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25
Samuel’s Death
1 Now Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him at his house in Ramah. Then David left and went down to the Wilderness of Paran.
Nabal and Abigail
2 Now there was a man in Maon whose business and possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel3 (now the man’s name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings; he was a #I.e. a descendant of Caleb.Calebite).4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.5 So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal, and #Lit ask him of his peace (welfare). It was customary to greet someone by asking him of his welfare (Heb shalom), like “How are you?” However, David specifies the greeting in v 6 without the actual question, so the question here (v 5) is just a way of saying, “greet him.”greet him in my name;6 and this is what you shall say, ‘#Lit To life!Have a long life! Peace be to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have.7 ~‘Now I have heard that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us and we have not harmed them, nor were they missing anything all the time they were in Carmel.8 ~‘Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your sight [and be well-treated], for we have come on a #The time of shearing was a time of celebration and generosity.good (festive) day. #The time of shearing was a time of celebration and generosity.Please, give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David; then they waited.10 But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? #Nabal was insulting David and his men by implying that as far as he was concerned, they could be nothing but runaway slaves.There are many servants today, each of whom is breaking away from his master.11 So should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?”12 So David’s young men made their way back and returned; and they came and told him everything that was said [to them by Nabal].13 David said to his men, “Each man put on your sword.” So each man put on his sword. David also put on his sword, and about four hundred men went up behind David while two hundred stayed back with the provisions and supplies.
14 But one of Nabal’s young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “Listen, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to bless (greet) our master, and he shouted at them [in contempt].15 But David’s men were very good to us, and we were not harmed or treated badly, nor did we miss anything as long as we were with them, when we were in the fields.16 They were a wall [of protection] to us both night and day, all the time that we were with them tending the sheep.17 Now then, know this and consider what you should do, for evil is [already] planned against our master and against all his household; but he is such a #Lit son of Belial.worthless and wicked man that one cannot speak [reasonably] to him.”
Abigail Intercedes
18 Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread, two jugs of wine, five sheep already prepared [for roasting], five measures of roasted grain, a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys.19 She said to her young men (servants), “Go on ahead of me; behold, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.20 It happened that as she was riding on her donkey and coming down by [way of] the hidden part of the mountain, that suddenly David and his men were coming down toward her, and she met them.21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected and guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missing of all that belonged to him; and he has repaid me evil for good.22 May God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if by morning I leave [alive] even one #Lit who urinates against a wall.male of any who belong to him.”
23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and dismounted from the donkey, and #Lit fell.kneeled face downward before David and bowed down to the ground [in respect].24 #Lit Falling.Kneeling at his feet she said, “My lord, let the blame and guilt be on me alone. And please let your maidservant speak #Lit Falling.to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant.25 Please do not let my lord #Lit set his heart to.pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal (fool) is his #Lit set his heart to.name and foolishness (stupidity) is with him; but I your maidservant did not see my lord’s young men whom you sent.
26 So now, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, since the Lord has prevented you from shedding blood, and from avenging yourself by your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord, be as [self-destructive as] Nabal.27 Now this gift, which your maidservant has brought my lord, let it be given to the young men who #Lit walk at the feet of.accompany and follow my lord.28 Please forgive the transgression of your maidservant; for the Lord will certainly make my lord a secure and enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil will not be found in you all your days.29 Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, then the life of my lord will be bound in the [precious] bundle of the living with the Lord your God; but the lives of your enemies--those He will hurl out as from the center of a sling.30 And it will happen when the Lord does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken (promised) concerning you, and appoints you ruler over Israel,31 that this [incident] will not cause grief or [bring] a troubled conscience to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having avenged himself. When the Lord deals well with my lord, then remember [with favor] your maidservant.”
32 David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me this day.33 And blessed be your discretion and discernment, and blessed be you, who has kept me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself by my own hand.34 Nevertheless, as the Lord the God of Israel lives, who has prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, most certainly by the morning light there would not have been left to Nabal so much as one male.”35 So David #Lit took from her hand.accepted what she had brought to him and said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to you and have #Lit took from her hand.granted your request.”
36 Then Abigail came to Nabal, and he was holding a feast in his house [for the shearers], like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s #Lit heart.mood was joyous because he was very drunk; so she told him nothing at all until the morning light.37 But in the morning, when #Lit the wine had gone out of.Nabal was sober, and his wife told him these things, his #Lit the wine had gone out of.heart died within him and he became [paralyzed and helpless] like a stone.38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.
David Marries Abigail
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach [suffered] at the hand of Nabal and has kept His servant from [retaliating with] evil. For the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent word to Abigail, proposing to take her as his wife.40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David sent us to you to take you [to him] to be his wife.”41 And she stood and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your maidservant is [ready to be] a maid to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”42 Then Abigail quickly got up, and rode on a donkey, with five of her maidens who #Lit walked at her feet.attended her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.
43 David had also taken Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives.
44 But Saul had given Michal his [younger] daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.
25
The Death of Samuel
1Samuel died, and all the Israelites came together and mourned for him. Then they buried him at his home in Ramah.
David and Abigail
After this, David went to the wilderness of Paran. 2-3There was a man of the clan of Caleb named Nabal, who was from the town of Maon, and who owned land near the town of Carmel. He was a very rich man, the owner of three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. His wife Abigail was beautiful and intelligent, but he was a mean, bad-tempered man.
Nabal was shearing his sheep in Carmel, 4and David, who was in the wilderness, heard about it, 5so he sent ten young men with orders to go to Carmel, find Nabal, and give him his greetings. 6He instructed them to say to Nabal: “David sends you greetings, my friend, with his best wishes for you, your family, and all that is yours. 7He heard that you were shearing your sheep, and he wants you to know that your shepherds have been with us and we did not harm them. Nothing that belonged to them was stolen all the time they were at Carmel. 8Just ask them, and they will tell you. We have come on a feast day, and David asks you to receive us kindly. Please give what you can to us your servants and to your dear friend David.”
9David's men delivered this message to Nabal in David's name. Then they waited there, 10and Nabal finally answered, “David? Who is he? I've never heard of him! The country is full of runaway slaves nowadays! 11I'm not going to take my bread and water, and the animals I have butchered for my sheepshearers, and give them to people who come from I don't know where!”
12David's men went back to him and told him what Nabal had said. 13“Buckle on your swords!” he ordered, and they all did. David also buckled on his sword and left with about four hundred of his men, leaving two hundred behind with the supplies.
14One of Nabal's servants said to Nabal's wife Abigail, “Have you heard? David sent some messengers from the wilderness with greetings for our master, but he insulted them. 15Yet they were very good to us; they never bothered us, and all the time we were with them in the fields, nothing that belonged to us was stolen. 16They protected us day and night the whole time we were with them looking after our flocks. 17Please think this over and decide what to do. This could be disastrous for our master and all his family. He is so mean that he won't listen to anybody!”
18Abigail quickly gathered two hundred loaves of bread, two leather bags full of wine, five roasted sheep, two bushels of roasted grain, a hundred bunches of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dried figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19Then she said to the servants, “You go on ahead and I will follow you.” But she said nothing to her husband.
20She was riding her donkey around a bend on a hillside when suddenly she met David and his men coming toward her. 21David had been thinking, “Why did I ever protect that fellow's property out here in the wilderness? Not a thing that belonged to him was stolen, and this is how he pays me back for the help I gave him! 22May God strike me#25.22: One ancient translation me; Hebrew my enemies. dead if I don't kill every last one of those men before morning!”
23When Abigail saw David, she quickly dismounted and threw herself on the ground 24at David's feet, and said to him, “Please, sir, listen to me! Let me take the blame. 25Please, don't pay any attention to Nabal, that good-for-nothing! He is exactly what his name means—a fool!#25.25: a fool: This is the meaning of the Hebrew name Nabal. I wasn't there when your servants arrived, sir. 26It is the Lord who has kept you from taking revenge and killing your enemies. And now I swear to you by the living Lord that your enemies and all who want to harm you will be punished like Nabal. 27Please, sir, accept this present I have brought you, and give it to your men. 28Please forgive me, sir, for any wrong I have done. The Lord will make you king, and your descendants also, because you are fighting his battles; and you will not do anything evil#25.28: you will not do anything evil; or no evil will happen to you. as long as you live. 29If anyone should attack you and try to kill you, the Lord your God will keep you safe, as someone guards a precious treasure. As for your enemies, however, he will throw them away, as someone hurls stones with a sling. 30And when the Lord has done all the good things he has promised you and has made you king of Israel, 31then you will not have to feel regret or remorse, sir, for having killed without cause or for having taken your own revenge. And when the Lord has blessed you, sir, please do not forget me.”
32David said to her, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me! 33Thank God for your good sense and for what you have done today in keeping me from the crime of murder and from taking my own revenge. 34The Lord has kept me from harming you. But I swear by the living God of Israel that if you had not hurried to meet me, all of Nabal's men would have been dead by morning!” 35Then David accepted what she had brought him and said to her, “Go back home and don't worry. I will do what you want.”
36Abigail went back to Nabal, who was at home having a feast fit for a king. He was drunk and in a good mood, so she did not tell him anything until the next morning. 37Then, after he had sobered up, she told him everything. He suffered a stroke and was completely paralyzed. 38Some ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died.
39When David heard that Nabal had died, he said, “Praise the Lord! He has taken revenge on Nabal for insulting me and has kept me his servant from doing wrong. The Lord has punished Nabal for his evil.”
Then David sent a proposal of marriage to Abigail. 40His servants went to her at Carmel and said to her, “David sent us to take you to him to be his wife.”
41Abigail bowed down to the ground and said, “I am his servant, ready to wash the feet of his servants.” 42She rose quickly and mounted her donkey. Accompanied by her five maids, she went with David's servants and became his wife.
43David had married Ahinoam from Jezreel, and now Abigail also became his wife. 44#2 S 3.14-16 Meanwhile, Saul had given his daughter Michal, who had been David's wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from the town of Gallim.