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1 Samuel 25:2–22

David and Abigail

Now there was a man in Maon, whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich and owneda three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. Nowb the shearing of his sheep was taking place in Carmel. The name of the man was Nabal,c and the name of his wife was Abigail.d Now the woman was wise and beautiful, but the man was stubborn and mean,e and he was as his heart.f David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. So David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal; you will greet him in my name.g Then you must say to him, ‘Long life to you, and may it go well with you, with your house, and with all that is yours.h Now I have heard that you have shearers.i Now while your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and nothing of theirs was missing, all the days they were in Carmel. Ask your servantsj and they will tell you! Let the young menk find favor in your eyes because we have come on a feast day. Please give whatever you have on handl for your servants and for your son David.”

So David’s young men came and they spoke all these words to Nabal in the name of David. Then they waited. 10 But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? Today, there are many servants breaking away from the presence of their masters. 11 Should I take my bread and my water and my meat which I have slaughtered for my shearers and give it to men whom I do not know where they are from? 12 So David’s young men turned on their way and returned and came and told him according to all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Each man strap on his sword!” So each one strapped on his sword, and David also strapped on his sword. About four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.

14 But a young man of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the desert to greetm our master, but he addressed them angrily, 15 even though the men were very good to us; we were not mistreated and did not miss anything all the days we went about with them while we weren in the field. 16 They were a wall to us both night and day, all the days we wereo with them keeping the sheep. 17 And so then, know and considerp what you should do, for evil has been decided against our master and against all his household, and he is such a wicked man,q nobody can reason with him!”r

18 Then Abigail quickly tooks two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five prepared sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes, and she put them on the donkeys. 19 Then she said to her servants, “Go ahead before me; look, I am coming after you,” but she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And then,t as she was riding on the donkey and was going down the ravine of the mountain, David and his men were coming down to meet her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vainu I guarded all that this fellow had in the desert. And nothing was missed of all that was his, but he returned evil against me in place of good! 22 May God severely punish the enemies of Davidv and again do thus if I leave behind anything that is hisw until the morning, not even one male!”x

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