AskDefine | Define Abigail

User Contributed Dictionary



Abigail (אֲבִיגַיִל / אֲבִיגָיִל "her Father's joy or, fountain of joy"; leader of/is dance/, Standard Hebrew Avigáyil, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĂḇîḡáyil / ʾĂḇîḡāyil)

Proper noun

  1. The wife of Nabal and later of David.
  2. A given name, used since the 16th century, and currently quite popular.

Related terms


biblical wife of David
  • Catalan: Abigail
  • Dutch: Abigaïl
  • French: Abigaïl
  • German: Abigail, Abigajil
  • Hebrew: אֲבִיגָיִל (ʾĂḇîḡáyil)
  • Hungarian: Abigél
  • Italian: Abigail
  • Portuguese: Abigail
  • Spanish: Abigáil
  • Swedish: Abigail


  • : 1 Samuel 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 beautiful countenance; but the man was churlish and evil in his doings.

Extensive Definition

Abigail () is a female name occurring in Biblical narratives from the Books of Samuel, and reflected in the Books of Chronicles. The name Abigal occurs on one occasion, and is thought by the vast majority of scholars to be an alternate spelling of Abigail. There appear to be two individuals named Abigail:
  • The wife of Nabal, who became a wife of David after Nabal's sudden death (see Nabal). She had gone out to stop David from taking revenge against Nabal for his ingratitude towards David, warning him that vengeance was sinful and God would take care of the issue. Her accuracy in understanding God's will suggests that she is a prophetess. She became the mother of one of David's sons, who is named in the Book of Chronicles as Daniel, in the masoretic text of the Books of Samuel as Chileab,
  • The mother of Amasa. In the Book of Chronicles, and Septuagint version of the Books of Samuel, Abigail's father is identified as being Jesse, and she therefore would be a sister of David, but in the masoretic text of the Books of Samuel her father is named Nahash; scholars think that Nahash is a typographic error here, based on the appearance of the name two verses later. but in the Books of Samuel, Amasa's father is identified as Ithra the Israelite; a document which doesn't mention an Abigail as one of David's wives.
The first Abigail's self-styling as a handmaid led to Abigail being the traditional term for a waiting-woman (for example, Abigail, the waiting gentlewoman, in Beaumont and Fletcher's The Scornful Lady, published in 1616).


External links

Abigail in Catalan: Abigail
Abigail in Czech: Abigail
Abigail in Danish: Abigail
Abigail in German: Abigail
Abigail in Modern Greek (1453-): Αβιγαία
Abigail in Spanish: Abigaíl
Abigail in Esperanto: Abigail
Abigail in Hebrew: אביגיל
Abigail in Swahili (macrolanguage): Abigaili
Abigail in Hungarian: Abigél
Abigail in Dutch: Abigaïl
Abigail in Polish: Abigail
Abigail in Portuguese: Abigail (Bíblia)
Abigail in Serbian: Абигел (име)
Abigail in Swedish: Abigail
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