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1 Samuel 25

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 1 Samuel died, and all the Israelites gathered together, lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

 2 There was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel, who was very wealthy; 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 was Abigail. She was a beautiful woman of good understanding, but the man was harsh and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.

 4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.

 5 So David sent out ten young men, and David said to the young men, "Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal, greeting him in my name.

 6 Thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity, 'Peace be to you, peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have .

 7 Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds who have been with us were not hurt by us, nor was there anything ever missing to them, the entire time they were in Carmel.

 8 Ask your young men, and they will show you. Therefore let these young men find favor in your eyes for we have come on a feast day. I pray you to give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.'"1

 9 And when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal all the same words in the name of David, and then they waited.

 10 And Nabal answered David's servants, saying, "Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? In these days there are many servants who each break away from his master.

 11 Shall then I take my bread, my water, and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men, whom I don't know from where they come?"

 12 So David's young men turned and went back their way; and came and told David all those sayings.

 13 And David said to his men, "Every man strap on his sword." And every man strapped on his sword, including David who also strapped on his sword; and about four hundred men went up [to Nabal's]; and two hundred stayed with their supplies.

 14 But one of Nabal's young men said to Abigail, Nabal's wife, "Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master, and he railed on them.

 15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, neither did we miss anything, as long as we were associated with them, when we were in the fields:

 16 They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.

 17 Now therefore know and consider what you will do because harm is destined for our master and all his household; he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him."

 18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, two bottles of wine, five sheep already dressed, five measures of parched corn, a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, placing them on asses.

 19 And she said to her servants, "Go on ahead of me, and I will come after you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

 20 And it was so, as she rode on the ass that she came down by the covert on the hill, and David and his men came down opposite her; and she met them.

 21 Now David had previously said, "Surely in vain I have kept 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 May God do the same, and even more, to the enemies of David, if I spare any of all that belongs to him; or if by tomorrow morning's light there is still any that pisses against the wall [any male]."

 23 And when Abigail saw David, she hurried, dismounted off the ass, fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,

 24 And fell at his feet, and said, "Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be; and let your handmaid, I pray you, speak in your presence that you hear the words of your handmaid.

 25 Let not my lord, I pray you, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal, because as [the meaning of] his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him; but I your handmaid did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent.

 26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, seeing the LORD has withheld you from coming to shed blood, and from avenging yourself with your own hand; now let your enemies and those who seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

 27 And now this blessing, which your handmaid has brought to my lord, let it even be given to the young men who follow my lord.

 28 I pray you, forgive the trespass of your handmaid. The LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house because my lord fights the battles of the LORD, and evil has not been found in you all your days.

 29 Although a man might rise to pursue you and to seek your soul, the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD your God; and the souls of your enemies he shall he sling out, like out from the middle of a sling.

 30 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you, and shall have appointed you ruler over Israel;

 31 That this shall not be a grief to you or an offense of heart to my lord, neither that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself; but when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your handmaid."

 32 And David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, who sent you to meet me this day.

 33 And blessed is your advice, and blessed are you, who have kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with my own hand.

 34 For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hastened and come to meet me, surely there had not been left to Nabal by tomorrow's light any that pisses against the wall."

 35 So David received of her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, "Go up in peace to your house; see, I have listened to your voice, and have I have respect for you."

 36 When Abigail came to Nabal 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. Therefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the next morning's light.

 37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone.

 38 And it came to pass, about ten days later, that the LORD smote Nabal, and he died.

 39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed is the LORD who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept his servant from evil for the LORD has returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head." And David sent a personal communication to Abigail, [wishing] to make her his wife.

 40 And when the servants of David had come to Abigail in Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, "David sent us to you, to take you to him to [become his] wife.

 41 And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, "Behold, let your handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord."

 42 And Abigail hastened, and arose and rode upon an ass with five damsels of hers that followed behind her; and she followed behind the messengers of David and became his wife.

 43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and both of them [Abigail and Ahinoam] were his wives.

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


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1 we have come on a feast day. I pray you to give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David. Sheepshearing in ancient Israel was much more than a pastoral duty; it was a significant celebration, characterized by feasting, drunkenness, and the settling of debts. Verse 36: Nabal 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, the time of sheepshearing was a time of celebration, a festive time, a time of realized prosperity, and a time to be gracious in rewarding those who assisted in the success of sheepherding. This was not a shakedown by David. Speaking of David's men, Nabal's servant said to Abigail in verse 16: They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. So, David's men had provided protection to the shepherds and flocks of this rich man with many flocks of sheep; it was understandable that David would send his men to see if they might be rewarded for their assistance. It could even be interpreted as collecting an implicit debt.

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