1 Samuel 25:26
Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Seeing the Lord hath withholden.—This passage, as the Speaker’s Commentary rightly observes, “since the oath affirmed nothing, should be rendered, ‘And now my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, it is the Lord that hath withholden thee.’ Literally, As true as that the Lord liveth, so true is it that the Lord hath withholden thee, &c., from coming into blood-guiltiness.” So confident is this pious and wise woman that she is doing the Lord’s work, and that He is standing by her, that, in presence of the armed band and their angry leader, she speaks as though the danger to her husband’s house was a thing of the past, and that David had real cause for thankfulness in that he had been prevented from doing a wanton, wicked act.

Now let thine enemies . . . be as Nabal.—Nabal, the insulter of David, she dismisses as too insignificant to be considered; she regards him as utterly powerless to harm one like David; and her prayer is that his other enemies may only be like him—equally harmless.

1 Samuel 25:26. Seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood — Nothing could possibly be spoken to David with more effect, to turn away his wrath, than thus to insinuate such an opinion of his goodness and clemency, as already to conclude she had diverted him from his purpose; or, rather, that God had interposed by his good providence to hinder him from shedding blood. Now let thine enemies be as Nabal — Let them be as contemptible as Nabal is, and will be for this odious action; let them be as unable to do thee any hurt as he is; let them be forced to yield to thee, and implore thy pardon, as Nabal now doth by my mouth; let the vengeance thou didst design upon Nabal and his family fall upon their heads, who, by their inveterate malice against thee, do more deserve it than this fool for this miscarriage; and much more than all the rest of our family, who, as they are none of thine enemies, so they were no way guilty of this wicked action. And therefore spare these, and execute thy vengeance upon more proper objects.

25:18-31 By a present Abigail atoned for Nabal's denial of David's request. Her behaviour was very submissive. Yielding pacifies great offences. She puts herself in the place of a penitent, and of a petitioner. She could not excuse her husband's conduct. She depends not upon her own reasonings, but on God's grace, to soften David, and expects that grace would work powerfully. She says that it was below him to take vengeance on so weak and despicable an enemy as Nabal, who, as he would do him no kindness, so he could do him no hurt. She foretells the glorious end of David's present troubles. God will preserve thy life; therefore it becomes not thee unjustly and unnecessarily to take away the lives of any, especially of the people of thy God and Saviour. Abigail keeps this argument for the last, as very powerful with so good a man; that the less he indulged his passion, the more he consulted his peace and the repose of his own conscience. Many have done that in a heat, which they have a thousand times wished undone again. The sweetness of revenge is soon turned into bitterness. When tempted to sin, we should consider how it will appear when we think upon it afterwards.The passage should be rendered as follows: "And now my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth," it is "the Lord" that "hath withholden thee from coming" into blood-guiltiness (as in 1 Samuel 25:33), "and from saving thyself with thine own hand;" and "now" all "thine enemies" shall be as Nabal (whom she considers as utterly impotent to hurt David, and as already thoroughly humbled before him), and (so shall be) all "that seek evil to my Lord." 26. let thine enemies … be as Nabal—be as foolish and contemptible as he. Seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood; seeing God hath so ordered this business by his wise and wonderful providence, that I should accidentally and unexpectedly come to the knowledge of my husband’s vile and sordid carriage; and that I should come to meet thee, and find thee so gracious, as to give a favourable audience; and all this, that hereby he might withhold thee from the sin of blood-guiltiness.

Be as Nabal; let them be as contemptible and hateful as Nabal is and will be for this odious action; let them be as unable to do thee any hurt as he is; let them be forced to yield to thee, and implore thy pardon and favour, as Nabal now doth by my mouth; let the vengeance thou didst design upon Nabal and his family fall upon their heads, who by their constant and inveterate malice against thee, do more deserve it than this silly fool for this one miscarriage; and much more than all the rest of our family, who, as they are none of thine enemies, nor such as seek time evil, so they were no way guilty of this wicked action. And therefore spare these, and execute thy vengeance upon more proper objects.

Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth,.... Which is an oath, and respects either what goes before, that she never saw the young men that were sent to Nabal, or to what follows, the providence of God in preventing David from shedding blood, which she was sure of by an impulse on her own mind, and by observing a change in David's countenance:

seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand; she does not impute this to her prudence, and the provision she made to appease David, and prevent him from shedding the blood he intended, and taking the vengeance he had resolved on; but to the Lord, and the interposition of his providence, which she knew would have its weight on the mind of so good a man as David was; who upon reflection would be thankful that he had been prevented from shedding innocent blood, as the Targum calls it:

now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal; meaning Saul and those with him, wishing they might be as inconsiderable as Nabal; as unable, as weak, and impotent as he to do him any hurt, and as short lived, and cut off by the hand God, as he would be; for, according to Jarchi, she prophesied under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It may be observed that in 1 Samuel 25:24, she frequently gives David the title of "my lord", in reverence of him, and to atone for the rudeness and insolence of her husband, in speaking of him as a runaway servant, 1 Samuel 25:10.

Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own {i} hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

(i) That is, that you should not be revenged by your enemy.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. Now therefore, &c.] Render, And now, my lord, as Jehovah liveth, and by the life of thy soul, surely Jehovah hath withholden thee from coming into blood-guiltiness, and saving thyself with thine own hand. And now let thine enemies, &c. Abigail solemnly affirms that it is God who by her means has restrained David from committing a great crime. She feels at once that she has gained her point, and clenches the matter by putting the whole question in the most solemn light.

let thine enemies … be as Nabal] As foolish, and consequently as little able to injure thee. In view of Nabal’s fate, the words are almost prophetic.

Verses 26, 27. - Abigail begins her appeal by affirming that it was Jehovah who thus made her come to prevent bloodshed; she next propitiates David with the prayer that his enemies may be as Nabal, insignificant fools; and finally asks him to accept her present, not for himself, - that would be too great an honour, - but as good enough only for his followers. The first of these affirmations is obscured by the rendering in the A.V., and should be translated, "And now, my lord (an ordinary title of respect, like our sir), as Jehovah liveth, and as thy soul liveth, so true is it that Jehovah hath withholden thee from blood guiltiness, and from saving thyself with thine own hand; and now let thine enemies," etc. The same words recur in vers. 31, 33. Blessing. I.e. gift, present (see 1 Samuel 30:26). This beautiful term shows the deep religiousness of the Hebrew mind. The gift is something that comes not from the donor, but from God, in answer to the donor's prayer. 1 Samuel 25:26She prayed that David would take no notice of Nabal, for he was what his name declared - a fool, and folly in him; but she (Abigail) had not seen the messengers of David. "The prudent woman uses a good argument; for a wise man should pardon a fool" (Seb. Schmidt). She then endeavours to bring David to a friendly state of mind by three arguments, introduced with ועתּה (1 Samuel 25:26, 1 Samuel 25:27), before asking for forgiveness (1 Samuel 25:28). She first of all pointed to the leadings of God, by which David had been kept from committing murder through her coming to meet him.

(Note: "She founds her argument upon their meeting, which was so marvellously seasonable, that it might be easily and truly gathered from this fact that it had taken place through the providence of God; i.e., And now, because I meet thee so seasonably, do thou piously acknowledge with me the providence of God, which has so arranged all this, that innocent blood might not by change be shed by thee." - Seb. Schmidt.)

"As truly as Jehovah liveth, and by the life of thy soul! yea, the Lord hath kept thee, that thou camest not into blood-guiltiness, and thy hand helped thee" (i.e., and with thy hand thou didst procure thyself help). אשׁר, introducing her words, as in 1 Samuel 15:20, lit. "as truly as thou livest, (so true is it) that," etc. In the second place, she points to the fact that God is the avenger of the wicked, by expressing the wish that all the enemies of David may become fools like Nabal; in connection with which it must be observed, in order to understand her words fully, that, according to the Old Testament representation, folly is a correlate of ungodliness, which inevitably brings down punishment.

(Note: Seb. Schmidt has justly observed, that "she reminds David of the promise of God. Not that she prophesies, but that she has gathered it from the general promises of the word of God. The promise referred to is, that whoever does good to his enemies, and takes no vengeance upon them, God himself will avenge him upon his enemies; according to the saying, Vengeance is mine, I will repay. And this is what Abigail says: And now thine enemies shall be as Nabal.")

The predicate to the sentence "and they that seek evil to my lord" must be supplied from the preceding words, viz., "may they become just such fools."

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