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1 Samuel 25 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

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]

A man in Maon had a business in Carmel; he was a very rich man with 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 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.

While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep, so David sent 10 young men instructing them, “Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal, greet him in my name.[b] Then say this: ‘Long life to you,[c] and peace to you, to your family, and to all that is yours. 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. 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 can afford to your servants and to your son David.’”

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 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 David and all his men put on their swords. About 400 men followed David while 200 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 yelled at them. 15 The men treated us 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 herding the sheep. 17 Now consider carefully what you must 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 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel[h] of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 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[i] and do so severely if I let any of his men[j] survive until morning.”

23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and fell with her face to the ground in front of David. 24 She fell 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 man Nabal, for he lives up to his name:[k] His name is Nabal,[l] 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 want trouble for my lord be like Nabal. 27 Accept this gift your servant has brought to my lord, and let it 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 “When someone pursues you and attempts to take your life, my lord’s life will be tucked safely in the place[o] where the Lord your God protects the living. However, He will fling away your enemies’ lives like stones from a sling. 30 When the Lord does for my lord all the good He promised 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, “Praise to the Lord God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33 Your discernment is blessed, and you are 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 men[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 was in a good mood[q] and very drunk, so she didn’t say anything[r] to him until morning light.

37 In the morning when Nabal sobered up,[s] his wife told him about these events. Then he had a seizure[t] and became paralyzed.[u] 38 About 10 days later, the Lord struck Nabal dead.

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Praise 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, then bowed her face to the ground and said, “Here I am, your servant, 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.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 25:1 LXX reads to Maon
  2. 1 Samuel 25:5 Or Nabal, and ask him for peace
  3. 1 Samuel 25:6 Lit To life
  4. 1 Samuel 25:7 Lit you have shearers
  5. 1 Samuel 25:8 Lit good
  6. 1 Samuel 25:9 Lit name
  7. 1 Samuel 25:9 LXX reads and he became arrogant
  8. 1 Samuel 25:18 Lit sheep, five seahs
  9. 1 Samuel 25:22 LXX; MT reads David’s enemies
  10. 1 Samuel 25:22 Lit of those of his who are urinating against the wall
  11. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit for as is his name is, so he is
  12. 1 Samuel 25:25 = Fool
  13. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit and foolishness is with him
  14. 1 Samuel 25:28 Or trouble
  15. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit bundle
  16. 1 Samuel 25:34 Lit had anyone urinating against a wall
  17. 1 Samuel 25:36 Lit Nabal’s heart was good on him
  18. 1 Samuel 25:36 Lit anything small or great
  19. 1 Samuel 25:37 Lit when the wine had gone out of Nabal
  20. 1 Samuel 25:37 Lit Then his heart died within him
  21. 1 Samuel 25:37 Lit became a stone

1 Samuel 25 New 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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