Did She Have a Choice?


So here's David, parading about the Desert of Maon with 600+ men, when he decides his men are hungry. He knows of this wealthy guy named Nabal who owns the King Ranch of the Ancient Near East. He dispatches a handful of men who tactfully inform said Nabal that because David didn't attack Nabal's shepherds, Nabal owes them food. What would you say to such a preposterous claim? Nabal is much more tactful than I would be:

Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?

David's men shake their heads on the way back to camp. This guy's toast, they must've thought. Sure enough, David gets pissy and marches 400 armed men straight to Nabal's doorstep. Fortunately for Nabal, his wife Abigail gets wind of these happenings, and to save her family's hide, she decides to take a wagon load of food to David before his men whip out their swords. She performs for David a rather winning speech, and because of her (and the wagon load of food), David decides to spare Nabal's family.

But wait! Abigail returns to Nabal and tells him about what she did. He has a stroke and dies. When David finds out, he sends men to Abigail who say "David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife." David likes to take. Did Abigail ever have a choice? Did Bathsheba ever have a choice?

1 Samuel 25