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1 Samuel 25:18–22

Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. And she said to her servants, “Go on before me; see, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them. Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good. May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.”

Now when Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground. So she fell at his feet and said: “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant. Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him! But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.”

Not surprisingly, Abigail’s actions here are both wise and clever. Back in verse three, we learned that she was a woman of good understanding. So, unlike Nabal, she listened and understood the danger.

But there’s another quality displayed here that just leaps off the page—courage. Abigail walks right into the lion’s den and talks to the lion.

Her opening line is amazing. “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be!” It sounds like she’s taking the blame for everything.

In a way, she is. She’s acting as an ambassador for the family. She doesn’t plead for her own deliverance, but for the whole household’s.

She made the snap decision to put the whole thing on her shoulders.

The Old Testament often shows how the various aspects of character are correlated. This is especially true of bad character. The NIV’s footnote for Proverbs 1:7 makes this point, “The Hebrew words rendered fool in Proverbs, and elsewhere in the Old Testament, denote one who is morally deficient.”

Nabal and Abigail display this stark contrast beautifully. Nabal is both stupid and immoral, while Abigail is both wise and just.

Her courage takes this up another notch. That isn’t implied in the Hebrew grammar. Courage is a great addition to wisdom and justice, but is it expected? Similarly, are fools typically cowards?

I’ll leave these as open questions for now. Many examples, in Scripture and history, say yes.

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These weekday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. The Saturday ones are written by Matt Richardson. To subscribe to the DEEP click here:

The weekly study guides, which include questions for discussion or meditation, can be downloaded here:

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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