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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)A son of Belial.—Belial was not a proper name, though it subsequently came to be considered one. It signifies simply worthlessness; here a “son of Belial” is an expression for a bad, worthless fellow.
14-18. Then Abigail made haste—The prudence and address of Nabal's wife were the means of saving him and family from utter destruction. She acknowledged the demand of her formidable neighbors; but justly considering, that to atone for the insolence of her husband, a greater degree of liberality had become necessary, she collected a large amount of food, accompanying it with the most valued products of the country.
bottles—goatskins, capable of holding a great quantity.
parched corn—It was customary to eat parched corn when it was fully grown, but not ripe.Evil is determined against our master; which it was easy to guess; either from some threatening expressions which David’s men used; or from the consideration of David’s great power, and that rage which so high a provocation was likely to produce in military persons.
A man cannot speak to him, to wit, without hazard to himself, and therefore I acquaint thee rather than him with this matter.
for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household; which he concluded, either from something that dropped from David's messengers, as they turned away from Nabal; or from the martial spirit of David himself, who would never put up such an affront and indignity cast upon him; or from some intelligence he had of David's arming his men, and marching to take vengeance:
for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him; meaning Nabal, who was such a worthless, passionate, and ill natured man, such a lawless and imperious one, that he would not suffer a man to speak to him about anything; and it was to no purpose to attempt it, which was a reason this servant did not choose to speak to him about this affair, but to Abigail; and suggests, that it would signify nothing for her to speak to him about it, but it would be most advisable for her to consider with herself what was to be done immediately, without consulting him: the words may be rendered, "for he is a son of Belial that speaks unto him" (a); or when "he speaks unto him", or it is told him; meaning not the servant that reported to David what Nabal said; for Abarbinel observes there were ten of them, and therefore it could not be said of them, he is a son of Belial; but rather David himself, as he and Kimchi observe it may be interpreted of; that though he was so good and upright a man, yet when it should be told him how Nabal had treated him, he would be so provoked at it, that he would become and act like a son of Belial; storm and rage, and vow destruction to Nabal and his family, and come out with his whole army to destroy them; but the first sense is best.Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt 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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)17. such a son of Belial] Such an evil man. See on 1 Samuel 1:16. So wilful and obstinate that his servants dared not try to reason with him, but appealed to Abigail instead.
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