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The Bible in Living English
25* And Samuel died, and all Israel gathered and wailed for him and buried him at his home in Ramah. And David moved, going down to the wilderness of Paran. 2 And there was a man at Maon whose ranch was at Carmel: the man was very wealthy, had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats; and he was having a sheepshearing at Carmel. 3 The man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s Abigail; the wife was beautiful and sensible, the husband harsh and ill-conditioned; he was a Calebite. 4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep; 5 and David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men “Go up to Carmel, and when you come to Nabal’s ask him in my name how he does, 6* and say ‘So may you live, yourself well and your family well and all that is yours well. 7 Now I have heard that you are having a shearing: now those shepherds of yours have been with us, and we did not bully them, and nothing of theirs was missing all the time they were at Carmel. 8* Ask your men and have them tell you, that my men may have your goodwill, since we have come on a happy day; please give what you can to your servants, and to your son David.’” 9 And David’s men came and said to Nabal in David’s name all these words, and rested. 10 And Nabal answered David’s followers “Who is David, and who is Jesse’s son? there are too many slaves today that are turning brigands by their masters’ fault. 11* And am I to take my bread and my wine, and my meat that I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give them to men from I don’t know where?” 12 And David’s men turned and went their way, and came back and told him all these words. 13 And David said to his men “Belt on your swords”; and they belted on their swords, and David too belted on his, and about four hundred men went up behind David, while two hundred stayed with the things. 14 And one of Nabal’s men told Nabal’s wife Abigail “Here has David sent men out of the wilderness to congratulate master, and he jawed them. 15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not bullied, and did not miss anything, all the time we were going with them while we were out on the range: 16 they were a wall for us both night and day all the time we were with them tending the sheep. 17 Now make up your mind what you will do; for master and all his family are in for trouble, and he is too much of a reprobate to speak to.” 18 And in haste Abigail took two hundred cakes of bread and two skins of wine and five cooked sheep and seven pecks of roasted grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and a hundred cakes of figs, and put them on donkeys 19 and said to her men “Go over ahead of me: I will be coming after you”; but she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And as she was riding on her donkey and going down screened by the mountainside, she found David and his men coming down to meet her; 21 and she met with them while David was thinking “It is all for nothing I have guarded in the wilderness everything that belonged to this man, and of all that belonged to him nothing was missing: he has repaid me bad for good. 22 God do so to David’s enemies, and more, if by morning I leave of all that belongs to him any male person.” 23 And Abigail saw David and dismounted from her donkey in haste, and threw herself down on her face before David and did reverence on the ground, 24 and threw herself on his feet and said “On me be the offense, sir; but let your servant speak in your hearing, and listen to your servant’s words. 25 You must not mind that reprobate Nabal, sir, because he is just like his name: Nabal means curmudgeon, and curmudgeonliness is his nature; but I your servant did not see the young men you sent, sir. 26 And now, sir, by Jehovah and by your life, Jehovah has restrained you from getting into bloodguilt and from letting your own hands relieve you: now may your enemies, and those who wish my lord ill, be as Nabal is. 27 Now, then, let this token of goodwill that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who accompany my lord in his movements. 28 Pardon your servant’s crime; for Jehovah will make my lord a secure house, because my lord is fighting Jehovah’s battles and there is nothing bad in your record as long as you have lived. 29 And men have stood up against you to persecute you and hunt for your life, but my lord’s life shall be wrapped up in the bundle of the living in the keeping of your God Jehovah, and your enemies’ lives he shall sling out in the cup of a sling. 30 And when Jehovah does for my lord just as he has promised you good, and appoints you warden over Israel, 31 my lord will not have this as a matter for misgiving and unrest, to have shed blood without cause and to have let my lord’s own hands relieve him; and Jehovah will do you good, and you will remember your servant.” 32 And David said to Abigail “Blessed be Jehovah the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today; 33 and blessed be your good sense, and blessed you, who have checked me this day from getting into bloodguilt and from letting my own hands relieve me. 34 But, by Jehovah the God of Israel, who has restrained me from doing you harm, if you had not been quick about coming to meet me, by morning not a male person of Nabal’s would have been left.” 35 And David took from her hands what she had brought him; and to her he said “Go up to your home, it will be all right: see, I have obeyed you and favored you.” 36 And Abigail came home to Nabal and found him having in his house a wassail like the king’s; and Nabal was jolly and very drunk; and she did not tell him a thing, great or small, till 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 in him, and he turned to a stone. 38 And in about ten days Jehovah smote Nabal, and he died; 39* and David heard that Nabal was dead, and he said “Blessed be Jehovah, who has upheld my rights against Nabal in the matter of the insult I suffered, and who held back his servant from mischief and sent Nabal’s mischief back on his own head.” And David sent a proposal of marriage to Abigail; 40 and David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel and addressed her, saying “David sent us to you to get you for his wife.” 41 And she stood up and did reverence with her face to the ground, and said “Your servant is a waiting-maid to wash the feet of my lord’s servants”; 42 and Abigail set out at once, riding on her donkey, with her five maids going behind her, and followed David’s messengers and became his wife. 43 David took Ahinoʽam of Jezreʽel too; and they both became his wives. 44 But Saul had given his daughter Mical, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Layish, of Gallim.