Baker Publishing Group|February 1, 2010|Trade Paperback|ISBN 978-0-8007-3321-6
Her days are marked by turmoil and faded dreams, Abigail has resigned herself to a life with a man she does not love. But when circumstances offer her a second chance at happiness with the handsome David, she takes a leap of faith to join his wandering tribe. Still, her struggles are far from over. How can she share his love with the other women he insists on marrying?
ABIGAIL follows the bestselling MICHAL and continues Jill Eileen Smith’s rich story of David’s wives.
Abigail was only two days away from marrying, Nabal and her parents knew she didn’t love him and abhorred the man but they were powerless to stop the wedding from taking place. This marriage was a childhood betrothal to pay off her father’s debts. They even thought about taking the matter to the elders and asking for a termination of the agreement but then Abigail would have to live with the stigma and her own father wasn’t wealthy enough to provide for her for the rest of her life.
Nabal was the brash, deceitful son of Simon of Carmel, the man Abigail’s father owed the debt too. Nabal was known to have an impulsive, explosive temper, but he was attractive and Abigail hoped she could help him see the error of his ways and teach him how people lose respect for men who are rude or unkind. She prayed for God to help her.
The day of the wedding arrived and Nabal came with alcohol on his breath which was sure to make him even more unpredictable. Nabal even asked Abigail: “You’re not afraid of me are you?” She only shook her head thanking God for the veil that hid her face. Once inside the marriage tent, Nabal didn’t even wait for the Priest to arrive to give the final blessing. He immediately removed Abigail’s veil and wasted no time in lowering his lips to hers. His fingers dug into her shoulders, and he pulled her close, his mouth pressed against her ear and he said: “Never question me, wife!” He let her go, then he pushed her from him, she stumbled, reeling from the obvious threat, still tasting alcohol and wine on his breath. Zahara, a pretty servant whispered to Abigail: “Whatever you do, do nothing to anger him…if you do what he asks, everything will be all right.”
Daniel, Abigail’s brother was very upset as he wondered to himself: “How could father have allowed Abigail to marry that fool?” He told himself he would have cut Nabal’s throat for not allowing Abigail to receive the final blessing from the Priest, and she deserved a man who would protect and treasure her, not mistreat and abuse her. Daniel knew his father felt some misplaced loyalty to Simon and his worthless son, Nabal, but he did not.
Meanwhile, David the harpist, who had brought down Goliath was on the run and in hiding because King Saul wanted to kill him. He had his wife with him along with cousins, nephews, other family members and other followers in his tribe.
Daniel, Abigail’s brother didn’t want to stay at his father’s home and sought out David. When he found him he told him his name was Daniel ben Judah and that he’d been searching for David in order to join his tribe. He told David he’d also heard that he allowed men who were in debt or discontented to join forces with him and that women and children were also welcomed and that he’d like to bring his family to help in David’s cause which was to kill King Saul before King Saul killed him. David asked how many were in Daniel’s family and he told him his wife, Talya, who was pregnant and his parents, if he could convince them to come. He said he would like to bring his sister, Abigail but she had married a fool. David asked Daniel why his father would allow his sister to marry such a man and Daniel responded that his father had little choice as his father was forced into service years ago to a wicked man. Rather than decreasing his debts, Simon of Carmel found ways to defraud his father again and again until finally Simon manipulated his father into giving his sister to his son as his wife. So now his sister was trapped in a marriage to a fool who abused her. David said he understood Daniel’s plight and told him to go in peace and bring his family, however, he couldn’t guarantee Daniel that he and his tribe would be in the same place when he returned and he may be forced to search for them again.
Abigail was being treated terribly by Nabal. One evening he took her outside and wrestled an olive branch from a tree and beat her within an inch of her life, then stripped all her clothing off, pushed her down into the dirt and left her laying there naked, beaten, and crying.
Daniel returned to David and his tribe with his pregnant wife and his parents. They were all relieved to be away from the clutches of Simon. That same week Nabal had his spies out looking for David and when he was located they threatened him and disrespected him. David and some of his men were going to Nabal’s house to kill him and every other male living in his home. The same night they arrived to do their deed, Nabal took fatally ill. Daniel was worried about his sister, Abigail and what she would do when Nabal died. David thought Abigail was beautiful and knew that she was as faithful to God as much as he was so he sent three messengers to her house with a proposal of marriage and a promise to protect her all of her life when Nabal died. Abigail was awestruck for she knew one day David would be King. She told David’s messengers that she accepted David’s proposal of marriage. Ten days later, Nabal died and after his burial, Abigail and David were married. David’s first wife was not happy that he had taken another wife and didn’t treat Abigail too kindly.
Had Abigail made a mistake in marrying, David? Or, had she married him too quickly after the death of Nabal and not going through the proper mourning period? What would happen if King Saul was successful in killing David before David killed King Saul? And, how was she going to cope when David eventually ended up with seven wives? Abigail was about to enter a life that most of us would never have been able to tolerate.
I loved this story from the Bible and couldn’t get through the book fast enough. Don’t miss Jill Eileen Smith’s ABIGAIL you’ll love it!
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