Abigail the Matriarch

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Jewish laywoman. Wife of King David. Old Testament matriarch. One of the seven women considered a prophet by the Talmudic scholars.

Born

  • c.1000 BC

Died

  • c.950 BC

Canonized

Additional Information

Readings

Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dry figs, and laid them upon asses: And she said to her servants: Go before me: behold, I will follow after you: but she told not her husband, Nabal. And when she had gotten upon an ass, and was coming down to the foot of the mountain, David and his men came down over against her, and she met them. And David said: Truly in vain have I kept all that belonged to this fellow in the wilderness, and nothing was lost of all that pertained unto him: and he hath returned me evil for good. May God do so and so, and add more to the foes of David, if I leave of all that belong to him till the morning, any that pisseth against the wall. And when Abigail saw David, she made haste and lighted off the ass, and fell before David, on her face, and adored upon the ground. And she fell at his feet, and said: Upon me let this iniquity be, my lord: let thy handmaid speak, I beseech thee, in thy ears, and hear the words of thy servant. Let not my lord the king, I pray thee, regard this naughty man, Nabal: for according to his name, he is a fool, and folly is with him: but I, thy handmaid, did not see thy servants, my lord, whom thou sentest. Now therefore, my lord, the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, who hath withholden thee from coming to blood, and hath saved thy hand to thee: and now let thy enemies be as Nabal, and all they that seek evil to my lord. Wherefore receive this blessing, which thy handmaid hath brought to thee, my lord: and give it to the young men that follow thee, my lord. Forgive the iniquity of thy handmaid: for the Lord will surely make for my lord a faithful house, because thou, my lord, fightest the battles of the Lord: let not evil therefore be found in thee all the days of thy life. For if a man at any time shall rise, and persecute thee, and seek thy life, the soul of my lord shall be kept, as in the bundle of the living, with the Lord thy God: but the souls of thy enemies shall be whirled, as with the violence and whirling of a sling. And when the Lord shall have done to thee, my lord, all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have made thee prince over Israel, This shall not be an occasion of grief to thee, and a scruple of heart to my lord, that thou hast shed innocent blood, or hast revenged thyself: and when the Lord shall have done well by my lord, thou shalt remember thy handmaid.

And David said to Abigail: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy speech: And blessed be thou, who hast kept me to day from coming to blood, and revenging me with my own hand. Otherwise, as the Lord liveth, the God of Israel, who hath withholden me from doing thee any evil, if thou hadst not quickly come to meet me, there had not been left to Nabal by the morning light, any that pisseth against the wall. And David received at her hand all that she had brought him, and said to her: Go in peace into thy house, behold I have heard thy voice, and honoured thy face.

And Abigail came to Nabal: and behold he had a feast in his house, like the feast of a king: and Nabal’s heart was merry, for he was very drunk: and she told him nothing less or more until morning. But early in the morning, when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife told him these words, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And after ten days had passed, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died. And when David had heard that Nabal was dead, he said: Blessed be the Lord, who hath judged the cause of my reproach, at the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil, and the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his head. Then David sent and treated with Abigail, that he might take her to himself for a wife. And David’s servants came to Abigail, to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying: David hath sent us to thee, to take thee to himself for a wife. And she arose, and bowed herself down with her face to the earth, and said: Behold, let thy servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. And Abigail arose, and made haste, and got upon an ass, and five damsels went with her, her waiting maids, and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife. - 1st Samuel 3:18-42

MLA Citation

  • “Abigail the Matriarch“. Saints.SQPN.com. 30 August 2014. Web. 28 November 2014. <>