because I have a lot of ideas in mind!

Today, I’ll examine Abigail’s life in my Worthy Women Series. Let’s begin!

 

Quick facts

Name: Abigail

Meaning: “My father has rejoiced”

Lived during Biblical Times (King Saul’s and King David’s era)

Husbands: married first to Nabal, and then to King David

Co-wives: many by King David,i.e. Mikal, Ahinoam of Jizreel, Bath Scheba, Haggith, Egla, just to name a few.

Children: one son, Kileab, fathered by King David. She doesn’t seem to have had children with Nabal

Qualities: wise, diplomatic, and gentle

Her sadness: having a mean and foolish husband (Nabal)

 

Her Story

David was a fugitive from King Saul and highly wanted by the royal government in place. However, he soon became a band leader of 600 men and found refuge in the desert . In a place named Carmel, there was a man named Nabal who was very rich ad had many sheeps that David and his men helped to tend. Soon, Nabal prospered thanks to David’s help.

However, knowing that Nabal was about to celebrate his good fortune, David sent some men to ask for some provisions to Nabal, remembering that they did a good job and hoping to be rewarded for that. However, Nabal treated them very badly and sent them away, saying that he didn’t know David and that he wouldn’t give his food to him. Nabal, foolish as he was, just insulted the most powerful man in Israel.

After hearing Nabal’s answer, David  swore that he would exterminate everything that belonged to Nabal that night. He ordered to his soldiers to get ready and repenting for his goodness towards Nabal.

However, a servant who watched the whole matter, came quickly to Abigail, his mistress and told her what happened. Abigail didn’t hesitate. She knew that her husband had violated the laws of hospitality which prevailed in their customs at that time. She also probably felt that Nabal’s actions wouldn’t plead in their favor.

That’s why she quickly prepared some provisions to meet David: bread, meat and sweets. When she arrived to David’s place, she fell on her knees and pronounced a tactful and powerful speech – one of the most interesting speech given by a woman in the Bible:

 

the prudent Abigail

The prudent and wise Abigail gives presents to David

“Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thy audience, and hear the words  of thine handmaid. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Bélial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now, therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

And now this blessing which thine handmaid has brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battled of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God: and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out as out of the middle of a sling.

And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; that this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, remember thine handmaid”.

David must have been astonished by much wisdom! He soon reassured her and blessed her:

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me. And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which has kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall”.

David accepted her gifts and sent her to her home in peace. When she came back to her place, she found that her husband rejoiced and drank too much wine. She didn’t tell him anything until the day after, when he sobered up. After hearing his wife’s story, he had a heart attack (the Bible says that his heart died within him and that he became as a stone) and died 10 days later.

Upon hearing Nabal’s death, David proposed to Abigail. She bowed down and answered: “Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord”. She accpeted to be his wife, and later, she bore him a son named Kileab.

 

Interesting facts

  • Nabal and Abigail are described as a mismatched couple: Nabal was rude and evil, whereas Abigail is described as a beautiful and intelligent woman
  • Nabal means “fool”
  • Abigail is the only woman of the Bible (I might be mistaken on this) who married powerful men twice. Surely, powerful men need intelligent women to help them and support them in their burdens
  • David’s motives in marrying Abigail are unclear. Was he immediately attracted to her? Was it a political move? Both? We will never know for sure

What we can learn from Abigail

Abigail is one of my favorite female characters in the Bible. Though little is known about her, she is the perfect example of a woman of faith, peace, and wisdom; as the ideal of Proverbs 31 woman is described.

She shows us that we, as women, should be ambassadors of peace in our families, in our workplace, in our homes and globally everywhere. Thanks to her actions, Abigail avoided a major slaughter to happen in her house and she saved her first household and she managed to avoid David committing a sin.

Therefore, we should take Abigail as an example and use our feminine qualities of tact, diplomacy, and humility to bring peace in our daily lives.

Moreover, Abigail’s story shows her wisdow in her language: she always calls David “my lord” and she has a soft and beautiful speech, which shows her intelligence. We should remember that our tongues can be instruments of life or death (we can read this in the Book of James). Let us pursue wisdom in the way we behave, in the way we talk to people, in the way we carry out our duties everyday.

Finally, ladies, Abigail’s story shows that real men of faith love wise, tactful and discreet women. David was surely impressed and pleased with Abigail’s intelligence and courage. Let us not be discouraged by the current fashion of bimbos!

Do you agree with Abigail’s life lessons? Please share your point of view!

 

Stay blessed!

 

 

 

 

 

 


11 comments

  1. Sean says:

    Hi Elodie,

    Thanks for this – being a peacemaker is one of the qualities that is really attractive in a woman. We really need more women like Abigail in this world.

    Very true, what you say about our tongues being instruments of either life or death. It’s a daily choice to be a peacemaker.

    All the best,
    Sean

    • angelce says:

      Thanks Sean!

    • Maureen says:

      Many things have changed since Abigail’s time. But the saying of today that behind every good man is a better woman seems to fit Abigail to a tee. Woman today are much more outspoken and do not play the subservient role like in Abigail’s time. Women today have many more responsibilities, Many women along with raising children are the breadwinners also. In today’s world unless Abigail is born into a family of privilege she would not get very far.
      Also your last line where you refer to bimbos are you referring to women or men?
      Please note that I was raised in Canada so my outlook can be quite different than someone raised in Europe. .

    • Robert Basaker says:

      Elodie, I was searching the internet about great women of the Bible and came across your website.
      I have been a Christian for more than 50 years and have read the bible all 64 books many times. I have read several commentaries.

      The women of the Bible have always fascinated me. From Rahab to Mary now Abigail.
      Your commentary was very insightful and inspirational.
      You made this particular bible story come to life in a way I hadn’t considered before.

      Your interesting facts where you state “Surely, powerful men need intelligent women to help them and support them in their burdens” is was true then and true today.

      Keep up the great service to our Lord.
      Bob

      • angelce says:

        Thank you Robert and God bless you!

      • jamesdanner says:

        Hello Elodie! Women of the bible isn’t just for ladies anymore. One of my favorite books is Bad Girls of the Bible by Liz Curtis Higgs. I got through it pretty quick and found myself wanting more. I now where to go now to learn about women of the bible. This is a very informative site and I will be returning to read your updates. Have a wonderful and productive day.

        • angelce says:

          Thank you and have a wonderful and blessed day too!

        • Rachel says:

          The WA comment forum wouldn’t let me submit my comment since I quoted part of your article, so I’m just going to offer my comment here. This article is a great representation of Abigail and her servant-like qualities. One of the greatest priorities of a Proverbs 31 woman is to serve humbly. You see in Abigail only selflessness, and she was no doubt a blessing to both of her husbands. I love how you said, “surely, powerful men need intelligent women to help them and support them in their burdens”. My soon-to-be husband always tells me how much smarter I am than him. Although I don’t like to boast, I have been blessed by God in the intelligence department. And God has perfectly blessed my soon-to-be husband as a natural leader and one who will be very successful. So to me, I’m the Abigail to his David, and I look forward to supporting him all the days of my life. Thanks for sharing!

          • angelce says:

            Thanks for your insight and sharing your experience!