2There was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. And the man was very wealthy, and he had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats, and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife was Abigail. And the woman was intelligent and had a beautiful figure, but the man was harsh and evil in his dealings. And he was of the house of Caleb.
4Now David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.
5So David sent ten young men, and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name.
6You are to tell him, ‘Life to you! Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.
7Now I have heard that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us and we did not mistreat them, nor was there anything missing from them the whole time they were in Carmel.
8Ask your young men and they will tell you. So let the young men find favor in your eyes, for we come at a festive time. Please give whatever your hand finds to your servants and to your son David.’”
9So David’s young men came and spoke to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and then they waited.
10Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? These days there are many servants who break away, each one from his lord.
11Should I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men who are from I do not know where?”
12So David’s young men turned back on their path and returned and came and told him according to all these words.
13Then David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man strapped on his sword, and David also strapped on his sword. About 400 men followed David and 200 stayed by the supplies.
14But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Behold, David sent messengers from the wilderness to give a greeting of blessing to our lord, but he shrieked at them.
15But the men were very good to us and we were not mistreated, nor did we miss anything the whole time we went around with them when we were in the fields.
16They were a wall around us both by night and by day all the days we were with them keeping the sheep.
17So now know this and consider what you will do, for evil is determined against our lord and against all his house, for he is such a son of Belial that one cannot speak to him.”
18Then Abigail hurried and took 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already prepared, five measures of parched grain, 100 clusters of raisins and 200 cakes of figs and put them on donkeys.
19Then she said to her young men, “Go on before me. Behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20It was so, just as she rode on her donkey and came down under the cover of the mountain, that behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them.
21Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have guarded all that this man has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him. He has returned to me evil for good.
22God do so to the enemies of David, and more also, if I leave of all that belongs to him by the morning so much as one who pisses against a wall.”
23When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from her donkey and fell on her face before David and bowed down to the earth.
24She fell at his feet and said, “On me, my lord, on me be the iniquity, and please let your servant speak in your ears. Hear the words of your servant.
25Please do not let my lord pay any mind to this man of Belial, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see my lord’s young men, whom you sent.
26And now, my lord, as Yahweh lives, and as your soul lives, since Yahweh has prevented you from coming into blood-guilt and from saving yourself by your own hand, so now let your enemies and those who seek evil against my lord be as Nabal.
27Now this token-of-blessing that your servant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who are going about in the footsteps of my lord.
28Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For Yahweh will make, yes, make my lord a lasting house because my lord fights the battles of Yahweh. May no evil be found in you all your days!
29“Though men may rise up to pursue you and to seek your soul, yet the soul of my lord will be bound in the bundle of life with Yahweh your God. But the souls of your enemies, those he will sling out as from the pouch of a sling.
30It will come to pass when Yahweh has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has commissioned you ruler over Israel
31that this will be no obstacle to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause or that my lord has saved himself. And when Yahweh has done good to my lord, then remember your servant.”
32Then David said to Abigail, “Blessed is Yahweh the God of Israel who sent you this day to meet me!
33Blessed is your discernment and blessed are you, who has kept me this day from coming into blood-guilt and from saving myself with my own hand.
34Indeed, as Yahweh, the God of Israel lives who has prevented me from harming you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely there would not have been left to Nabal by the morning so much as one who pisses against a wall.”
35So David received from her hand what she had brought him and he said to her, “Go up to your house in peace. Behold, I have listened to your voice and have granted your request.”
36And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was having a banquet in his house like the banquet of a king. Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him not a word, neither small nor big, until the morning light.
37But then in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things and his heart died inside him and he became like a stone.
38And it came to pass about ten days later that Yahweh struck Nabal and he died.
39And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed is Yahweh who has upheld my cause against the insult that came from the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from evil. Yahweh has returned the evildoing of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke with Abigail about taking her to himself as a wife.
40When the servants of David had come to Abigail to Carmel, they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as a wife.”
41Then she arose and bowed down with her face to the earth and said, “Behold, your servant is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”
42And Abigail hurried and arose and rode on a donkey with five young women of hers who followed her, and she went after the messengers of David and became a wife to him.