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Nabal and Abigail

1 Samuel 25:1-44
1 Samuel 25:1-44
1 Samuel 25:1-44
1 Samuel 25:1-44

1 Samuel 25

25:1 Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah.

Then David rose and went down to the wilderness of Paran. And there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; he was a Calebite. 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 go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus you shall greet him: ‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 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. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David's young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then they waited. 10 And Nabal answered David's servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. 11 Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed 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 And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man 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, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, 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 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 harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.”

18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good. 22 God do so to the enemies of David 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 got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal 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 your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as 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 men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And 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 my lord taking vengeance himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”

32 And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with 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 had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” 35 Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.”

36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And 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, and he became as a stone. 38 And 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 avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” 41 And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives. 44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.

Samuel Dies

1 Samuel died, and people from all over Israel gathered to mourn for him when he was buried at his home in Ramah. Meanwhile, David moved his camp to Paran Desert.

Abigail Keeps David from Killing Innocent People

2-3 Nabal was a very rich man who lived in Maon. He owned 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, which he kept at Carmel. His wife Abigail was sensible and beautiful, but he was from the Caleb clan and was rough and mean.

4 One day, Nabal was in Carmel where his servants were cutting the wool from his sheep. David was in the desert when he heard about it. 5-6 So he sent ten men to Carmel with this message for Nabal:

I hope that you and your family are healthy and that all is going well for you. 7 I've heard that you are cutting the wool from your sheep.

When your shepherds were with us in Carmel, we didn't harm them, and nothing was ever stolen from them. 8 Ask your shepherds, and they'll tell you the same thing.

My servants are your servants, and you are like a father to me. This is a day for celebrating, so please be kind and share some of your food with us.

9 David's men went to Nabal and gave him David's message, then they waited for Nabal's answer.

10 This is what he said:

Who does this David think he is? That son of Jesse is just one more slave on the run from his master, and there are too many of them these days. 11 What makes you think I would take my bread, my water, and the meat that I've had cooked for my own servants and give it to you? Besides, I'm not sure that David sent you!

12 The men returned to their camp and told David everything Nabal had said.

13 “Everybody get your swords!” David ordered.

They all strapped on their swords. Two hundred men stayed behind to guard the camp, but the other 400 followed David.

14-16 Meanwhile, one of Nabal's servants told Abigail:

David's men were often nearby while we were taking care of the sheep in the fields. They were very good to us, they never hurt us, and nothing was ever stolen from us while they were nearby. With them around day or night, we were as safe as we would have been inside a walled city.

David sent some messengers from the desert to wish our master well, but he shouted insults at them. 17 He's a bully who won't listen to anyone.

Isn't there something you can do? Please think of something! Or else our master and his family and everyone who works for him are all doomed.

18 Abigail quickly got together 200 loaves of bread, two large clay jars of wine, the meat from five sheep, a large sack of roasted grain, 100 handfuls of raisins, and 200 handfuls of dried figs. She loaded all the food on donkeys 19 and told her servants, “Take this on ahead, and I'll catch up with you.” She didn't tell her husband Nabal what she was doing.

20 Abigail was riding her donkey on the path that led around the hillside, when suddenly she met David and his men heading straight at her.

21 David had just been saying, “I surely wasted my time guarding Nabal's things in the desert and keeping them from being stolen! I was good to him, and now he pays me back with insults. 22 I swear that by morning, there won't be a man or boy left from his family or his servants' families. I pray that God will punish me if I don't do it!”

23 Abigail quickly got off her donkey and bowed down in front of David. 24 Then she said:

Sir, please let me explain! 25 Don't pay any attention to that good-for-nothing Nabal. His name means “fool,” and it really fits him!

I didn't see the men you sent, 26-27 but please take this gift of food that I've brought and share it with your followers. The Lord has kept you from taking revenge and from killing innocent people. But I hope your enemies and anyone else who wants to harm you will end up like Nabal. I swear this by the living Lord and by your life.

28 Please forgive me if I say a little more. The Lord will always protect you and your family, because you fight for him. I pray that you won't ever do anything evil as long as you live. 29 The Lord your God will keep you safe when your enemies try to kill you. But he will snatch away their lives quicker than you can throw a rock from a sling.

30 The Lord has promised to do many good things for you, even to make you the ruler of Israel. The Lord will keep his promises to you, 31 and now your conscience will be clear, because you won't be guilty of taking revenge and killing innocent people.

When the Lord does all those good things for you, please remember me.

32 David told her:

I praise the Lord God of Israel! He must have sent you to meet me today. 33 And you should also be praised. Your good sense kept me from taking revenge and killing innocent people. 34 If you hadn't come to meet me so quickly, every man and boy in Nabal's family and in his servants' families would have been killed by morning. I swear by the living Lord God of Israel who protected you that this is the truth.

35 David accepted the food Abigail had brought. “Don't worry,” he said. “You can go home now. I'll do what you asked.”

36 Abigail went back home and found Nabal throwing a party fit for a king. He was very drunk and feeling good, so she didn't tell him anything that night. 37 But when he sobered up the next morning, Abigail told him everything that had happened. Nabal had a heart attack, and he lay in bed as still as a stone. 38 Ten days later, the Lord took his life.

39-40 David heard that Nabal had died. “I praise the Lord!” David said. “He has judged Nabal guilty for insulting me. The Lord kept me from doing anything wrong, and he made sure that Nabal hurt only himself with his own evil.”

David and Abigail Are Married

Abigail was still at Carmel. So David sent messengers to ask her if she would marry him.

41 She bowed down and said, “I would willingly be David's slave and wash his servants' feet.”

42 Abigail quickly got ready and went back with David's messengers. She rode on her donkey, while five of her servant women walked alongside. She and David were married as soon as she arrived.

43 David had earlier married Ahinoam from the town of Jezreel, so both she and Abigail were now David's wives. 44 Meanwhile, Saul had arranged for Michal to marry Palti the son of Laish, who came from the town of Gallim.

The Death of Samuel

1 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 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! 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 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.

The Death of Samuel

25:1 Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned him. They buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David left and went down to the desert of Paran.

David Marries Abigail the Widow of Nabal

2 There was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. This man was very wealthy; he owned three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. At that time he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was both wise and beautiful, but the man was harsh and his deeds were evil. He was a Calebite.

4 When David heard in the desert that Nabal was shearing his sheep, 5 he sent ten servants, saying to them, “Go up to Carmel to see Nabal and give him greetings in my name. 6 Then you will say to my brother, “Peace to you and your house! Peace to all that is yours! 7 Now I hear that they are shearing sheep for you. When your shepherds were with us, we neither insulted them nor harmed them the whole time they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your own servants; they can tell you! May my servants find favor in your sight, for we have come at the time of a holiday. Please provide us – your servants and your son David – with whatever you can spare.”

9 So David’s servants went and spoke all these words to Nabal in David’s name. Then they paused. 10 But Nabal responded to David’s servants, “Who is David, and who is this son of Jesse? This is a time when many servants are breaking away from their masters! 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers and give them to these men? I don’t even know where they came from!”

12 So David’s servants went on their way. When they had returned, they came and told David all these things. 13 Then David instructed his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So each one strapped on his sword, and David also strapped on his sword. About four hundred men followed David up, while two hundred stayed behind with the equipment.

14 But one of the servants told Nabal’s wife Abigail, “David sent messengers from the desert to greet our lord, but he screamed at them. 15 These men were very good to us. They did not insult us, nor did we sustain any loss during the entire time we were together in the field. 16 Both night and day they were a protective wall for us the entire time we were with them, while we were tending our flocks. 17 Now be aware of this, and see what you can do. For disaster has been planned for our lord and his entire household. He is such a wicked person that no one tells him anything!”

18 So Abigail quickly took two hundred loaves of bread, two containers of wine, five prepared sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred bunches of raisins, and two hundred lumps of pressed figs. She loaded them on donkeys 19 and said to her servants, “Go on ahead of me. I will come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

20 Riding on her donkey, she went down under cover of the mountain. David and his men were coming down to meet her, and she encountered them. 21 Now David had been thinking, “In vain I guarded everything that belonged to this man in the desert. I didn’t take anything from him. But he has repaid my good with evil. 22 God will severely punish David, if I leave alive until morning even one male from all those who belong to him!”

23 When Abigail saw David, she got down quickly from the donkey, threw herself down before David, and bowed to the ground. 24 Falling at his feet, she said, “My lord, I accept all the guilt! But please let your female servant speak with my lord! Please listen to the words of your servant! 25 My lord should not pay attention to this wicked man Nabal. He simply lives up to his name! His name means ‘fool,’ and he is indeed foolish! But I, your servant, did not see the servants my lord sent.

26 “Now, my lord, as surely as the Lord lives and as surely as you live, it is the Lord who has kept you from shedding blood and taking matters into your own hands. Now may your enemies and those who seek to harm my lord be like Nabal. 27 Now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the servants who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the sin of your servant, for the Lord will certainly establish the house of my lord, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord. May no evil be found in you all your days! 29 When someone sets out to chase you and to take your life, the life of my lord will be wrapped securely in the bag of the living by the Lord your God. But he will sling away the lives of your enemies from the sling’s pocket! 30 The Lord will do for my lord everything that he promised you, and he will make you a leader over Israel. 31 Your conscience will not be overwhelmed with guilt for having poured out innocent blood and for having taken matters into your own hands. When the Lord has granted my lord success, please remember your servant.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “Praised be the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you this day to meet me! 33 Praised be your good judgment! May you yourself be rewarded for having prevented me this day from shedding blood and taking matters into my own hands! 34 Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives – he who has prevented me from harming you – if you had not come so quickly to meet me, by morning’s light not even one male belonging to Nabal would have remained alive!” 35 Then David took from her hand what she had brought to him. He said to her, “Go back to your home in peace. Be assured that I have listened to you and responded favorably.”

36 When Abigail went back to Nabal, he was holding a banquet in his house like that of the king. Nabal was having a good time and was very intoxicated. She told him absolutely nothing until morning’s light. 37 In the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him about these matters. He had a stroke and was paralyzed. 38 After about ten days the Lord struck Nabal down and he died.

39 When David heard that Nabal had died, he said, “Praised be the Lord who has vindicated me and avenged the insult that I suffered from Nabal! The Lord has kept his servant from doing evil, and he has repaid Nabal for his evil deeds.” Then David sent word to Abigail and asked her to become his wife.

40 So the servants of David went to Abigail at Carmel and said to her, “David has sent us to you to bring you back to be his wife.” 41 She arose, bowed her face toward the ground, and said, “Your female servant, like a lowly servant, will wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 Then Abigail quickly went and mounted her donkey, with five of her female servants accompanying her. She followed David’s messengers and became his wife.

43 David had also married Ahinoam from Jezreel; the two of them became his wives. 44 (Now Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim.)

The Creation
Adam and Eve
Cain and Abel
The Great Flood
The Tower of Babel
God Calls Abraham
Sodom and Gomorrah
Abraham's Obedience
Isaac Marries Rebekah
Esau's Birthright
Isaac Blesses Jacob
Jacob and Laban
Jacob Wrestles
Revenge against Shechem
Joseph in Prison
Joseph as a Ruler
Family Reunion
Moses' Birth
The Burning Bush
The Ten Plagues
The Exodus
The Red Sea
The Gold Calf
Exploring the Land
Rebellion in the Ranks
Balak and Balaam
Rahab and the Spies
Jericho Falls
Gibeon's Con Artists
Deborah and Barak
Gideon as Judge
Abimelech's Ambition
Samson as Judge
Ruth, Naomi and Boaz
Samuel is Born
Samuel the Prophet
Saul Becomes King
Jonathan's Bravery
Saul's Disobedience
David Kills Goliath
David and Jonathan
Nabal and Abigail
Saul's Death
David's Success
David and Bathsheba
Amnon and Tamar
Absalom
Solomon's Wisdom
Jeroboam and Rehoboam
Elijah's Challenge
God Speaks to Elijah
Micaiah the Prophet
Chariot of Fire
Elisha Heals Naaman
Famine and Unbelief
Joash and Jehoiada
Hezekiah Trusts God
Josiah's Reign
Fall of Jerusalem
David's Power
David's Census
Jehoshaphat and Ahab
Ezra Rebuilds the Altar
Nehemiah Builds the Wall
Enemy Opposition
Nehemiah's Justice
Esther Saves the Jews
Job is Tested
Ezekiel's Vision
The Fiery Furnace
The Lions' Den
Jonah
Jesus is Born
Wise Men and King Herod
Jesus is Tempted
Jesus Feeds 5,000
The Bread of Life
Jesus Walks on Water
The Good Samaritan
The Lost Son
Jesus Raises Lazarus
Jesus and Zacchaeus
The Triumphal Entry
The Last Supper
Jesus' Trial
Jesus' Crucifixion
Jesus' Resurrection
Jesus' Ascension
The Holy Spirit Comes
The Apostles' Courage
Ananias and Sapphira
Philip and the Eunuch
Saul Encounters Jesus
Peter and Cornelius
Paul in Corinth
Paul in Ephesus
Paul Goes to Rome