(ab' ih gayihl) Personal name meaning, “my father rejoiced.” 1. Wife of David after being wife of Nabal. She was praised for wisdom in contrast to Nabal, her arrogant and overbearing husband, who was a large landowner and successful shepherd. Nabal held a feast for his sheep shearers while David was hiding from Saul in the wilderness of Paran. David and his six hundred men were camped near the town of Maon. He heard about Nabal's feast and requested some food. Nabal, in a drunken state, refused the request and insulted David's ten messengers. In anger, David determined to kill all of Nabal's household. Abigail anticipated David's reaction and loaded a convoy of donkeys with food to feed all of David's men. As soon as she met David, she impressed him with her beauty, humility, praise, and advice (1 Samuel 25:32-33). After Nabal became sober and heard about David's plans to kill him, he had a heart attack. Following Nabal's death, David married Abigail, the second of his eight wives. They lived first at Gath and then at Hebron, where Abigail gave birth to Chileab, who is also called Daniel. Later, Abigail was taken captive by the Amalekites when they captured Ziklag, but David rescued her (1 Samuel 30:1-18). 2. Sister of David and the mother of Amasa (1 Chronicles 2:16-17), married to Jether, an Ishmaelite (also called Ithra). Amasa, her son, was at one time the commander of David's army (2 Samuel 17:25). Abigail was the daughter of Nahash who, because of textual uncertainties has been described as (1) another name for Jesse; (2) the wife of Jesse; and (3) the father of Abigail and Zeruiah, who died and whose widow became a wife of Jesse. See David.
Donald R. Potts