|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:2-11 We should not have heard of Nabal, if nothing had passed between him and David. Observe his name, Nabal, A fool; so it signifies. Riches make men look great in the eye of the world; but to one that takes right views, Nabal looked very mean. He had no honour or honesty; he was churlish, cross, and ill-humoured; evil in his doings, hard and oppressive; a man that cared not what fraud and violence he used in getting and saving. What little reason have we to value the wealth of this world, when so great a churl as Nabal abounds, and so good a man as David suffers want!, David pleaded the kindness Nabal's shepherds had received. Considering that David's men were in distress and debt, and discontented, and the scarcity of provisions, it was by good management that they were kept from plundering. Nabal went into a passion, as covetous men are apt to do, when asked for any thing, thinking thus to cover one sin with another; and, by abusing the poor, to excuse themselves from relieving them. But God will not thus be mocked. Let this help us to bear reproaches and misrepresentations with patience and cheerfulness, and make us easy under them; it has often been the lot of the excellent ones of the earth. Nabal insists much on the property he had in the provisions of his table. May he not do what he will with his own? We mistake, if we think we are absolute lords of what we have, and may do what we please with it. No; we are but stewards, and must use it as we are directed, remembering it is not our own, but His who intrusted us with it.
Verses 4, 5. - Though David had gone some distance southward of Carmel, yet it was worth his while to send men to Nabal's sheep shearing, as the maintenance of his numerous force must have been a continual difficulty. The large number, ten, also shows that he expected a liberal gift of food. Probably such missions were not uncommon, and the large sheep masters were glad to supply the wants of one who guarded their flocks and defended them from the incursions of the desert tribes.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And David heard in the wilderness,.... In the wilderness of Paran, where he was, and a wilderness it was to him, being in want of food, as the following relation shows:
that Nabal did shear his sheep; when there was generally good living, and so a proper person, and a proper time, for David to apply for the relief of his wants.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4-9. Nabal did shear his sheep, and David sent out ten young men, &c.—David and his men lurked in these deserts, associating with the herdsmen and shepherds of Nabal and others and doing them good offices, probably in return for information and supplies obtained through them. Hence when Nabal held his annual sheep-shearing in Carmel, David felt himself entitled to share in the festival and sent a message, recounting his own services and asking for a present. "In all these particulars we were deeply struck with the truth and strength of the biblical description of manners and customs almost identically the same as they exist at the present day. On such a festive occasion, near a town or village, even in our own time, an Arab sheik of the neighboring desert would hardly fail to put in a word either in person or by message; and his message, both in form and substance, would be only a transcript of that of David" [Robinson].
1 Samuel 25:4 Parallel Commentaries
1 Samuel 25:4 NIV
1 Samuel 25:4 NLT
1 Samuel 25:4 ESV
1 Samuel 25:4 NASB
1 Samuel 25:4 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible