1And Shemu’ĕl died, and all Yisra’ĕl gathered and mourned for him, and buried him at his home in Ramah. And Dawiḏ arose and went down into the Wilderness of Paran.
2Now there was a man in Ma‛on and his work was in Karmel, and the man was very great. And he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he came to be shearing his sheep in Karmel.
3And the name of the man was Naḇal, and the name of his wife Aḇig̅ayil. And she was a woman of good understanding and good-looking. But the man was hard and evil in his doings. And he was of Kalĕḇ.
4And Dawiḏ heard in the wilderness that Naḇal was shearing his sheep.
5And Dawiḏ sent ten young men, and Dawiḏ said to the young men, “Go up to Karmel, and you shall come to Naḇal, and greet him in my name,
6and say this, ‘Long life and peace to you! And peace to your house, and peace to all that you have!
7‘And now, I have heard that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us. We did not put them to shame, and not a speck of theirs was missing all the days they were in Karmel.
8‘Ask your young men, and let them inform you. So let my young men find favour in your eyes, for we come on a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son Dawiḏ.’ ”
9And the young men of Dawiḏ came and spoke to Naḇal according to all these words in the name of Dawiḏ, and waited.
10But Naḇal answered the servants of Dawiḏ and said, “Who is Dawiḏ, and who is the son of Yishai? The servants who are running away from their masters, have become many nowadays.
11“And shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”
12And the young men of Dawiḏ turned around on their way and went back, and came and reported to him all these words.
13And Dawiḏ said to his men, “Each one gird on his sword.” So they each girded on his sword, and Dawiḏ also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with Dawiḏ, and two hundred remained with the baggage.
14And one of the young men informed Aḇig̅ayil, the wife of Naḇal, saying, “See, Dawiḏ have sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he scoffed at them.
15“But the men were very good to us, and did not put us to shame, nor did we miss any item all the days we accompanied them, when we were in the fields.
16“They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the days we were with them tending the sheep.
17“And now, know and see what you should do, for evil has been resolved against our master, and against all his household, and he is too much of a son of Beliya‛al to speak to.”
18Then Aḇig̅ayil made haste and took two hundred loaves, and two skins of wine, and five sheep made ready, five measures of roasted grain, and one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys.
19And she said to her servants, “Pass over before me. See, I am coming after you.” But she did not inform her husband Naḇal.
20And it came to be, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill, and there were Dawiḏ and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them.
21And Dawiḏ had said, “Only in vain have I protected all that this one has in the wilderness, so that not a speck was missing of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good.
22“Let Elohim do so, and more also, to the enemies of Dawiḏ, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.”
23And Aḇig̅ayil saw Dawiḏ, and she hastened to come down from the donkey, and fell on her face before Dawiḏ, and bowed down to the ground,
24and fell at his feet and said, “On me, my master, let this crookedness be on me! And please let your female servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your female servant.
25“Please, let not my master regard this man of Beliya‛al, Naḇal. For as his name is, so is he: Naḇal is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your female servant, did not see the young men of my master whom you sent.
26“And now my master, as יהוה lives and as your being lives, since יהוה has withheld you from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies be as Naḇal, even those seeking evil against my master.
27“And now this present which your female servant has brought to my master, let it be given to the young men who follow my master.
28“Please forgive the transgression of your female servant. For יהוה is certainly making a steadfast house for my master, because my master fights the battles of יהוה, and evil is not found in you in all your days.
29“And if a man rises to pursue you and seek your life, and the life of my master has been bound in the bundle of the living with יהוה your Elohim, then the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling.
30“And it shall be, when יהוה has done for my master according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Yisra’ĕl,
31do not let this be a staggering and stumbling of heart to my master, that you have shed blood without cause, or that my master has saved himself. And when יהוה has done good to my master, then remember your female servant.”
32And Dawiḏ said to Aḇig̅ayil, “Blessed be יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, who sent you to meet me today!
33“And blessed is your good taste, and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.
34“Nevertheless, as יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl lives, who has kept me back from doing evil to you, if you had not hurried and come to meet me, not a male would have been left to Naḇal by break of day, for certain.”
35And Dawiḏ received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have listened to your voice and have accepted your face.”
36And Aḇig̅ayil went to Naḇal, and see, he was at a feast in his house, like the feast of a sovereign. And Naḇal’s heart was glad within him, and he was exceedingly drunk. So she told him not a word, little or much, until morning light.
37And it came to be, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Naḇal, and his wife had told him these matters, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone.
38And it came to be in about ten days, that יהוה smote Naḇal, and he died.
39And Dawiḏ heard that Naḇal was dead, and he said, “Blessed be יהוה, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Naḇal, and has kept His servant from evil! For יהוה has returned the evil of Naḇal on his own head.” And Dawiḏ sent and spoke to Aḇig̅ayil, to take her as his wife.
40And when the servants of Dawiḏ had come to Aḇig̅ayil at Karmel, they spoke to her saying, “Dawiḏ sent us to you, to ask you to become his wife.”
41And she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, “Here is your female servant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my master.”
42And Aḇig̅ayil hurried and rose, and rode on a donkey, with five of her female attendants. And she followed the messengers of Dawiḏ, and became his wife.
43Dawiḏ had also taken Aḥino‛am of Yizre‛ĕl, and so both of them were his wives.
44But Sha’ul had given Miḵal his daughter, Dawiḏ’s wife, to Palti son of Layish, who was from Galliym.
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