1 Samuel Chapter 25 to 26 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions

David and Nabal the Fool

25 Samuel died. All the Israelites met together and showed their sadness about Samuel’s death. They buried Samuel at his home in Ramah. Then David moved to the Desert of Paran. 2There was a very rich man living in Maon. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. That man was in Carmel taking care of some business. He went there to cut the wool from his sheep. 3This man’s name was Nabal.* He was from Caleb’s family. Nabal’s wife was named Abigail. She was a wise and beautiful woman. But Nabal was a mean and cruel man. 4David was in the desert when he heard that Nabal was cutting the wool from his sheep. 5David sent ten young men to talk to Nabal. David told them, “Go to Carmel. Find Nabal and tell him ‘Hello’ for me.” 6David gave them this message for Nabal: “I hope you and your family are fine. I hope that everything you own is fine. 7I heard that you are cutting wool from your sheep. Your shepherds were with us for a while. And we did nothing wrong to them. We never took anything from your shepherds while they were at Carmel. 8Ask your servants and they will tell you this is true. Please be kind to my young men. We come to you now, at this happy time. Please give these young men anything you can. Please do this for me, your friend* David.” 9David’s men went to Nabal. They gave David’s message to Nabal. 10But Nabal {was mean to them}. Nabal said, “Who is David? Who is this son of Jesse? There are many slaves that have run away from their masters these days! 11I have bread and water. And I have the meat I killed for my servants who cut the wool from my sheep. But I won’t give them to men I don’t even know!” 12David’s men went back and told David everything that Nabal said. 13Then David said to his men, “Put on your swords!” So David and his men put on their swords. About 400 men went with David. And 200 men stayed with the supplies.

Abigail Prevents Trouble

14One of Nabal’s servants spoke to Nabal’s wife Abigail. The servant said, “David sent messengers from the desert to meet our master (Nabal). But Nabal was mean to David’s messengers. 15These men were very good to us. We were out in the fields with the sheep. David’s men were with us the whole time. And they never did anything wrong to us! They did not steal anything from us the whole time! 16David’s men protected us night and day! They were like a wall around us—they protected us while we were with them caring for the sheep. 17Now think about it and decide what you can do. Nabal was foolish to say the things he did! Terrible trouble is coming to our master (Nabal) and all his family.” 18Abigail hurried and took 200 loaves of bread, two full winebags, five cooked sheep, about a bushel* of cooked grain, about 2quarts* of raisins, and 200 cakes of pressed figs. She put them on donkeys. 19Then Abigail told her servants, “Go on. I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband. 20Abigail rode her donkey and came down to the other side of the mountain. She met David and his men coming from the other direction. 21{Before David met Abigail,} David was saying, “I protected Nabal’s property in the desert. I made sure none of his sheep were missing. I did all that for nothing! I did good things to him, but he has been bad to me. 22I hope God punishes me if I let even one man in Nabal’s family live till tomorrow morning.” 23Just then Abigail arrived. When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey. She bowed down with her face to the ground in front of David. 24Abigail lay at David’s feet and said, “Sir, please let me talk to you. Listen to what I say. Blame me for what happened. 25I didn’t see the men you sent. Sir, don’t pay any attention to that worthless man (Nabal). He is the same as his name. His name means ‘Foolish,’ and he really is foolish. 26The Lord has kept you from killing innocent people. Surely as the Lord lives and surely as you live, I hope your enemies and all the people who want to harm you become like Nabal. 27Now, I am bringing this gift to you. Please give these things to your men. 28Please forgive me for doing wrong. I know the Lord will make your family strong! The Lord will do this because you fight his battles. People will never find anything bad about you as long as you live! 29If a person chases you to kill you, the Lord your God will save your life! But the Lord will throw away your enemies like a stone from a sling!* 30The Lord promised to do many good things for you. And the Lord will keep all his promises! God will make you leader over Israel. 31And you won’t be guilty of killing innocent people. You won’t fall into that trap. Please remember me when the Lord brings you success.” 32David answered Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel. Praise God for sending you to meet me. 33God bless you for your good judgment. You kept me from killing innocent people today. 34Surely as the Lord the God of Israel lives, if you hadn’t come quickly to meet me, then not one man in Nabal’s family would have lived until tomorrow morning.” 35Then David accepted Abigail’s gifts. David told her, “Go home in peace. I have listened to your request, and I will do what you asked.”

Nabal’s Death

36Abigail went back to Nabal. Nabal was in the house. Nabal had been eating like a king. Nabal was drunk and feeling good. So Abigail told Nabal nothing until the next morning. 37The next morning, Nabal was sober. So his wife told him everything. Nabal had a heart attack and became as stiff as a rock! 38About ten days later, the Lord caused Nabal to die. 39David heard that Nabal was dead. David said, “Praise the Lord! Nabal said bad things about me, but the Lord supported me. The Lord kept me from doing wrong. And the Lord caused Nabal to die because he did wrong.” Then David sent a message to Abigail. David asked her to become his wife. 40David’s servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, “David sent us to get you. David wants you to become his wife.” 41Abigail bowed her face to the ground. She said, “I am your woman servant. I am ready to serve you. I am ready to wash the feet of my master’s (David’s) servants.”* 42Abigail quickly got on a donkey and went with David’s messengers. Abigail brought five maids with her. She became David’s wife. 43David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Both Ahinoam and Abigail were David’s wives. 44David was also married to Saul’s daughter Michal. But Saul had taken her away from him and had given her to a man named Palti, son of Laish. Palti was from the town named Gallim.

Nabal This name means “foolish.” friend Literally, “son.” about a bushel Literally, “5 seahs.” 2 quarts Literally, “1 omer.” sling A strip of leather for throwing rocks. wash the feet … servants This showed Abigail was humble and willing to be like a servant.

David and Abishai Enter Saul’s Camp

26 The people of Ziph went to see Saul at Gibeah. They said to Saul, “David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah. This hill is across from Jeshimon.” 2Saul went down to the desert of Ziph. Saul took the 3,000 soldiers he had chosen from all over Israel. Saul and these men looked for David in the desert of Ziph. 3Saul set up his camp on the hill of Hakilah. The camp was beside the road across from Jeshimon. David was staying in the desert. David learned that Saul had followed him there. 4So David sent out spies.* David learned that Saul had come to Hakilah. 5Then David went to the place where Saul had set up his camp. David saw where Saul and Abner were sleeping. (Abner son of Ner was the commander of Saul’s army.) Saul was sleeping in the middle of the camp. The army was all around Saul. 6David talked to Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah. (Abishai was Joab’s brother.) He asked them, “Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?” Abishai answered, “I’ll go with you.” 7Night came. David and Abishai went into Saul’s camp. Saul was asleep in the middle of the camp. His spear was stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the other soldiers were asleep around Saul. 8Abishai said to David, “Today God has let you defeat your enemy. Let me pin Saul to the ground with his spear. I’ll only do it once!” 9But David said to Abishai, “Don’t kill Saul! Any person who hurts the Lord’s chosen king must be punished! 10Surely as the Lord lives, the Lord himself will punish Saul. Maybe Saul will die naturally or maybe Saul will be killed in battle. 11But I pray that the Lord never lets me hurt the Lord’s chosen king! Now pick up the spear and water jug by Saul’s head. Then let’s go.” 12So David took the spear and water jug that were near Saul’s head. Then David and Abishai left Saul’s camp. No one knew what had happened! No one saw it. No one even woke up! Saul and all of his soldiers slept because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep.

David Shames Saul Again

13David crossed over to the other side of the valley. David stood on top of the mountain across the valley from Saul’s camp. David and Saul’s camp were far apart. 14David shouted to the army and to Abner son of Ner, “Answer me, Abner!” Abner answered, “Who are you? Why are you calling the king?” 15David said, “You are a man, aren’t you? And you are better than any other man in Israel. Is that right? Then why didn’t you guard your master, the king? An ordinary man came into your camp to kill your master, the king. 16You made a big mistake! As sure as the Lord is alive, you and your men should die. Why? Because you didn’t protect your master, the Lord’s chosen king. Look for the king’s spear and the water jug that was near Saul’s head! Where are they?” 17Saul knew David’s voice. Saul said, “Is that your voice, David my son?” David answered, “Yes, it is my voice, my master and king.” 18David also said, “Sir, why are you chasing me? What wrong have I done? What am I guilty of? 19My master and king, listen to me! If the Lord caused you to be angry at me, then let him accept an offering. But if men caused you to be angry at me, then let the Lord cause bad things to happen to them. Men have forced me to leave the land the Lord gave me. Men have told me, ‘{Go live with the foreigners.} Go and serve other gods.’ 20Now don’t make me die far away from the Lord’s presence. The king of Israel has come out looking for a flea. You are like a man hunting partridges in the mountains!”* 21Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Today you showed me that my life is important to you. So I will not try to hurt you. I have acted foolishly. I have made a big mistake.” 22David answered, “Here is the king’s spear. Let one of your young men come here and get it. 23The Lord pays every man for the things he does—he rewards him if he does right, and he punishes him if he does wrong. The Lord let me defeat you today, but I wouldn’t hurt the Lord’s chosen king. 24Today I showed you that your life is important to me! In the same way, the Lord will show that my life is important to him! The Lord will save me from every trouble.” 25Then Saul said to David, “God bless you, David my son. You will do great things and you will win.” David went on his way, and Saul went back home.

spies People who secretly go to learn about the enemy’s strengths and weaknesses. hunting partridges in the mountains People hunted these birds until the birds became too tired to go on. Then they killed the birds. Saul was chasing David the same way. This is also a word play. The Hebrew word for “partridge” is like the word for “calling” in verse 14.

Other Versions