Holman Christian Standard Bible
1Samuel died, and all Israel assembled to mourn for him, and they buried him by his home in Ramah. David then went down to the Wilderness of Paran.
2A man in Maon had a business in Carmel; he was a very rich man with 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats and was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3The man's name was Nabal, and his wife's name, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and beautiful, but the man, a Calebite, was harsh and evil in his dealings. 4While David was in the wilderness, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep, 5so David sent 10 young men instructing them, "Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal, greet him in my name. 6Then say this: 'Long life to you, and peace to you, to your family, and to all that is yours. 7I hear that you are shearing. When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel. 8Ask your young men, and they will tell you. So let my young men find favor with you, for we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you can afford to your servants and to your son David.'"
9David's young men went and said all these things to Nabal on David's behalf, and they waited. 10Nabal asked them, "Who is David? Who is Jesse's son? Many slaves these days are running away from their masters. 11Am I supposed to take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to these men? I don't know where they are from." 12David's men retraced their steps. When they returned to him, they reported all these words. 13He said to his men, "All of you, put on your swords!" So David and all his men put on their swords. About 400 men followed David while 200 stayed with the supplies.
14One of Nabal's young men informed Abigail, Nabal's wife: "Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he yelled at them. 15The men treated us well. When we were in the field, we weren't harassed and nothing of ours was missing the whole time we were living among them. 16They were a wall around us, both day and night, the entire time we were herding the sheep. 17Now consider carefully what you must do, because there is certain to be trouble for our master and his entire family. He is such a worthless fool nobody can talk to him!"
18Abigail hurried, taking 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. 19Then she said to her male servants, "Go ahead of me. I will be right behind you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20As she rode the donkey down a mountain pass hidden from view, she saw David and his men coming toward her and met them. 21David had just said, "I guarded everything that belonged to this man in the wilderness for nothing. He was not missing anything, yet he paid me back evil for good. 22May God punish me and do so severely if I let any of his men survive until morning."
23When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and fell with her face to the ground in front of David. 24She fell at his feet and said, "The guilt is mine, my lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant. 25My lord should pay no attention to this worthless man Nabal, for he lives up to his name: His name is Nabal, and stupidity is all he knows. I, your servant, didn't see my lord's young men whom you sent.
26Now my lord, as surely as the LORD lives and as you yourself live, it is the LORD who kept you from participating in bloodshed and avenging yourself by your own hand. May your enemies and those who want trouble for my lord be like Nabal. 27Accept this gift your servant has brought to my lord, and let it be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28Please forgive your servant's offense, for the LORD is certain to make a lasting dynasty for my lord because he fights the LORD's battles. Throughout your life, may evil not be found in you. 29"When someone pursues you and attempts to take your life, my lord's life will be tucked safely in the place where the LORD your God protects the living. However, He will fling away your enemies' lives like stones from a sling. 30When the LORD does for my lord all the good He promised and appoints you ruler over Israel, 31there will not be remorse or a troubled conscience for my lord because of needless bloodshed or my lord's revenge. And when the LORD does good things for my lord, may you remember me your servant."
32Then David said to Abigail, "Praise to the LORD God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33Your discernment is blessed, and you are blessed. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand. 34Otherwise, as surely as the LORD God of Israel lives, who prevented me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, Nabal wouldn't have had any men left by morning light." 35Then David accepted what she had brought him and said, "Go home in peace. See, I have heard what you said and have granted your request."
36Then Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was in his house, holding a feast fit for a king. Nabal was in a good mood and very drunk, so she didn't say anything to him until morning light. 37In the morning when Nabal sobered up, his wife told him about these events. Then he had a seizure and became paralyzed. 38About 10 days later, the LORD struck Nabal dead.
39When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Praise the LORD who championed my cause against Nabal's insults and restrained His servant from doing evil. The LORD brought Nabal's evil deeds back on his own head." Then David sent messengers to speak to Abigail about marrying him. 40When David's servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, "David sent us to bring you to him as a wife." 41She stood up, then bowed her face to the ground and said, "Here I am, your servant, to wash the feet of my lord's servants." 42Then Abigail got up quickly, and with her five female servants accompanying her, rode on the donkey following David's messengers. And so she became his wife.
43David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and the two of them became his wives.
44But Saul gave his daughter Michal, David's wife, to Palti son of Laish, who was from Gallim.