Abigail was the wife of Nabal, a man of considerable wealth, who lived in Carmel. She is described as a woman of good understanding, but he is described as a fool – churlish and evil in his dealings. It was probably an arranged marriage.
It seems likely that Abigail had a good knowledge of David from the time of his famous defeat of Goliath and more recently his flight from Saul.
Following the report of the incident with Nabal, she knew that David was seeking vengeance on Nabal’s entire household. It therefore required no little courage for Abigail to approach David herself and intercede for her people. After all, her own life was also threatened.
Like Jacob approaching Esau, she sent her servants ahead with gifts. The speech she makes to David is outstanding – not only for its wisdom, but also for her understanding of David’s position in the purpose of God and his future kingship. She also understood the principle of God, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.”
We read of the subsequent death of Nabal and the happy outcome whereby Abigail became David’s wife. We can imagine that they would continue to encourage one another by speaking together about the purpose of God. A son named Chileab was born in Hebron, but there was a long war between David and the house of Saul – until David eventually became king. This must have been an unsettling time for David’s wives, especially when they were taken captive by the Amalekites.
We do not read much more of Abigail outside of 1 Samuel 25. David’s adultery with Bathsheba would have grieved her, but she no doubt remained a godly influence in his life for many years to come.