Samuel’s Death

25 (A)Then Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and (B)mourned for him, and they (C)buried him at his house in Ramah. And David set out and went down to the (D)wilderness of Paran.

Nabal and Abigail

Now there was a man in (E)Maon whose business was in (F)Carmel; and the man was very [a]rich, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And it came about 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 [b]intelligent 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 and [c]visit Nabal, and greet him in my name; and this is what you shall say: ‘[d]Have a long life, (J)peace to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! Now then, I have heard (K)that you have shearers. Now, your shepherds have been with us; we have not harmed them, (L)nor has anything of theirs gone missing 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 [e]festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal in accordance with 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 [f]whose origin I do not know?” 12 So David’s young men made their way back and returned; and they came and informed him in accordance with all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Each of you strap on his sword.” So each man strapped on his sword. And David also strapped on his sword, and about (P)four hundred men went up behind David, while two hundred (Q)stayed with the baggage.

14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to [g](R)greet our master, and he spoke to them in anger. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not (S)harmed, nor did anything go missing [h]as long as we went with them, while we were in the fields. 16 (T)They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. 17 Now then, be aware and [i]consider what you should do, because harm is plotted against our master and against all his household; and he is such a [j]worthless man that no one can speak to him.”

Abigail Intercedes

18 Then Abigail hurried and (U)took two hundred loaves of bread and two jugs of wine, and five sheep already prepared and five measures of roasted grain, and a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and she loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her young men, “(V)Go on ahead of me; behold, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And it happened 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; so she met them. 21 Now David had said, “It is certainly for nothing that I have guarded everything that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing has gone missing of all that belonged to him! For he has (W)returned me evil for good. 22 (X)May God do so to the enemies of David, and more so, (Y)if by morning I leave alive as much as one [k]male of any who belong to him.”

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

26 “Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, since the Lord has restrained you from [q]shedding blood, and (AA)from [r]avenging yourself by your own hand, now then, (AB)may your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord, be like Nabal. 27 And now let (AC)this [s]gift which your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who [t]accompany my lord. 28 Please forgive (AD)the offense of your slave; for (AE)the Lord will certainly make for my lord an [u]enduring house, because my lord is (AF)fighting the battles of the Lord, and (AG)evil will not be found in you all your days. 29 Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your [v]life, then the [w]life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; but the [x]lives of your enemies (AH)He will sling out [y]as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord does for my lord in accordance with all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and (AI)appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 this will not become an obstacle to you, or a [z]troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord’s having [aa]avenged himself. (AJ)When the Lord deals well with my lord, then remember your slave.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “(AK)Blessed be the Lord 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 [ab]bloodshed and from [ac]avenging myself by my own hand. 34 Nevertheless, as the Lord God of Israel lives, (AM)who has restrained me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, there certainly would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one [ad]male.” 35 So David accepted 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 [ae]you and [af](AO)granted your request.”

36 Then Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was having (AP)a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was cheerful within him, (AQ)for he was very drunk; so (AR)she did not tell him anything [ag]at all 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 like a stone. 38 About ten days later, (AS)the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

David Marries Abigail

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has (AT)pleaded the cause of the shame inflicted on me by the hand of Nabal, and (AU)has kept back His servant from evil. The Lord has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent [ah](AV)a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” 41 And she got up (AW)and bowed with her face to the ground, and said, “Behold, your slave is a servant (AX)to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Then (AY)Abigail got up quickly, and rode on a donkey, with her five female attendants who [ai]accompanied her; and she followed 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 But Saul had given his daughter (BB)Michal, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from (BC)Gallim.

David Again Spares Saul

26 Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “(BD)Is David not keeping himself hidden on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite [aj]Jeshimon?” So Saul set out and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, [ak]taking with him (BE)three thousand chosen men of Israel, to search for David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul camped on the hill of Hachilah, which is opposite [al]Jeshimon, (BF)beside the road, and David was staying in the wilderness. When (BG)he saw that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, David sent out spies, and he learned that Saul was definitely coming. David then set out and came to the place where Saul had camped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, and (BH)Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army; and Saul was lying in the circle of the camp, and the people were camped around him.

Then David said to Ahimelech (BI)the Hittite and to (BJ)Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, saying, “Who (BK)will go down with me to Saul in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” So David and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping inside the circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people were lying around him. Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has handed your enemy over to you; now then, please let me [am]pin him with the spear to the ground with one thrust, and I will not [an]do it to him a second time.” But David said to Abishai, “Do not [ao]kill him, for (BL)who can reach out with his hand against the Lords anointed and remain innocent?” 10 David also said, “As the Lord lives, (BM)the Lord certainly will strike him, or (BN)his day will come that he dies, or (BO)he will go down in battle and [ap]perish. 11 (BP)The Lord forbid that I would reach out with my hand against the Lords anointed! But now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let’s go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jug of water that were at Saul’s head, and they left; and no one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone awaken, for they were all asleep, because (BQ)a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen on them.

13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the mountain at a distance with a large area between them. 14 And David called to the people and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner replied, “Who are you who calls to the king?” 15 So David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your lord the king? For one of the people came to [aq]kill the king your lord! 16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, all of you undoubtedly [ar](BR)must die, because you did not guard your lord, the Lords anointed. And now, see where the king’s spear is and the jug of water that was at his head!”

17 Then Saul recognized David’s voice and said, “(BS)Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord the king.” 18 He also said, “(BT)Why then is my lord pursuing his servant? For what have I done? Or what evil is in my hand? 19 Now then, please let my lord the king listen to the words of his servant. If (BU)the Lord has incited you against me, (BV)may He [as]accept an offering; but (BW)if it is [at]people, cursed [au]are they before the Lord, because (BX)they have driven me out today so that I would have no share in the inheritance of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now then, do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord; for the king of Israel has come out to search for (BY)a single flea, just as one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”

21 Then Saul said, “(BZ)I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again since my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have made a very great mistake.” 22 David replied, “Behold, the spear of the king! Now have one of the young men come over and take it. 23 And (CA)the Lord will repay each man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord handed you over to me today, but (CB)I refused to reach out with my hand against the Lords anointed. 24 Therefore behold, just as your life was (CC)highly valued in my sight this day, so may my life be highly valued in the sight of the Lord, and may He (CD)rescue me from all distress.” 25 Then Saul said to David, “(CE)Blessed are you, my son David; you will both accomplish much and assuredly prevail.” So (CF)David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.

David Flees to the Philistines

27 Then David said to [av]himself, “Now I will [aw]perish one day by the hand of Saul. (CG)There is nothing better for me than to safely escape into the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.” So David set out and went over, he and (CH)the six hundred men who were with him, to (CI)Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. And David lived with Achish in Gath, he and his men, (CJ)each with his own household—David with (CK)his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s [ax]widow. Now it was reported to Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he no longer searched for him.

Then David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your sight, have them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, so that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” So Achish gave him Ziklag that day; therefore (CL)Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was (CM)a year and four months.

Now David and his men went up and attacked (CN)the Geshurites, the Girzites, and (CO)the Amalekites; for they were the inhabitants of the land from ancient times, as you come to (CP)Shur even as far as the land of Egypt. David [ay]attacked the land and did not leave a man or a woman alive, and he (CQ)took the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing. Then he returned and came to Achish. 10 Now Achish said, “[az]Where did you (CR)carry out an attack today?” And David said, “Against the [ba]Negev of Judah, against the [bb]Negev of (CS)the Jerahmeelites, and against the [bc]Negev of (CT)the Kenites.” 11 And David did not leave a man or a woman alive to bring to Gath, saying, “Otherwise they will tell about us, saying, ‘This is what David has done, and this has been his practice all the time that he has lived in the country of the Philistines.’” 12 So Achish believed David, saying, “He has undoubtedly made himself repulsive among his people Israel; therefore he will become my servant forever.”

Footnotes

  1. 1 Samuel 25:2 Lit great
  2. 1 Samuel 25:3 Lit of good understanding
  3. 1 Samuel 25:5 Lit come to
  4. 1 Samuel 25:6 Lit To life
  5. 1 Samuel 25:8 Lit good
  6. 1 Samuel 25:11 Lit from where they are
  7. 1 Samuel 25:14 Lit bless
  8. 1 Samuel 25:15 Lit all the days
  9. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit see
  10. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit son of Belial
  11. 1 Samuel 25:22 Lit who urinates against the wall
  12. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit myself
  13. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit in your ears
  14. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit set his heart to
  15. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit man of Belial
  16. 1 Samuel 25:25 I.e., fool
  17. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit coming in with blood
  18. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit helping
  19. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit blessing
  20. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit walk at the feet of
  21. 1 Samuel 25:28 Or permanent
  22. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  23. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  24. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  25. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit in the midst of
  26. 1 Samuel 25:31 Lit stumbling of heart
  27. 1 Samuel 25:31 Lit helped
  28. 1 Samuel 25:33 Lit coming into blood
  29. 1 Samuel 25:33 Lit helping
  30. 1 Samuel 25:34 Lit who urinates against the wall
  31. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit your voice
  32. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit lifted up your face
  33. 1 Samuel 25:36 Lit small or large
  34. 1 Samuel 25:39 Lit and spoke
  35. 1 Samuel 25:42 Lit walked at her feet
  36. 1 Samuel 26:1 Or the desert
  37. 1 Samuel 26:2 Lit and with him
  38. 1 Samuel 26:3 Or the desert
  39. 1 Samuel 26:8 Lit strike him...even into
  40. 1 Samuel 26:8 Lit repeat it to him
  41. 1 Samuel 26:9 Lit destroy
  42. 1 Samuel 26:10 Lit be carried away
  43. 1 Samuel 26:15 Lit destroy
  44. 1 Samuel 26:16 Lit are sons of death
  45. 1 Samuel 26:19 Lit smell
  46. 1 Samuel 26:19 Lit the sons of mankind
  47. 1 Samuel 26:19 Or may they be
  48. 1 Samuel 27:1 Lit his heart
  49. 1 Samuel 27:1 Lit be carried away
  50. 1 Samuel 27:3 Lit wife
  51. 1 Samuel 27:9 Lit struck
  52. 1 Samuel 27:10 DSS indicate Against whom
  53. 1 Samuel 27:10 I.e., South country
  54. 1 Samuel 27:10 I.e., South country
  55. 1 Samuel 27:10 I.e., South country