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Article Info:
published: 3/31/13
updated: 2/27/14

Abigail



Who was Abigail?

In the Hebrew Bible or Christian Old Testament, Abigail was the wife of Nabal, a rich shepherd of southern Judea, whose home was Maon (1 Samuel 25:2 , 1 Samuel 25:3 ); shortly after Nabal's death she became the wife of David.

Nabal grazed his flocks in or along the Southern Wilderness, where David and his men protected them from marauding tribes, so that not a sheep was lost. When Nabal was sheep-shearing and feasting at Carmel (in Judea), David sent messengers requesting provisions for himself and men. But Nabal, who was a churlish fellow, answered the messengers insultingly and sent them away empty-handed. David, angered by such mean ingratitude, gathered his 400 warriors and set out to destroy Nabal and all he had (1 Samuel 25:22 ).

Meanwhile Abigail, a woman "of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance" (1 Samuel 25:3 ), heard of the rebuff given the men of David by her husband; and fearing what vengeance David in his wrath might work, she gathered a considerable present of food (1 Samuel 25:18 ), and hastened to meet the approaching soldiers. Her beautiful and prudent words, as also her fair face, so won David that he desisted from his vengeful purpose and accepted her gift (1 Samuel 25:32-35 ).


When Abigail told Nabal of his narrow escape, he was stricken with fear, and died ten days afterward. Shortly after this David took Abigail to be his wife, although about the same time, probably a little before, he had also taken Ahinoam (1 Samuel 25:43 ); and these two were with him in Gath (1 Samuel 27:3 ). After David became king in Hebron, Abigail bore him his second son, Chileab (2 Samuel 3:3 ) or Daniel, as he is called in 1 Chronicles 3:1 .

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