1Samuel died. All the Israelites met together and showed their sadness about Samuel’s death. They buried Samuel at his home in Ramah. Then David moved to the Desert of Paran. 2There was a very rich man living in Maon. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. That man was in Carmel taking care of some business. He went there to cut the wool from his sheep. 3This man’s name was Nabal. He was from Caleb’s family. Nabal’s wife was named Abigail. She was a wise and beautiful woman. But Nabal was a mean and cruel man. 4David was in the desert when he heard that Nabal was cutting the wool from his sheep. 5David sent ten young men to talk to Nabal. David told them, “Go to Carmel. Find Nabal and tell him 'Hello’ for me.” 6David gave them this message for Nabal: “I hope you and your family are fine. I hope that everything you own is fine. 7I heard that you are cutting wool from your sheep. Your shepherds were with us for a while. And we did nothing wrong to them. We never took anything from your shepherds while they were at Carmel. 8Ask your servants and they will tell you this is true. Please be kind to my young men. We come to you now, at this happy time. Please give these young men anything you can. Please do this for me, your friend David.” 9David’s men went to Nabal. They gave David’s message to Nabal. 10But Nabal ˻was mean to them˼. Nabal said, “Who is David? Who is this son of Jesse? There are many slaves that have run away from their masters these days! 11I have bread and water. And I have the meat I killed for my servants who cut the wool from my sheep. But I won’t give them to men I don’t even know!” 12David’s men went back and told David everything that Nabal said. 13Then David said to his men, “Put on your swords!” So David and his men put on their swords. About 400 men went with David. And 200 men stayed with the supplies. 14One of Nabal’s servants spoke to Nabal’s wife Abigail. The servant said, “David sent messengers from the desert to meet our master ˻(Nabal)˼. But Nabal was mean to David’s messengers. 15These men were very good to us. We were out in the fields with the sheep. David’s men were with us the whole time. And they never did anything wrong to us! They did not steal anything from us the whole time! 16David’s men protected us night and day! They were like a wall around us—they protected us while we were with them caring for the sheep. 17Now think about it and decide what you can do. Nabal was foolish to say the things he did! Terrible trouble is coming to our master ˻(Nabal)˼ and all his family.” 18Abigail hurried and took 200 loaves of bread, two full winebags, five cooked sheep, about a bushel of cooked grain, about 2 quarts of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs. She put them on donkeys. 19Then Abigail told her servants, “Go on. I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband. 20Abigail rode her donkey and came down to the other side of the mountain. She met David and his men coming from the other direction. 21˻Before David met Abigail,˼ David was saying, “I protected Nabal’s property in the desert. I made sure none of his sheep were missing. I did all that for nothing! I did good things to him, but he has been bad to me. 22I hope God punishes me if I let even one man in Nabal’s family live until tomorrow morning.” 23Just then Abigail arrived. When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey. She bowed down with her face to the ground in front of David. 24Abigail lay at David’s feet and said, “Sir, please let me talk to you. Listen to what I say. Blame me for what happened. 25I didn’t see the men you sent. Sir, don’t pay any attention to that worthless man ˻(Nabal)˼. He is the same as his name. His name means 'Foolish,’ and he really is foolish. 26The Lord has kept you from killing innocent people. Surely as the Lord lives and surely as you live, I hope your enemies and all the people who want to harm you become like Nabal. 27Now, I am bringing this gift to you. Please give these things to your men. 28Please forgive me for doing wrong. I know the Lord will make your family strong! The Lord will do this because you fight his battles. People will never find anything bad about you as long as you live! 29If a person chases you to kill you, the Lord your God will save your life! But the Lord will throw away your enemies like a stone from a sling! 30The Lord promised to do many good things for you. And the Lord will keep all his promises! God will make you leader over Israel. 31And you won’t be guilty of killing innocent people. You won’t fall into that trap. Please remember me when the Lord brings you success.” 32David answered Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Praise God for sending you to meet me. 33God bless you for your good judgment. You kept me from killing innocent people today. 34Surely as the Lord the God of Israel lives, if you hadn’t come quickly to meet me, then not one man in Nabal’s family would have lived until tomorrow morning.” 35Then David accepted Abigail’s gifts. David told her, “Go home in peace. I have listened to your request, and I will do what you asked.” 36Abigail went back to Nabal. Nabal was in the house. Nabal had been eating like a king. Nabal was drunk and feeling good. So Abigail told Nabal nothing until the next morning. 37The next morning, Nabal was sober. So his wife told him everything. Nabal had a heart attack and became as stiff as a rock! 38About ten days later, the Lord caused Nabal to die. 39David heard that Nabal was dead. David said, “Praise the Lord! Nabal said bad things about me, but the Lord supported me. The Lord kept me from doing wrong. And the Lord caused Nabal to die because he did wrong.” Then David sent a message to Abigail. David asked her to become his wife. 40David’s servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David sent us to get you. David wants you to become his wife.” 41Abigail bowed her face to the ground. She said, “I am your woman servant. I am ready to serve you. I am ready to wash the feet of my master’s ˻(David’s)˼ servants.” 42Abigail quickly got on a donkey and went with David’s messengers. Abigail brought five maids with her. She became David’s wife. 43David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Both Ahinoam and Abigail were David’s wives. 44David was also married to Saul’s daughter Michal. But Saul had taken her away from him and had given her to a man named Palti, son of Laish. Palti was from the town named Gallim.
1 Samuel 25