Abigail, The Beautiful Peacemaker
Wife of Nabal
Nabal was a wealthy sheepmaster, pasturing his four thousand animals on the southern slopes of Carmel.
David having fled from the jealous and insane king Saul, gathered about him a band of debtors and malcontents to the number of six hundred. Once a year the sheepmaster and his men held a great banquet at the time of sheep shearing time, party requested, partly demanded, a gift as food for themselves and their outlaw band. Nabal peremptorily refused, and, in doing, placed himself at the mercy of David and his men. Nabal’s men perceived the danger, but did not dare approach him; so they told Abigail, his wife; who, it is said, was of “good understanding and of beautiful countenance.”
With offerings of bread, wine, grain, raisins, figs, and dressed sheep, she, with her attendants, hastened down to David’s encampment. And none too soon. Four hundred men, fully armed, were on the way to exterminate Nabal and his men. Her womanly tact and beauty softened the hart of David, and the little army turned back.
When she reached home Nabal was in the midst of revelry, too drunk to know or care about the danger. when he was told the next day how near he had been to death, the shock was so great that he died from the effects of it.
Abigail was summoned to the camp of David, and became his wife. From the an outlaw chieftain, he became king after the death of Saul, and with him Abigail shared the honors of royalty. One son, Chileab, was born to them.
Her promptitude, courage, and tact are womanly virtues which we admire. She was, unfortunately, obliged to submit to a division of David’s affections with his other wives.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World. Designed and Arranged by William C. King. Published in 1900 by The King-Richardson Co. Copyright 1903 The King-Richardson Co.