1 Samuel 25:9
And when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
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(9) And ceased.—Better rendered, and they sat down. The Hebrew word here has been variously translated. Bunsen suggests, “and they waited modestly for an answer;” the Vulg., followed by some scholars, has “and they were silent.”

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]. No text from Poole on this verse. And when David's young men came,.... To Carmel:

they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David; they delivered their message punctually and exactly, in the very words, or however according to the purport of them, in David's name, as he enjoined them:

and ceased: from speaking, waiting for Nabal's answer; or "they rested" (y), from the fatigues of their journey; which they did not until they had delivered their message to Nabal, and then they took the liberty to sit down and rest themselves; but the former sense seems best, and is preferred by Maimonides (z).

(y) "et quieverunt", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster. (z) Moreh Nevochim par. 1. c. 67.

And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.
Verse 9. - They... ceased. Literally, "they rested;" i.e. either they remained quiet awaiting Nabal's answer, or sat down, as is the custom in the East, for the same purpose. The following history of Nabal's folly, and of the wise and generous behaviour of his pious and intelligent wife Abigail towards David, shows how Jehovah watched over His servant David, and not only preserved him from an act of passionate excitement, which might have endangered his calling to be king of Israel, but turned the trouble into which he had been brought into a source of prosperity and salvation.

1 Samuel 25:2-3

At Maon, i.e., Main or the mountains of Judah (see at Joshua 15:55), there lived a rich man (גּדול, great through property and riches), who had his establishment at Carmel. מעשׂה, work, occupation, then establishment, possessions (vid., Exodus 23:15). Carmel is not the promontory of that name (Thenius), but the present Kurmul on the mountains of Judah, scarcely half an hour's journey to the north-west of Maon (see at Joshua 15:55). This man possessed three thousand sheep and a thousand goats, and was at the sheep-shearing at Carmel. His name was Nabal (i.e., fool): this was hardly his proper name, but was a surname by which he was popularly designated on account of his folly. His wife Abigail was "of good understanding," i.e., intelligent, "and of beautiful figure;" but the husband was "harsh and evil in his doings." He sprang from the family of Caleb. This is the rendering adopted by the Chaldee and Vulgate, according to the Keri כּלבּי. The Chethibh is to be read כּלבּו, "according to his heart;" though the lxx (ἄνθρωπος κυνικός) and Josephus, as well as the Arabic and Syriac, derive it from כּלב, and understand it as referring to the dog-like, or shameless, character of the man.

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