Studying the qualities of Abigail in the Bible can provide some solid Scripture-based lessons for life.
Abigail is important in Scripture because she is one of the few women in the Bible who is outrightly identified as both beautiful and intelligent.
She is affectionately called the woman with beauty and brains.
In this post, we explore some of Abigail’s traits and what we can learn from her.
Who is Abigail in the Bible?
Abigail was first the wife of Nabal. After he dies, she becomes the third wife of David. Abigail’s son by David was named Daniel.
The story of Abigail is found in the Bible verses of 1 Samuel 25 in the Old Testament of the Bible.
What does Abigail do in the Bible?
When David is a fugitive because of Saul’s intention to kill him, he and the 600 men who follow him start a side hustle.
They protect the livestock of people in the areas they frequented.
They did this for Nabal, a wealthy man to whom Abigail was married.
In exchange, David asked for food and water for his men.
Nabal not only insulted David but he refused to help him out with food.
David became angry and decided to kill Nabal and his entire household.
When Abigail learns of this through one of her servants, she quickly packs food and water.
Abigail meets David on the road with 400 men approaching her home to destroy it.
She has a long talk with David and delivers a very convincing speech which causes David to change his mind.
David spares Abigail and her household.
In a few days, Nabal dies and David later marries Abigail.
This is a summary of Abigail’s story.
Let’s explore the details.
What is the meaning of Abigail in the Bible?
The meaning of Abigail in the Bible is Father of Joy or Cause of Joy.
As you shall see in this post, the traits of Abigail are definitely lived out.
Abigail is such a stark contrast to her husband. We will talk some more about him as we go on.
What are the qualities of Abigail in the Bible?
Abigail stands out in the Bible as a woman with some very admirable character traits.
She was an all round woman: beautiful inside and out, poised, brilliant and humble.
These characteristics of Abigail make her a significant Bible character.
Quality #1 – Abigail had a lovely personality and was very pretty
In Bible times, names were everything. And people seemed to live up to the meaning of their names.
Abigail’s husband was Nabal. His name meant fool and he definitely was not a wise man.
In fact, he was a mean, selfish, drunk.
Abigail, in contrast, is described in Scripture as “a woman of good understanding and a beautiful countenance”.
Quality #2 – Abigail was wise
In Hebrew culture, women were forbidden to give advice unless it was an emergency.
When Abigail realized that her entire household was going to be slaughtered, she wisely judged that this was definitely an emergency.
Immediately, she jumped into action.
She saw that her husband’s unkind nature stood in the way of her survival.
Abigail was not about to die prematurely and unnecessarily.
Neither she nor her household deserved to suffer as a result of her husband’s foolishness so she decided to solve the problem that threatened her life and livelihood.
We also see her wisdom in how she approached David.
She did not meet his fiery temper with more fire.
Instead, she disarmed him with soft, kind words. A soft answer really does turn away wrath.
Quality #3 – Abigail was self-sacrificing
Notice how Abigail absorbs the blame for her husband’s behavior.
Abigail took the risk of being killed but she was willing to give up her life to save those living in her home, including her husband.
Quality #4 – Abigail was humble and submissive
When Abigail met David, she got off her donkey and instantly bowed before him.
Thus was a position of submission and humility
Abigail was the first lady in her home. David wasn’t even king just yet.
For her to bow down means that she understood how vulnerable her household was.
She did not have the luxury of pride or rank. And she had no problems giving those up to save lives.
Quality #5 – Abigail was an intercessor
An intercessor is one who intervenes on behalf of someone else. An intercessor pleads on behalf of someone else. They can sometimes act as a mediator as well.
While Nabal was getting drunk and having a grand time, Abigail was begging David to spare his life and the lives of those in her home.
Nabal was completely oblivious about what was going on but Abigail wanted his life saved anyway.
She mediated a very tender situation which could have gotten bad really quickly.
You see, this wasn’t just about Nabal. This was about the whole house because David had intended to kill everyone.
Quality #6 – Abigail was a great negotiator
As Abigail talked with David, she made both some logical points. She also appealed to his emotions.
She reminded him that he did not need to avenge Nabal’s insult and jeopardize his future as king.
Abigail is significant in the Bible because she is probably the only woman who talked a man out of red hot anger.
With her kind words, patient tone, sharp intelligence, and admirable common sense, Abigail melted David’s vengeful heart.
Abigail also used empathy.
She validated David’s feelings by expressing that she understood how he felt and that his anger was justified.
Abigail sided with David nicely and that helped to win him over quickly.
Quality #7 – Abigail was patient and loyal
Any wife living with a husband like Nabal would absolutely need some patience to survive such a miserable marriage.
Like Esther, who was married to one of the most impulsive men in the Bible, Abigail was long-suffering.
This is a fruit of the spirit. To be long-suffering means to patiently endure something for a long time.
After Abigail appeased David, she went back home only to see her husband merry and drunk.
She waited all night until day break to tell him what had transpired that day with David.
It’s amazing how through all this, Abigail remained faithful to Nabal.
She did not try to divorce him or run away. Instead she accepted her current position but continued to believe God for deliverance.
Quality #8 – Abigail trusted God completely
During her speech to David, Abigail asks him to remember her when things work out for him.
How did she know she would have been free to go off with David, especially since she was actually begging for her husband’s life to be spared?
The only answer is: faith.
Abigail trusted God To deliver her from the miserable situation she was in.
And ten days later she was delivered!
Life lessons from Abigail in the Bible
Now that we have looked at the traits of Abigail, what can we learn from her life story in general?
Here are just a few lessons from Abigail.
Lesson #1 – There is more to marriage than money
If there was every a story in the Bible about the perils of a terrible marriage, this is it!
Abigail might have had no choice. She lived in the age of arranged marriages.
Nabal was stinking rich and could afford the bride price.
But nowadays, women should be extremely vigilant in ensuring a man’s character is more solid than his cash.
The makings of a good marriage has everything to do with what both people bring to the table in terms of character.
Lesson #2 – Words are way more powerful than we realize
Abigail probably knew the saying “You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.
Nabal’s hurtful and unkind words aroused David’s anger.
But it was Abigail’s kind, logical, understanding and emotional words while she negotiated with David that diffused the situation.
Words are powerful. Use them well.
Lesson #3 – It is possible to thrive in difficult circumstances
Abigail maintained her winsome personality, sunny disposition, and caring heart although she was trapped in a terribly unhappy marriage.
Since she was such a beautiful woman physically, she clearly took the time to practice self-care.
That beauty was not maintained by accident for sure!
I’m almost sure she nurtured her beautiful mind and heart by practicing her faith as well.
Her deep relationship with God was the only reason she knew exactly what to do in a time of fatal urgency.
Lesson #4 – You have something valuable to offer
Based on Abigail’s qualities, she was equipped for the situation she was placed in. She was ready to serve those in her influence.
Wherever you find yourself, you have something to offer.
God has placed you there to serve lives or I dare say, to save lives.
In urgent times, use your gifts and talents to help others.
Final words on qualities of Abigail in the Bible
This life is already not an easy one. Though in a terrible marriage and that just about seals it.
Thankfully we have people like Abigail in the Scriptures who have set an great example for us to follow.
Abigail left us a legacy of life lessons we can learn from and apply to our own lives.