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1 Samuel 25 New Life Version (NLV)

The Death of Samuel

25 Now Samuel died. All Israel gathered together and was filled with sorrow for him. They buried him at his house in Ramah.

Then David got ready and went down to the desert of Paran. There was a man in Maon who worked in Carmel. The man was very rich. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. He was cutting the wool from his sheep in Carmel. The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. The woman was of good understanding and beautiful. But the man was bad and sinful in his ways. He was a Calebite. David heard in the desert that Nabal was cutting the wool from his sheep. So David sent ten young men, saying to them, “Go up to Carmel. Visit Nabal and greet him for me. Say to him, ‘Have a long life. Peace be to you. Peace be to your family. And peace be to all that you have. I have heard that you have men who cut the wool from your sheep. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we have not done them any wrong. And they have not missed anything all the time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men and they will tell you. So let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a special day. I ask you to give whatever you have ready to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David’s young men came, they said all this to Nabal in David’s name. Then they waited. 10 But Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are leaving their owners. 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my wool cutters, and give it to men when I do not know where they came from?” 12 So David’s young men turned away and returned to David and told him all this. 13 David said to his men, “Every man put on his sword!” So every man put on his sword, and David put on his sword also. About 400 men went up behind David, while 200 stayed with their things.

14 But one of the young men told Nabal’s wife Abigail, “See, David sent men from the desert to greet our owner, and he spoke against them. 15 But David’s men were very good to us. They did not do anything wrong to us. And we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. 16 They were a wall to us night and day, all the time we were with them taking care of the sheep. 17 So know this and think about what you should do. For bad plans have been made against our owner and all his family. He is such a sinful man that no one can speak to him.”

18 In a hurry Abigail took 200 loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready to eat, five baskets of dry grain, 100 vines of dried grapes and 200 loaves of figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 She said to her young men, “Go on before me. See, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 As she went on her donkey and came down hidden by the mountain, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “It was for nothing that I have watched over all this man has in the desert, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him. He has paid me bad for good. 22 May God do the same to David and more, if I leave until morning as much as one male alive of all who belong to him.”

23 When Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey in a hurry. Then she put her face to the ground in front of David. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “Let the sin be on me alone, my lord. I beg you, let your woman servant speak to you. Listen to the words of your woman servant. 25 I beg you, do not let my lord think about this sinful man, Nabal. For he is like his name. Nabal is his name and he is foolish. But I your woman servant 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, let the Lord keep you from being guilty of blood. Let Him keep you from punishing with your own hand. And let those who hate you and those who want to hurt my lord be like Nabal. 27 Now let this gift which your woman servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 I beg you, forgive the sin of your woman servant. For the Lord will be sure to make my lord a family that will last. Because my lord is fighting the Lord’s battles. Sin will not be found in you as long as you live. 29 If men rise up to come after you and try to kill you, then the life of my lord will be taken care of by the Lord your God. But He will throw away the lives of those who hate you, as a rock is thrown from a sling. 30 The Lord will do to my lord all the good that He has promised you. He will make you ruler over Israel. 31 Then my lord will have no reason to feel sorry or guilty because of killing without cause or punishing by my lord’s own hand. When the Lord does good things for my lord, remember your woman servant.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “Thanks be to the Lord God of Israel, Who sent you this day to meet me. 33 May thanks be given for your wisdom, and thanks be to you. You have kept me this day from being guilty of blood, and from punishing with my own hand. 34 The Lord God of Israel has kept me from hurting you. And as the Lord lives, if you had not been quick to come to meet me, for sure not one male would have been left to Nabal until the morning.” 35 So David received what she had brought him. He said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to you and have done what you asked.”

36 Abigail came to Nabal and saw that he was having a special supper in his house, like the special supper of a king. Nabal’s heart was full of joy, because he was very drunk. So she did not tell him anything until the morning. 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 like a stone. 38 The Lord made Nabal die about ten days later.

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Thanks be to the Lord, Who has punished Nabal for putting me to shame. He has kept His servant from sin. And the Lord has turned the sin of Nabal upon himself.” Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to be his wife. 40 When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you, to take you as his wife.” 41 She stood up and then put her face to the ground, and said, “See, your woman servant will serve you by washing the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Then she got ready in a hurry and traveled on a donkey, with her five young women who followed her. She followed the men David had sent, and became his wife.

43 David had taken Ahinoam of Jezreel also. They both became his wives.

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

New Life Version (NLV)

Copyright © 1969, 2003 by Barbour Publishing, Inc.

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.


  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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