The First Book of Samuel

Chapter 25

Samuel dies, 1. David in Paran sends to Nabal, 2-9. Provoked by Nabal's churlishness, he minds to destroy him, 10-13. When this is revealed to Abigail, 14-17, she takes a present, 18-22; and by her wisdom, 23-31, pacifies David, 32-35. After Nabal hears about this, he dies, 36-38. David takes Abigail and Ahinoam to be his wives, 39-43. Michal is given to Phalti, 44.

1 And Samuel died. And all the Israelites assembled, lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel. And the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and of a beautiful countenance, but the man was churlish and evil in his doings. And he was of the house of Caleb. 4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 And David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men, "Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. 6 And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: 'Peace be with you, and peace be with your house, and peace be with all that you have. 7 And now I have heard that you have shearers. Now your shepherds who were with us, we did not hurt them, neither was there anything missing to them all the while they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men and they will show you. Therefore, let the young men find favor in your eyes, for we come in a good day. Give, I pray you, whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.'"

9 And when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal in the name of David according to all these words and ceased. 10 And Nabal answered David's servants and said, "Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants in these days that each break away from his master. 11 Shall I then take my bread, my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men whom I do not know where they are from?" 12 So David's young men turned their way, went back, and came and told him all these sayings. 13 And David said to his men, "Each of you gird on his sword." And they each girded on his sword. And David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, and two hundred stayed by the goods.

14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, "Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to salute our master, and he railed at them. 15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, neither did we miss anything as long as we were conversant with them when we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and day all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for evil is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a son of Belial that a man cannot speak to him."

18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves, two bottles of wine, five sheep ready and dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her servants, "Go on before me. Behold, I come after you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And it was so, as she rode on the donkey, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and behold, David and his men came down over against her, and she met them. 21 (Now David had said, "Surely in vain I have kept all that this man has in the wilderness so that nothing was missed of all that pertained to him, and he has requited me evil for good. 22 May God do so and more also to the enemies of David if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any male person.")

23 And when Abigail saw David, she hastened, alighted off the donkey, fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground. 24 And she fell at his feet and said, "Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be. And let your servant, I pray you, speak in your audience, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Do not let my lord, I pray you, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal, for as his name is, so he is. Nabal is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your servant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.

26 "Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives and as your soul lives, seeing the LORD has withheld you from coming to shed blood and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now let your enemies and those who seek evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now this blessing which your servant has brought to my lord, let it even be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 I pray you, forgive the trespass of your servant, for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house because my lord fights the battles of the LORD, and evil has not been found in you all your days. 29 Yet a man has risen to pursue you and to seek your soul, but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD your God. And the souls of your enemies, he shall sling them out, as from the middle of a sling. 30 And it will come to pass, when the LORD has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you ruler over Israel, 31 That this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, remember your servant."

32 And David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the LORD God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me. 33 And blessed is your advice, and blessed are you who have kept me this day from coming to shed blood and from avenging myself with my own hand. 34 For indeed, as the LORD God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hastened and come to meet me, surely there had not been left to Nabal by the morning light any male person." 35 So David received from her hand that which she had brought him and said to her, "Return in peace to your house. Behold, I have listened to your voice and have accepted your person."

36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken. Therefore, she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine had left Nabal and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him and he became as a stone. 38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal so that he died.

39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed be the LORD who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal and has kept his servant from evil, for the LORD has returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head." And David sent and communed with Abigail to take her for himself for a wife. 40 And when the servants of David had come to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, "David has sent us to you to take you to him for a wife." 41 And she arose and bowed herself on her face to the earth and said, "Behold, let your servant be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord." 42 And Abigail hastened, arose, and rode upon a donkey, with five of her attendants who went after her. And she went after the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the both of them were his wives.

44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 1st Samuel, Chapter 25[➚]