David Married Abigail

First Samuel 25: 36-44

DIG: What was Nabal doing in the opening scene? Why was this symbolic of his life? Why did Abigail wait until the next day to tell him what she had done? Who struck Nabal down? How did David react to Nabal’s death? What does the TaNaKh say about that? Then what can we deduce from David’s reaction? Was David’s proposal to Abigail a surprise? Why or why not? Was she forced? How many wives did David have? Why was this a picture of things to come? How is Abigail a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ?

REFLECT: If you were recently widowed, like Abigail, how would you respond to a sudden proposal like David’s? How faithful are you in leaving revenge to YHVH? When did you most recently give someone “what was coming to them?” When did you most recently return good for evil? How do you react when you get what is “rightfully” yours? What can you learn from David’s choices and their consequences? Who is your Abigail? The one who has kept you from sin by appealing to your conscience?

1013 BC

The Death of Nabal: Abigail had told David to let YHVH handle the matter, and now her wisdom came to light. Nabal was feasting when judgment was just around the corner. When Abigail went to Nabal in Carmel, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king (this showed his bounty that he could have shared with David). He was in high spirits, very drunk and unapproachable that night. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became figuratively like stone. He evidently suffered a stroke from which he did not recover. About ten days later, ADONAI struck Nabal and he died. Notice that Nabal didn’t merely die from “natural causes” as a result of his earlier stroke. It was the LORD who struck Nabal down. Nabal’s sin had been against YHVH personally, and His judgment had been administered personally.

Not only was Nabal’s sin repaid, but his judgment was also celebrated. Here was a man for whom no one seems to have mourned. David, hearing the news that Nabal was dead, openly rejoiced: Blessed be ADONAI for having taken my side in the matter of Nabal’s insult and for having prevented His servant from doing anything bad. On the contrary, ADONAI has caused Nabal’s bad deeds to return to his own head (First Samuel 25:36-39a CJB). This was not said in a spirit of malice, which took delight in seeing the destruction of his foe. No, in the TaNaKh the divine command was: Don’t rejoice when your enemy falls; don’t let your heart be glad when he stumbles (Proverbs 24:17 CJB). Instead, this was the heart bowing in worship before the sovereignty of YHVH, and believing that the perfect Judge, would administer judgment perfectly.

The Marriage of David and Abigail: Obviously struck by the beauty and character of Abigail, David sent a message that he wanted to make her his own wife. Jewish wedding customs seems not to have changed through the ages. David sent servants to Carmel to fetch his bride (see the commentary on The Life of Christ Jw – The Parable of the Ten Virgins). And said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.” In her enthusiasm she bowed down with her face to the ground before David’s servants and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and she became his wife when he was about 27 years old (First Samuel 25:39b-42).

This marked the beginning of David’s royal harem in violation of Deuteronomy 17:17a, the king must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray (see Cf – Son’s Were Born to David in Hebron). David’s marriage to Abigail provides us with a prophetic glimpse of his fall from grace that did not happen overnight (see Db – David and Bathsheba). Here, in First Samuel 25, we see David’s desire was to kill a man (Nabal) and later marry his wife (Abigail). Second Samuel 11, the story of David, Uriah and Bathsheba, is the only chapter in the books of Samuel with the same theme.152 David’s sin with Bathsheba was merely the climax of something that had gone on in his life for about thirty years. His passionate nature had great potential for both good and evil. This incident was a foreshadowing of things to come. David had a lust problem.

The Wives of David: Because of the marriage of David and Abigail, the author takes this opportunity to talk about the wives of David. David had also married Ahinoam of the town of Jezreel in Judah (Joshua 15:56) in the neighborhood of Ma’on and Ziph, and they both were his wives. Ahinoam was the mother of David’s eldest son Amnon (Second Samuel 3:2). In addition to those two wives, after David had fled, Sha’ul had given his daughter Michal, David’s first wife to Paltiel son of Laish (First Samuel 25:43-44).

It is hard to imagine how these ladies, at least one of whom was accustomed to some luxury, endured the constant pressure of life on the run, some detail of which is given in the next few chapters. Michal also had a hard time, being used as a pawn in her father’s political game, but the narrator is not concerned about the royal women, except in so far as they had a part to play in David’s future.153

As far as Michal was concerned, there was no legal divorce, so Sha’ul forced her into an adulterous relationship. When David was reigning over the tribe of Judah in Hebron, he demanded that Michal be returned to him (Second Samuel 3:13-16). Eventually, however, Michal became jealous of David’s divine calling. When David brought the ark of the Covenant back to Yerushalayim, David’s election promise (see Ah – Samuel Anoints David), precious to David and the people of Isra’el, was, however, a source of conflict for Michal. She could not accept ADONAI’s decision. So like her father before her, she found herself working against the purposes of God. She died childless (Second Samuel 6:20-23).

As Richard Phillips relates in his commentary on First Samuel, as we consider Abigail riding her donkey into David’s arms, we can see a beautiful picture of the blessing that awaits all who look in faith to Yeshua Messiah, David’s greater descendant. While not identified as a type in the New Covenant, Abigail prepares us for, or foreshadows, the believer’s’ relationship with Jesus Christ in three ways.

First, Abigail’s earlier speech to David makes it clear that she believed the promises of ADONAI (First Samuel 25:27-31). Faith, trust and belief (Greek: pistis) in Jesus is likewise belief in the LORD’s promises concerning His true Son and divine King, “Your throne, O God, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of Your Kingdom” (Hebrews 8:1 quoting Psalm 45:6). Abigail came to David, knowing that as his bride she would reign with him when he became king; likewise, we look to Yeshua, knowing that we will reign with Him as co-heirs of God’s heavenly glory (Romans 8:17).

Secondly, Abigail left behind her former life – a life made squalid by association with corruption and sin - to begin a new life with God’s anointed servant. In turning to Jesus Christ, we likewise, turn our back to the old life of sin, glad to suffer the loss of all things for his sake, in order that we may bear His name in both present disgrace and eternal glory, sure that in His love we will be repaid with eternal life (see the commentary on The Life of Christ Ms – The Eternal Security of the Believer).

Thirdly, David sent his servants with an invitation. There is one last point of contact between Abigail’s marriage to David and our salvation in Yeshua Messiah. How was it that Abigail decided to give her love to noble David? Because David had sent his servants with an invitation. You, too, have a personal invitation to enter into a relationship of love and salvation with Jesus Christ. His offer is contained in the Gospel message, presented to you by the prophets and apostles in the Holy Scriptures. He says: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears the message of this book say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life (Revelation 22:17).

What a blessed occasion for Abigail when she learned of David’s marriage proposal. How anxious she wasto be by his side! How blessed, as well, for every sinner to receive and accept the saving message of Christ. Our Lord says to us: Truly, truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24).154 We will never die, we will merely change our address to the presence of God. Eternal life can only be a present condition on a just basis. To be justified means to be declared righteous. We are eternally righteous because we have [already] been justified at the moment we were saved (see the commentary on The Life of Christ Bw – What God Does for Us at the Moment of Faith).

 

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