If Ruth is a type of the Virgo Fidelis, Abigail is a type of the Virgo Prudens, who is our Lady. "There was a certain man in the wilderness of Maon, and his possessions were in Carmel and the man was very great. Now the name of the man was Nabal and the name of his wife was Abigail. And she was a prudent and very comely woman, but her husband was churlish and very bad and ill-natured." (i Samuel xxv. 2-3.)
Now, when David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep, he sent him, by ten of his young men, a message of friendliness and courtesy. " Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal and salute him in my name with peace." But Nabal, answering the servants of David, said: " Who is David ? And what is the son of Jesse ? Servants are multiplied nowadays who flee from their masters." When David heard of this insolence, he was angered and said: " Let every man gird on his sword. And David also girded on his sword; and there followed David about four hundred men, and two hundred remained, with the baggage. But one of the servants told Abigail, the wife of Nabal, saying, ' Behold David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master and he rejected them. These men were very good to us and gave us no trouble; neither did we ever lose anything all the time that we conversed with them in the desert. They were a wall unto us both by day and by night, all the time that we were with them keeping the sheep. Wherefore consider and think what thou hast to do, for evil is determined against thine husband, and against thine house, and he is the son of Belial so that no man can speak to him.' Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two vessels of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dry figs, and laid them upon two asses. And she said to her servants : ' Go before me, behold I will follow after you,' but she told not her husband Nabal. And when she had gotten upon an ass, and was coming down to the foot of the mountain, David and his men came over against her, and she met them. And when Abigail saw David, she made haste and lighted off the ass and adored upon the ground. And she fell at his feet and said: ' Upon me let this iniquity be, my lord ; let thine handmaid speak, I beseech thee, in thine ears, and hear the words of thy servant. Let not my lord the king, I pray, regard this naughty man, Nabal, for according to his name, he is a fool, and folly is with him : but I, thine handmaid, did not see thy servants, my lord, whom thou sentest. Now therefore, my lord, the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, who hath withholden thee from coming to blood. . . . And when the Lord shall have done to thee, my lord, all the good that He hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have made thee prince over Israel, this shall not be an occasion of grief to thee and a scruple of grief to my lord, that thou hast shed innocent blood, or revenged thyself, and when the Lord shall have done well by my lord, thou shalt remember thine handmaid.' And David said to Abigail: ' Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy speech, and blessed be thou, who hast kept me to-day from coming to blood, and revenging me with my own hand.' And David received at her hand all that she had brought him, and said to her: ' Go in peace into thine house, behold I have heard thy voice and have honoured thy face.' " (i Samuel xxv. 4-35.)
A strange difficulty is sometimes raised concerning the Parable of the Unjust Steward. It has been objected that our Lord praised the steward on account of his injustice. Nothing can be further from the facts. The steward's earthly master praised him, not for his injustice, but because of his forethought, which in this life secured him comfort in his old age. " The children of light" are warned that they should imitate—not the cunning and dishonesty of the steward—but his careful provision, in securing their eternal happiness. A similar difficulty may be raised when we apply the history of Abigail to the intercession of our Lady. It may be urged that Almighty God knows not the anger which so nearly led King David into sin. Certainly not. Yet, it is agreed that, from certain other points of view, David is a notable type of our Lord. It is also a solemn, awe-inspiring fact that we read in the Holy Scripture of the terrible wrath, which is " the wrath of the Lamb." When, then, as the offence of the fool Nabal moved David to an anger that was excessive, the sins of foolish men move God to that anger which belongs to His Infinite perfections, may the true Abigail arise in her haste and make intercession for her people, so that her Son, moved by her goodness and wisdom, may be able to stay His Hand and give us yet a place unto repentance.