1 Samuel died. All Israel gathered to mourn him. They buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David went to the desert of Paran.
2 There was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. He was a very rich man. He had three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. He sheared his sheep in Carmel.
3 His name was Nabal. He was of the family of Caleb. His wifes name was Abigail. She was a woman of good sense and pleasing looks. The man was cruel and dishonest in his dealings.
4 While David was in the desert he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep.
5 David sent ten young men to Nabal. David said to them: »Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal, and say kind words to him in my name.
6 »Say to him: May you live long! May you, your home, and all you have prosper!
7 »I hear that your sheepshearers are with you. Your shepherds have been with us. We have not mistreated them. Nothing of theirs has been missing as long as they have been in Carmel.
8 »Ask your shepherds. They will tell you the same thing. My servants are your servants. You are like a father to me. This is a day for celebrating. Please be kind and share some of your food with us.«
9 Davids men went to Nabal and gave him Davids message. They waited for Nabals answer.
10 This is what he said: »Who does this David think he is? That son of Jesse is just one more slave on the run from his master. There are too many of them now days.
11 »What makes you think I would give you the bread and water, and the meat that I cooked for my own servants? I do not even know where you are from.«
12 The men returned to their camp and told David everything Nabal said.
13 David ordered: »Everyone get your swords!« They strapped on their swords. Two hundred men stayed behind to guard the camp. The other four hundred followed David.
14 One of Nabals servants told Nabals wife Abigail: »Have you heard? David sent some messengers from the wilderness with greetings for our master. He insulted them.
15 »Yet they were very good to us. They never bothered us. Nothing belonging to us was stolen at the time we were with them in the fields.
16 »They protected our sheep and us day and night the whole time we were with them.
17 »Consider what you should do because our master and his whole household are doomed. He is such a worthless man that it is useless to talk to him.«
18 So Abigail quickly took two hundred loaves of bread, two full wineskins, five butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, one hundred bunches of raisins, and two hundred fig cakes and loaded them on donkeys.
19 »Lead the way,« she told her young men, »and I will follow you.« But she did not tell her husband Nabal about it.
20 She rode her donkey down a hidden mountain path. David and his men came to her.
21 David thought: »I guarded this mans possessions in the desert for nothing! Not one of his possessions was missing. Yet, he paid me back with evil when I was good to him.
22 »May God punish me if I do not kill every one of those men before morning!«
23 Abigail saw David and quickly got down from her donkey. She immediately bowed down in front of David with her face touching the ground.
24 She fell at his feet and said: »Let me be held responsible for this wrong. Please let me speak with you. Please listen to me.
25 »You should not take this worthless person Nabal seriously. He is like his name. His name is Nabal Godless Fool. He is foolish. But I did not see the young men you sent.
26 »Jehovah kept you from spilling innocent blood and from getting a victory by your own efforts. As Jehovah lives and you live, may your enemies and those who are trying to harm you end up like Nabal.
27 »Please accept this gift from your maidservant. And give it to the young men who accompany my lord.
28 »Also please forgive the transgression of your maidservant. Jehovah will certainly give you a lasting dynasty, because my lord is fighting the battles of Jehovah. Evil will not be found in you all your days.
29 »Even if someone pursues you to take your life, your life is wrapped securely in the bundle pursebag of the living from Jehovah your God God will keep you safe. He will dispose of the lives of your enemies. They will be hurled like stones from a sling.
30 »When Jehovah does all the good he promised and makes you ruler of Israel,
31 you should not have a troubled conscience because you spilled blood for no good reason and claimed your own victory. When Jehovah gives you success, remember me.«
32 David said to Abigail: »Blessed is Jehovah the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me.
33 »Blessed is your good judgment and blessed are you for keeping me from slaughtering people today and from getting a victory by my own efforts.
34 »I solemnly promise as Jehovah the God of Israel lives that if you had not come to meet me Nabal would not have had one of his men alive at dawn.«
35 Then David accepted what she brought him. He said: »Go home in peace. I have listened to what you said and I grant your request.«
36 When Abigail came to Nabal, he was holding a banquet in his home. It was like a kings banquet. He was in a good mood and very drunk, so she did not tell him anything until dawn.
37 In the morning after the effects of the wine wore off his wife told him what had happened. Nabal had a stroke. He could not move.
38 Ten days later Jehovah made him sicker and Nabal died.
39 David heard Nabal was dead. He said: »Blessed is Jehovah who defended me against the insults of Nabal. He kept me from doing wrong. Jehovah has turned Nabals own wickedness back on him.« David sent men on his behalf to propose marriage to Abigail.
40 Davids servants approached Abigail at Carmel. They told her: »David sent us to you to take you to him to be his wife.«
41 She bowed down with her face touching the ground. »I am ready to serve,« she said. »I am willing to wash the feet of my masters servants.«
42 Abigail quickly got up and rode on a donkey with five of her female servants following her. So she went with Davids messengers and became his wife.
43 Earlier David married Ahinoam from the town of Jezreel. Now both she and Abigail were Davids wives.
44 Meanwhile, Saul arranged for Michal to marry Palti the son of Laish, who came from the town of Gallim.