David and Abigail
25 1 And death came to Samuel; and all Israel came together, weeping for him, and put his body in its resting-place in his house at Ramah. Then David went down to the waste land of Maon.
2 Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel; he was a great man and had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats: and he was cutting the wool of his sheep in Carmel. 3 Now this man was named Nabal, and his wife's name was Abigail: she was a woman of good sense and pleasing looks: but the man was cruel and evil in his ways; he was of the family of Caleb. 4 And David had word in the waste land that Nabal was cutting the wool of his sheep. 5 And David sent ten young men, and said to them, Go up to Carmel and go to Nabal, and say kind words to him in my name; 6 And say this to my brother, May all be well for you: peace be to you and your house and all you have. 7 I have had word that you have wool-cutters: now the keepers of your sheep have been with us, and we have done them no evil, and taken nothing of theirs while they were in Carmel. 8 If your young men are questioned they will say the same thing. So now, let my young men have grace in your eyes, for we are come at a good time; please give anything you may have by you to your servants and to your son David. 9 And when David's young men came, they said all this to Nabal, in David's name, and said nothing more. 10 And Nabal gave them his answer and said, Who is David? who is the son of Jesse? there are a number of servants in these days running away from their masters. 11 Am I to take my bread and my wine and the meat I have got ready for my wool-cutters and give it to men coming from I have no idea where?
12 So David's young men, turning away, went back and gave him an account of everything he had said. 13 And David said to his men, Put on your swords, every one of you. And every man put on his sword; and David did the same; and about four hundred men went up with David, and two hundred kept watch over their goods. 14 But one of the young men said to Nabal's wife Abigail, David sent men from the waste land to say kind words to our master, and he gave them a rough answer. 15 But these men have been very good to us; they did us no wrong and nothing of ours was touched while we were with them in the fields: 16 But day and night they were like a wall round us while we were with them, looking after the sheep. 17 So now, give thought to what you are going to do; for evil is in store for our master and all his house: for he is such a good-for-nothing person that it is not possible to say anything to him.
18 Then Abigail quickly took two hundred cakes of bread and two skins full of wine and five sheep ready for cooking and five measures of dry grain and a hundred parcels of dry grapes and two hundred cakes of figs, and put them on asses. 19 And she said to her young men, Go on in front of me and I will come after you. But she said nothing to her husband Nabal. 20 Now while she was going down under cover of the mountain on her ass, David and his men came down against her, and suddenly she came face to face with them. 21 Now David had said, What was the use of my taking care of this man's goods in the waste land, so that there was no loss of anything which was his? he has only given me back evil for good. 22 May God's punishment be on David, if when morning comes there is so much as one male of his people still living. 23 And when Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her ass, falling down on her face before him. 24 And falling at his feet she said, May the wrong be on me, my lord, on me: let your servant say a word to you, and give ear to the words of your servant. 25 Let my lord give no attention to Nabal, that good-for-nothing: for as his name is, so is he, a man without sense: but I, your servant, did not see the young men whom my lord sent. 26 So now, my lord, by the living God and by your living soul, seeing that the Lord has kept you from the crime of blood and from taking into your hands the punishment for your wrongs, may all your haters, and those who would do evil to my lord, be like Nabal. 27 And let this offering, which your servant gives to my lord, be given to the young men who are with my lord. 28 And may the sin of your servant have forgiveness: for the Lord will certainly make your family strong, because my lord is fighting in the Lord's war; and no evil will be seen in you all your days. 29 And though a man has taken up arms against you, putting your life in danger, still the soul of my lord will be kept safe among the band of the living with the Lord your God; and the souls of those who are against you he will send violently away from him, like stones from a bag. 30 And when the Lord has done for my lord all those good things which he has said he will do for you, and has made you a ruler over Israel; 31 Then you will have no cause for grief, and my lord's heart will not be troubled because you have taken life without cause and have yourself given punishment for your wrongs: and when the Lord has been good to you, then give a thought to your servant.
32 And David said to Abigail, May the Lord, the God of Israel, be praised, who sent you to me today: 33 A blessing on your good sense and on you, who have kept me today from the crime of blood and from taking into my hands the punishment for my wrongs. 34 For truly, by the living Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept me from doing you evil, if you had not been so quick in coming to me and meeting me, by dawn there would not have been in Nabal's house so much as one male living. 35 Then David took from her hands her offering: and he said to her, Go back to your house in peace; see, I have given ear to your voice, and taken your offering with respect.
36 And Abigail went back to Nabal; and he was feasting in his house like a king; and Nabal's heart was full of joy, for he had taken much wine; so she said nothing to him till dawn came. 37 And in the morning, when the effect of the wine was gone, Nabal's wife gave him an account of all these things, and all the heart went out of him, and he became like stone. 38 And about ten days after, the Lord sent disease on Nabal and death came to him. 39 And David, hearing that Nabal was dead, said, May the Lord be praised, who has taken up my cause against Nabal for the shame which he put on me, and has kept back his servant from evil, and has sent on Nabal's head the reward of his evil-doing. And David sent word to Abigail, desiring to take her as his wife. 40 And when David's servants came to Carmel, to Abigail, they said to her, David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife. 41 And she got up, and going down on her face to the earth, said, See, I am ready to be a servant-girl, washing the feet of the servants of my lord. 42 Then Abigail got up quickly and went on her ass, with five of her young women, after the men whom David had sent; and she became David's wife. 43 And David had taken Ahinoam of Jezreel, to be his wife; these two were his wives. 44 Now Saul had given his daughter Michal, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish of Gallim.
David Spares Saul at Ziph
26 1 And the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, and said, Is not David waiting secretly near us in the hill of Hachilah, before the waste land? 2 Then Saul went down to the waste land of Ziph, taking with him three thousand of the best men of Israel, to make search for David in the waste land of Ziph. 3 And Saul put up his tents on the hill of Hachilah, which is in front of the waste land on the road. But David was in the waste land, and he saw that Saul was coming after him. 4 And so David sent out watchers, and got word from them that Saul was certainly coming. 5 And David got up and came to the place where Saul's tents were: and David had a view of the place where Saul was sleeping with Abner, the son of Ner, the captain of his army: and Saul was sleeping inside the ring of carts, and the tents of the people were all round him.
6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, brother of Joab, Who will go down with me to the tents of Saul? And Abishai said, I will go down with you. 7 So David and Abishai came down to the army by night: and Saul was sleeping inside the ring of carts with his spear planted in the earth by his head: and Abner and the people were sleeping round him. 8 Then Abishai said to David, God has given up your hater into your hands today; now let me give him one blow through to the earth with his spear, and there will be no need to give him a second. 9 And David said to Abishai Do not put him to death; for who, without sin, may put out his hand against the man on whom the Lord has put the holy oil? 10 And David said, By the living Lord, the Lord will send destruction on him; the natural day of his death will come, or he will go into the fight and come to his end. 11 Never will my hand be stretched out against the man marked with the holy oil; but take the spear which is by his head and the vessel of water, and let us go. 12 So David took the spear and the vessel of water from Saul's head; and they got away without any man seeing them, or being conscious of their coming, or awaking; for they were all sleeping because a deep sleep from the Lord had come on them.
13 Then David went over to the other side, and took his place on the top of a mountain some distance away, with a great space between them; 14 And crying out to the people and to Abner, the son of Ner, David said, Have you no answer to give, Abner? Then Abner said, Who is that crying out to the king? 15 And David said to Abner, Are you not a man of war? is there any other like you in Israel? why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? for one of the people came in to put the king your lord to death. 16 What you have done is not good. By the living Lord, death is the right fate for you, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the man on whom the Lord has put the holy oil. Now see, where is the king's spear, and the vessel of water which was by his head? 17 And Saul, conscious that the voice was David's, said, Is that your voice, David, my son? And David said, It is my voice, O my lord king. 18 And he said, Why does my lord go armed against his servant? what have I done? or what evil is there in me? 19 Let my lord the king give ear now to the words of his servant. If it is the Lord who is moving you against me, let him take an offering: but if it is the children of men, may they be cursed before the Lord, for driving me out today and keeping me from my place in the heritage of the Lord, saying, Go, be the servant of other gods. 20 Then do not let my blood be drained out on the earth away from the face of the Lord: for the king of Israel has come out to take my life, like one going after birds in the mountains.
21 Then Saul said, I have done wrong: come back to me, David my son: I will do you no more wrong, because my life was dear to you today truly, I have been foolish and my error is very great. 22 Then David said, Here is the king's spear! let one of the young men come over and get it. 23 And the Lord will give to every man the reward of his righteousness and his faith: because the Lord gave you into my hands today, and I would not put out my hand against the man who has been marked with the holy oil. 24 And so, as your life was dear to me today, may my life be dear to the Lord, and may he make me free from all my troubles. 25 Then Saul said to David, May a blessing be on you, David, my son; you will do great things and without doubt you will overcome. Then David went on his way, and Saul went back to his place.
David Lives among the Philistines
27 1 And David said to himself, Some day death will come to me by the hand of Saul: the only thing for me to do is to get away into the land of the Philistines; then Saul will give up hope of taking me in any part of the land of Israel: and so I may be able to get away from him. 2 So David and the six hundred men who were with him went over to Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 And David and his men were living with Achish at Gath; every man had his family with him, and David had his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail of Carmel, who had been the wife of Nabal. 4 And Saul, hearing that David had gone to Gath, went after him no longer. 5 Then David said to Achish, If now I have grace in your eyes, let me have a place in one of the smaller towns of your land, to be my living-place; for it is not right for your servant to be living with you in the king's town. 6 So Achish straight away gave him Ziklag: and for that reason Ziklag has been the property of the kings of Judah to this day. 7 And David was living in the land of the Philistines for the space of a year and four months.
8 And David and his men went up and made attacks on the Geshurites and the Girzites and the Amalekites; for these were the people who were living in the land from Telam on the way to Shur, as far as Egypt. 9 And David again and again made attacks on the land till not a man or a woman was still living; and he took away the sheep and the oxen and the asses and the camels and the clothing; and he came back to Achish. 10 And every time Achish said, Where have you been fighting today? David said, Against the South of Judah and the South of the Jerahmeelites and the South of the Kenites. 11 Not one living man or woman did David ever take back with him to Gath, fearing that they might give an account of what had taken place, and say, This is what David did, and so has he been doing all the time while he has been living in the land of the Philistines. 12 And Achish had belief in what David said, saying, He has made himself hated by all his people Israel, and so he will be my servant for ever.