1. Then Samuel died, and all of Israel gathered together, and they mourned him. And they buried him at his house in Ramah. And David, rising up, descended to the desert of Paran.
2. Now there was a certain man in the wilderness of Maon, and his possessions were at Carmel. And this man was exceedingly great. And three thousand sheep, and one thousand goats were his. And it happened that he was shearing his sheep at Carmel.
3. Now the name of this man was Nabal. And the name of his wife was Abigail. And she was a very prudent and beautiful woman. But her husband was hard-hearted, and very wicked, and malicious. And he was of the stock of Caleb.
4. Therefore, when David, in the desert, had heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep,
5. he sent ten young men, and he said to them: “Ascend to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name peacefully.
6. And you shall say: ‘Peace be to my brothers and to you, and peace to your house, and peace to whatever you have.
7. I have heard that your shepherds, who were with us in the desert, were shearing. We have never troubled them, nor was anything from the flock missing to them at any time, during the entire time that they have been with us in Carmel.
8. Question your servants, and they will tell you. Now therefore, may your servants find favor in your eyes. For we have arrived on a good day. Whatever your hand will find, give it to your servants and to your son David.’ ”
9. And when the servants of David had arrived, they spoke to Nabal all these words in the name of David. And then they were silent.
10. But Nabal, responding to the servants of David, said: “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? Today, servants who are fleeing from their lords are increasing.
11. Therefore, shall I take my bread, and my water, and the meat of the cattle that I have slain for my shearers, and give it to men, when I do not know where they are from?”
12. And so the servants of David traveled back along their way. And returning, they went and reported to him all the words that he had said.
13. Then David said to his servants, “Let each one gird his sword.” And each one girded his sword. And David also girded his sword. And about four hundred men followed David. But two hundred remained behind with the supplies.
14. Then it was reported to Abigail, the wife of Nabal, by one of his servants, saying: “Behold, David has sent messengers from the desert, so that they might speak kindly to our lord. But he turned them away.
15. These men were good enough to us, and were not troublesome. Neither did we ever lose anything, during the entire time that we conversed with them in the desert.
16. They were a wall to us, as much in the night as in the day, during all the days that we were with them, pasturing the sheep.
17. For this reason, consider and realize what you should do. For evil has been decided against your husband and against your house. And he is a son of Belial, so that no one is able to speak to him.”
18. And so Abigail hurried, and she took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five cooked sheep, and five measures of cooked grain, and one hundred clusters of dried grapes, and two hundred masses of dried figs, and she set them upon donkeys.
19. And she said to her servants: “Go before me. Behold, I will follow after your back.” But she did not reveal it to her husband, Nabal.
20. And when she had climbed on a donkey, and was descending to the base of the mountain, David and his men were descending to meet her. And she met them.
21. And David said: “Truly, in vain have I preserved all that was his in the wilderness, so that nothing perished out of all that belonged to him. And he has repaid evil to me for good.
22. May God do these things, by the enemies of David, and may he add these other things, if I leave behind until morning, out of all that belongs to him, anything that urinates against a wall.”
23. Then, when Abigail had seen David, she hurried and descended from the donkey. And she fell upon her face before David, and she reverenced on the ground.
24. And she fell at his feet, and she said: “May this iniquity be upon me, my lord. I beg you, let your handmaid speak to your ears, and listen to the words of your servant.
25. Let not my lord, the king, I beseech you, set his heart upon this iniquitous man, Nabal. For in accord with his name, he is senseless, and foolishness is with him. But I, your handmaid, did not see your servants, my lord, whom you had sent.
26. Now therefore, my lord, as your soul lives, and as the Lord lives, who has kept your hand to yourself, and has prevented you from coming to blood: now, let your enemies be like Nabal, and like all those who are seeking evil for my lord.
27. Because of this, accept this blessing, which your handmaid has brought to you, my lord. And give it to the young men who follow you, my lord.
28. Forgive the iniquity of your handmaid. For the Lord will surely make for you, my lord, a faithful house, because you, my lord, fight the battles of the Lord. Therefore, let no evil be found in you all the days of your life.
29. For if a man, at any time, will rise up, pursuing you and seeking your life, the life of my lord will be preserved, as if in the sheave of the living, with the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies will be spun around, as if with the force of a whirling sling.
30. Therefore, when the Lord will have done for you, my lord, all the good that he has spoken about you, and when he will have appointed you as leader over Israel,
31. this will not be for you a regret or a scruple of the heart, my lord, that you had shed innocent blood, or had taken revenge for yourself. And when the Lord will have done well for my lord, you shall remember your handmaid.”
32. And David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me. And blessed is your eloquence.
33. And blessed are you, who prevented me today from going to blood, and from taking revenge for myself with my own hand.
34. But instead, as the Lord God of Israel lives, he has prevented me from doing evil to you. But if you had not come quickly to meet me, there would not have been left to Nabal by the morning light, anything that urinates against a wall.”
35. Then David received from her hand all that she had brought to him. And he said to her: “Go in peace to your own house. Behold, I have heeded your voice, and I have honored your face.”
36. Then Abigail went to Nabal. And behold, he was holding a feast for himself in his house, like the feast of a king. And the heart of Nabal was cheerful. For he was greatly inebriated. And she did not reveal a word to him, small or great, until morning.
37. Then, at first light, when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife revealed to him these words, and his heart died within himself, and he became like a stone.
38. And after ten days had passed, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.
39. And when David had heard that Nabal was dead, he said: “Blessed is the Lord, who has judged the case of my reproach at the hand of Nabal, and who has preserved his servant from evil. And the Lord has repaid the malice of Nabal upon his own head.” Then David sent and he spoke with Abigail, so that he might take her to himself as wife.
40. And David’s servants went to Abigail at Carmel, and they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you, so that he might take you to himself as wife.”
41. And rising up, she reverenced prone on the ground, and she said, “Behold, let your servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”
42. And Abigail rose up and hurried, and she climbed upon a donkey, and five girls went with her, her attendants. And she followed the messengers of David, and she became his wife.
43. Moreover, David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel. And both of them were his wives.
44. Then Saul gave his daughter Michal, the wife of David, to Palti, the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.