1 Samuel 25:2-35

Nabal insults David

2-3 There was a very rich man who lived at Maon. His name was Nabal. He was a descendant of Caleb. His wife's name was Abigail. She was wise and beautiful. But Nabal was a cruel man who did evil things.

Nabal had some land near Carmel. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. He was with his men in Carmel as they cut the wool from his sheep.

4 While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was cutting the wool from his sheep. 5 So David sent 10 young men to meet with Nabal. He said to them, ‘Go to Carmel and find Nabal. Tell him that David says “hello”. 6 Then give him this message: “We hope that you and your family are all well. We hope that everything you have is doing well. 7 David has heard that you are now cutting the wool from your sheep. When your shepherds were with us near Carmel, we did not hurt them. We did not take anything from them. 8 Your servants will tell you that, if you ask them. Now we have come to you at this special holiday time. So, please be kind to the young men that David has sent to see you. They are your servants as well as his servants. Please give any extra food that you have to these young men and to your good friend David.” ’

9 David's men went to Carmel. They gave David's message to Nabal. They waited for Nabal to reply. 10 Nabal answered David's young men, ‘Who is this David? Do I know this son of Jesse? Many servants run away from their masters these days. 11 I have food and drink for the men who are cutting the wool from my sheep. I have cooked meat for them to eat. But I will not give anything to you. You might have come from anywhere!’

12 David's young men left Nabal. They returned to David and they told him everything that Nabal had said. 13 David said to his men, ‘Tie your swords on to your belts.’ So, they all did that. David put his sword on his belt too. About 400 men went with David. About 200 men stayed at their camp.

14 One of Nabal's servants spoke to Nabal's wife, Abigail. He said to her, ‘David sent some of his men from the desert to say “hello” to our master. But our master insulted them. 15 David's men have been very kind to us. When we were with them in the fields, they did not hurt us. They did not take anything from us the whole time that we were there. 16 They kept us safe while we took care of Nabal's sheep. They kept us safe all the time, during the day and at night. 17 So please think carefully about this. Decide what you can do. If you do nothing, there will be great trouble for our master and all his family and servants. He is such a wicked man that he will not listen to anyone.’

18 Abigail quickly got some food. She got 200 loaves of bread, 2 leather bags of wine, 5 sheep that she had cooked, and 5 jars of grain that she had cooked. She also got 100 blocks of raisins and 200 blocks of dried figs. She put all these things 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 what she was doing.

20 Abigail rode her donkey along the path beside a mountain. Then she saw David and his men as they were coming towards her. So they all met each other. 21 David had just said to his men, ‘I kept Nabal's people and all his things safe in the desert. We did not take anything from him. But that has not helped us. I was kind to him, but he has done an evil thing to me in return. 22 I pray that God will punish me if I do not kill all the men in Nabal's family by tomorrow morning.’

23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey. She bent her body down low on the ground to respect David. 24 She lay down at his feet. She said to David, ‘My master, I am the one who is guilty. I am your servant. Please let me say something and please listen to me. 25 Please sir, do not think about that wicked man Nabal. His name means “fool” and he really is a fool. But as for me, I did not see the young men that you sent.

26 I know this as surely as the Lord lives and as surely as you live: The Lord has stopped you from killing anyone today. You could have done that, but he has not let you do it. I pray that God will punish all your enemies in the same way that he will punish Nabal. 27 My master, please accept these gifts that I have brought for you and for your men. 28 I am your servant. Please forgive me for any sin. I know that the Lord will always choose someone from your family to be Israel's king. The Lord will do that because you fight battles on his behalf. I pray that you will not do any evil thing in your whole life. 29 People may chase after you and try to kill you. But the Lord your God will always keep you safe. He will throw your enemies away like someone who throws a stone from his sling. 30 The Lord will surely do for you all the good things that he has promised to do. He will make you the ruler of the Israelites. 31 When that happens, you will not feel sorry for something bad that you might have done today. You could have killed people today for no good reason. You could have tried to punish these people yourself. So please remember me when the Lord has helped you to rule as king.’

32 David said to Abigail, ‘I praise the Lord, Israel's God. He has sent you to meet me here today. 33 I thank you for your wisdom. May the Lord bless you because of what you have done to help me. You have stopped me from killing people today. I would have punished these people myself. 34 But the Lord has not let me hurt you. As surely as the Lord, Israel's God, lives, I would have killed all the men in Nabal's family before dawn. But you came quickly to meet me.’

35 David accepted Abigail's gifts that she had brought with her. He said to her, ‘Go back to your home and do not be afraid. I have listened to what you have said. I will do what you have asked for.’