Abigal Keeps David From Killing Innocent People

Amy Biehl died a violent death in 1993. She was a 26-year-old Fulbright scholar who had gone to South Africa to help register black voters for their first free election. But even though she was seeking to help the people of South Africa, as she was driving one day, she was dragge … More


David was in no mood to listen when he set out for Nabal’s property (v.13). Only the superior wisdom and quick thinking of Nabal’s wife, Abigail, stopped David from killing the whole household of Nabal and many innocent people. She quickly devised a plan and her servants helped her carry it out.

She decided to go and meet David and his men as they were coming to kill them. However, she sent an abundance of food items ahead of her with her servants (v.18). She met up with David as they rounded the top of a hill (vv.20-23). Abigail dismounted her donkey and prostrated herself before David (v.23). She took upon herself the guilt of Nabal’s actions (v.24). She also told David that if he insists on getting revenge for Nabal’s actions, he will be descending to his level (v.26). She urged him to let God take care of Nabal and thus not be haunted by the memory of any private vendettas.

The disaster that seemed to be inevitable was averted as David listened to Abigail and decided not to ruin his reputation by responding with violence to the provocations of a fool (Prov. 26:4). Instead he expressed his thanks to Abigail for being discerning in what he was about to do and had courage enough to restrain him (vv. 32-33).

When Abigail returned home Nabal was drunk, so she waited till morning to tell him what she had done. When she did, Nabal’s “heart died within him” (v.37). According to Psalm 37, his death was attributed to an act of divine judgement.


No matter how right I may think I am in a matter, I must always be careful to stop and listen to others and, above all, never take revenge into my own hands.

I Samuel 25:18-44 (English Standard Version)

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