1 Samuel 25 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
David, Nabal, and Abigail
25 Samuel died, and all Israel assembled to mourn for him, and they buried him by his home in Ramah. David then went down to the Wilderness of Paran.[a]
2 A man in Maon had a business in Carmel; he was a very rich man with three thousand sheep and one thousand goats and was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful, but the man, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in his dealings.
4 While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep, 5 so David sent ten young men instructing them, “Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal, greet him[b] in my name. 6 Then say this: ‘Long life to you,[c] and peace to you, peace to your family, and peace to all that is yours. 7 I hear that you are shearing.[d] When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. So let my young men find favor with you, for we have come on a feast[e] day. Please give whatever you have on hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 David’s young men went and said all these things to Nabal on David’s behalf,[f] and they waited.[g] 10 Nabal asked them, “Who is David? Who is Jesse’s son? Many slaves these days are running away from their masters. 11 Am I supposed to take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to these men? I don’t know where they are from.”
12 David’s young men retraced their steps. When they returned to him, they reported all these words. 13 He said to his men, “All of you, put on your swords!” So each man put on his sword, and David also put on his sword. About four hundred men followed David while two hundred stayed with the supplies.
14 One of Nabal’s young men informed Abigail, Nabal’s wife: “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he screamed at them. 15 The men treated us very well. When we were in the field, we weren’t harassed and nothing of ours was missing the whole time we were living among them. 16 They were a wall around us, both day and night, the entire time we were with them herding the sheep. 17 Now consider carefully[h] what you should do, because there is certain to be trouble for our master and his entire family. He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!”
18 Abigail hurried, taking two hundred loaves of bread, two clay jars of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel[i] of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her male servants, “Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 As she rode the donkey down a mountain pass hidden from view, she saw David and his men coming toward her and met them. 21 David had just said, “I guarded everything that belonged to this man in the wilderness for nothing. He was not missing anything, yet he paid me back evil for good. 22 May God punish me[j] and do so severely if I let any of his males[k] survive until morning.”
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and knelt down with her face to the ground and paid homage to David. 24 She knelt at his feet and said, “The guilt is mine, my lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant. 25 My lord should pay no attention to this worthless fool Nabal, for he lives up to his name:[l] His name means ‘stupid,’ and stupidity is all he knows.[m] I, your servant, didn’t see my lord’s young men whom you sent. 26 Now my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and as you yourself live— it is the Lord who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand—may your enemies and those who intend to harm my lord be like Nabal. 27 Let this gift your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the Lord’s battles. Throughout your life, may evil[n] not be found in you.
29 “Someone is pursuing you and intends to take your life. My lord’s life is tucked safely in the place[o] where the Lord your God protects the living, but he is flinging away your enemies’ lives like stones from a sling. 30 When the Lord does for my lord all the good he promised you and appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 there will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord’s revenge. And when the Lord does good things for my lord, may you remember me your servant.”
32 Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33 May your discernment be blessed, and may you be blessed. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand. 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord God of Israel lives, who prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, Nabal wouldn’t have had any males[p] left by morning light.” 35 Then David accepted what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace. See, I have heard what you said and have granted your request.”
36 Then Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was in his house, holding a feast fit for a king. Nabal’s heart was cheerful,[q] and he was very drunk, so she didn’t say anything[r] to him until morning light.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord who championed my cause against Nabal’s insults and restrained his servant from doing evil. The Lord brought Nabal’s evil deeds back on his own head.”
Then David sent messengers to speak to Abigail about marrying him. 40 When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David sent us to bring you to him as a wife.”
41 She stood up, paid homage with her face to the ground, and said, “Here I am, your servant, a slave to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Then Abigail got up quickly, and with her five female servants accompanying her, rode on the donkey following David’s messengers. And so she became his wife.
43 David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the two of them became his wives. 44 But Saul gave his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim.
1 Samuel 25 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
25 Sh’mu’el died. All of Isra’el assembled to mourn him and bury him at his home in Ramah.
Then David set out and went down to the Pa’ran Desert. 2 Now there was a man in Ma‘on who had property in Karmel. He was very rich, having three thousand sheep and a thousand goats; and he was shearing his sheep in Karmel. 3 The man’s name was Naval, and his wife was named Avigayil. The woman was intelligent and attractive, but the man was surly and mean in his actions; he belonged to the clan of Kalev. 4 David, there in the desert, heard that Naval was shearing his sheep. 5 David sent off ten young men with these orders: “Go up to Naval in Karmel, and bring him greetings from me. 6 Say, ‘Long life and shalom to you, shalom to your household, and shalom to everything that is yours! 7 I’ve heard that you now have shearers. Your shepherds were with us [for a while], we did them no harm, and they found nothing missing all the time they were in Karmel. 8 Ask your own men; they’ll tell you. Therefore, receive my men favorably, since we have come on a festive day. Please give what you can to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 On arrival, David’s men said all these things to Naval in David’s name. When they had finished, 10 Naval answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Yishai? There are many servants nowadays running away from their masters. 11 Am I supposed to take my bread, my water and my meat that I slaughtered for my shearers and give it to men coming from who knows where?” 12 So David’s men turned around, went back and came and told him everything Naval had said. 13 David said to his men, “Buckle your swords on, all of you!” Each one buckled on his sword, David too; and there went up after David about four hundred men, while two hundred stayed with the equipment.
14 But one of Naval’s men told Avigayil his wife, “David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master, and he flew on them in a rage, 15 even though the men had been very good to us — they didn’t harm us, and we found nothing missing during the entire time we went with them, while we were out in the countryside. 16 They served as a wall protecting us day and night all the time we were with them caring for the sheep. 17 So now decide what you are going to do, for clearly harm is on its way to our master and all his household, but he’s so mean that no one can tell him anything.”
18 Avigayil wasted no time in taking 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already prepared, six quarts of roasted grain, a hundred clusters of raisins and 200 fig cakes, and having them loaded on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her young men, “Go on ahead of me, and I’ll come along after you.” But she didn’t tell her husband Naval.
20 She was riding her donkey down past the hiding-place in the mountain, when David and his men descended toward her, and she met them. 21 David had said, “What a waste it has been guarding everything this fellow has in the desert, so that nothing of his was missing! He has repaid me bad for good!” 22 Then he swore, “May God do the same and more to David’s enemies if I leave alive even one male of everything he owns.”
23 When Avigayil saw David, she hurried to dismount from her donkey, fell on her face in front of David and bowed down to the ground. 24 Having fallen at his feet, she said, “It’s all my fault, my lord, all my fault! Please let your servant speak in your ears, and listen to what your servant says. 25 Please! My lord shouldn’t pay any attention to this worthless fellow Naval, because he’s just like his name — ‘Naval’ means ‘boor,’ and his boorishness stays with him. But I, your servant, did not see my lord’s men, whom you sent. 26 Therefore, my lord, as Adonai lives, and as you live, inasmuch as Adonai has kept you from the guilt of shedding blood and from taking vengeance into your own hands — therefore, may your enemies and anyone seeking your harm be [as worthless] as Naval. 27 Meanwhile, let this present which your servant has brought to my lord be given to the men in my lord’s service. 28 And please forgive the offense your servant has caused; because Adonai will certainly establish my lord’s dynasty, for my lord fights Adonai’s battles, and nothing bad has been found in you all your life long. 29 Even if someone comes along searching for you and seeking your life, your life will be bound in the bundle of life with Adonai your God. But the lives of your enemies he will fling away as if from the pouch of a slingshot. 30 Then, when Adonai has done all the good to my lord that he has said about you and made you ruler over Isra’el, 31 what happens here will not have become an obstacle to you or a cause for remorse to my lord, neither that you shed blood without cause nor that my lord took vengeance into his own hands. Finally, when Adonai has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”
32 David said to Avigayil, “Blessed be Adonai the God of Isra’el, who sent you today to meet me; 33 and blessed be your tactfulness, and blessed be yourself for having kept me today from the guilt of shedding blood and taking vengeance into my own hands. 34 For as Adonai the God of Isra’el, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you hadn’t rushed to meet me, not even one male would have been left to Naval by morning!” 35 So David received from her what she had brought him, then said to her, “Go up in peace to your home. I have listened to what you said and granted your request.”
36 Avigayil came to Naval; there he was in his house, holding a feast fit for a king. He was in high spirits, because he was very drunk. So she told him nothing whatever until the next morning. 37 In the morning, when he was sober and his wife told him what had happened, he had a stroke and became as motionless as a stone. 38 Some ten days later Adonai struck Naval, and he died.
39 When David heard that Naval was dead, he said, “Blessed be Adonai for having taken my side in the matter of Naval’s insult and for having prevented his servant from doing anything bad. On the contrary, Adonai has caused Naval’s bad deeds to return on his own head.” Then David sent a message that he wanted to make Avigayil his own wife. 40 When David’s servants reached Avigayil in Karmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to bring you to him to be his wife.” 41 She got up, bowed with her face to the ground, and said, “Your servant is here to serve you, to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Avigayil then hurried, set out and rode off on a donkey, with five of her female servants following her; she went after David’s messengers; and she became his wife. 43 David also took Achino‘am of Yizre‘el; both of them became his wives.
44 Meanwhile, Sha’ul had given Mikhal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Layish, who came from Gallim.