Abigail the Diplomat

By Lynne Bundesen


How did Abigail keep David from killing her husband, Nabal?


Abigail is so smart. She's the first real diplomat. How she knew what to say to David to keep him from killing her husband, Nabal, was amazing. Nabal was incredibly rude to David by refusing his men hospitality when David was on the run. David was so angry that he was going to kill Nabal and all his men. The part of the account of Abigail and David that I like best is that "my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God" (1 Sam 25:29 KJV).

This phrase means "in the society, or congregation of the living; out of which, men are taken, and cut off by death." The phrase is taken from common usage of people who bind things in bundles that they are afraid to lose. The meaning is that God will preserve your life, and it is unnecessary to take away the lives of any.

Abigail recognized that David was the anointed one. This recognition enabled David to resist the impulse to kill Nabal and put blood on his hands, which would have made him unfit to unify Israel. Abigail's words reached David, along with her hospitality. He knew he was going to be King, and the angry slaughter of Nabal and his men would not sit well with God, who preserves all in a particular manner.

The Jews understand this phrase not only with respect to the present life, but also in relation to that which is to come -- even the happiness of departed souls. They therefore use the phrase commonly, as an inscription on their gravestones: "Here we have laid the body, trusting the soul is bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord."

Shortly after Nabal died, David sent for Abigail and married her. Then she was kidnapped and rescued by David and his men. Abigail and David had several children. All in all, Abigail moved from the life of the wife of a rich, foolish, drunken tyrant, to a life of the wife of the man who was to become a great king. Her life was filled with adventure.