1. The day Samuel died, all Israel gathered together to mourn him; after which they buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David went down to the desert of Maon.

2. A very rich man, owner of three thousand sheep and a thousand goats, lived there and had his farm in Carmel.

3. This man was named Nabal; his wife, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful; but the man himself, a Calebite, was rough and ill-mannered. He was at the time shearing his sheep in Carmel.

4. When David heard in the desert that Nabal was shearing his sheep,

5. he sent ten young men to the farm with this instruction, "Go to Nabal in Carmel and greet him for me

6. in these words: peace be with you and your family; peace be with all that is yours.

7. I hear that you have shearers with you. Now when your shepherds were with us, we did not harm them; neither did they miss anything while they were in Carmel.

8. Ask your servants and they will tell. So be kind to my servants since we come on a festive day; please give them and your son David whatever you can."

9. When David's young men arrived, they delivered this message to Nabal in David's name and then waited.

10. But Nabal answered David's servants, "Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? Many nowadays are the servants who run away from their masters.

11. Must I take my bread, my wine, my meat which I have slaughtered for my shearers and give it to men who come from I don't know where?"

12. At this, David's young men left and returned to him, reporting everything Nabal had said.

13. David then said to his men, "Let every man strap on his sword!" And every one of them, including David, strapped on his sword. About four hundred men followed David while two hundred remained with the baggage.

14. One of Nabal's servants told Abigail, his wife, "David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master but he shouted at them.

15. Yet these men were very good to us. We suffered no harm and did not miss anything while we were living among them during our stay in the open country.

16. They were like a wall for us night and day while we were tending the sheep in their midst.

17. Now think over what you should do; for our master and his entire family are surely doomed to die, but he is so wicked no one can speak to him."

18. Abigail hurriedly prepared two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five measures of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of pressed raisins, and two hundred cakes of pressed figs and loaded them on asses.

19. Then she said to her servants, "Go on ahead and I shall follow you." But she told her husband nothing of this.

20. As she rode down the mountain on her ass, David and his men were coming down from the other direction. When she met them,

21. David was reflecting, "It was useless guarding all that this fellow has in the desert. Although he lost nothing belonging to him, he has returned me evil for good.

22. May God do so to David and more if by morning I leave a single male alive among those who belong to him."

23. On seeing David, Abigail quickly dismounted from the ass and threw herself on the ground before him.

24. As she fell at his feet she said, "My lord, let the blame be on me! Let your handmaid speak to you; listen to her words.

25. Let not my lord pay attention to this ill-mannered man, Nabal, for he is just what his name says: he is a fool. I, your handmaid, did not see the young men whom you sent.

26. Now, my lord, as Yahweh lives and as you live, it is Yahweh who prevents you from shedding blood and avenging yourself. Let your enemies and those who seek to harm my lord become like Nabal!

27. And now let this present which I have brought you, my lord, be given to the young men who follow you,

28. and please forgive me. Yahweh will certainly give you a lasting family because you are fighting the battles of Yahweh and no evil shall be found in you as long as you live.

29. Should anyone make an attempt on your life, may the life of my lord be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of Yahweh, your God. May he hurl away the lives of your enemies as from the hollow of a sling.

30. So when Yahweh fulfills his promises and appoints you as commander over Israel,

31. you shall have no reason to grieve or to feel any grief or regret for having unrightfully shed blood or taken revenge yourself. May Yahweh bless you, and you, my lord, remember your handmaid."

32. David then said to Abigail, "Blessed be Yahweh, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today!

33. Blessed be your good judgment and may you yourself be blessed, for you have prevented me from shedding blood and avenging myself today!

34. For as Yahweh, the God of Israel, lives, he has prevented me from hurting you. If you did not hurry to meet me, not a single male belonging to Nabal would have been alive by morning."

35. David accepted what she had brought him and told her, "Go back home in peace. I have listened to you and granted your request."

36. Abigail went back to Nabal and found him holding a feast in his house. He was joyful and very drunk so Abigail did not mention anything to him until the following day.

37. When morning came and Nabal had slept it off, his wife spoke to him about all these things. On hearing it Nabal had a stroke and remained paralyzed.

38. Ten days later, Yahweh let him die.

39. When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed be Yahweh who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal and has prevented me from doing wrong. Yahweh himself has made Nabal's wrongdoings fall on his own head."

40. David then sent his servants to Abigail in Carmel to propose marriage to her saying, "David has sent us to you to say that he wants you to be his wife."

41. Rising and bowing to the ground, Abigail answered, "May I be as a slave to wash the feet of my lord's servants."

42. She quickly rose and mounted an ass and, attended by five of her servants, she left with David's messengers and became his wife.

43. David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, making both her and Abigail his wives.

44. Saul, in the meantime, had given Michal, his daughter and David's wife, to Palti, son of Laish who was from Gallim.



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