1 Samuel 25
Samuel the prophet dies
1 Then Samuel died. All the Israelites met together and they were very sad. Then they buried Samuel in his family town, which was called Ramah. David went down to the desert of Paran.
Nabal says bad things about David
2-3 A very rich man lived at Paran. His name was Nabal. He came from the family of Caleb. His wife's name was Abigail. Nabal had some land near Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. He was cutting the hair from his sheep at Carmel. Abigail was a beautiful and clever woman. But Nabal was a cruel man who did not give anything to anybody.
4 David was in the desert. Somebody told him that Nabal was cutting the hair from his sheep. 5 So David sent 10 young men to the town called Carmel. He said that they must find Nabal. Then they must tell him that David said ‘hello’. 6 David asked the young men to say, ‘David hopes that you are well. He wants you to have no trouble. He wants your family to have no trouble. He wants everything that you have to be safe. 7 People told David that you were cutting the hair from your sheep. Your shepherds have been with us. We did not hurt them. We did not take anything from them when they were at Carmel. 8 Your servants will tell you that, if you ask them. We have come on the day when you have a special meal. So, please be kind to David's young men. And please give whatever you can to the young men and to your son David.’
9 David's men arrived at Carmel and they gave the message to Nabal. They waited for Nabal to reply. 10 Nabal answered David's young men, ‘I do not know who David is. Nobody has told me about this son of Jesse. Many slaves run away from their masters these days. 11 I have bread and water. And I have killed some animals. But this is all for the men who are cutting the hair from my sheep. I will not give anything to men that I do not know.’
12 David's men returned to David. They told him everything that Nabal had said. 13 David said to his men, ‘Put your swords into your belts.’ So, they put them in their belts. David put his sword into his belt too. About 400 men went with David. About 200 men stayed with their food and weapons.
14 One of Nabal's servants spoke to Abigail (Nabal's wife). He said, ‘David sent some of his men from the desert to speak to our master. But our master was not very polite to them. 15 These men were very good to us. They did not hurt us. They did not take anything from us while we were out in the fields with them. 16 They kept us safe while we stayed with the sheep. They kept us safe during the day and at night. 17 Please think about this. And decide what to do. Very great trouble will happen to our master and to all his family and servants. Our master is such a bad man that he will not listen to anyone.’
18 Abigail quickly got some food. She got 200 loaves of bread, 2 animal skins of wine, 5 sheep that she had cooked. She got 5 jars of grain that she had cooked. She also got 100 cakes of grapes that she had made into dry fruit and 200 cakes of figs. She put all this on some donkeys. 19 She said to her servants, ‘You go first and I will follow you.’ But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 Abigail rode her donkey along the valley in the mountain. She saw David and his men while they were coming down the valley towards her. So she met them. 21 David had just said, ‘I do not know why I kept Nabal's people and animals safe in the desert. We did not take anything from him. We were good to him, but he has not been good to us. 22 I will certainly go and kill all the men in Nabal's family by tomorrow morning.’
23 When Abigail saw David she quickly got off her donkey. She went on her knees in front of David and her face touched the ground. 24 She was near his feet. She said to David, ‘My master, be angry only with me. I am your servant. Please listen to what I say. 25 Please do not think about that bad man Nabal. His name means fool and he is a fool. I, your servant, did not see the young men that you sent. 26 Now the Lord has not let you punish your enemies. And he has not let you kill them. You have enemies and many people want to hurt you. But they will receive their punishment in the same way that Nabal will. I know that this will certainly happen. 27 My master, please accept this gift that I have brought for you and for your men. 28 I am your servant. I have done wrong things. Please forgive me. I know that the Lord will always choose someone from your family to be the king. The Lord will do that because you always fight on his behalf. And you do not do anything in your life that is wrong. 29 Someone may run after you and try to kill you. But the Lord your God will always save you. The Lord will throw your enemies away like someone throws away a stone. 30 One day the Lord will do all the good things that he has promised to you. He will make you the ruler of the Israelites. 31 When that happens, you will not feel sorry about anything. You have not killed good people. And you have not tried to punish people yourself. When the Lord has helped you to win all your fights, please remember me.’
32 David said to Abigail, ‘I praise the Lord God of Israel. He sent you to meet me today. 33 I pray that the Lord will be good to you. I want him to be good to you because of what you did. You showed me the right thing to do. You have not let me punish or kill people today. 34 The Lord has not let me hurt you. You came quickly to meet me. If you had not come, I certainly would have killed all of Nabal's men by the morning.’
35 David accepted Abigail's gift. He said to her, ‘Go to your home and do not be afraid. I have listened to what you have said. And I will do what you have asked for.’
36 Abigail returned to Nabal. He had prepared a big meal. It was so good that a king could eat it. He had drunk too much wine. He was very happy but his mind was confused. So Abigail did not tell him anything until the next morning. 37 The next morning Nabal was well again. So Abigail told him all that had she had done. Nabal's heart failed and he became like a stone. 38 About 10 days after that, the Lord caused Nabal to die.
39 Somebody told David that Nabal had died. David said, ‘I praise the Lord. Nabal said wrong things about me but the Lord saved me. The Lord did not let me do the wrong thing. And now he has punished Nabal.’
Then David sent a message to Abigail. He asked her to marry him. 40 David's servants went to Carmel and they said to Abigail, ‘David has sent us to you. We must take you to David so that he can marry you.’
41 Abigail went on her knees and her face touched the ground. She said, ‘I am his servant. I will wash the feet of David's servants.’ 42 Abigail quickly got on to a donkey and she went with David's men. She took 5 young girls with her. They were her servants. Abigail became David's wife.
43 David had married Ahinoam from the town called Jezreel. So these two women became his wives. 44 Saul's daughter Michal had been David's wife. But Saul had given her to Palti as his wife. Palti was the son of Laish who came from the town called Gallim.