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The Death of Samuel

25 (A)Then Samuel died; and all Israel gathered together and (B)lamented for him and (C)buried him at his house in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the (D)wilderness of Paran.

David and Abigail

Now there was a man in (E)Maon whose work was in (F)Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. And it happened, while (G)he was shearing his sheep in Carmel (now the man’s name was Nabal, and his (H)wife’s name was Abigail. And the woman was good in insight and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings, and he was (I)a Calebite), that 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, come to Nabal, and greet him in my name; and thus you shall say, ‘[a]Have a long life; (J)peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. So now I have heard (K)that you have shearers; now your shepherds have been with us; and we have not dishonored them, (L)nor have they missed anything all the days they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on (M)a [b]festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son, to David.’”

Then David’s young men came and spoke to Nabal according to all these words in David’s name. Then they waited. 10 But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “(N)Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master. 11 Shall I then (O)take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men [c]whose origin I do not know?” 12 So David’s young men went back on their way and returned; and they came and told him according to all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Each of you gird on his sword.” So each man girded on his sword. And David also girded on his sword, and about (P)four hundred men went up behind David, and two hundred (Q)stayed with the baggage.

14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to [d](R)greet our master, and he rushed at them angrily. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not (S)dishonored, nor did we miss anything [e]as long as we went about with them, while we were in the field. 16 (T)They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them shepherding the sheep. 17 So now, know and see what you should do, for evil is decided against our master and against all his household; and he is such a [f]vile man that no one can speak to him.”

Abigail’s Discernment

18 Then Abigail hurried and (U)took two hundred loaves of bread and two [g]jugs of wine and five sheep already prepared and [h]five seahs of roasted grain and one hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her young men, “(V)Go on before me; behold, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 So it was happening, as she was riding on her donkey and coming down by the hidden part of the mountain, that behold, David and his men were coming down toward her; and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely for a lie I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; and he has (W)returned me evil for good. 22 (X)May God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, (Y)if by morning I leave as much as one [i]male of any who belong to him.”

23 Then Abigail saw David; so she hurried and dismounted from her donkey and fell on her face [j]before David (Z)and bowed herself to the ground. 24 And she fell at his feet and said, “On me [k]alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and listen to the words of your maidservant. 25 Please do not let my lord [l]pay attention to this [m]vile man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. [n]Nabal is his name, and wicked foolishness is with him; but I your maidservant did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.

26 “So now, my lord, as Yahweh lives and as your soul lives, since Yahweh has restrained you from [o]shedding blood, and (AA)from saving yourself by your own hand, so now, (AB)let your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord, be as Nabal. 27 So now let (AC)this [p]gift which your servant-woman has brought to my lord be given to the young men who [q]went about with my lord. 28 Please forgive (AD)the transgression of your maidservant; for (AE)Yahweh will certainly make for my lord an enduring house because my lord is (AF)fighting the battles of Yahweh, and (AG)evil will not be found in you all your days. 29 And should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your [r]life, then the [s]life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with Yahweh your God; but the [t]lives of your enemies (AH)He will sling out [u]as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And it will be that when Yahweh does for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and (AI)appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 then this will not [v]cause stumbling or a troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord having saved himself. (AJ)When Yahweh deals well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “(AK)Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, 33 and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, (AL)who have kept me this day from [w]bloodshed and from saving myself by my own hand. 34 Nevertheless, as Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, (AM)who has restrained me from harming you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one [x]male.” 35 So David received from her hand what she had brought him and said to her, “(AN)Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to your voice and [y](AO)granted your request.”

36 Then Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding (AP)a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, (AQ)for he was very drunk; so (AR)she did not tell him anything small or great until the morning light. 37 But in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him so that he became as a stone. 38 Now it happened that about ten days later, (AS)Yahweh smote Nabal, and he died.

Abigail Becomes David’s Wife

39 Then David heard that Nabal was dead, so he said, “Blessed be Yahweh, who has (AT)pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and (AU)has kept back His servant from evil. Yahweh has also returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent [z](AV)a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 Then the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel and spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you as his wife.” 41 And she arose (AW)and bowed with her [aa]face to the ground and said, “Behold, your maidservant is a servant-woman (AX)to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Then (AY)Abigail hurried and arose, and she rode on a donkey, with her five young women who [ab]went about with her; and she went after the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David had also taken Ahinoam of (AZ)Jezreel, and (BA)they both became his wives.

44 Now Saul had given (BB)Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from (BC)Gallim.


  1. 1 Samuel 25:6 Lit To life
  2. 1 Samuel 25:8 Lit good
  3. 1 Samuel 25:11 Lit from where they are
  4. 1 Samuel 25:14 Lit bless
  5. 1 Samuel 25:15 Lit all the days
  6. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit son of Belial
  7. 1 Samuel 25:18 Heb is similar to Nabal
  8. 1 Samuel 25:18 Approx. 35 qt. or 38.5 l, a seah was approx. 7 qt. or 7.7 l
  9. 1 Samuel 25:22 Lit who urinates against the wall, cf. 25:34; 1 Kin 14:10; 16:11; 21:21; 2 Kin 9:8
  10. 1 Samuel 25:23 Lit with her nose to
  11. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit even me
  12. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit set his heart to
  13. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit man of Belial
  14. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit Wicked fool
  15. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit coming in with blood
  16. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit blessing
  17. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit walk at the feet of
  18. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  19. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  20. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  21. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit in the midst
  22. 1 Samuel 25:31 Lit become staggering to you or a stumbling of the heart
  23. 1 Samuel 25:33 Lit coming in with blood
  24. 1 Samuel 25:34 Lit who urinates against the wall, cf. 25:22; 1 Kin 14:10; 16:11; 21:21; 2 Kin 9:8
  25. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit lifted up your face
  26. 1 Samuel 25:39 Lit and spoke
  27. 1 Samuel 25:41 Lit nose
  28. 1 Samuel 25:42 Lit walked at her feet