1 Samuel 25

The Death of Samuel

When Samuel died, all Israel gathered to mourn for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David set out and went down to the Wilderness of Paran.
Hebrew and some LXX manuscripts; other LXX manuscripts Maon

"David, Nabal, and Abigail"

Now [there was] a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel; he was a very wealthy man with 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, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in his dealings. While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So David sent ten young men and instructed them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel. Greet him in my name and say to him, ‘Long life to you, and peace to you and your house and to all that belongs to you. Now I hear that it is time for shearing . When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel. Ask your young men, and they will tell you. So let my young men find favor with you, for we have come on the day of a feast. Please give whatever you can afford to your servants and to your son David.’” When David's young men arrived, they relayed all these words to Nabal on behalf of David. Then they waited. 10  But Nabal asked them, “Who is David? Who [is] this son of Jesse? Many servants these days are breaking away from their masters. 11  Why should I take my bread and water and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give them to these men whose origin I do not know?” 12  So David's men turned around and went back, and they relayed to him all these words. 13  And David said to his men, “ - Put on your swords!” So David and all his men put on their swords, and about four hundred men followed David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies. 14  Meanwhile, one of Nabal’s young men informed Nabal’s wife Abigail, “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he scolded them. 15  Yet these men were very good to us. When we were in the field, we were not harassed, and nothing of ours went missing the whole time we lived among them. 16  They were a wall around us, both day and night, the whole time we were herding our sheep near them. 17  Now consider carefully what you must do, because disaster looms over our master and all his household. For he [is such] a scoundrel that nobody can speak to him!”

Abigail Intercedes for Nabal

18  Abigail hurried and took two hundred [loaves] of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, five seahs
That is, about 38.5 quarts or 36.5 liters (probably about 60 pounds or 27 kilograms of roasted grain)
of roasted grain, a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs. She loaded them on donkeys
19  and said to her young men, “Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20  As [Abigail] came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men coming down toward her, and she met them. 21  Now David had just finished saying, “In vain I have protected all that belonged to this man in the wilderness so that nothing was missed of all that [belongs] to him, yet he has paid me back evil for good. 22  May God punish David,
Some LXX manuscripts; MT David’s enemies
and ever so severely, if {I let} one of his men survive until morning.”
23  When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey, fell facedown, and bowed before him. 24  She fell at his feet and said, “My lord, may the blame be on me alone, but please let your servant speak to you; hear the words of your servant. 25  My lord should pay no attention to this worthless man Nabal,
Nabal means fool
for he lives up to his name: His name means Fool, and folly accompanies him. I, your servant, did not see my lord’s young men whom you sent.
26  Now, my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and you yourself live, the LORD has held you back from coming to bloodshed and avenging yourself with your own hand. May your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be like Nabal. 27  Now {let} this gift your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow [you] . 28  Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the LORD will surely make a lasting dynasty for my lord, because he fights the LORD’s battles. May no evil be found in you as long as you live. 29  And should someone pursue you and seek your life, then the life of my lord will be bound securely in the bundle of the living with the LORD your God. But He shall fling away the lives of your enemies [like stones] from a sling. 30  When the LORD has done for my lord all the good He promised and has appointed you ruler over Israel, 31  then my lord will have no remorse or guilt of conscience over needless bloodshed [and] revenge. And when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, may you remember your maidservant.” 32  Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed [be] the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me this day! 33  Blessed [is] your discernment, and blessed [are] you, because today you kept me from bloodshed and from avenging myself by my own hand . 34  Otherwise, as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, then surely no male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by morning light.” 35  Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him, and he said to her, “Go home in peace. See, I have heeded your voice and granted your request.” 36  When Abigail returned to Nabal, there he was in the house, holding a feast fit for a king, in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing until morning light. 37  In the morning when Nabal was sober, his wife told him about these events, and his heart failed within him and he became [like] a stone. 38  About ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal dead.

David Marries Abigail

39  On hearing that Nabal was dead, David said, “Blessed [be] the LORD who has upheld my cause against the reproach of Nabal and has restrained His servant from evil. For the LORD has brought the wickedness of Nabal down upon his own head.” Then David sent word to Abigail, asking for her in marriage. 40  When [his] servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said, “David has sent us to take you as his wife.” 41  She arose, then bowed facedown and said, “Here is your maidservant, ready to serve and to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42  So Abigail hurried and got on a donkey, and attended [by] five of her maidens, she followed David’s messengers and became his wife. 43  David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. So [she and Abigail] were both his wives. 44  But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti
Palti is a variant of Paltiel
son of Laish, who [was] from Gallim.
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