Question on 1-Samuel 24
Yair, I heard somewhere that the "skirt" that David cut from Saul's
robe was one of his tzit tzit. Is that a possibility? Ralph & Ginny
[1-Samuel 24:5] AND IT CAME TO PASS AFTERWARD, THAT DAVID'S HEART SMOTE
HIM, BECAUSE HE HAD CUT OFF SAUL'S SKIRT.
It says in Hebrew "Canaf (Corner of the) Ma-il (Coat)" and the Midrash
Shocher Tov says that this included the Tsitits cf. Numbers 15:38.
[Numbers 15:38] SPEAK UNTO THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL, AND BID THEM THAT
THEY MAKE THEM FRINGES [tsitits] IN THE BORDERS OF [Hebrew: "Canfei"
i.e. "corners of] THEIR GARMENTS THROUGHOUT THEIR GENERATIONS, AND THAT
THEY PUT UPON THE FRINGE OF THE BORDERS A RIBBAND OF BLUE:
There may well be a source that says that the intention was to only one
of the tsitits but according to the simple meaning the whole corner was
cut off and
since it was probably a four-cornered garment this would have included all
the eight strings of tsitits on that corner. Our commentary keeps
simple meaning as much as possible and we have on the whole until now
succeeded in doing so.
[1-Samuel 25:1] AND SAMUEL DIED; AND ALL THE ISRAELITES WERE GATHERED
TOGETHER, AND LAMENTED HIM, AND BURIED HIM IN HIS HOUSE AT RAMAH. AND
DAVID AROSE, AND WENT DOWN TO THE WILDERNESS OF PARAN.
The Sages pointed out that all the people of Israel revered and loved
Samuel who would pass from place to place to pass judgment and give advice.
Cf. " AND HE WENT FROM YEAR TO YEAR IN CIRCUIT TO BETHEL, AND GILGAL,
AND MIZPEH, AND JUDGED ISRAEL IN ALL THOSE PLACES" [1-Samuel 7:16]
He made the "rounds" going from place to place and helping the Children
of Israel. A leader should go out to the people.
<<PARAN>>: To the south of the Wilderness of Judah.
[1-Samuel 25:2] AND THERE WAS A MAN IN MAON, WHOSE POSSESSIONS WERE IN
CARMEL; AND THE MAN WAS VERY GREAT, AND HE HAD THREE THOUSAND SHEEP,
AND A THOUSAND GOATS: AND HE WAS SHEARING HIS SHEEP IN CARMEL.
Maon and Carmel were to the south Hebron in the territory of Judah.
See the Maps:
Nabal was descended from Caleb of the House of Judah [Numbers 13:6].
The Sages (Yerushalmi Sanhedrin 2:5) said he was very proud of his
geneaology which indeed was most respectable. He was a kind of local
[1-Samuel 25:3] NOW THE NAME OF THE MAN WAS NABAL; AND THE NAME OF
WIFE ABIGAIL: AND SHE WAS A WOMAN OF GOOD UNDERSTANDING, AND OF A
BEAUTIFUL COUNTENANCE: BUT THE MAN WAS CHURLISH AND EVIL IN HIS DOINGS;
WAS OF THE HOUSE OF CALEB.
<<THE MAN>>: The Commentators (e.g. Ben-Ephrat) point out that
throughout the Book of Samuel the style changes from section to section
to the theme. There are also key words that are repeated and emphasized
in every section that reflect the subject of the section. In this chapter
the words "man" (Ish), "woman" (Ishah"), good ("tov", and "bad" (ra) return
on themselves. We do not usually notice these matters because we are
reading in English but even when reading in Hebrew we would not generally
notice them unless they were pointed out to us or unless we began to learn
passages by heart. Nevertheless the effect is there. Apart from
everything else this is good literature.
The name "Nabel" can mean a water skin i.e. the belly of a sheep or
goat made into a water container, or a musical instrument probably a
Yehudah Kiel says that the name is also considered to connote
man", "noble", and that there is a similar term in Arabic that has
meanings.The name also bears the connotation of "ingrate" or "fool" as we
[1-Samuel 25:4] AND DAVID HEARD IN THE WILDERNESS THAT NABAL DID SHEAR
[1-Samuel 25:5] AND DAVID SENT OUT TEN YOUNG MEN, AND DAVID SAID UNTO
THE YOUNG MEN, GET YOU UP TO CARMEL, AND GO TO NABAL, AND GREET HIM IN MY
[1-Samuel 25:6] AND THUS SHALL YE SAY TO HIM THAT LIVETH IN PROSPERITY,
PEACE BE BOTH TO THEE, AND PEACE BE TO THINE HOUSE, AND PEACE BE UNTO
ALL THAT THOU HAST.
[1-Samuel 25:7] AND NOW I HAVE HEARD THAT THOU HAST SHEARERS: NOW THY
SHEPHERDS WHICH WERE WITH US, WE HURT THEM NOT, NEITHER WAS THERE OUGHT
MISSING UNTO THEM, ALL THE WHILE THEY WERE IN CARMEL.
[1-Samuel 25:8] ASK THY YOUNG MEN, AND THEY WILL SHEW THEE. WHEREFORE
LET THE YOUNG MEN FIND FAVOUR IN THINE EYES: FOR WE COME IN A GOOD DAY:
GIVE, I PRAY THEE, WHATSOEVER COMETH TO THINE HAND UNTO THY SERVANTS, AND
THY SON DAVID.
<<THY SON DAVID>>: David addressed him with respect and honor.
could be considered to be asking for "Protection" money but he really had
[1-Samuel 25:9] AND WHEN DAVIDS YOUNG MEN CAME, THEY SPAKE TO NABAL
ACCORDING TO ALL THOSE WORDS IN THE NAME OF DAVID, AND CEASED.
[1-Samuel 25:10] AND NABAL ANSWERED DAVIDS SERVANTS, AND SAID, WHO IS
DAVID? AND WHO IS THE SON OF JESSE? THERE BE MANY SERVANTS NOW A DAYS
THAT BREAK AWAY EVERY MAN FROM HIS MASTER.
Nabal represented a school of thought in Israel that supported the
status quo and existing social order. This outlook held that Authority should
be obeyed and respected, everybody should know their place. David
something of a revolutionary. He was surrounded by a band of outcast
and misfits who had run to him since they apparently had little
alternative. David and the whole House of David also had a reforming streak
shall see. The future Messiah will be a descendant of David
and possess the
traits of David himself. The Messiah will reform Israel and the whole
world. He will liberate the oppressed and correct injustice. He comes
from the Tribe of Judah all of whom share something of his nature.
will give the world the Messiah who will reform all that needs
reforming. The Jews themselves have this urge to reform. When the
keep the Torah the reforming trait is channelled in a positive
When Jews loose the Torah (often due to Gentile persecutions and
pressures) then their natural reforming instinct sometimes goes in a mistaken
and negative direction. The results of such misapplication
should otherwise be a very valuable quality sometimes cause
anti-Semitism and persecution even though the non-Jews were often responsible
conditions that brought the whole situation about. In the future
everyone will recognize that the Jews often suffered due to the sins of
"SURELY HE HATH BORNE OUR GRIEFS, AND CARRIED OUR SORROWS: YET WE DID
ESTEEM HIM STRICKEN, SMITTEN OF GOD, AND AFFLICTED" [Isaiah 53:4].
The Jew suffered due to other people. He was the first victim, the
eternal scape-goat for the faults and misfortunes of others. He was considered
accursed yet his affliction was due to our imposing upon him the
results of our own calamities.
"BUT HE WAS WOUNDED FOR OUR TRANSGRESSIONS, HE WAS BRUISED FOR OUR
INIQUITIES: THE CHASTISEMENT OF OUR PEACE WAS UPON HIM; AND WITH HIS
STRIPES WE ARE HEALED" [Isaiah 53:5].
The Jew was punished for the sins of others.
See Isaiah chapter 53 throughout:
The Messiah will be enabled to give correct expression to the hidden
yearnings of Judah for the good of all.
"JUDAH, THOU ART HE WHOM THY BRETHREN SHALL PRAISE: THY HAND SHALL BE
IN THE NECK OF THINE ENEMIES; THY FATHER'S CHILDREN SHALL BOW DOWN BEFORE
THEE" [Genesis 49:8].
In the last days the righteousness of the faith of Judah will be
"In those days ten men out of all the languages of the nations, even
shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with
you: for we have heard that God is with you" (Zechariah 8;23).
JUDAH IS A LION'S WHELP: FROM THE PREY, MY SON, THOU ART GONE UP: HE
STOOPED DOWN, HE COUCHED AS A LION, AND AS AN OLD LION; WHO SHALL ROUSE
" THE SCEPTRE SHALL NOT DEPART FROM JUDAH, NOR A LAWGIVER FROM BETWEEN
HIS FEET, UNTIL SHILOH COME; AND UNTO HIM SHALL THE GATHERING OF THE
" BINDING HIS FOAL UNTO THE VINE, AND HIS ASS'S COLT UNTO THE CHOICE
VINE; HE WASHED HIS GARMENTS IN WINE, AND HIS CLOTHES IN THE BLOOD OF
GRAPES:"HIS EYES SHALL BE RED WITH WINE, AND HIS TEETH WHITE WITH MILK"
The Messiah will take vengeance against the oppressors of Judah and Israel:
<< I HAVE TRODDEN THE WINEPRESS ALONE; AND OF THE PEOPLE THERE WAS
WITH ME: FOR I WILL TREAD THEM IN MINE ANGER, AND TRAMPLE THEM IN MY
FURY; AND THEIR BLOOD SHALL BE SPRINKLED UPON MY GARMENTS, AND I WILL STAIN
ALL MY RAIMENT.
<< FOR THE DAY OF VENGEANCE IS IN MINE HEART, AND THE YEAR OF MY
REDEEMED IS COME.
<< AND I LOOKED, AND THERE WAS NONE TO HELP; AND I WONDERED
THERE WAS NONE TO UPHOLD: THEREFORE MINE OWN ARM BROUGHT SALVATION UNTO
AND MY FURY, IT UPHELD ME>> [Isaiah 63:3-5].
The Messiah will ingather the Lost Ten Tribes and the Dispersed of Judah:
[ISAIAH 11:12] HE WILL RAISE AN ENSIGN FOR THE NATIONS, AND WILL
ASSEMBLE THE OUTCASTS OF ISRAEL, AND GATHER THE DISPERSED OF JUDAH FROM
CORNERS OF THE EARTH.
[ISAIAH 11:13] THE JEALOUSY OF EPHRAIM SHALL DEPART, AND THOSE WHO
HARASS JUDAH SHALL BE CUT OFF; EPHRAIM SHALL NOT BE JEALOUS OF JUDAH, AND
JUDAH SHALL NOT HARASS EPHRAIM.
David is the ancestor of the Messiah and his proptype. We can learn
about the Messiah by studying the life of David and his Psalms.
Nabal continues his refusal to give victuals to David and his men and
attempts to justify his position:
[1-Samuel 25:11] SHALL I THEN TAKE MY BREAD, AND MY WATER, AND MY
FLESH THAT I HAVE KILLED FOR MY SHEARERS, AND GIVE IT UNTO MEN, WHOM I KNOW
NOT WHENCE THEY BE?
<<MY BREAD, AND MY WATER>>: Ben-Ephrat notes
that bread and water in
the Bible can represent food and drink in general.
Yigal Ariel ("Oz Meleck") points out that Nabal felt himself superior
to David and may have had pretensions of his own to be the future ruler
Judah due to his wealth and status. Later we hear about Nabal that "HE
HELD A FEAST IN HIS HOUSE, LIKE THE FEAST OF A KING" [1-Samuel 25:36].
Indeed, the attitude of Nabal does not seem to stem from miserliness. Misers
not participate in feasts fit for a prince in the company of their workers
nor usually hold stocks available of choice edibles as Nabal evidently did.
On the other hand one does find types who waste vastly extravagant sums
money on their own indulgences yet are stingy about paying even minor
debts. One of the meanings of the name "Nabal" is "miser" cf.
VILE PERSON [Hebrew: "Nabal"] SHALL BE NO MORE CALLED LIBERAL
"Nadiv" connoting "Generous"], NOR THE CHURL [Hebrew: "Chilai" meaning
"stingy"] SAID TO BE BOUNTIFUL" [Isaiah 32:5].
Nevertheless, Nabal appears to have acted as he did out of
snobbery and class consciousness.
We should apply these stories of the past to our own lives. At
different stages in our existence many of us have moved or been moved by
circumstance through phases of miserliness to profligacy. Usually
we have grown out
of these extremes but should guard ourselves not to be caught up again in
either of them.
[1-Samuel 25:12] SO DAVIDS YOUNG MEN TURNED THEIR WAY, AND WENT AGAIN,
AND CAME AND TOLD HIM ALL THOSE SAYINGS.
[1-Samuel 25:13] AND DAVID SAID UNTO HIS MEN, GIRD YE ON EVERY MAN
SWORD. AND THEY GIRDED ON EVERY MAN HIS SWORD; AND DAVID ALSO GIRDED ON
HIS SWORD: AND THERE WENT UP AFTER DAVID ABOUT FOUR HUNDRED MEN; AND TWO
HUNDRED ABODE BY THE STUFF.
Ben-Ephrat remarks that the whole atmosphere and language of these
measures reflects the equivalent of a complete military engagement. The
"Girding on the sword" is repeated three times over, one time after the
other, stressing martial determination. David leads most of his men
out to war leaving only a portion in reserve to guard the baggage.
described as an extremely rich man and may well have been some type of
local ruler with a force of his own.
[1-Samuel 25:14] BUT ONE OF THE YOUNG MEN TOLD ABIGAIL, NABALS WIFE,
SAYING, BEHOLD, DAVID SENT MESSENGERS OUT OF THE WILDERNESS TO SALUTE
OUR MASTER; AND HE RAILED ON THEM.
Not only had Nabal refused to requite David for the protection extended
him but he also he had spoken insultingly to the followers of David.
men were not mere servants but people who had thrown in their destiny with
David, obeyed his voice, and daily risked their lives for him. By
treating the emissaries of David in such a demeaning manner Nabal was
threatening the leadership of David in the eyes of his men.
For all we know they
also have been in severe straits and badly in need of extra provisions.
[1-Samuel 25:15] BUT THE MEN WERE VERY GOOD UNTO US, AND WE WERE NOT
HURT, NEITHER MISSED WE ANY THING, AS LONG AS WE WERE CONVERSANT WITH THEM,
WHEN WE WERE IN THE FIELDS:
The men of David were good to those they came in contact with and were
beloved by them. This reflects the leadership of David who brought out
the good in people and served as an example and source of inspiration to
[1-Samuel 25:16] THEY WERE A WALL UNTO US BOTH BY NIGHT AND DAY, ALL
THE WHILE WE WERE WITH THEM KEEPING THE SHEEP.
<<A WALL UNTO>>: Providing protection against wild beasts
David and his men had acted in such a way not because they necessarily
expected future reward but rather by being who they were and doing
good to others when circumstance presented itself.
[1-Samuel 25:17] NOW THEREFORE KNOW AND CONSIDER WHAT THOU WILT DO;
FOR EVIL IS DETERMINED AGAINST OUR MASTER, AND AGAINST ALL HIS HOUSEHOLD:
FOR HE IS SUCH A SON OF BELIAL, THAT A MAN CANNOT SPEAK TO HIM.
This seems a somewhat insolent (and risky) manner for a servant (or
even mere employee) to speak of his employer but it was evidently both true
and necessary. In order for the servant to speak in such a way and
such a suggestion events in the past must have prepared a way and
probably already shown herself capable of taking a beneficent
initiative when necessary.
[1-Samuel 25:18] THEN ABIGAIL MADE HASTE, 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
OF FIGS, AND LAID THEM ON ASSES.
[1-Samuel 25:19] AND SHE SAID UNTO HER SERVANTS, GO ON BEFORE ME;
BEHOLD, I COME AFTER YOU. BUT SHE TOLD NOT HER HUSBAND NABAL.
So too, Jacob (Genesis 32:3-5) had sent an offering ahead of him to
placate Esau whom he had cheated and whom he feared to be seeking retribution.
[1-Samuel 25:20] AND IT WAS SO, AS SHE RODE ON THE ASS, THAT
DOWN BY THE COVERT OF THE HILL, AND, BEHOLD, DAVID AND HIS MEN CAME
DOWN AGAINST HER; AND SHE MET THEM.
It seems that the servants of Abigail with the offerings had somehow
overpassed and missed David and his men who were already well on their
way towards the property of Nabal maybe by another route. Abigail,
following after her servants, descended the slope of the hill by a pathway
did not allow her to be seen by, or to see, whoever was coming
opposite direction. At the end of the path she suddenly "bumped into"
David and his men.
[1-Samuel 25:21] NOW DAVID HAD SAID, SURELY IN VAIN HAVE I KEPT ALL
THAT THIS FELLOW HATH IN THE WILDERNESS, SO THAT NOTHING WAS
MISSED OF ALL
THAT PERTAINED UNTO HIM: AND HE HATH REQUITED ME EVIL FOR GOOD.
[1-Samuel 25:22] SO AND MORE ALSO DO GOD UNTO THE ENEMIES OF DAVID,
I LEAVE OF ALL THAT PERTAIN TO HIM BY THE MORNING LIGHT ANY THAT PISSETH
AGAINST THE WALL.
<<DO GOD UNTO THE ENEMIES OF DAVID>>: David recognized himself
was more than a private person but a complete "institution" in his own
right representing the hopes and just claims of numerous others.
[1-Samuel 25:23] AND WHEN ABIGAIL SAW DAVID, SHE HASTED, AND LIGHTED
OFF THE ASS, AND FELL BEFORE DAVID ON HER FACE, AND BOWED HERSELF TO THE
[1-Samuel 25:24] AND FELL AT HIS FEET, AND SAID, UPON ME, MY LORD,
LET THIS INIQUITY BE: AND LET THINE HANDMAID, I PRAY THEE, SPEAK IN
THINE AUDIENCE, AND HEAR THE WORDS OF THINE HANDMAID.
First Abiagail prostrated herself at a distance then when David had
shown willingness to listen she came closer and fell at his feet.
This is accepted behavior in Eastern Countries but no longer in Western
ones. The greater self-respect now expected of a person in Western
Countries (and through imitation all over the world) must probably be
attributed to the beneficial influence of the Puritans and their ilk in
Britain and North America. They considered excessive obsequiousness
another human being to smack of idolatry and through their example
freed mankind. The Puritans were only a small minority but they made
effect on the world.
[1-Samuel 25: 25] LET NOT MY LORD, I PRAY THEE, REGARD THIS MAN OF
BELIAL, EVEN NABAL: FOR AS HIS NAME IS, SO IS HE; NABAL IS HIS NAME, AND
IS WITH HIM: BUT I THINE HANDMAID SAW NOT THE YOUNG MEN OF MY LORD, WHOM
THOU DIDST SEND.
<<BELIAL>>: This is a common expression in Scripture but its
and origin is uncertain. There were those who explained it to mean "BLI-OL"
or "Without the Yoke" and therefore someone who does not accept the
constraints of good and proper behavior connoting both stupidity and
badness. Those who reject the truth of Scripture in a sense really
be considered fools and this may be reflected in their behavior. The
'NABAL" could have both positive and negative connotations and Abigail
emphasized the negative ones since his actions had borne them out.
all have a good and bad potential inborn within us and in some ways unique
to each one of us. The choice is with us.
[1-Samuel 25:26] NOW THEREFORE, MY LORD, AS THE LORD LIVETH, AND AS
THY SOUL 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.
"Let all those who oppose you be revealed as empty fools". God is with
you. Do not commit a needless offence. Let the stupidness of your opponents
trip them up. May they fry in their own juices but keep your hands
[1-Samuel 25:27] AND NOW THIS BLESSING WHICH THINE HANDMAID HATH
BROUGHT UNTO MY LORD, LET IT EVEN BE GIVEN UNTO THE YOUNG MEN THAT FOLLOW
It could be by this time that the servants of Abigail had gained their
bearings turned back somewhat and caught up with her and David.
[1-Samuel 25:28] 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 BATTLES OF THE LORD, AND EVIL HATH NOT BEEN FOUND IN THEE ALL
Even Saul had blessed David that he should fight the Wars of the
Almighty " ONLY BE THOU VALIANT FOR ME, AND FIGHT THE LORD'S BATTLES"
[1-Samuel 18:17]. David fought the Wars of God. David was an
instrument of God, a battle axe of the Almighty. This truth was widely recognized
in Ancient Israel. Abigail told David that he had not done evil until
that point and should not do so especially since he bore the responsibly
going to war on behalf of the Israelite Nation, the people of God,
he would need the constant protection of the Almighty. A bad deed
potential to disturb Divine providence in time of danger. David
it to the task that life had bestowed upon him not to sully the purity of
his course of action.
[1-Samuel 25:29] 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
LORD THY GOD; AND THE SOULS OF THINE ENEMIES, THEM SHALL HE SLING OUT, AS
OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF A SLING.
At present Saul is seeking your life and if may be that others will
also do so but God will watch over you and keep you under his protection
bundle held up to the chest. You shall be preserved and those who come
against you will be thrown out as if they were shot out of a sling.
They shall be helpless before you or before whatever adversary God brings
upon them for your sake. We could also understand Abigail to be hinting
that Nabal also was in the service of Saul and seeking the life of David.
Nevertheless David should leave Nabal to be punished by the Almighty
in some other way and not through the agency of David. Abigail
WOMAN OF GOOD UNDERSTANDING, AND OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTENANCE" [1-Samuel
25:3]. She was also a God-fearing individual as we see from her speech
and actions here and later. It could be that at this moment she was under
degree of Divine Inspiration since within what cannot be more than a
few hours of this scene her wicked husband Nabal was to die in a drunken
[1-Samuel 25:30] 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;
The promises made to David by the Almighty through Samuel (1-Samuel
16:13) were evidently now common knowledge. The personality and deeds of
David strengthened their credence in the popular eye especially
amongst the people of Judah.
[1-Samuel 25:31] THAT THIS SHALL BE NO GRIEF UNTO THEE, NOR OFFENCE
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, THEN REMEMBER THINE HANDMAID.
The Sages point out that even though Abigail did not feel highly of her
husband she still did her utmost to save his life and the lives of his
entourage. She acted nobly and with propriety but she evidently also
sensed (consciously or not) that the days of Nabal were numbered one
other and that in the future it could be well for her to be remembered by
Women liked David. David was red-haired, good-looking with beautiful
(1-Samuel 16:12), a mighty warrior, musical composer, poet, and
religious mystic. Women singing the praises of David were
the initial cause
that aroused the jealousy of Saul (1-Samuel 18:7). Michal the
the king fell in love with David (1-Samuel 18:20, 28) and defied her father
to save his life (1-Samuel 19:11-12). Here Abigail takes the initiative
and contradicts the policy of her husband in going to appease David singing
his praises when she meets him. Apart from the incident with Bath-Sheba
that we will discuss later David led a moral life. Nevertheless he
was not a
celibate but had several wives while still on the run from Saul in the
wilderness as shown below (1-Samuel 25:43) and still more when he
became monarch (1-Chronicles 14:3). Even in his old age a young beautiful
virgin, named Avishag the Shunamite, was appointed to his household
to look after him (1-Kings 1:3-4). It was not all hard-going.
Actually for those who so blessed it is a gift of the Almighty to live
well with your wife and take pleasure with her since this is one of the
few things God has given you as a free gift for you to enjoy:
"LIVE JOYFULLY WITH THE WIFE WHOM THOU LOVEST ALL THE DAYS OF THE LIFE
OF THY VANITY, WHICH HE HATH GIVEN THEE UNDER THE SUN, ALL THE DAYS OF THY
VANITY: FOR THAT IS THY PORTION IN THIS LIFE, AND IN THY LABOUR WHICH
THOU TAKEST UNDER THE SUN" [Ecclesiastes: "The Preacher" 9:9] .
[1-Samuel 25:32] AND DAVID SAID TO ABIGAIL, BLESSED BE THE
OF ISRAEL, WHICH SENT THEE THIS DAY TO MEET ME:
[1-Samuel 25:33] 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.
David blesses God who has prevented him from committing a rash deed and
he blesses Abigail who by her initiative became the means through which
God acted on him.
[1-Samuel 25:34] FOR IN VERY DEED, AS THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL LIVETH,
WHICH HATH KEPT ME BACK FROM HURTING THEE, EXCEPT THOU HADST HASTED AND
TO MEET ME, SURELY THERE HAD NOT BEEN LEFT UNTO NABAL BY THE MORNING LIGHT
ANY THAT PISSETH AGAINST THE WALL.
David had sworn to wipe out Nabal and all his following. Here David
repeats the formula of his oath but he inserts Abigail as a new element
enables the previous declaration to be altered.
[1-Samuel 25:35] SO DAVID RECEIVED OF HER HAND THAT WHICH SHE HAD
BROUGHT HIM, AND SAID UNTO HER, GO UP IN PEACE TO THINE HOUSE; SEE,
HEARKENED TO THY VOICE, AND HAVE ACCEPTED THY PERSON.
By accepting the offering David was agreeing to the intercession of
Abigail and making it official so to speak.
[1-Samuel 25:36] AND ABIGAIL CAME TO NABAL; AND, BEHOLD, HE HELD A
FEAST IN HIS HOUSE, LIKE THE FEAST OF A KING; AND NABALS HEART WAS MERRY
WITHIN HIM, FOR HE WAS VERY DRUNKEN: WHEREFORE SHE TOLD HIM NOTHING, LESS
MORE, UNTIL THE MORNING LIGHT.
He was drunk and in the middle of a feast of extravagant proportions.
This shows that he had it within him if he had so desired to give provisions
to David and his men but had chosen not to do so. He was not a miser
on pain of death would be loath to part with his substance. Such a person
could perhaps be forgiven or at least dismissed as a pathological
to be overruled but left unharmed. Nabal was mean in the sense that he
took for himself and his own but refused to give unto others.
[1-Samuel 25:37] BUT IT CAME TO PASS IN THE MORNING, WHEN THE WINE
GONE OUT OF NABAL, AND HIS WIFE HAD TOLD HIM THESE THINGS, THAT HIS
HEART DIED WITHIN HIM, AND HE BECAME AS A STONE.
[1-Samuel 25:38] AND IT CAME TO PASS ABOUT TEN DAYS AFTER, THAT THE
LORD SMOTE NABAL, THAT HE DIED.
He entered into a coma and died. God punished him. By refusing to help
David he had offended the Almighty. David was the Anointed of the
Almighty. Perhaps the time had not yet arrived for David to receive the
due to a monarch but at the least David deserved consideration.
[1-Samuel 25:39] AND WHEN DAVID HEARD THAT NABAL WAS DEAD, HE SAID,
BLESSED BE THE LORD, THAT HATH PLEADED THE CAUSE OF MY REPROACH FROM
OF NABAL, AND HATH KEPT HIS SERVANT FROM EVIL: FOR THE LORD
RETURNED THE WICKEDNESS OF NABAL UPON HIS OWN HEAD. AND DAVID SENT AND COMMUNED
WITH ABIGAIL, TO TAKE HER TO HIM TO WIFE.
[1-Samuel 25:40] AND WHEN THE SERVANTS OF DAVID WERE COME TO ABIGAIL TO
CARMEL, THEY SPAKE UNTO HER, SAYING, DAVID SENT US UNTO THEE, TO TAKE
THEE TO HIM TO WIFE.
[1-Samuel 25:41] AND SHE AROSE, AND BOWED HERSELF ON HER FACE TO THE
EARTH, AND SAID, BEHOLD, LET THINE HANDMAID BE A SERVANT TO WASH THE
THE SERVANTS OF MY LORD.
Abigail showed great respect to the emissaries of David. This was both
a wise thing to do and something that demonstrates the innate nobility of
this women who know how to respect others. We saw how she had saved the
household of Nabal, her later husband, from being wiped out after
receiving warning and advice from one of the servants (1-Samuel 25:14).
also indicates that her wisdom, good nature, and resourcefulness were a
known matter.Abigail had blessed David and said unto him:
I PRAY THEE, FORGIVE THE TRESPASS OF THINE HANDMAID: FOR THE
WILL CERTAINLY MAKE MY LORD A SURE HOUSE; BECAUSE MY LORD FIGHTETH THE
BATTLES OF THE LORD, AND EVIL HATH NOT BEEN FOUND IN THEE ALL THY DAYS
She had expressed the fact that she considered herself the handmaiden
of David and thus potentially willing to be subservient unto him. She had
predicted that God would build for David a faithful house, that David
fought the wars of the Almighty and she had already been a good influence
on David by preventing him from committing a needless massacre. She was
"OF GOOD UNDERSTANDING, AND OF A BEAUTIFUL COUNTENANCE" (1-Samuel 25:3).
In other words she was home-building material.
[1-Samuel 25:42] AND ABIGAIL HASTED, AND AROSE AND RODE UPON AN ASS,
WITH FIVE DAMSELS OF HERS THAT WENT AFTER HER; AND SHE WENT AFTER
MESSENGERS OF DAVID, AND BECAME HIS WIFE.
Abigail too five maidens with her and it has been suggested (by
Ben-Ephrat) that she was an important personage in her own right. Abigail
David a son, named Daniel (1-Chronicles 3:1). The Sages had a tradition
this son, Daniel, became a great Sage in his own right.
[1-Samuel 25:43] DAVID ALSO TOOK AHINOAM OF JEZREEL; AND THEY WERE ALSO
BOTH OF THEM HIS WIVES.
AHINOAM bore to David a son named Amnon (1-Chronicles 3:1) who wuld
cause trouble at a later date.
[1-Samuel 25:44] BUT SAUL HAD GIVEN MICHAL HIS DAUGHTER, DAVID'S WIFE,
TO PHALTI THE SON OF LAISH, WHICH WAS OF GALLIM.
Saul gave Michal as wife to another against the apparent will of Michal.
This was a blow on the personal level as well as a fowl stroke to the
prestige of David.
Later we find Absalom the rebellious son of David receiving advice
publicly have intercourse with the women of David (2-Samuel 16:21). By
debasing the womenfolk it was as if the value of their husband was
being irrevocably besmirched.
"And I will bless them that bless you" (Genesis 12:15).