1 Samuel 25:8
Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
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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.That liveth in prosperity - The Hebrew is obscure, and is variously interpreted. The simplest rendering is, "And ye shall say thus about (his) life," i. e., with reference to his life, health, circumstances, etc. 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]. In a good day, i.e. in a day of feasting and rejoicing; when men are most cheerful and liberal; when thou mayst relieve us out of thy abundance without damage to thyself; when thou art receiving the mercies of God, and therefore obliged to pity and relieve distressed and indigent persons, Deu 12:12 14:26,29 15:7.

Unto thy servants to us who have been and still are ready to serve and guard thee and thine. Or the word servants may be only used as a word of respect, frequently used in Scripture, where inferiors speak to superiors, especially when they be suppliants, and beg some favour.

To thy son; so he calls himself, to show that respect and affection which he bore to Nabal, as being elder and wealthier than himself, and of the same tribe with himself, and a branch of so worthy a family as Nabal’s was.

Ask thy young men, and they will show thee,.... The shepherds before mentioned, who kept their flocks hard by them:

wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes; the ten young men David sent to Nabal:

for we are come in a good day; a day in which Nabal made a feast for his shearers, as was usual then, and still is, see 2 Samuel 13:23; and at such times as persons are generally cheerful and merry, so free and liberal, and as there were plenty of provisions, not only enough for the guests and shearers, but to spare, and there was no need for an increase of expense, it might upon the whole be concluded it was a proper time for David to apply for accommodations for himself and his men:

give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants,

and to thy son David; he did not request anything extraordinary of him, or to put him to any expense, but what was at hand, and he could spare, he prayed him to deliver to the young men he sent, for their use, and the use of other his servants, and particularly David, who styled himself his son, being of the same tribe with Nabal, and Nabal his senior.

Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever {d} cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.

(d) Whatever you have ready for us.

8. a good day] A day of festivity and rejoicing. Cp. Esther 8:17.

1 Samuel 25:8When David heard in the desert (cf. 1 Samuel 25:1) that Nabal was shearing his sheep, which was generally accompanied with a festal meal (see at Genesis 38:12), he sent ten young men up to Carmel to him, and bade them wish him peace and prosperity in his name, and having reminded him of the friendly services rendered to his shepherds, solicit a present for himself and his people. לשׁלום לו שׁאל, ask him after his welfare, i.e., greet him in a friendly manner (cf. Exodus 18:7). The word לחי is obscure, and was interpreted by the early translators merely according to uncertain conjectures. The simplest explanation is apparently in vitam, long life, understood as a wish in the sense of "good fortune to you" (Luther, Maurer, etc.); although the word חי in the singular can only be shown to have the meaning life in connection with the formula used in oaths, נפשׁך חי, etc. But even if חי must be taken as an adjective, it is impossible to explain לחי in any other way than as an elliptical exclamation meaning "good fortune to the living man." For the idea that the word is to be connected with אמרתּם, "say to the living man," i.e., to the man if still alive, is overthrown by the fact that David had no doubt that Nabal was still living. The words which follow are also to be understood as a wish, "May thou and thy house, and all that is thine, be well!" After this salutation they were to proceed with the object of their visit: "And now I have heard that thou hast sheep-shearers. Now thy shepherds have been with us; we have done them no harm (הכלים, as in Judges 18:7 : on the form, see Ges. 53, 3, Anm. 6), and nothing was missed by them so long as they were in Carmel." When living in the desert, David's men had associated with the shepherds of Nabal, rendered them various services, and protected them and their flocks against the southern inhabitants of the desert (the Bedouin Arabs); in return for which they may have given them food and information. Thus David proved himself a protector of his people even in his banishment. וימצאוּ, "so may the young men (those sent by David) find favour in thine eyes! for we have come to a good (i.e., a festive) day. Give, I pray, what thy hand findeth (i.e., as much as thou canst) to thy servant, and to thy son David." With the expression "thy son" David claims Nabal's fatherly goodwill. So far as the fact itself is concerned, "on such a festive occasion near a town or village even in our own time, an Arab sheikh of the neighbouring 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 the transcript of that of David" (Robinson, Palestine, p. 201).
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