1Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him. They buried him at his house at Ramah. Then David got up and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
David and Abigail
2Now there was a man in Maon, whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich and owned#Literally “there were for him” three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. Now#Literally “And it happened” the shearing of his sheep was taking place in Carmel. 3The name of the man was Nabal,#The name “Nabal” means “foolish” and the name of his wife was Abigail.#The name “Abigail” means “my father delights” Now the woman was wise and beautiful, but the man was stubborn and mean,#Literally “bad of deeds” and he was as his heart.#The Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib) reads “as his heart,” whereas the reading tradition (Qere) reads “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; you will greet him in my name.#Literally “you will ask for him in my name as far as peace” 6Then you must say to him, ‘Long life to you, and may it go well with you, with your house, and with all that is yours.#Literally “you are peace and your house is peace and all that is yours is peace” 7Now I have heard that you have shearers.#Literally “shearing is for you” Now while your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and nothing of theirs was missing, all the days they were in Carmel. 8Ask your servants#Or “young men” and they will tell you! Let the young men#Or “the servants”; “young men” is used here to connect with v. 5 find favor in your eyes because we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have on hand#Literally “what your hand finds” for your servants and for your son David.”
9So David’s young men came and they spoke all these words to Nabal in the name of David. Then they waited. 10But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? Today, there are many servants breaking away from the presence of their masters. 11Should I take my bread and my water and my meat which I have slaughtered for my shearers and give it to men whom I do not know where they are from? 12So David’s young men turned on their way and returned and came and told him according to all these words. 13Then David said to his men, “Each man strap on his sword!” So each one strapped on his sword, and David also strapped on his sword. About four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.
14But a young man of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the desert to greet#Hebrew “bless” our master, but he addressed them angrily, 15even though the men were very good to us; we were not mistreated and did not miss anything all the days we went about with them while we were#Literally “at our being” in the field. 16They were a wall to us both night and day, all the days we were#Literally “the days of our being” with them keeping the sheep. 17And so then, know and consider#Literally “see” what you should do, for evil has been decided against our master and against all his household, and he is such a wicked man,#Literally “a son of uselessness” nobody can reason with him!”#Literally “from speaking to him”
18Then Abigail quickly took#Literally “hastened and took” two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five prepared sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes, and she put them on the donkeys. 19Then she said to her servants, “Go ahead before me; look, I am coming after you,” but she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20And then,#Literally “And it happened” as she was riding on the donkey and was going down the ravine of the mountain, David and his men were coming down to meet her, and she met them. 21Now David had said, “Surely in vain#Literally “for the vanity” I guarded all that this fellow had in the desert. And nothing was missed of all that was his, but he returned evil against me in place of good! 22May God severely punish the enemies of David#Literally “May God do so to the enemies of David”; following the LXX some English versions omit the words “the enemies of” and again do thus if I leave behind anything that is his#Literally “from all that is for him” until the morning, not even one male!”#Literally “from one urinating against a wall” 23When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell on her face before David’s anger,#Literally “the nostrils of David” and she bowed down to the ground. 24She fell at his feet and said, “On me, my lord, be the guilt! Please let your female servant speak to you personally!#Literally “in your ears” Hear the words of your female servant! 25Please do not let my lord set his heart against this worthless man,#Literally “this man of wickedness” Nabal; for as his name, so is he. Nabal is his name, and stupidity is with him! But I, your female servant, did not see the young men#Or “the servants” of my lord whom you sent. 26So then, my lord, as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives,#Literally “the life of Yahweh and the life of your soul” since Yahweh restrained you from bloodguilt by taking matters into your own hand,#Literally “saving your hand for you” so then, may your enemies be like Nabal, even those who seek to do my lord harm.#Literally “the seeking to my lord evil” 27So then, this gift which your female servant has brought to my lord, may it be given to the young men who follow my lord.#Literally “the ones going about at the feet of my lord” 28Please forgive the transgression of your female servant, because Yahweh will certainly make a lasting house#That is, a lasting dynasty for my lord, because my lord is fighting the battles of Yahweh, and evil will not be found in you as long as you live.#Literally “from your days” 29Should a man arise to pursue you and to seek your life, may the life of my lord be wrapped in the pouch#Or “bag” of the living with Yahweh your God. But as for the life of your enemy, he will sling it from within#Hebrew “in the midst of” the pocket of the sling! 30And then#Literally “And it will happen” when Yahweh has done for my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you as leader over Israel, 31then this will not be an obstacle for you or a stumbling block of conscience for my lord either by the shedding of blood without cause or by my lord taking matters into his own hands.#Literally “the saving of my lord for himself” And when Yahweh does good to my lord, then remember your female servant.”
32Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel who has sent you this day to meet me! 33And blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you who have prevented me this day from bloodguilt and from delivering myself by my own hand. 34But as Yahweh lives,#Literally “the life of Yahweh” the God of Israel who has prevented me from harming you, if you had not hurried and come to meet me, surely there would not have been one male#Literally “one urinating against a wall” left alive for Nabal by the light of morning!” 35Then David took from her hand what she had brought for him, and he said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to your voice, and I have granted your request.”#Literally “lifted up your face”
36Then Abigail went to Nabal, and look, he was holding a feast#Literally “a feast was for him” in his house like the feast of the king. Nabal was enjoying himself,#Literally “the heart of Nabal was good on him” and he was very drunk, so she did not tell him a thing, nothing at all,#Literally “small or large” until the light of morning. 37And then#Literally “And it happened” in the morning when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these words. Then his heart died within him,#Literally “in his midst” and he became like a stone. 38And then,#Literally “And it happened” about ten days later, Yahweh struck Nabal and he died.
39When David heard that Nabal had died, he said, “Blessed be Yahweh who has vindicated the case of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and he has kept back his servant from evil; but Yahweh has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke with Abigail to take her for his wife. 40So the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, and they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you for his wife.” 41She got up and bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “Here is your female servant, as a slave to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42Then Abigail quickly got up#Literally “hastened and got up” and rode on the donkey, along with five of her maidservants who attended her,#Literally “the ones going about at her feet” and she went after the messengers of David and became his wife.
43David had also taken Ahinoam from Jezreel, and both of them became his wives. 44(Now Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.)