Catholic Dictionary




The beautiful, intelligent wife of a rich landowner named Nabal, who raised sheep on the slopes at Carmel. Nabal, stupid and insensitive, foolishly antagonized David by refusing to share his wool, although David's soldiers had conscientiously protected Nabal's livestock. Learning that the angry David was leading his men to seek revenge, the quick-witted Abigail speedily set out with generous gifts to appease David. Her humility and eloquence in begging forgiveness moved David to abandon his intended attack. "Go home in peace," he said; "see, I have listened to you and granted your request." Within a few days, Nabal died. David promptly offered to make Abigail his wife and she accepted (I Samuel 25). Sometime later the Amalekites raided Ziklag, and among the prisoners they took were Ahinoam, David's first wife, and Abigail. David led his soldiers to battle, and, coming on the Amalekites, who were celebrating their conquest, defeated them decisively and rescued his two wives (I Samuel 30). While they were living at Hebron, Abigail bore David a son named Chileab (II Samuel 3:3).