1 Samuel 25:28 MEANING

1 Samuel 25:28
(28) The trespass of thine handmaid.--Abigail again takes upon herself the wrong; the gracious act of forgiveness, of which she feels assured beforehand, she reminds David, will be shown to her. Thus all the chivalry of David's character--if we may use a term which belongs to another age--was brought out by this wise and beautiful woman.

For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house.--Unconsciously, perhaps, without any very definite conception of their far reaching and magnificent meaning, the Israelitish lady repeats the words which she had heard perhaps in Samuel's "Naioth" by Ramah--possibly from some trained or inspired disciple of the prophet's school. She was thinking, perhaps, of the young captain then standing before her in all the pride of his early reputation, as the future hero-king of Israel, sitting on the throne of the insane and gloomy man--her evil husband's friend--King Saul, and it may be of his son reigning after him; but the unconscious prophetess, we may be sure, never dreamed of that glorious and holy One in whose person, far down the stream of ages, the Eternal would make good her words, and indeed found for that outlawed chieftain, before whom she was then kneeling, a sure house.

The battles of the Lord.--Abigail, in common with the pious Israelites of her time, looked on the wars waged by the armies of Israel against the idolatrous tribes and nations around them as the wars of Jehovah. We frequently in these early records meet with the expressions, "fighting the battle of the Lord," "the ranks of the living God," "the battle is the Lord's." We hear, too, of an ancient collection of songs--ballads, perhaps, would be a more accurate designation--now lost, entitled "The Book of the Wars of the Lord" (Numbers 21:14). For several years now since his famous combat with the great champion of idolatry, Goliath, David had been the popular hero and the favourite subject of those folk-songs which ever loved to sing of these "Wars of Jehovah."

Evil hath not been found in thee.--Rauh, "evil," here signifies not "wickedness," but "misfortune." The wife of Nabal means to say that all through that stormy, restless life of David's, the Lord had ever held him up. It had given him victory and crowned his efforts with splendid success; and in the later days of bitter persecution, the same invisible One had shielded him, and had turned what seemed to be the certain ruin of his prospects into a still more certain career of usefulness and popularity.

Verse 28. - Forgive the trespass of thine handmaid. Reverting to her words in ver. 24, that the blame and punishment must rest on her, she now prays for forgiveness; but the intermediate words in ver. 26, emphasised in ver. 31, have raised her request to a higher level. Her prayer rests on the ground that she was saving David from a sin, and that in his thirst for vengeance he was bringing upon himself guilt. If the form of Abigail's address was most humble, the matter of it was brave and noble. A sure house. I.e. permanent prosperity (see on 1 Samuel 2:35). Because my lord fighteth. Hebrew, "will fight." David was not fighting these battles now because he was not yet enthroned as the theocratic king. It was Saul's business at present to fight "Jehovah's battles," either in person or by his officers (1 Samuel 18:17). The words, therefore, distinctly look forward to the time when David as king will have the duty imposed upon him of protecting Jehovah's covenant people. Evil hath not been found in thee. Hebrew, "shall not be found in thee," i.e. when the time comes for thee to take the kingdom no one shall be able to allege against thee any offence by which thou hast lost thy title to the kingly office; nor afterwards as king shalt thou be guilty of any breach of thy duty to Jehovah, Israel's supreme Ruler, so as to incur rejection as Saul has done.

25:18-31 By a present Abigail atoned for Nabal's denial of David's request. Her behaviour was very submissive. Yielding pacifies great offences. She puts herself in the place of a penitent, and of a petitioner. She could not excuse her husband's conduct. She depends not upon her own reasonings, but on God's grace, to soften David, and expects that grace would work powerfully. She says that it was below him to take vengeance on so weak and despicable an enemy as Nabal, who, as he would do him no kindness, so he could do him no hurt. She foretells the glorious end of David's present troubles. God will preserve thy life; therefore it becomes not thee unjustly and unnecessarily to take away the lives of any, especially of the people of thy God and Saviour. Abigail keeps this argument for the last, as very powerful with so good a man; that the less he indulged his passion, the more he consulted his peace and the repose of his own conscience. Many have done that in a heat, which they have a thousand times wished undone again. The sweetness of revenge is soon turned into bitterness. When tempted to sin, we should consider how it will appear when we think upon it afterwards.I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid,.... The trespasses, as the Targum, either the sin of her husband, she had taken upon herself, or her boldness in troubling him with her petitions and solicitations, and even with the present she had brought:

for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; or a firm kingdom, as the Targum; would raise him to the kingdom of Israel, and establish it in his posterity, that it should not be taken from him, as it would be from Saul:

because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord; the battles of the people of the Lord, as the Targum, of the people of Israel against the Philistines; which he had often done with success, the Lord being with him, and prospering him and therefore would firmly settle him on the throne, and continue the kingdom in his posterity:

and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days; no unjust action had been committed by him against his king and country, however he had been reproached and calumniated; and she hoped that therefore none would be done by him now to stain so fair a character.

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