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25
The Death of Samuel
1Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah.
David and Abigail
Then David rose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. 2And there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; he was a Calebite. 4David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, "Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. 6And thus you shall greet him: 'Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 7I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. 8Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.'"
9When David's young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then they waited. 10And Nabal answered David's servants, "Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. 11Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?" 12So David's young men turned away and came back and told him all this. 13And David said to his men, "Every man strap on his sword!" And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.
14But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, "Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. 15Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. 16They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him."
18Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19And she said to her young men, "Go on before me; behold, I come after you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. 21Now David had said, "Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good. 22God do so to the enemies of David and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him."
23When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. 24She fell at his feet and said, "On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. 26Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. 29If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel, 31my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord working salvation himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant."
32And David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! 34For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male." 35Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, "Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition."
36And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until the morning light. 37In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38And about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.
39When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed be the Lord who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head." Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, "David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife." 41And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, "Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord." 42And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife.
43David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives. 44Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of 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.