1 Samuel 25 Good News Translation (GNT)
The Death of Samuel
25 Samuel died, and all the Israelites came together and mourned for him. Then they buried him at his home in Ramah.
David and Abigail
After this, David went to the wilderness of Paran. 2-3 There was a man of the clan of Caleb named Nabal, who was from the town of Maon, and who owned land near the town of Carmel. He was a very rich man, the owner of three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. His wife Abigail was beautiful and intelligent, but he was a mean, bad-tempered man.
Nabal was shearing his sheep in Carmel, 4 and David, who was in the wilderness, heard about it, 5 so he sent ten young men with orders to go to Carmel, find Nabal, and give him his greetings. 6 He instructed them to say to Nabal: “David sends you greetings, my friend, with his best wishes for you, your family, and all that is yours. 7 He heard that you were shearing your sheep, and he wants you to know that your shepherds have been with us and we did not harm them. Nothing that belonged to them was stolen all the time they were at Carmel. 8 Just ask them, and they will tell you. We have come on a feast day, and David asks you to receive us kindly. Please give what you can to us your servants and to your dear friend David.”
9 David's men delivered this message to Nabal in David's name. Then they waited there, 10 and Nabal finally answered, “David? Who is he? I've never heard of him! The country is full of runaway slaves nowadays! 11 I'm not going to take my bread and water, and the animals I have butchered for my sheepshearers, and give them to people who come from I don't know where!”
12 David's men went back to him and told him what Nabal had said. 13 “Buckle on your swords!” he ordered, and they all did. David also buckled on his sword and left with about four hundred of his men, leaving two hundred behind with the supplies.
14 One of Nabal's servants said to Nabal's wife Abigail, “Have you heard? David sent some messengers from the wilderness with greetings for our master, but he insulted them. 15 Yet they were very good to us; they never bothered us, and all the time we were with them in the fields, nothing that belonged to us was stolen. 16 They protected us day and night the whole time we were with them looking after our flocks. 17 Please think this over and decide what to do. This could be disastrous for our master and all his family. He is so mean that he won't listen to anybody!”
18 Abigail quickly gathered two hundred loaves of bread, two leather bags full of wine, five roasted sheep, two bushels of roasted grain, a hundred bunches of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dried figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to the servants, “You go on ahead and I will follow you.” But she said nothing to her husband.
20 She was riding her donkey around a bend on a hillside when suddenly she met David and his men coming toward her. 21 David had been thinking, “Why did I ever protect that fellow's property out here in the wilderness? Not a thing that belonged to him was stolen, and this is how he pays me back for the help I gave him! 22 May God strike me[a] dead if I don't kill every last one of those men before morning!”
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly dismounted and threw herself on the ground 24 at David's feet, and said to him, “Please, sir, listen to me! Let me take the blame. 25 Please, don't pay any attention to Nabal, that good-for-nothing! He is exactly what his name means—a fool![b] I wasn't there when your servants arrived, sir. 26 It is the Lord who has kept you from taking revenge and killing your enemies. And now I swear to you by the living Lord that your enemies and all who want to harm you will be punished like Nabal. 27 Please, sir, accept this present I have brought you, and give it to your men. 28 Please forgive me, sir, for any wrong I have done. The Lord will make you king, and your descendants also, because you are fighting his battles; and you will not do anything evil[c] as long as you live. 29 If anyone should attack you and try to kill you, the Lord your God will keep you safe, as someone guards a precious treasure. As for your enemies, however, he will throw them away, as someone hurls stones with a sling. 30 And when the Lord has done all the good things he has promised you and has made you king of Israel, 31 then you will not have to feel regret or remorse, sir, for having killed without cause or for having taken your own revenge. And when the Lord has blessed you, sir, please do not forget me.”
32 David said to her, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me! 33 Thank God for your good sense and for what you have done today in keeping me from the crime of murder and from taking my own revenge. 34 The Lord has kept me from harming you. But I swear by the living God of Israel that if you had not hurried to meet me, all of Nabal's men would have been dead by morning!” 35 Then David accepted what she had brought him and said to her, “Go back home and don't worry. I will do what you want.”
36 Abigail went back to Nabal, who was at home having a feast fit for a king. He was drunk and in a good mood, so she did not tell him anything until the next morning. 37 Then, after he had sobered up, she told him everything. He suffered a stroke and was completely paralyzed. 38 Some ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died.
39 When David heard that Nabal had died, he said, “Praise the Lord! He has taken revenge on Nabal for insulting me and has kept me his servant from doing wrong. The Lord has punished Nabal for his evil.”
Then David sent a proposal of marriage to Abigail. 40 His servants went to her at Carmel and said to her, “David sent us to take you to him to be his wife.”
41 Abigail bowed down to the ground and said, “I am his servant, ready to wash the feet of his servants.” 42 She rose quickly and mounted her donkey. Accompanied by her five maids, she went with David's servants and became his wife.
43 David had married Ahinoam from Jezreel, and now Abigail also became his wife. 44 Meanwhile, Saul had given his daughter Michal, who had been David's wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from the town of Gallim.
1 Samuel 25 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
Death of Samuel
25 Now Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and mourned for him. They buried him at his home in Ramah.
Then David got up and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
David and the Wife of Nabal
2 There was a man in Maon, whose property was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was clever and beautiful, but the man was surly and mean; he was a Calebite. 4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 So David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. 6 Thus you shall salute him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 7 I hear that you have shearers; now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing, all the time they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your sight; for we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 When David’s young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David; and then they waited. 10 But Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are breaking away from their masters. 11 Shall I take my bread and my water and the meat that I have butchered for my shearers, and give it to men who come from I do not know where?” 12 So David’s young men turned away, and came back and told him all this. 13 David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every one of them strapped on his sword; David also strapped on his sword; and about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.
14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he shouted insults at them. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we never missed anything when we were in the fields, as long as we were with them; 16 they were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do; for evil has been decided against our master and against all his house; he is so ill-natured that no one can speak to him.”
18 Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs. She loaded them on donkeys 19 and said to her young men, “Go on ahead of me; I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 As she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, David and his men came down toward her; and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely it was in vain that I protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him; but he has returned me evil for good. 22 God do so to David[a] and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”
23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and alighted from the donkey, and fell before David on her face, bowing to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “Upon me alone, my lord, be the guilt; please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 My lord, do not take seriously this ill-natured fellow, Nabal; for as his name is, so is he; Nabal[b] is his name, and folly is with him; but I, your servant, did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent.
26 “Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, since the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from taking vengeance with your own hand, now let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be like Nabal. 27 And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant; for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord; and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. 29 If anyone should rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living under the care of the Lord your God; but the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 When the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you prince over Israel, 31 my lord shall have no cause of grief, or pangs of conscience, for having shed blood without cause or for having saved himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”
32 David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33 Blessed be your good sense, and blessed be you, who have kept me today from bloodguilt and from avenging myself by my own hand! 34 For as surely as the Lord the God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there would not have been left to Nabal so much as one male.” 35 Then David received from her hand what she had brought him; he said to her, “Go up to your house in peace; see, I have heeded your voice, and I have granted your petition.”
36 Abigail came to Nabal; he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; so she told him nothing at all until the morning light. 37 In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him; 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, “Blessed be the Lord who has judged the case of Nabal’s insult to me, and has kept back his servant from evil; the Lord has returned the evildoing of Nabal upon his own head.” Then David sent and wooed Abigail, to make her 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 to him as his wife.” 41 She rose and bowed down, with her face to the ground, and said, “Your servant is a slave to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 Abigail got up hurriedly and rode away on a donkey; her five maids attended her. She went after the messengers of David and became his wife.
43 David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel; both of them became his wives. 44 Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim.
1 Samuel 25 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
25 And Samuel died, and all Israel was gathered together, and they mourned for him, and buried him in his house in Ramatha. And David rose and went down into the wilderness of Pharan.
2 Now there was a certain man in the wilderness of Maon, and his possessions were in Carmel, and the man was very great: and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and it happened that he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3 Now the name of the man was Nabal: and the name of his wife was Abigail. And she was a prudent and very comely woman, but her husband was churlish, and very bad and ill natured: and he was of the house of Caleb.
4 And when David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep,
5 He sent ten young men, and said to them: Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and salute him in my name with peace.
6 And you shall say: Peace be to my brethren, and to thee, and peace to thy house, and peace to all that thou hast.
7 I heard that thy shepherds that were with us in the desert were shearing: we never molested them, neither was there ought missing to them of the flock at any time, all the while they were with us in Carmel.
8 Ask thy servants, and they will tell thee. Now therefore let thy servants find favour in thy eyes: for we are come in a good day, whatsoever thy hand shall find give to thy servants, and to thy son David.
9 And when David's servants came, they spoke to Nabal all these words in David's name: and then held their peace.
10 But Nabal answering the servants of David, said: Who is David? and what is the son of Isai? servants are multiplied now a days who flee from their masters.
11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and the flesh of my cattle, which I have killed for my shearers, and give to men whom I know not whence they are?
12 So the servants of David went back their way, and returning came and told him all the words that he said.
13 Then David said to his young men: Let every man gird on his sword. And they girded on every man his sword. And David also girded on his sword: and there followed David about four hundred men: and two hundred remained with the baggage.
14 But one of the servants told Abigail the wife of Nabal, saying: Behold David sent messengers out of the wilderness, to salute our master: and he rejected them.
15 These men were very good to us, and gave us no trouble: neither did we ever lose any thing all the time that we conversed with them in the desert.
16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
17 Wherefore consider, and think what thou hast to do: for evil is determined against thy husband, and against thy house, and he is a son of Belial, so that no man can speak to him.
18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of dry figs, and laid them upon asses:
19 And she said to her servants: Go before me: behold I will follow after you: but she told not her husband Nabal.
20 And when she had gotten upon an ass, and was coming down to the foot of the mountain, David and his men came down over against her, and she met them.
21 And David said: Truly in vain have I kept all that belonged to this man in the wilderness, and nothing was lost of all that pertained unto him: and he hath returned me evil for good.
22 May God do so and so, and add more to the foes of David, if I leave of all that belong to him till the morning, any that pisseth against the wall.
23 And when Abigail saw David she made haste and lighted off the ass, and fell before David, on her face, and adored upon the ground.
24 And she fell at his feet, and said: Upon me let this iniquity be, my lord: let thy handmaid speak, I beseech thee, in thy ears: and hear the words of thy servant.
25 Let not my lord the king, I pray, regard this naughty man Nabal: for according to his name, he is a fool, and folly is with him: but I thy handmaid did not see thy servants, my lord, whom thou sentest.
26 Now therefore, my lord, the Lord liveth, and thy soul liveth, who hath withholden thee from coming to blood, and hath saved thy hand to thee: and now let thy enemies be as Nabal, and all they that seek evil to my lord.
27 Wherefore receive this blessing, which thy handmaid hath brought to thee, my lord: and give it to the young men that follow thee, my lord.
28 Forgive the iniquity of thy handmaid: for the Lord will surely make for my lord a faithful house, because thou, my lord, fightest the battles of the Lord: let not evil therefore be found in thee all the days of thy life.
29 For if a man at any time shall rise, and persecute thee, and seek thy life, the soul of my lord shall be kept, as in the bundle of the living, with the Lord thy God: but the souls of thy enemies shall be whirled, as with the violence and whirling of a sling.
30 And when the Lord shall have done to thee, my lord, all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have made thee prince over Israel,
31 This shall not be an occasion of grief to thee, and a scruple of heart to my lord, that thou hast shed innocent blood, or hast revenged thyself: and when the Lord shall have done well by my lord, thou shalt remember thy handmaid.
32 And David said to Abigail: Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me, and blessed be thy speech:
33 And blessed be thou, who hast kept me to day, from coming to blood, and revenging me with my own hand.
34 Otherwise as the Lord liveth the God of Israel, who hath withholden me from doing thee any evil: if thou hadst not quickly come to meet me, there had not been left to Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
35 And David received at her hand all that she had brought him, and said to her: Go in peace into thy house, behold I have heard thy voice, and have honoured thy face.
36 And Abigail came to Nabal: and behold he had a feast in his house, like the feast of a king, and Nabal's heart was merry: for he was very drunk: and she told him nothing less or more until morning.
37 But early in the morning when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife told him these words, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38 And after ten days had passed, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.
39 And when David had heard that Nabal was dead, he said: Blessed be the Lord, who hath judged the cause of my reproach at the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil, and the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his head. Then David sent and treated with Abigail, that he might take her to himself for a wife.
40 And David's servants came to Abigail to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying: David hath sent us to thee, to take thee to himself for a wife.
41 And she arose and bowed herself down with her face to the earth, and said: Behold, let thy servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
42 And Abigail arose, and made haste, and got upon an ass, and five damsels went with her, her waiting maids, and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife.
43 Moreover David took also Achinoam of Jezrahel: and they were both of them his wives.
44 But Saul gave Michol his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti, the son of Lais, who was of Gallium.
1 Samuel 25 The Message (MSG)
To Fight God’s Battles
25 Samuel died. The whole country came to his funeral. Everyone grieved over his death, and he was buried in his hometown of Ramah. Meanwhile, David moved again, this time to the wilderness of Maon.
2-3 There was a certain man in Maon who carried on his business in the region of Carmel. He was very prosperous—three thousand sheep and a thousand goats, and it was sheep-shearing time in Carmel. The man’s name was Nabal (Fool), a Calebite, and his wife’s name was Abigail. The woman was intelligent and good-looking, the man brutish and mean.
4-8 David, out in the backcountry, heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep and sent ten of his young men off with these instructions: “Go to Carmel and approach Nabal. Greet him in my name, ‘Peace! Life and peace to you. Peace to your household, peace to everyone here! I heard that it’s sheep-shearing time. Here’s the point: When your shepherds were camped near us we didn’t take advantage of them. They didn’t lose a thing all the time they were with us in Carmel. Ask your young men—they’ll tell you. What I’m asking is that you be generous with my men—share the feast! Give whatever your heart tells you to your servants and to me, David your son.’”
9-11 David’s young men went and delivered his message word for word to Nabal. Nabal tore into them, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? The country is full of runaway servants these days. Do you think I’m going to take good bread and wine and meat freshly butchered for my sheepshearers and give it to men I’ve never laid eyes on? Who knows where they’ve come from?”
12-13 David’s men got out of there and went back and told David what he had said. David said, “Strap on your swords!” They all strapped on their swords, David and his men, and set out, four hundred of them. Two hundred stayed behind to guard the camp.
14-17 Meanwhile, one of the young shepherds told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, what had happened: “David sent messengers from the backcountry to salute our master, but he tore into them with insults. Yet these men treated us very well. They took nothing from us and didn’t take advantage of us all the time we were in the fields. They formed a wall around us, protecting us day and night all the time we were out tending the sheep. Do something quickly because big trouble is ahead for our master and all of us. Nobody can talk to him. He’s impossible—a real brute!”
18-19 Abigail flew into action. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep dressed out and ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes, and she had it all loaded on some donkeys. Then she said to her young servants, “Go ahead and pave the way for me. I’m right behind you.” But she said nothing to her husband Nabal.
20-22 As she was riding her donkey, descending into a ravine, David and his men were descending from the other end, so they met there on the road. David had just said, “That sure was a waste, guarding everything this man had out in the wild so that nothing he had was lost—and now he rewards me with insults. A real slap in the face! May God do his worst to me if Nabal and every cur in his misbegotten brood aren’t dead meat by morning!”
23-25 As soon as Abigail saw David, she got off her donkey and fell on her knees at his feet, her face to the ground in homage, saying, “My master, let me take the blame! Let me speak to you. Listen to what I have to say. Don’t dwell on what that brute Nabal did. He acts out the meaning of his name: Nabal, Fool. Foolishness oozes from him.
25-27 “I wasn’t there when the young men my master sent arrived. I didn’t see them. And now, my master, as God lives and as you live, God has kept you from this avenging murder—and may your enemies, all who seek my master’s harm, end up like Nabal! Now take this gift that I, your servant girl, have brought to my master, and give it to the young men who follow in the steps of my master.
28-29 “Forgive my presumption! But God is at work in my master, developing a rule solid and dependable. My master fights God’s battles! As long as you live no evil will stick to you.
If anyone stands in your way,
30-31 “When God completes all the goodness he has promised my master and sets you up as prince over Israel, my master will not have this dead weight in his heart, the guilt of an avenging murder. And when God has worked things for good for my master, remember me.”
32-34 And David said, “Blessed be God, the God of Israel. He sent you to meet me! And blessed be your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and taking charge of looking out for me. A close call! As God lives, the God of Israel who kept me from hurting you, if you had not come as quickly as you did, stopping me in my tracks, by morning there would have been nothing left of Nabal but dead meat.”
35 Then David accepted the gift she brought him and said, “Return home in peace. I’ve heard what you’ve said and I’ll do what you’ve asked.”
36-38 When Abigail got home she found Nabal presiding over a huge banquet. He was in high spirits—and very, very drunk. So she didn’t tell him anything of what she’d done until morning. But in the morning, after Nabal had sobered up, she told him the whole story. Right then and there he had a heart attack and fell into a coma. About ten days later God finished him off and he died.
39-40 When David heard that Nabal was dead he said, “Blessed be God who has stood up for me against Nabal’s insults, kept me from an evil act, and let Nabal’s evil boomerang back on him.”
Then David sent for Abigail to tell her that he wanted her for his wife. David’s servants went to Abigail at Carmel with the message, “David sent us to bring you to marry him.”
41 She got up, and then bowed down, face to the ground, saying, “I’m your servant, ready to do anything you want. I’ll even wash the feet of my master’s servants!”
42 Abigail didn’t linger. She got on her donkey and, with her five maids in attendance, went with the messengers to David and became his wife.
43-44 David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Both women were his wives. Saul had married off David’s wife Michal to Palti (Paltiel) son of Laish, who was from Gallim.