Part Two of Two: Abigail and Nabal

What was Paul actually telling the church at Corinth in 2 Corinthians 6:14 and why did he make the unequally yoked statement? Let’s look at that.

A time long before John Deer Tractors and motorized farm equipment, the people in biblical times used oxen to plow their fields. To do so, the farmer attached a beam to a team of oxen across the shoulders and to the load that they were to pull. Both oxen needed to be of equal size and strength for the desired outcome. Otherwise, the animals would plow in circles. Deuteronomy 22:10 says not to plow with an ox and a donkey.

v10 Thou shalt not plow with an ox and an ass together. [Deuteronomy 22:10 KJV]

The meaning behind this Deuteronomy Scripture is that the ox and donkey were of unequal strength and mindset. The significance to this passage is basically to foreshadow 2 Corinthians 6:14, which is not to unequally yoke to unbelievers. Isaiah 1:3 says that the ox and the donkey also knew their place but His people did (do) not.

Believers invite trouble when they unequally yoke to another as the Corinthians, Deuteronomy, Isaiah, and many other Scriptures suggest. You can read about a case in point in 1 Samuel 25, as Scripture tells the story of Abigail and Nabal. We can get a lot of generic help from 1 Samuel 25. Maybe not so much on the specific side of the problem, but there is a lot of usable information and help there.

Abigail and Nabal
The first thing we notice as we read 1 Samuel 25 is that Nabal was wealthy and although he was a calebite, his character did not reflect a biblical spirituality. On the contrary, he was surly, mean rough, stingy, harsh, ill tempered, and evil in his dealings. Abigail on the other hand, was an intelligent, beautiful, and sensible woman. She had to take responsibility for the union, and apparently wore the beam of intelligence, morality, and holiness for the family.

As was the custom of the day, Abigail’s father probably arranged the marriage. Her father looked at Nabal’s wealth and no doubt honorably thought that Nabal would take good care of his daughter, despite the fact that Nabal was a despicable man. Whether Abigail’s father knew of Nabal’s disposition and propensities, the Bible does not tell us. Neither does the Bible tell us whether the father arranged the marriage or not. I would have to say that he did, because what woman in her right mind would want to marry such a man. In lieu of the wealth, somewhere along the line there had to be communication, love, and a relationship.

Unequally yoked
As we can see, Abigail and Nabal were about as far apart as any two people could possibly be, but she stuck it out [1]. Abigail even interceded to David on Nabal’s behalf [2]. This teaches us that once the couple marries, they should stick it out. A marriage needs much prayer and how do we know that we will lead them to salvation or not. However, the believing spouse sanctifies the unbelieving spouse, but they still need salvation. There is a big difference between sanctified and salvation.

It takes two for a marriage to work. Actually, it takes three for a marriage to work [3], and therein lays the rub, for what partnership does righteousness have with lawlessness the English Standard Version says. What fellowship does light have with darkness says the King James Version.

v14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? [2 Corinthians 6:14 KJV]

Therefore, according to 1 Corinthians 7:16 Paul, through the anointing of the Holy Spirit exhorts us by saying,

v16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? [1 Corinthians 7:16 KJV]

As Abigail’s father probably arranged her marriage, believers have their heavenly Father to arrange their marriages. . .as long as they listen to Him. He will always let us know if the person is right or wrong for us, guaranteed.

We should mingle with unbelievers because this is a field that is white unto salvation [4] but we should not hang with them as buddy buddies. However, when someone catches our eye for a business partnership, friendship, relationship, or marriage, the litmus test should always be, “Is she/he a believer?” Of course, what makes our choices a little easier is that we will know them by their fruit [5].

For those contemplating the bonds of matrimony, I strongly exhort you to consider — for your own health, happiness, and life that you do not unequally yoke with them. Don’t shoot the messenger, because as we have learned, this is a commandment of God. Of course, through our free will, the decision is ours. However, take it from someone who has been there. It doesn’t work.

Somewhere along the line, you have to live with that person and actually talk to them about your beliefs, values, and interests. The best time to do this is BEFORE the wedding. Seek guidance from a pastor who can lead you in the way of God.

God bless you all in your search for that special someone.


[1] 1 Corinthians 7:16
[2] 1 Samuel 25:23-31 Since David is a type of Christ and Abigail became his bride, this foreshadows the Bride of Christ.
[3] Ecclesiastes 4:12
[4] John 4:35
[5] Matthew 7:16-20; Galatians 5:22, 23

3 thoughts on “EQUALLY YOKED

  1. Good blog Jim and you are right about being equally yoked but I still say that my husband and I had almost 38 yrs. together …They were a lot of issues for yrs …but I knew in my heart that we loved each other …And he finally stopped giving me a rough time for going to church and respected the idea that I was living a Christian life ….I don’t think I was wrong in staying in this marriage …..GBY….Take care my friend


    1. Not wrong at all. Read 1 Corinthians 7:16. We were both wrong for unequally yoking according to God’s Word, but we were right in sticking it out. I can personally relate to what you went through. Without the threefold cord working in both with the same goals and leadership, it is a rocky road. Thank you so much for your support and for your comment. I appreciate it. GBY Barbara.


  2. Thanks for your Two Part series, Jim. I, for one also was in a marriage that ‘eventually’ ended up being unequally yoked , but not from the beginning. It became so very hard to resolve ‘issues’ (and all marriages have issues even when both at strong Christians) when you are not on the same ‘value/moral plain”, right? The reasons behind both arguments are real to both involved, but one can never come to a ‘common denominator’ totally when you live for two different Gods. You may ‘do the best’ to keep peace , but you will never be totally at peace within your heart about decisions..major moral deisions and you are only robbing yourself of the real glory that was meant, by God Himself, for an equally yoked relationship.
    Blessings to you,,as you continue to write and share what God has placed on your heart according to scriptures!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.