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(Heb. Abiga'yil, אֲבַיגִיִל , father [i.e. source] of joy, or perh. i. q. leader of the dance, once contracted Abigal', אֲבַיגִל, 2 Samuel 17:25; Sept. ‘Αβιγάϊλ v. r. ‘Αβιγαία, Josephus ‘Αβιγαία ), the name of two women.

1. The daughter of Nahash (? Jesse), sister of David, and wife of Jether or Ithra (q.v.), an Ishmaelite, by whom she had Amasa (1 Chronicles 2:16-17; 2 Samuel 17:25). B.C. 1068.

2. The wife of Nabal, a prosperous but churlish sheep-master in the district of Carmel, west of the Dead Sea (1 Samuel 25:3). B.C. 1060. Her promptitude and discretion averted the wrath of David, which, as she justly apprehended, had been violently excited by the insulting treatment which his messengers had received from her husband (comp. Josephus, Ant. 6:13, 6-8). See NABAL. She hastily prepared a liberal supply of provisions, of which David's troop stood in much need, and went forth to meet him, attended by only one servant, without the knowledge of her husband. When they met, he was marching to exterminate Nabal and all that belonged to him; and not only was his rage mollified by her prudent remonstrances and delicate management, but he became sensible that the vengeance which he had purposed was not warranted by the circumstances, and was thankful that he had been prevented from shedding innocent blood (1 Samuel 25:14-35). The beauty and prudence of Abigail (see H. Hughes, Female Characters, 2:250 sq.) made such an impression upon David on this occasion, that when, not long after, he heard of Nabal's death, he sent for her, and she became his wife (1 Samuel 25:39-42). She accompanied him in all his future fortunes (1 Samuel 27:3; 1 Samuel 30:5; 2 Samuel 2:2). (See DAVID). By her he had one son, Chileab (2 Samuel 3:3), who is probably the same elsewhere called Daniel (1 Chronicles 3:1).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Abigail'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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