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Samuel’s Death

25 Now 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

Now there was a man in Maon, whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich and owned[a] three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. Now[b] the shearing of his sheep was taking place in Carmel. The name of the man was Nabal,[c] and the name of his wife was Abigail.[d] Now the woman was wise and beautiful, but the man was stubborn and mean,[e] and he was as his heart.[f] 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; you will greet him in my name.[g] Then 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.[h] Now I have heard that you have shearers.[i] 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. Ask your servants[j] and they will tell you! Let the young men[k] find favor in your eyes because we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have on hand[l] for your servants and for your son David.”

So David’s young men came and they spoke all these words to Nabal 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? Today, there are many servants breaking away from the presence of their masters. 11 Should 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? 12 So David’s young men turned on their way and returned and came and told him according to all these words. 13 Then 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.

14 But a young man of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the desert to greet[m] our master, but he addressed them angrily, 15 even 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[n] in the field. 16 They were a wall to us both night and day, all the days we were[o] with them keeping the sheep. 17 And so then, know and consider[p] what you should do, for evil has been decided against our master and against all his household, and he is such a wicked man,[q] nobody can reason with him!”[r]

18 Then Abigail quickly took[s] 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. 19 Then she said to her servants, “Go ahead before me; look, I am coming after you,” but she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And then,[t] 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. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain[u] 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! 22 May God severely punish the enemies of David[v] and again do thus if I leave behind anything that is his[w] until the morning, not even one male!”[x] 23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell on her face before David’s anger,[y] and she bowed down to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me, my lord, be the guilt! Please let your female servant speak to you personally![z] Hear the words of your female servant! 25 Please do not let my lord set his heart against this worthless man,[aa] 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[ab] of my lord whom you sent. 26 So then, my lord, as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives,[ac] since Yahweh restrained you from bloodguilt by taking matters into your own hand,[ad] so then, may your enemies be like Nabal, even those who seek to do my lord harm.[ae] 27 So then, this gift which your female servant has brought to my lord, may it be given to the young men who follow my lord.[af] 28 Please forgive the transgression of your female servant, because Yahweh will certainly make a lasting house[ag] 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.[ah] 29 Should a man arise to pursue you and to seek your life, may the life of my lord be wrapped in the pouch[ai] of the living with Yahweh your God. But as for the life of your enemy, he will sling it from within[aj] the pocket of the sling! 30 And then[ak] 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, 31 then 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.[al] And when Yahweh does good to my lord, then remember your female servant.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be Yahweh the God of Israel who has sent you this day to meet me! 33 And blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you who have prevented me this day from bloodguilt and from delivering myself by my own hand. 34 But as Yahweh lives,[am] 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[an] left alive for Nabal by the light of morning!” 35 Then 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.”[ao]

36 Then Abigail went to Nabal, and look, he was holding a feast[ap] in his house like the feast of the king. Nabal was enjoying himself,[aq] and he was very drunk, so she did not tell him a thing, nothing at all,[ar] until the light of morning. 37 And then[as] in the morning when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these words. Then his heart died within him,[at] and he became like a stone. 38 And then,[au] about ten days later, Yahweh struck Nabal and he died.

39 When 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. 40 So 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.” 41 She 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.” 42 Then Abigail quickly got up[av] and rode on the donkey, along with five of her maidservants who attended her,[aw] and she went after the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David 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.)


  1. 1 Samuel 25:2 Literally “there were for him”
  2. 1 Samuel 25:2 Literally “And it happened”
  3. 1 Samuel 25:3 The name “Nabal” means “foolish”
  4. 1 Samuel 25:3 The name “Abigail” means “my father delights”
  5. 1 Samuel 25:3 Literally “bad of deeds”
  6. 1 Samuel 25:3 The Masoretic Hebrew text (Kethib) reads “as his heart,” whereas the reading tradition (Qere) reads “Calebite”
  7. 1 Samuel 25:5 Literally “you will ask for him in my name as far as peace”
  8. 1 Samuel 25:6 Literally “you are peace and your house is peace and all that is yours is peace”
  9. 1 Samuel 25:7 Literally “shearing is for you”
  10. 1 Samuel 25:8 Or “young men”
  11. 1 Samuel 25:8 Or “the servants”; “young men” is used here to connect with v. 5
  12. 1 Samuel 25:8 Literally “what your hand finds”
  13. 1 Samuel 25:14 Hebrew “bless”
  14. 1 Samuel 25:15 Literally “at our being”
  15. 1 Samuel 25:16 Literally “the days of our being”
  16. 1 Samuel 25:17 Literally “see”
  17. 1 Samuel 25:17 Literally “a son of uselessness”
  18. 1 Samuel 25:17 Literally “from speaking to him”
  19. 1 Samuel 25:18 Literally “hastened and took”
  20. 1 Samuel 25:20 Literally “And it happened”
  21. 1 Samuel 25:21 Literally “for the vanity”
  22. 1 Samuel 25:22 Literally “May God do so to the enemies of David”; following the LXX some English versions omit the words “the enemies of”
  23. 1 Samuel 25:22 Literally “from all that is for him”
  24. 1 Samuel 25:22 Literally “from one urinating against a wall”
  25. 1 Samuel 25:23 Literally “the nostrils of David”
  26. 1 Samuel 25:24 Literally “in your ears”
  27. 1 Samuel 25:25 Literally “this man of wickedness”
  28. 1 Samuel 25:25 Or “the servants”
  29. 1 Samuel 25:26 Literally “the life of Yahweh and the life of your soul”
  30. 1 Samuel 25:26 Literally “saving your hand for you”
  31. 1 Samuel 25:26 Literally “the seeking to my lord evil”
  32. 1 Samuel 25:27 Literally “the ones going about at the feet of my lord”
  33. 1 Samuel 25:28 That is, a lasting dynasty
  34. 1 Samuel 25:28 Literally “from your days”
  35. 1 Samuel 25:29 Or “bag”
  36. 1 Samuel 25:29 Hebrew “in the midst of”
  37. 1 Samuel 25:30 Literally “And it will happen”
  38. 1 Samuel 25:31 Literally “the saving of my lord for himself”
  39. 1 Samuel 25:34 Literally “the life of Yahweh”
  40. 1 Samuel 25:34 Literally “one urinating against a wall”
  41. 1 Samuel 25:35 Literally “lifted up your face”
  42. 1 Samuel 25:36 Literally “a feast was for him”
  43. 1 Samuel 25:36 Literally “the heart of Nabal was good on him”
  44. 1 Samuel 25:36 Literally “small or large”
  45. 1 Samuel 25:37 Literally “And it happened”
  46. 1 Samuel 25:37 Literally “in his midst”
  47. 1 Samuel 25:38 Literally “And it happened”
  48. 1 Samuel 25:42 Literally “hastened and got up”
  49. 1 Samuel 25:42 Literally “the ones going about at her feet”