1 Samuel 25

Samuel’s Death

25 Then Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him at his house in Ramah. And David set out and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

Nabal and Abigail

Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel; and the man was very [a]rich, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And it came about while he was shearing his sheep in Carmel (now the man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. And the woman was [b]intelligent and beautiful in appearance, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings, and he was a Calebite), that 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 [c]visit Nabal, and greet him in my name; and this is what you shall say: ‘[d]Have a long life, peace to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all that you have! Now then, I have heard that you have shearers. Now, your shepherds have been with us; we have not harmed them, nor has anything of theirs gone missing all the days they were in Carmel. Ask your young men and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we have come on a [e]festive day. Please give whatever you find at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

When David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal in accordance with all these words in David’s name; then they waited. 10 But Nabal answered David’s servants and said, “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants today who are each breaking away from his master. 11 Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men [f]whose origin I do not know?” 12 So David’s young men made their way back and returned; and they came and informed him in accordance with all these words. 13 Then David said to his men, “Each of you strap on his sword.” So each man strapped on his sword. And David also strapped on his sword, and about four hundred men went up behind David, while two hundred stayed with the baggage.

14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to [g]greet our master, and he spoke to them in anger. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we were not harmed, nor did anything go missing [h]as long as we went with them, while we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and by day, all the time we were with them tending the sheep. 17 Now then, be aware and [i]consider what you should do, because harm is plotted against our master and against all his household; and he is such a [j]worthless man that no one can speak to him.”

Abigail Intercedes

18 Then Abigail hurried and took two hundred loaves of bread and two jugs of wine, and five sheep already prepared and five measures of roasted grain, and a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and she loaded them on donkeys. 19 Then she said to her young men, “Go on ahead of me; behold, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And it happened as she was riding on her donkey and coming down by the hidden part of the mountain, that behold, David and his men were coming down toward her; so she met them. 21 Now David had said, “It is certainly for nothing that I have guarded everything that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing has gone missing of all that belonged to him! For he has returned me evil for good. 22 May God do so to the enemies of David, and more so, if by morning I leave alive as much as one [k]male of any who belong to him.”

23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and dismounted from her donkey, and fell on her face in front of David and bowed herself to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me [l]alone, my lord, be the blame. And please let your slave speak [m]to you, and listen to the words of your slave. 25 Please do not let my lord [n]pay attention to this [o]worthless man, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. [p]Nabal is his name, and stupidity is with him; but I your slave did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.

26 “Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, since the Lord has restrained you from [q]shedding blood, and from [r]avenging yourself by your own hand, now then, may your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord, be like Nabal. 27 And now let this [s]gift which your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who [t]accompany my lord. 28 Please forgive the offense of your slave; for the Lord will certainly make for my lord an [u]enduring house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil will not be found in you all your days. 29 Should anyone rise up to pursue you and to seek your [v]life, then the [w]life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; but the [x]lives of your enemies He will sling out [y]as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord does for my lord in accordance with all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and appoints you ruler over Israel, 31 this will not become an obstacle to you, or a [z]troubled heart to my lord, both by having shed blood without cause and by my lord’s having [aa]avenged himself. When the Lord deals well with my lord, then remember your slave.”

32 Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me, 33 and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from [ab]bloodshed and from [ac]avenging myself by my own hand. 34 Nevertheless, as the Lord God of Israel lives, who has restrained me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, there certainly would not have been left to Nabal until the morning light as much as one [ad]male.” 35 So David accepted from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. See, I have listened to [ae]you and [af]granted your request.”

36 Then Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was having a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was cheerful within him, for he was very drunk; so she did not tell him anything [ag]at all until the morning light. 37 But in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him so that he became like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died.

David Marries Abigail

39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of the shame inflicted on me by the hand of Nabal, and has kept back His servant from evil. The Lord has also returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent [ah]a proposal to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” 41 And she got up and bowed with her face to the ground, and said, “Behold, your slave is a servant to wash the feet of my lord’s servants.” 42 Then Abigail got up quickly, and rode on a donkey, with her five female attendants who [ai]accompanied her; and she followed the messengers of David and became his wife.

43 David had also taken Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both became his wives.

44 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.


  1. 1 Samuel 25:2 Lit great
  2. 1 Samuel 25:3 Lit of good understanding
  3. 1 Samuel 25:5 Lit come to
  4. 1 Samuel 25:6 Lit To life
  5. 1 Samuel 25:8 Lit good
  6. 1 Samuel 25:11 Lit from where they are
  7. 1 Samuel 25:14 Lit bless
  8. 1 Samuel 25:15 Lit all the days
  9. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit see
  10. 1 Samuel 25:17 Lit son of Belial
  11. 1 Samuel 25:22 Lit who urinates against the wall
  12. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit myself
  13. 1 Samuel 25:24 Lit in your ears
  14. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit set his heart to
  15. 1 Samuel 25:25 Lit man of Belial
  16. 1 Samuel 25:25 I.e., fool
  17. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit coming in with blood
  18. 1 Samuel 25:26 Lit helping
  19. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit blessing
  20. 1 Samuel 25:27 Lit walk at the feet of
  21. 1 Samuel 25:28 Or permanent
  22. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  23. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  24. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit soul
  25. 1 Samuel 25:29 Lit in the midst of
  26. 1 Samuel 25:31 Lit stumbling of heart
  27. 1 Samuel 25:31 Lit helped
  28. 1 Samuel 25:33 Lit coming into blood
  29. 1 Samuel 25:33 Lit helping
  30. 1 Samuel 25:34 Lit who urinates against the wall
  31. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit your voice
  32. 1 Samuel 25:35 Lit lifted up your face
  33. 1 Samuel 25:36 Lit small or large
  34. 1 Samuel 25:39 Lit and spoke
  35. 1 Samuel 25:42 Lit walked at her feet