When David asks the wealthy Nabal for food, the rich man refuses but Abigail circumvents her husband’s haughtiness. Nabal’s foolishness fits his name (1 Sam 25:25), and his behavior recalls the curses in Deuteronomy. By contrast, Abigail’s acceptance of David highlights her hospitality. Along with her admirable actions, she also gives David a prophetic pep talk. Abigail’s address recalls David’s victory over the Philistine Goliath and also anticipates Saul’s demise at the hands of the Philistines.

Abigail tells David, “A person has risen (קום; qum) to pursue (רדף; radaph) you and to seek your life. But the life of my lord will be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord your God, and the lives of your enemies [God] will sling (קלע; qala) as from the middle of the sling (קלע; qela)” (1 Sam 25:29). Thus far, the person “pursuing” (רדף; radaph) David has been Saul (cf. 1 Sam 23:25-28; 24:14). However, Abigail also evokes Goliath, who “rose (קום; qum)” against David (1 Sam 17:48). In response, the young shepherd “took out a stone, slung [it] (קלע; qala), and struck the Philistine… [and] David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling (קלע; qela)” (17:49-50). Thus, when Abigail mentions the enemies who rise against David being slung away as with a sling, she both alludes to Saul and recalls Goliath the Philistine.

Abigail’s language also presages Saul asking Samuel about an impending Philistine threat. Abigail tells David that he will be “bound (צרר; tsarar) in the bundle (צרור; tseror) of life with the Lord” who will defeat his “enemy (איב; oyev)” (25:29). The Hebrew word forbound” (צרר; tsarar) can also mean “distressed,” as is the case only three chapters later. When Saul visits Endor and conjures Samuel from the realm of the dead, Saul tells the deceased prophet, “I am very distressed (צרר; tsarar) for the Philistines make war against me” (1 Sam 28:14). In response, Samuel tells Saul, “The Lord has departed from you and become your enemy (ער; ar)” (28:16). Abigail’s words to David foreshadow this later conversation, though her assertion that David will be safely “bound” (צרר) turns into Saul being “distressed” (צרר) at God’s silence. Saul’s concern over divine absence comes to fruition when he dies battling the Philistines (see 1 Samuel 31). In retrospect, Abigail’s declaration is a perfectly symmetrical prophecy: just as God helped David defeat the Philistines with a sling, the Lord will keep David lovingly bound while his distressed enemy, Saul, is slung into the hands of the Philistines!

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  1. Thank you for the exegesis Dr. Schaser! It's really helped me to understand the meaning of Abigail's declaration toward David.
  2. as I read this, the part of Saul using Endo to contact the dead sort of threw me. I have read it many times, but this time it looks different. Only God would allow Saul to talk with Samual, the fact Saul tries to go around God in his efforts to see what's coming speaks volumes of how far he had fallen. Sorry if I am off context, I just wanted to share this. God Bless.
  3. My apology to Dr. Nicholas for not reading who authored this analysis. Nevertheless, Samuel uses a different word for enemy than Abigail. so why wouldn't Abigail have used the 2nd person form oivyeka?
    • Thanks for your note, Michael. You're right; that was a typo on my part. The word that Samuel uses (ar; ער) is exceedingly rare as a word denoting "enemy" (cf. Ps 139:20). Abigail does use the 2nd person form of oyev (i.e., oivyeka). If I had to guess why Samuel doesn't use the more common word that Abigail uses, I'd say that it's an aesthetic literary choice -- even the grammar isn't what one would expect.
  4. David always had Favor from God was with him . Even his enemies their knwos , Even Nabal knows David . EX : 1 Samuel 25 : 10 . God bless Abigail her heart . Thank you for this chapitre .

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