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1 Samuel 25Amplified Bible (AMP)

Samuel’s Death

25 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

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 Carmel (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 [a]Calebite). David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal, and [b]greet him in my name; and this is what you shall say, ‘[c]Have a long life! Peace be to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have. 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. 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 [d]good (festive) day. [e]Please, give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

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? [f]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 [g]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 [h]male of any who belong to him.”

23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and dismounted from the donkey, and [i]kneeled face downward before David and bowed down to the ground [in respect]. 24 [j]Kneeling at his feet she said, “My lord, let the blame and guilt be on me alone. And please let your maidservant speak [k]to you, and listen to the words of your maidservant. 25 Please do not let my lord [l]pay attention to this worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal (fool) is his [m]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 [n]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 [o]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 [p]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 [q]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 [r]Nabal was sober, and his wife told him these things, his [s]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 [t]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.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 25:3 I.e. a descendant of Caleb.
  2. 1 Samuel 25:5 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.”
  3. 1 Samuel 25:6 Lit To life!
  4. 1 Samuel 25:8 The time of shearing was a time of celebration and generosity.
  5. 1 Samuel 25:8 David and his men had given protection to Nabal’s flocks and shepherds, and it was appropriate for David to ask for compensation for this service.
  6. 1 Samuel 25:10 Nabal was insulting David and his men by implying that as far as he was concerned, they could be nothing but runaway slaves.
  7. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit son of Belial.
  8. 1 Samuel 25:22 Lit who urinates against a wall.
  9. 1 Samuel 25:23 Lit fell.
  10. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit Falling.
  11. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit in your ears.
  12. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit set his heart to.
  13. 1 Samuel 25:25 Nabal means “worthless, good for nothing.”
  14. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit walk at the feet of.
  15. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit took from her hand.
  16. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit lifted up your face, an idiom used in various positive ways, probably based on the idea of a superior person permitting someone to look him in the eye.
  17. 1 Samuel 25:36 Lit heart.
  18. 1 Samuel 25:37 Lit the wine had gone out of.
  19. 1 Samuel 25:37 Nabal probably suffered a stroke.
  20. 1 Samuel 25:42 Lit walked at her feet.
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

1 Samuel 25New International Version (NIV)

David, Nabal and Abigail

25 Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David moved down into the Desert of Paran.[a]

A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband was surly and mean in his dealings—he was a Calebite.

While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!

“‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’”

When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.

10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”

12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. 13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.

14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. 15 Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. 16 Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. 17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”

18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs[b] of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

20 As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them. 21 David had just said, “It’s been useless—all my watching over this fellow’s property in the wilderness so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. 22 May God deal with David,[c] be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!”

23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said: “Pardon your servant, my lord, and let me speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. 25 Please pay no attention, my lord, to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him. And as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my lord sent. 26 And now, my lord, as surely as the Lord your God lives and as you live, since the Lord has kept you from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies and all who are intent on harming my lord be like Nabal. 27 And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my lord, be given to the men who follow you.

28 “Please forgive your servant’s presumption. The Lord your God will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because you fight the Lord’s battles, and no wrongdoing will be found in you as long as you live. 29 Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God, but the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. 30 When the Lord has fulfilled for my lord every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him ruler over Israel, 31 my lord will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord your God has brought my lord success, remember your servant.”

32 David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. 33 May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak.”

35 Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request.”

36 When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing at all until daybreak. 37 Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal’s wrongdoing down on his own head.”

Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. 40 His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife.”

41 She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, “I am your servant and am ready to serve you and wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five female servants, went with David’s messengers and became his wife. 43 David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives. 44 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel[d] son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 25:1 Hebrew and some Septuagint manuscripts; other Septuagint manuscripts Maon
  2. 1 Samuel 25:18 That is, probably about 60 pounds or about 27 kilograms
  3. 1 Samuel 25:22 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew with David’s enemies
  4. 1 Samuel 25:44 Hebrew Palti, a variant of Paltiel
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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