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1 Samuel 25:2-44 World English Bible (WEB)

There was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats; and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail. This woman was intelligent and had a beautiful face; but the man was surly and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb. David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 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. Tell him, ‘Long life to you! Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds have now been with us, and we didn’t harm them, neither was there anything missing from them, all the while they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let the young men find favor in your eyes; for we come on a good day. Please give whatever comes to your hand, to your servants, and to your son David.’”

When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal all those words in the name of David, and waited.

10 Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants who break away from their masters these days. 11 Shall I then take my bread, my water, and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men who I don’t know where they come from?”

12 So David’s young men turned on their way, and went back, and came and told him all these words.

13 David said to his men, “Every man put on his sword!”

Every man put on his sword. David also put on his sword. About four hundred men followed David, and two hundred stayed by the baggage. 14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to Greet our master; and he insulted them. 15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not harmed, and we didn’t miss anything, as long as we went with them, when we were in the fields. 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 and consider what you will do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his house; for he is such a worthless fellow that one can’t speak to him.”

18 Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five seahs[a] of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19 She said to her young men, “Go on before me. Behold, I am coming after you.” But she didn’t tell her husband, Nabal. 20 As she rode on her donkey, and came down by the covert of the mountain, that behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them.

21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained to him. He has returned me evil for good. 22 God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if I leave of all that belongs to him by the morning light so much as one who urinates on a wall.” [b]

23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got off of her donkey, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet, and said, “On me, my lord, on me be the blame! Please let your servant speak in your ears. Hear the words of your servant. 25 Please don’t let my lord pay attention to this worthless fellow, Nabal; for as his name is, so is he. Nabal[c] is his name, and folly is with him; but I, your servant, didn’t see my lord’s young men, whom you sent. 26 Now therefore, my lord, as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, since Yahweh has withheld you from blood guiltiness, and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now therefore let your enemies, and those who seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. 27 Now this present which your servant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For Yahweh will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord fights Yahweh’s battles. Evil will not be found in you all your days. 29 Though men may rise up to pursue you, and to seek your soul, yet the soul of my lord will be bound in the bundle of life with Yahweh your God. He will sling out the souls of your enemies, as from the hollow of a sling. 30 It will come to pass, when Yahweh has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you prince over Israel, 31 that this shall be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. When Yahweh has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”

32 David said to Abigail, “Blessed is Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me! 33 Blessed is your discretion, and blessed are you, who have kept me today from blood guiltiness, and from avenging myself with my own hand. 34 For indeed, as Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, who has withheld me from harming you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there wouldn’t have been left to Nabal by the morning light so much as one who urinates on a wall.”[d]

35 So David received from her hand that which she had brought him. Then he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. Behold, I have listened to your voice, and have granted your request.”

36 Abigail came to Nabal; and behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. Therefore she told him nothing, 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, and he became as a stone. 38 About ten days later, Yahweh struck Nabal, so that he died. 39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed is Yahweh, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from evil. Yahweh has returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” David sent and spoke concerning Abigail, to take her to himself as wife. 40 When David’s servants had come to Abigail to Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you, to take you to him as wife.”

41 She arose, and bowed herself with her face to the earth, and said, “Behold, your servant is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 Abigail hurried, and arose, and rode on a donkey, with five ladies of hers who followed her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife. 43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they both became his wives. 44 Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 25:18 1 seah is about 7 liters or 1.9 gallons or 0.8 pecks
  2. 1 Samuel 25:22 or, male.
  3. 1 Samuel 25:25 “Nabal” means “foolish”.
  4. 1 Samuel 25:34 or, one male.
World English Bible (WEB)

by Public Domain. The name "World English Bible" is trademarked.

1 Samuel 25:2-44 New International Version (NIV)

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[a] 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,[b] 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[c] son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

Footnotes:

  1. 1 Samuel 25:18 That is, probably about 60 pounds or about 27 kilograms
  2. 1 Samuel 25:22 Some Septuagint manuscripts; Hebrew with David’s enemies
  3. 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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