The Bible in Its Traditions

1 Samuel 25:1–44

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And Samuel died; and all Israel gathered themselves together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

Then Samuel died, and all of Israel gathered together, and they mourned him. And they buried him at his house in Ramah. And David, rising up, descended to the desert of Paran.

And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats; and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

Now there was a certain man in the wilderness of Maon, and his possessions were at Carmel. And this man was exceedingly great. And three thousand sheep, and one thousand goats were his. And it happened that he was shearing his sheep at Carmel.

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Now 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 form; but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.

And the man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigaia: and his wife was of good understanding and very beautiful in person: but the man was harsh, and evil in his doings, and the man was churlish.

Now the name of this man was Nabal. And the name of his wife was Abigail. And she was a very prudent and beautiful woman. But her husband was hard-hearted, and very wicked, and malicious. And he was of the stock of Caleb.

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And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.

Therefore, when David, in the desert, had heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep,

And David sent ten young men, and David said unto the young men: 'Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name;

he sent ten young men, and he said to them: “Ascend to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name peacefully.

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and thus ye shall say: All hail! and peace be both unto thee, and peace be to thy house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.

And thus shall ye say, May thou and thy house seasonably prosper, and all thine be in prosperity.

And you shall say: ‘Peace be to my brothers and to you, and peace to your house, and peace to whatever you have.

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And now I have heard that thou hast shearers; thy shepherds have now been with us, and we did them no hurt, neither was there aught missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.

I have heard that your shepherds, who were with us in the desert, were shearing. We have never troubled them, nor was anything from the flock missing to them at any time, during the entire time that they have been with us in Carmel.

Your shepherds were with us and we did not harm them, and they did not miss anything all the time they were in Carmel.

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Ask thy young men, and they will tell thee; wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes; for we come on a good day; give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thy hand, unto thy servants, and to thy son David.'

Question your servants, and they will tell you. Now therefore, may your servants find favor in your eyes. For we have arrived on a good day. Whatever your hand will find, give it to your servants and to your son David.’ ”

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And when David's young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.

So the servants come and speak these words to Nabal, according to all these words in the name of David.

And when the servants of David had arrived, they spoke to Nabal all these words in the name of David. And then they were silent.

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;

10  And Nabal sprang up, and answered the servants of David, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jessae? Now-a-days there is abundance of servants who depart every one from his master.

10  But Nabal, responding to the servants of David, said: “Who is David? And who is the son of Jesse? Today, servants who are fleeing from their lords are increasing.

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11  shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men of whom I know not whence they are?'

11  Therefore, shall I take my bread, and my water, and the meat of the cattle that I have slain for my shearers, and give it to men, when I do not know where they are from?”

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12  So David's young men turned on their way, and went back, and came and told him according to all these words.

12  So the servants of David turned back, and returned, and came and reported to David according to these words.

12  And so the servants of David traveled back along their way. And returning, they went and reported to him all the words that he had said.

13  And David said unto 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.

13  And David said to his men, Gird on every man his sword. And they went up after David, about four hundred men: and two hundred abode with the stuff.

13  Then David said to his servants, “Let each one gird his sword.” And each one girded his sword. And David also girded his sword. And about four hundred men followed David. But two hundred remained behind with the supplies.

14  But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying: 'Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he flew upon them.

14  And one of the servants reported to Abigaia the wife of Nabal, saying, Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our lord; but he turned away from them.

14  Then it was reported to Abigail, the wife of Nabal, by one of his servants, saying: “Behold, David has sent messengers from the desert, so that they might speak kindly to our lord. But he turned them away.

15  But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we went with them, when we were in the fields;

15  And the men were very good to us; they did not hinder us, neither did they demand from us any thing all the days that we were with them.

15  These men were good enough to us, and were not troublesome. Neither did we ever lose anything, during the entire time that we conversed with them in the desert.

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16  they were a wall unto us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.

16  And when we were in the field, they were as a wall round about us, both by night and by day, all the days that we were with them feeding the flock.

16  They were a wall to us, as much in the night as in the day, during all the days that we were with them, pasturing the sheep.

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17  Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his house; for he is such a base fellow, that one cannot speak to him.'

17  And now do thou consider, and see what thou wilt do; for mischief is determined against our lord and against his house; and he is a vile character, and one cannot speak to him.

17  For this reason, consider and realize what you should do. For evil has been decided against your husband and against your house. And he is a son of Belial, so that no one is able to speak to him.”

18  Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.

18  And Abigaia hasted, and took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five ephahs of fine flour, and one homer of dried grapes, and two hundred cakes of figs, and put them upon asses.

18  And so Abigail hurried, and she took two hundred loaves, and two vessels of wine, and five cooked sheep, and five measures of cooked grain, and one hundred clusters of dried grapes, and two hundred masses of dried figs, and she set them upon donkeys.

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19  And she said unto her young men: 'Go on before me; behold, I come after you.' But she told not her husband Nabal.

19  And she said to her servants: “Go before me. Behold, I will follow after your back.” But she did not reveal it to her husband, Nabal.

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20  And it was so, as she rode on her ass, and came down by the covert of the mountain, that, behold, David and his men came down towards her; and she met them.--

20  And when she had climbed on a donkey, and was descending to the base of the mountain, David and his men were descending to meet her. And she met them.

20  And as she was riding on the ass and coming down by the covert of the mountain, behold, David and his men were coming up in her direction; and she met them.

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21  Now David had said: 'Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him; and he hath returned me evil for good.

21  And David said, Perhaps I have kept all his possessions in the wilderness that he should wrong me, and we did not order the taking anything of all his goods; yet he has rewarded me evil for good.

21  And David said: “Truly, in vain have I preserved all that was his in the wilderness, so that nothing perished out of all that belonged to him. And he has repaid evil to me for good.

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22  God do so unto the enemies of David, and more also, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light so much as one male.'--

22  So God do to David and more also, if I leave one male of all that belong to Nabal until the morning.

22  May God do these things, by the enemies of David, and may he add these other things, if I leave behind until morning, out of all that belongs to him, anything that urinates against a wall.”

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23  And when Abigail saw David, she made haste, and alighted from her ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed down to the ground.

23  And Abigaia saw David, and she hasted and alighted from her ass; and she felt before David on her face, and did obeisance to him, bowing to the ground

23  Then, when Abigail had seen David, she hurried and descended from the donkey. And she fell upon her face before David, and she reverenced on the ground.

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24  And she fell at his feet, and said: 'Upon me, my lord, upon me be the iniquity; and let thy handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine ears, and hear thou the words of thy handmaid.

24  even to his feet, and said, On me, my lord, be my wrong: let, I pray thee, thy servant speak in thine ears, and hear thou the words of thy servant.

24  And fell at his feet, and said, I beseech you, my lord, let this iniquity be upon me, my lord; and let your handmaid speak before you concerning this man Nabal.

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25  Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this base fellow, even Nabal; for as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and churlishness is with him; but I thy handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.

25  Let not my lord, the king, I beseech you, set his heart upon this iniquitous man, Nabal. For in accord with his name, he is senseless, and foolishness is with him. But I, your handmaid, did not see your servants, my lord, whom you had sent.

25  For as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and his folly is with him; but I, your handmaid, did not see the young men whom my lord sent.

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26  Now therefore, my lord, as YHWH liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the YHWH hath withholden thee from bloodguiltiness, and from finding redress for thyself with thine own hand, now therefore let thine enemies, and them that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

26  And now, my lord, as the Lord lives, and thy soul lives, as the Lord has kept thee from coming against innocent blood, and from executing vengeance for thyself, now therefore let thine enemies, and those that seek evil against my lord, become as Nabal.

26  Now therefore, my lord, as your soul lives, and as the Lord lives, who has kept your hand to yourself, and has prevented you from coming to blood: now, let your enemies be like Nabal, and like all those who are seeking evil for my lord.

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27  And now this present which thy servant hath brought unto my lord, let it be given unto the young men that follow my lord.

27  And now accept this token of goodwill, which thy servant has brought to my lord, and thou shalt give it to the servants that wait on my lord.

27  Because of this, accept this blessing, which your handmaid has brought to you, my lord. And give it to the young men who follow you, my lord.

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28  Forgive, I pray thee, the trespass of thy handmaid; for YHWH will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord fighteth the battles of the YHWH; and evil is not found in thee all thy days.

28  Forgive the iniquity of your handmaid. For the Lord will surely make for you, my lord, a faithful house, because you, my lord, fight the battles of the Lord. Therefore, let no evil be found in you all the days of your life.

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29  And though man be risen up to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul, yet the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with YHWH thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as from the hollow of a sling.

29  For if a man, at any time, will rise up, pursuing you and seeking your life, the life of my lord will be preserved, as if in the sheave of the living, with the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies will be spun around, as if with the force of a whirling sling.

29  Yet a man is resolved to pursue you and to seek your life; but the life of my lord is bound in the bundle of life with the LORD your God; but the lives of your enemies the LORD shall throw out of a sling.

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30  And it shall come to pass, when YHWH shall have done to my lord according to all the good that He hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee prince over Israel;

30  And it shall be when the Lord shall have wrought for my lord all the good things he has spoken concerning thee, and shall appoint thee to be ruler over Israel;

30  Therefore, when the Lord will have done for you, my lord, all the good that he has spoken about you, and when he will have appointed you as leader over Israel,

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31  that this shall be no stumbling-block unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood without cause, or that my lord hath found redress for himself. And when YHWH shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thy handmaid.'

32  And David said to Abigail: 'Blessed be YHWH, the God of Israel, who sent thee this day to meet me;

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33  and blessed be thy discretion, and blessed be thou, that hast kept me this day from bloodguiltiness, and from finding redress for myself with mine own hand.

33  And blessed are you, who prevented me today from going to blood, and from taking revenge for myself with my own hand.

33  And blessed be your advice, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and spared my hands this day from shedding blood.

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34  For in very deed, as YHWH, the God of Israel, liveth, who hath withholden me from hurting thee, except thou hadst made haste and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light so much as one male.'

34  But instead, as the Lord God of Israel lives, he has prevented me from doing evil to you. But if you had not come quickly to meet me, there would not have been left to Nabal by the morning light, anything that urinates against a wall.”

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35  So David received of her hand that which she had brought him; and he said unto her: 'Go up in peace to thy house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.'

35  And David took of her hand all that she brought to him, and said to her, Go in peace to thy house: see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and accepted thy petition.

35  Then David received from her hand all that she had brought to him. And he said to her: “Go in peace to your own house. Behold, I have heeded your voice, and I have honored your face.”

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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 very drunken; wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.

36  Then Abigail went to Nabal. And behold, he was holding a feast for himself in his house, like the feast of a king. And the heart of Nabal was cheerful. For he was greatly inebriated. And she did not reveal a word to him, small or great, until morning.

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.

37  Then, at first light, when Nabal had digested his wine, his wife revealed to him these words, and his heart died within himself, and he became like a stone.

38  And it came to pass about ten days after, that YHWH smote Nabal, so that he died.

38  And after ten days had passed, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

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39  And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said: 'Blessed be YHWH, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept back His servant from evil; and the evil-doing of Nabal hath the YHWH returned upon his own head.' And David sent and spoke concerning Abigail, to take her to him to wife.

39  And David heard it and said, Blessed be the Lord, who has judged the cause of my reproach at the hand of Nabal, and has delivered his servant from the power of evil; and the Lord has returned the mischief of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and spoke concerning Abigaia, to take her to himself for a wife.

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40  And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spoke unto her, saying: 'David hath sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife.'

40  So the servants of David came to Abigaia to Carmel, and spoke to her, saying, David has sent us to thee, to take thee to himself for a wife.

40  And David’s servants went to Abigail at Carmel, and they spoke to her, saying, “David has sent us to you, so that he might take you to himself as wife.”

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41  And she arose, and bowed down with her face to the earth, and said: 'Behold, thy handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.'

41  And rising up, she reverenced prone on the ground, and she said, “Behold, let your servant be a handmaid, to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”

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42  And Abigail hastened, 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.

42  And Abigaia arose, and mounted her ass, and five damsels followed her: and she went after the servants of David, and became his wife.

42  And Abigail rose up and hurried, and she climbed upon a donkey, and five girls went with her, her attendants. And she followed the messengers of David, and she became his wife.

43  David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they became both of them his wives.

43  And David took Achinaam out of Jezrael, and they were both his wives.

43  Moreover, David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel. And both of them were his wives.

44  Now Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.

44  And Saul gave Melchol his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Amis who was of Romma.

44  Then Saul gave his daughter Michal, the wife of David, to Palti, the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.