1 NOW SAMUEL died, and all the Israelites assembled and mourned for him, and buried him at his house in Ramah. David arose and went to the Wilderness of Paran.
2 A very rich man was in Maon, whose possessions and business were in Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3 The man's name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail; she was a woman of good understanding, and beautiful. But the man was rough and evil in his doings; he was a Calebite.
4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.
5 And David sent out ten young men and said to [them], Go up to Carmel to Nabal and greet him in my name;
6 And salute him thus: Peace be to you and to your house and to all that you have.
7 I have heard 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.
8 Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your sight, for we come at an opportune time. I pray you, give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.
9 And when David's young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then paused.
10 And Nabal answered David's servants and said, Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who are each breaking away from his master.
11 Shall I then take my bread and my water, and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they belong?
12 So David's young men turned away, and came and told him all that was said.
13 And David said to his men, Every man gird on his sword. And they did so, and David also girded on his sword; and there went up after David about 400 men, and 200 remained with the baggage.
14 But one of Nabal's young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master, and he railed at them.
15 But David's men were very good to us, and we were not harmed, nor did we miss anything as long as we went with them, when we were in the fields.
16 They were a wall to us night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep.
17 So know this and consider what you will do, for evil is determined against our master and all his house. For he is such a wicked man that one cannot speak to him.
18 Then Abigail made haste and took 200 loaves, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five measures of parched grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.
19 And she said to her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 As she rode on her donkey, she came down hidden by the mountain, and behold, David and his men came down opposite her, and she met them.
21 Now David had said, Surely in vain have I protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has repaid me evil for good.
22 May God do so, and more also, to David if I leave of all who belong to him one male alive by morning.
23 When Abigail saw David, she hastened and lighted off the donkey, and fell before David on her face and did obeisance.
24 Kneeling at his feet she said, Upon me alone let this guilt be, my lord. And let your handmaid, I pray you, speak in your presence, and hear the words of your handmaid.
25 Let not my lord, I pray you, regard this foolish and wicked fellow Nabal, for as his name is, so is he–Nabal [foolish, wicked] is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your handmaid, 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, seeing that the Lord has prevented you from bloodguiltiness and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal.
27 And now this gift, which your handmaid has brought my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.
28 Forgive, I pray you, the trespass of your handmaid, for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the Lord's battles, and evil has not been found in you all your days.
29 Though man is risen up to pursue you and to seek your life, yet the life of my lord shall be bound in the living bundle with the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies–them shall He sling out as out of the center of a sling.
30 And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that He has promised concerning you and has made you ruler over Israel,
31 This shall be no staggering grief to you or cause for pangs of conscience to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause or that my lord has avenged himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then [earnestly] remember your handmaid.
32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, Who sent you this day to meet me.
33 And blessed be your discretion and advice, and blessed be you who have kept me today from bloodguiltiness and from avenging myself with my own hand.
34 For as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, Who has prevented me from hurting you, if you had not hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning there would not have been left so much as one male to Nabal.
35 So David accepted what she had brought him and said to her, Go up in peace to your house. See, I have hearkened to your voice and have granted your petition.
36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house like the feast of a king. And [his] heart was merry, for he was very drunk; so she told him nothing at all until the morning light.
37 But in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife told him these things, his heart died within him and he became [paralyzed, helpless as] a stone.
38 And about ten days after that, the Lord smote Nabal and he died.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, Who has pleaded the cause of my reproach at the hand of Nabal, and kept His servant from evil. For the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him as his wife.
40 And when the servants of David had come 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 arose and bowed herself to the earth and said, Behold, let your handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
42 And Abigail hastened and arose and rode on a donkey, with five of her maids who followed her, and she went after the messengers of David and became his wife.
43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives.
44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
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1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation