David and Abigail
25 1 And Samuel died; and all Israel were gathered together, and lamented him; and they buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2 And there was a man at Maon, whose business was at Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats; and he was shearing his sheep at Carmel. 3 And the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail; and the woman was of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance; but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was a Calebite. 4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 Then David sent out ten young men; and David said to the young men, Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. 6 And thus shall ye say: Long life [to thee]! and peace be to thee, and peace be to thy house, and peace be to all that thou hast! 7 And now I have heard that thou hast shearers; now thy shepherds who were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there aught missed by them, all the while they were in Carmel. 8 Ask thy young men, and they will tell thee. Therefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes; for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, what thy hand may find to thy servants, and to thy son David. 9 And David's young men came, and spoke to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased. 10 And Nabal answered David's servants and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there are many servants now-a-days that break away every man from his master. 11 And shall I take my bread, and my water, and my flesh which I have killed for my shearers, and give [it] to men whom I know not whence they are?
12 And David's young men turned their way, and went back, and came and reported to him according to all those words. 13 And David said to his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword; and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the baggage. 14 And one of [Nabal's] young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to bless our master; and he has insulted them. 15 And the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we anything, as long as we companied with them, when we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the while we were with them feeding the sheep. 17 And now know and consider what thou wilt do, for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household; and he is such a son of Belial, that one cannot speak to him.
18 And Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two skin-bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched [corn], and a hundred raisin-cakes, and two hundred fig-cakes, and laid them on asses. 19 And she said to her young men, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And as she was riding on the ass, and coming down by the covert of the hill, behold, David and his men came down opposite to her; and she met them. 21 Now David had said, Surely, in vain have I kept all that this [man] had in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that was his; and he has requited me evil for good. 22 So and more also do God to the enemies of David, if I leave of all that is his by the morning light any male. 23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, 24 and fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, [upon] me let the iniquity be; but let thy handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine ears, and hear the words of thy handmaid. 25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, Nabal; for as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him; and I thy handmaid did not see the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. 26 And now, my lord, [as] Jehovah liveth, and [as] thy soul liveth, seeing Jehovah has restrained thee from coming with bloodshed, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal. 27 And now this blessing which thy bondmaid has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men that follow my lord. 28 I pray thee, forgive the transgression of thy handmaid: for Jehovah will certainly make my lord a lasting house; because my lord fights the battles of Jehovah, and evil has not been found in thee all thy days. 29 And if a man is risen up to pursue thee and to seek thy life, the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with Jehovah thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out from the hollow of the sling. 30 And it shall come to pass, when Jehovah shall do to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning thee, and shall appoint thee ruler over Israel, 31 that this shall be no stumbling-block to thee, nor offence of heart for my lord, either that thou hast shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. And when Jehovah shall deal well with my lord, then remember thy handmaid.
32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be Jehovah, the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me. 33 And blessed be thy discernment, and blessed be thou, who hast kept me this day from coming with bloodshed, and from avenging myself with mine own hand. 34 But indeed, as Jehovah the God of Israel liveth, who has restrained me from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, there had not been left to Nabal by the morning light any male. 35 So David received of her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, Go up in peace to thy house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.
36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was drunken to excess; so she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light. 37 And it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, that his wife told him these things; and his heart died within him, and he became [as] a stone. 38 And it came to pass in about ten days that Jehovah smote Nabal, and he died. 39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be Jehovah, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from evil; but Jehovah has returned Nabal's evil upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 And the servants of David came to Abigail to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying, David has sent us to thee, to take thee as his wife. 41 And she arose and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thy handmaid be a bondwoman to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. 42 And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that followed her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife. 43 David had also taken Ahinoam of Jizreel; and they became, even both of them, his wives. 44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
David Spares Saul at Ziph
26 1 And the Ziphites came to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Does not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, facing the waste? 2 And Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul encamped in the hill of Hachilah, which faces the waste, by the way side. And David abode in the wilderness; and when he saw that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, 4 David sent out spies, and learned that Saul was certainly come. 5 And David arose and came to the place where Saul had encamped; and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host; and Saul lay within the wagon-defence, and the people were encamped round about him.
6 And David spake and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee. 7 And David and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping within the wagon-defence, and his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people lay round about him. 8 And Abishai said to David, God has delivered thine enemy into thy hand this day; and now let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear, even to the ground once, and I will not do it the second time. 9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not; for who can stretch forth his hand against Jehovah's anointed, and be guiltless? 10 And David said, [As] Jehovah liveth, Jehovah will surely smite him; either his day shall come to die, or he shall descend into battle and perish. 11 Jehovah forbid that I should stretch forth my hand against Jehovah's anointed! But now take, I pray thee, the spear that is at his head, and the cruse of water, and let us go. 12 And David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's head; and they went away, and no man saw [it], and none knew [it], and none awaked, for they were all asleep; for a deep sleep from Jehovah had fallen upon them.
13 And David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill afar off; a great space [being] between them. 14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king? 15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a man? and who is like to thee in Israel? and why hast thou not guarded thy lord the king? for one of the people came in to destroy the king thy lord. 16 This thing is not good which thou hast done. As Jehovah liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not guarded your master, Jehovah's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his head. 17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king. 18 And he said, Why does my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in my hand? 19 And now, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If Jehovah have moved thee against me, let him accept an oblation; but if the sons of men, cursed be they before Jehovah; for they have driven me out this day from adhering to the inheritance of Jehovah, saying, Go, serve other gods. 20 And now, let not my blood fall to the earth far from the face of Jehovah; for the king of Israel is come out to seek a single flea, as when they hunt a partridge on the mountains.
21 And Saul said, I have sinned: return, my son David; for I will no more do thee harm, because my life was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have acted foolishly, and have erred exceedingly. 22 And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear, and let one of the young men come over and fetch it. 23 And Jehovah will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for Jehovah gave thee into [my] hand this day, and I would not stretch forth my hand against Jehovah's anointed. 24 And behold, as thy life was highly esteemed this day in mine eyes, so let my life be highly esteemed in the eyes of Jehovah, that he may deliver me out of all distress. 25 And Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt certainly do [great things], and shalt certainly prevail. And David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
David Lives among the Philistines
27 1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me to seek me any more within all the limits of Israel, and I shall escape out of his hand. 2 And David arose and passed over, he and the six hundred men that were with him, to Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3 And David abode with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household; David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jizreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife. 4 And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath; and he sought no more for him. 5 And David said to Achish, If now I have found favour in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some country-town, that I may abide there; for why should thy servant abide in the royal city with thee? 6 And Achish gave him Ziklag that day; therefore Ziklag belongs to the kings of Judah to this day. 7 And the time that David abode in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months.
8 And David and his men went up and made a raid upon the Geshurites, and the Gerzites, and the Amalekites: for those were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, and as far as the land of Egypt. 9 And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish. 10 So Achish said, Have ye not made a raid to-day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites. 11 And David left neither man nor woman alive, to bring [them] to Gath, for he said, Lest they should tell of us, saying, So did David. And such was his custom as long as he abode in the country of the Philistines. 12 And Achish trusted David, saying, He has made himself utterly odious among his people Israel; and he shall be my servant for ever.