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Why was Abigail still called "Nabal's wife" even after she married David?

In several places, every time Abigail is mentioned (after she married David), it's always said "Abigail, Nabal's wife". Besides the above-mentioned verse, there are several other verses: 1 Sam. 30:5, 2 Sam. 2:2 and 2 Sam. 3:3.
Any opinion/comment about this?

1 Samuel 27:3

YLT - 3 And David dwelleth with Achish in Gath, he and his men, each one with his household, [even] David and his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail wife of Nabal the Carmelitess.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 12 2015 Mini Arthur Niswar

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Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop Pastor, Teacher
Why was Abigail still called the wife of Nabal even after she married David? 


While at the outset it may appear strange that Abigail retained the reference as Nabal's wife, my view is that the writer of the Book of Samuel had some powerful biblical truths to communicate through the life and times of Abigail and Nabal. He was consistent in reminding the readers about the story behind Abigail's union with David and the fate of good and evil people. 


This righteous woman was wife to Nabal, a rich arrogant man who acted in an evil way against David while he was a royal fugitive of Saul. He refused to acknowledge David's kindness in providing protection for his shepherds in the wilderness of Carmel. It is instructive to note that the name Nabal means "fool". Abigail later refers to him as "....this man of Belial..." (1 Samuel 25:25). The Hebrew word for Belial is "worthless" meaning that Nabal was a despicable man, a derogatory term that a Hebrew woman would hardly speak of her husband. This suggested that Nabal's conduct was deplorable and his evil character was commonly known. 

The writer is careful to illustrate that godly people are elevated to glorious positions and evil people will be punished. (1 Sam 25:38). Nabal's reaction in 1 Samuel 25:10-11 displays the depravity of his evil heart. David had protected Nabal's shepherds while they grazed at Carmel, a territory that David and his men apparently controlled during his battles with Saul. Nabal therefore knew David and his arrogant answer to the ten young men that David sent to him for supplies was uncalled for. 

Abigail did a godly act by first taking responsibility for her wicked husband's sin and secondly providing supplies to David and his men, even without the knowledge of the husband (1 Sam 25:24-27). Most significantly however is that Abigail [whose name means "my father is joy"] recognized that God was on David's side and that David acted righteously (1 Sam 25:28). She managed to cool down David's wrath by her wisdom and saved her wicked husband from imminent peril. 

Abigail knew that God had anointed David to rule over Israel and she makes a strange request in 1 Sam 25:31, asking David to remember her when he becomes king. Nabal dies ten days later after God smote him and Abigail accepted David's proposal to become one of his wives, suggesting that she was a fairly young woman and probably had no children or a close relative who could have inherited her. Notice that she was such a humble woman in that she was prepared to serve as David's slave! (1 Sam 25:41). 

So why was Abigail mentioned as Nabal's wife? This story conveys timeless principles for us today in as much as it did in the writer's day. What lessons do we learn of Abigail and Nabal's story?

First, we should be careful never to repay good with evil. Nabal did and God smote him. Vengeance belongs to God (Isaiah 63:4; Romans 12:19). 

Secondly God calls us to be peacemakers. This is what Abigail did. Jesus taught in Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." 

Thirdly, we should never judge people on the basis of their present circumstances. God holds the future. David was disadvantaged when he was fighting Saul but God later elevated him to reign over Israel. 

Fourthly, we learn that whatever good we do for others will be recorded in heaven to our account. God will later use it to uplift us in his own ways and in his own time. Psalm 75:6-7 states "For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another." (cf. James 4:7).

Finally we should recognize that all that we have belongs to God and should be used to advance His purposes. Many people abuse positions of privilege to humiliate and intimidate others. They fail to realize that God has the power to take away their positions, resources and their lives (Luke 12:13-25)

February 13 2015 4 responses Vote Up Share Report


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