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Friday, December 29 2017
The Abduction Of Abigail
"David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives"
Abigail was the wife of Nabal. Although married, they were very different in character: "She was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings."
"25:2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 25:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings" (1 Samuel 25:2-3 KJV)
It was during the Civil War (see Saul's Impeachment and The War Between The Houses of David and Saul) that David and Abigail met. David had asked wealthy Nabal for some supplies, but Nabal refused in a way that made it obvious that he was against David and for Saul. David's response was to prepare to attack - to which Abigail intervened to stop the slaughter.
"25:32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me: 25:33 And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. 25:34 For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
David and Abigail parted as friends. When Abigail returned home and told Nabal how close he came to disaster, the hung-over Nabal had a massive heart attack ("his heart died within him, and he became as a stone") and he died. The widowed Abigail then accepted David's proposal of marriage.
"25:36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 25:37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 25:38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
It was a very difficult time for David. Not only did he have to fight the Civil War against Saul (see Biblical Eras: The First Kings and The Civil War; also The Civil War Psalm), without harming Saul (see the Fact Finder question below), David also had to fight Israel's foreign enemies who took advantage of the turmoil that the Civil War was causing for the Israelite nation. While David was away in battle, Amalekites burned and looted Zilag - and abducted all of the women of the city, including Abigail.
"30:1 And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire; 30:2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
David's outnumbered forces then pursued and attacked the Amalekites. They not only recovered all of the captives unharmed, but also seized a great amount of spoil from the aggressors: "And when David came to Ziklag, he sent of the spoil unto the elders of Judah, even to his friends, saying, Behold a present for you of the spoil of the enemies of the LORD."
"30:16 And when he had brought him down, behold, they were spread abroad upon all the earth, eating and drinking, and dancing, because of all the great spoil that they had taken out of the land of the Philistines, and out of the land of Judah. 30:17 And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. 30:18 And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives. 30:19 And there was nothing lacking to them, neither small nor great, neither sons nor daughters, neither spoil, nor any thing that they had taken to them: David recovered all. 30:20 And David took all the flocks and the herds, which they drave before those other cattle, and said, This is David's spoil.
Fact Finder: Like a game of chess, why did David have to defeat King Saul without harming him?
This Day In History, December 29
1170: Thomas Beckett, the archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered on the altar of Canterbury Cathedral by knights of King Henry II.
1223: Pope Honorius III approved the Franciscans ("The Order of the Friars Minor"). The Roman Catholic order was founded in 1209 Francis of Assisi.
1427: The military forces of China's Ming Dynasty withdrew from Hanoi, thereby ending their colonial occupation of the Vietnamese people. Vietnam has experienced a very long and ancient history of being subjected to meddling foreign empires (see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1508: Portuguese military forces under Francisco de Almeida attacked Khambhat in the Battle of Dabul.
1786: The "Assembly of Notables" was convened during the French Revolution.
1837: The U.S. ship Caroline, that had been supplying the criminal rebel forces of William Lyon Mackenzie in Canada, was set on fire by Canadian defence forces and sent over Niagara Falls.
1845: The U.S. annexed the Republic of Texas. The Republic of Texas had been independent from Mexico since the Texas Revolution of 1836.
1859: The first iron-hulled armored warship, Britain's HMS Warrior, was launched.
1874: Alfonso XII, son of deposed Queen Isabella, was proclaimed king of Spain.
1890: About 200 Sioux men, women and children were slaughtered by the U.S. Army at the "Battle" of Wounded Knee, South Dakota (see also The First Chinese American War).
1911: Sun Yat-sen became the provisional President of the Republic of China.
1937: The second Irish constitution went into effect, the Irish Free State renamed Eire.
1914: During the First World War (1914-1918; see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars), the Battle of Sarikamis began between Russia and the Ottomans (i.e. Turkey; listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire). Although greater in numbers, the Turks were defeated in 5 days of fighting and lost 77,000 men.
1921: William Lyon Mackenzie King succeeded Arthur Meighen as Prime Minister of Canada.
1934: Japan formally refuted the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Treaty of 1930. It led to Japan's rise as a major naval power in the Pacific during the Second World War (1939-1945; see also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?).
1937: The Irish Free State was superseded by a new state called Ireland.
1940: During the Second World War (1939-1945), 1,500 fires were started in 1 day alone by German bombers dropping thousands of incendiary bombs on the center of London during "the blitz" winter of 1940-41. The bombing caused the worst damage since the great fire of 1666 (see also The Rockets' Red Glare).
1972: 16 survivors from an Andes plane crash were rescued over 3 months after the plane went down. Those rescued later revealed that they had survived by eating passengers who were killed in the crash.
1986: Former British Prime Minister (1957-1963) Harold Macmillan died at age 92.
1989: Playwright Vaclav Havel, who had earlier been jailed for 5 years for his human rights activities and long denounced in the Communist media as an enemy of the state, was sworn in as president of Czechoslovakia.
1996: Guatemala and the leaders of Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity signed a treaty to end their 36-year civil war.
1997: Hong Kong began the culling of the country's 1.25 million chickens to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.