A Lamp Unto My Feet by Elspeth Young

A Lamp Unto My Feet

{ Abigail }
Pre-mounted Giclées on canvas (gatorboard)
High-grade canvas artwork reproductions pre-mounted to durable gatorboard for easy framing without glass.
12" x 16"$140.0014" x 20"$191.0016" x 22"$233.00
14" x 18"$175.0016" x 20"$215.0018" x 24"$280.00
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Larger rolled canvas prints with a 2-inch margin for the customer to mount the print to stretcher bars at a local framing store or art center. No glass needed.
18" x 24.5"$212.0024" x 30"$328.0024" x 32.75"$355.00
20" x 24"$228.0024" x 32"$348.00
Paper prints
High-grade art reproductions available on photo paper (in sizes 12x18 and larger) or on high-quality 9pt (100#) paper. Combined shipping available for most smaller sizes.
16" x 20"$73.0018" x 24"$93.0020" x 24"$100.0024" x 30"$143.00
Other products
Other options including the original artwork, bookmarks, and limited edition prints.
Original oil painting$7,998.00 Sold
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And [Abigail] was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance...

Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs...

But she told not her husband Nabal.

1 Samuel 25:3, 18-19

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

Psalms 119:105

The story behind A Lamp Unto My Feet

This painting of Abigail depicts this noble woman gathering foodstuffs to take to David's army after her husband foolishly refused to succor these men, despite the soldiers' sore need.  Her act of courage, wherein she defied her husband and took food to army, saved her and her entire household.

Abigail is enveloped in the darkness surrounding her at the time of her decision—David's wrath meant that their deaths were imminent (see 1 Samuel 25:13).  Any fear, whether great or small, seeks to envelope us in darkness.  However, the light from Jesus Christ is the way out of such difficulties—following his words no matter how dark or perilous the circumstance is (as the Psalm states) a "lamp" unto our feet and a "light" unto our path (Psalms 119:105).  It is just this "light" which leads Abigail to do what is right, despite the trying circumstance in which she finds herself.  That is why she is depicted here, rimmed in the light provided by a near-by lamp.  The blankets and ropes and the basket filled with foodstuffs show her determination to make her faith in God active by supplying what David's troops requested.  She will not sit by and wait to be overcome by fear, but takes the hand of the Lord in hers, as it were, and steps into the darkness knowing He will light her way.

The Biblical account describes Abigail as "a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance" (1 Samuel 25:3).  The artist chose a model in whom both beauty and wisdom appear. Her beauty is further augmented by the light framing her countenance. Behind the figure is a table filled with foodstuffs and containers for the loaves, parched corn, figs, and other offerings she makes to King David.  She wears a head wrap because a journey is ahead of her (1 Samuel 25:19).  Her clothing is rich in pattern and material because Nabal was very wealthy (1 Samuel 25:2).  Her foods and containers are therefore also of the very finest.

Symbolism in A Lamp Unto My Feet

An ornate candlestick appears in the lower left of the work, symbolic of the Savior's admonition from the Sermon on the Mount to "Let your light so shine before men..."  He refers to putting a candle on a candlestick so that it "...giveth light unto all that are in the house." (Matthew 5:14-15).  Abigail's behavior is a "light" to her household because of her foresight and righteousness in providing a means of saving them from death.  The candles have burned down so that only a flame appears, symbolic that Abigail's time is running out for completing the task at hand.

The Biblical account states that Abigail rides a donkey to meet David.  Traditionally, blankets like those on Abigail's arm were tethered to a donkey's back as a sort of make-shift "saddle" (see Cansdale, 72).  Therefore, she carries both thick blankets and ropes to prepare for her ride.


Achtemeier, Paul J. Harper’s Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985.

Cansdale, George. All the Animals of the Bible Lands. Grand Rapids, MI: The Paternoster Press, 1970.

Freeman, James M. Manners and Customs of the Bible. New York: Logos International, 1972.

Matthews, Victor H. Manners and Customs in the Bible. Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 1991.

Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. New York: Abingdon Press, 1890.

© By Elspeth Young, All Rights Reserved. You may not print, copy, or reproduce this artwork or make derivative works from it without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. For permissions, please review our FAQ page.

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Illustration: A Lamp Unto My Feet

By Al R. Young
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The correct form of attribution when publishing an image is specified in the license agreement issued to the publisher by Al Young Studios.Guidelines for requests to copy or publish artworks created by the Artists of Al Young Studios

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