The Pierpont Morgan Library, NY/Art Resource, NY

The death of Nabal. The next morning, “when the wine had gone out of Nabal,” Abigail tells her husband that she has met with David. Translators have taken this to mean “when Nabal had sobered up,” and that is how the illuminator depicts the event (left scene). But Leithart argues that the Hebrew actually reads “while the wine was going out of Nabal” and thus offers a more picturesque interpretation: Abigail told Nabal of her deed while her husband was urinating, underscoring the point that Nabal is truly a “pisser.”

Hearing the news of his wife’s betrayal, Nabal becomes “like a stone.” Some days after, “the Lord struck Nabal” (1 Samuel 25:37) and he died (right scene), leaving Abigail free to marry David.