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Part two

The March Journal, in honor of Women's History Month in the United States, included a portion of this adapted talk, exploring the experience of women in the Bible and of women inspired by the lives of women in the Scriptures. The discussion emphasizes the spirituality that gave women of the Bible a spirit of courage and vision and that still can enliven women and men today. The talk uses seven Biblical women as illustrations. The previous segment looked at Miriam, Hannah, and Ruth. This segment continues with other Biblical women as well as some contemporary Biblically inspired women.

Biblical women: portraits of our heritage

From the April 1998 issue of The Christian Science Journal

I think of Abigail as the woman who made a man king. See I Sam., chap. 25 While David was an outlaw, hiding from Saul in the Judean hills, his men kept encountering the shepherds of Nabal, who kept the flocks in the same hills. David and his men respected the shepherds and sheep, in fact, helped to protect them. When shearing time came, and provisions were brought for the shearers' work and some merrymaking, David sent to Nabal and asked for some food for his men. According to the custom, Nabal should have been grateful for the protection his men and property had received from David and sent him food. Instead, Nabal rudely rejected David's request.

David was enraged and set out with his men to avenge the insult and to kill Nabal. News of this reached the Nabal household. When one of the young men informed Abigail, Nabal's wife, that David was on the way, he added that David had made polite request, and he put in a good word for David.

Abigail is described as beautiful and intelligent. She certainly was wise, for she pulled together a large quantity of food and went to head off David in his anger. This was a very courageous act: to countermand her husband's decision, to give his provisions to another man, to have a face-to-face encounter with David. Her strategy worked.