1Samuel (NAB) 18

Jonathan's Covenant with David

18 1 (By the time David finished speaking with Saul, Jonathan had become as fond of David as if his life depended on him; he loved him as he loved himself.2 Saul laid claim to David that day and did not allow him to return to his father's house.3 And Jonathan entered into a bond with David, because he loved him as himself.4 Jonathan divested himself of the mantle he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his military dress, and his sword, his bow and his belt.5 David then carried out successfully every mission on which Saul sent him. So Saul put him in charge of his soldiers, and this was agreeable to the whole army, even to Saul's own officers.)
At the approach of Saul and David (on David's return after slaying the Philistine), women came out from each of the cities of Israel to meet King Saul, singing and dancing, with tambourines, joyful songs, and sistrums.7 The women played and sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands."8 Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: "They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship."9 (And from that day on, Saul was jealous of David.

Saul Tries to Kill David

10 (The next day an evil spirit from God came over Saul, and he raged in his house. David was in attendance, playing the harp as at other times, while Saul was holding his spear.11 Saul poised the spear, thinking to nail David to the wall, but twice David escaped him.)
Saul then began to fear David, (because the LORD was with him, but had departed from Saul himself.)13 Accordingly, Saul removed him from his presence by appointing him a field officer. So David led the people on their military expeditions,14 and prospered in all his enterprises, for the LORD was with him.15 Seeing how successful he was, Saul conceived a fear of David:16 on the other hand, all Israel and Judah loved him, since he led them on their expeditions.

David Marries Michal

17 (Saul said to David, "There is my older daughter, Merob, whom I will give you in marriage if you become my champion and fight the battles of the LORD." Saul had in mind, "I shall not touch him; let the Philistines strike him."18 But David answered Saul: "Who am I? And who are my kin or my father's clan in Israel that I should become the king's son-in-law?"19 However, when it was time for Saul's daughter Merob to be given to David, she was given in marriage to Adriel the Meholathite instead.)20 Now Saul's daughter Michal loved David, and it was reported to Saul, who was pleased at this,21 for he thought, "I will offer her to him to become a snare for him, so that the Philistines may strike him." (Thus for the second time Saul said to David, "You shall become my son-in-law today.")22 Saul then ordered his servants to speak to David privately and to say: "The king is fond of you, and all his officers love you. You should become the king's son-in-law."23 But when Saul's servants mentioned this to David, he said: "Do you think it easy to become the king's son-in-law? I am poor and insignificant."24 When his servants reported to him the nature of David's answer,25 Saul commanded them to say this to David: "The king desires no other price for the bride than the foreskins of one hundred Philistines, that he may thus take vengeance on his enemies." Saul intended in this way to bring about David's death through the Philistines.26 When the servants reported this offer to David, he was pleased with the prospect of becoming the king's son-in-law. (Before the year was up,)27 David made preparations and sallied forth with his men and slew two hundred Philistines. He brought back their foreskins and counted them out before the king, that he might thus become the king's son-in-law. So Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.28 Saul thus came to recognize that the LORD was with David; besides, his own daughter Michal loved David.29 Therefore Saul feared David all the more (and was his enemy ever after).30 (The Philistine chiefs continued to make forays, but each time they took the field, David was more successful against them than any other of Saul's officers, and as a result acquired great fame.)

Jonathan Intercedes for David

19 1 Saul discussed his intention of killing David with his son Jonathan and with all his servants. But Saul's son Jonathan, who was very fond of David,2 told him: "My father Saul is trying to kill you. Therefore, please be on your guard tomorrow morning; get out of sight and remain in hiding.3 I, however, will go out and stand beside my father in the countryside where you are, and will speak to him about you. If I learn anything, I will let you know."4 Jonathan then spoke well of David to his father Saul, saying to him: "Let not your majesty sin against his servant David, for he has committed no offense against you, but has helped you very much by his deeds.5 When he took his life in his hands and slew the Philistine, and the LORD brought about a great victory for all Israel through him, you were glad to see it. Why, then, should you become guilty of shedding innocent blood by killing David without cause?"6 Saul heeded Jonathan's plea and swore, "As the LORD lives, he shall not be killed."7 So Jonathan summoned David and repeated the whole conversation to him. Jonathan then brought David to Saul, and David served him as before.

Michal Helps David Escape from Saul

8 When war broke out again, David went out to fight against the Philistines and inflicted a great defeat upon them, putting them to flight.9 Then an evil spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with spear in hand and David was playing the harp nearby.10 Saul tried to nail David to the wall with the spear, but David eluded Saul, so that the spear struck only the wall, and David got away safe.
The same night, Saul sent messengers to David's house to guard it, that he might kill him in the morning. David's wife Michal informed him, "Unless you save yourself tonight, tomorrow you will be killed." 12 Then Michal let David down through a window, and he made his escape in safety.13 Michal took the household idol and laid it in the bed, putting a net of goat's hair at its head and covering it with a spread.14 When Saul sent messengers to arrest David, she said, "He is sick."15 Saul, however, sent the messengers back to see David and commanded them, "Bring him up to me in the bed, that I may kill him."16 But when the messengers entered, they found the household idol in the bed, with the net of goat's hair at its head.17 Saul therefore asked Michal: "Why did you play this trick on me? You have helped my enemy to get away!" Michal answered Saul: "He threatened me, 'Let me go or I will kill you.'"

David Joins Samuel in Ramah

18 Thus David got safely away; he went to Samuel in Ramah, informing him of all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to stay in the sheds.19 When Saul was told that David was in the sheds near Ramah,20 he sent messengers to arrest David. But when they saw the band of prophets, presided over by Samuel, in a prophetic frenzy, they too fell into the prophetic state.21 Informed of this, Saul sent other messengers, who also fell into the prophetic state. For the third time Saul sent messengers, but they too fell into the prophetic state.22 Saul then went to Ramah himself. Arriving at the cistern of the threshing floor on the bare hilltop, he inquired, "Where are Samuel and David?", and was told, "At the sheds near Ramah."23 As he set out from the hilltop toward the sheds, the spirit of God came upon him also, and he continued on in a prophetic condition until he reached the spot. At the sheds near Ramah24 he, too, stripped himself of his garments and he, too, remained in the prophetic state in the presence of Samuel; all that day and night he lay naked. That is why they say, "Is Saul also among the prophets?"

The Friendship of David and Jonathan

20 1 David fled from the sheds near Ramah, and went to Jonathan. "What have I done?" he asked him. "What crime or what offense does your father hold against me that he seeks my life?"2 Jonathan answered him: "Heaven forbid that you should die! My father does nothing, great or small, without disclosing it to me. Why, then, should my father conceal this from me? This cannot be so!"3 But David replied: "Your father is well aware that I am favored with your friendship, so he has decided, 'Jonathan must not know of this lest he be grieved.' Nevertheless, as the LORD lives and as you live, there is but a step between me and death."4 Jonathan then said to David, "I will do whatever you wish."5 David answered: "Tomorrow is the new moon, when I should in fact dine with the king. Let me go and hide in the open country until evening.6 If it turns out that your father misses me, say, 'David urged me to let him go on short notice to his city Bethlehem, because his whole clan is holding its seasonal sacrifice there.'7 If he says, 'Very well,' your servant is safe. But if he becomes quite angry, you can be sure he has planned some harm.8 Do this kindness for your servant because of the LORD'S bond between us, into which you brought me: if I am guilty, kill me yourself! Why should you give me up to your father?"
But Jonathan answered: "Not I! If ever I find out that my father is determined to inflict injury upon you, I will certainly let you know."10 David then asked Jonathan, "Who will tell me if your father gives you a harsh answer?"11 (Jonathan replied to David, "Come, let us go out into the field." When they were out in the open country together,12 Jonathan said to David: "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, I will sound out my father about this time tomorrow. Whether he is well disposed toward David or not, I will send you the information.13 Should it please my father to bring any injury upon you, may the LORD do thus and so to Jonathan if I do not apprise you of it and send you on your way in peace. May the LORD be with you even as he was with my father.14 Only this: if I am still alive, may you show me the kindness of the LORD. But if I die,15 never withdraw your kindness from my house. And when the LORD exterminates all the enemies of David from the surface of the earth,16 the name of Jonathan must never be allowed by the family of David to die out from among you, or the LORD will make you answer for it."17 And in his love for David, Jonathan renewed his oath to him, because he loved him as his very self.)18 Jonathan then said to him: "Tomorrow is the new moon; and you will be missed, since your place will be vacant.19 On the following day you will be missed all the more. Go to the spot where you hid on the other occasion and wait near the mound there.20 On the third day of the month I will shoot arrows, as though aiming at a target.21 I will then send my attendant to go and recover the arrows. If in fact I say to him, 'Look, the arrow is this side of you; pick it up,' come, for you are safe. As the LORD lives, there will be nothing to fear.22 But if I say to the boy, 'Look, the arrow is beyond you,' go, for the LORD sends you away.23 However, in the matter which you and I have discussed, the LORD shall be between you and me forever."
So David hid in the open country. On the day of the new moon, when the king sat at table to dine,25 taking his usual place against the wall, Jonathan sat facing him, while Abner sat at the king's side, and David's place was vacant.26 Saul, however, said nothing that day, for he thought, "He must have become unclean by accident, and not yet have been cleansed." 27 On the next day, the second day of the month, David's place was vacant. Saul inquired of his son Jonathan, "Why has the son of Jesse not come to table yesterday or today?"28 Jonathan answered Saul: "David urgently asked me to let him go to his city, Bethlehem.29 'Please let me go,' he begged, 'for we are to have a clan sacrifice in our city, and my brothers insist on my presence. Now, therefore, if you think well of me, give me leave to visit my brothers.' That is why he has not come to the king's table."30 But Saul was extremely angry with Jonathan and said to him: "Son of a rebellious woman, do I not know that, to your own shame and to the disclosure of your mother's shame, you are the companion of Jesse's son?31 Why, as long as the son of Jesse lives upon the earth, you cannot make good your claim to the kingship! So send for him, and bring him to me, for he is doomed."32 But Jonathan asked his father Saul: "Why should he die? What has he done?"33 At this Saul brandished his spear to strike him, and thus Jonathan learned that his father was resolved to kill David.34 Jonathan sprang up from the table in great anger and took no food that second day of the month, for he was grieved on David's account, since his father had railed against him.
The next morning Jonathan went out into the field with a little boy for his appointment with David.36 There he said to the boy, "Run and fetch the arrow." And as the boy ran, he shot an arrow beyond him in the direction of the city.37 When the boy made for the spot where Jonathan had shot the arrow, Jonathan called after him, "The arrow is farther on!"38 Again he called to his lad, "Hurry, be quick, don't delay!" Jonathan's boy picked up the arrow and brought it to his master.39 The boy knew nothing; only Jonathan and David knew what was meant.40 Then Jonathan gave his weapons to this boy of his and said to him, "Go, take them to the city."41 When the boy had left, David rose from beside the mound and prostrated himself on the ground three times before Jonathan in homage. They kissed each other and wept aloud together.42 At length Jonathan said to David, "Go in peace, in keeping with what we two have sworn by the name of the LORD: 'The LORD shall be between you and me, and between your posterity and mine forever.'"

David and the Holy Bread

21 1 Then David departed on his way, while Jonathan went back into the city.2 David went to Ahimelech, the priest of Nob, who came trembling to meet him and asked, "Why are you alone? Is there no one with you?"3 David answered the priest: "The king gave me a commission and told me to let no one know anything about the business on which he sent me or the commission he gave me. For that reason I have arranged a meeting place with my men.4 Now what have you on hand? Give me five loaves, or whatever you can find."5 But the priest replied to David, "I have no ordinary bread on hand, only holy bread; if the men have abstained from women, you may eat some of that." 6 David answered the priest: "We have indeed been segregated from women as on previous occasions. Whenever I go on a journey, all the young men are consecrated-- even for a secular journey. All the more so today, when they are consecrated at arms!"7 So the priest gave him holy bread, for no other bread was on hand except the showbread which had been removed from the LORD'S presence and replaced by fresh bread when it was taken away.8 One of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the LORD; his name was Doeg the Edomite, and he was Saul's chief henchman.9 David then asked Ahimelech: "Do you have a spear or a sword on hand? I brought along neither my sword nor my weapons, because the king's business was urgent."

David Flees to Gath

10 The priest replied: "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Vale of the Terebinth, is here (wrapped in a mantle) behind an ephod. If you wish to take that, take it; there is no sword here except that one." David said: "There is none to match it. Give it to me!"
That same day David took to flight from Saul, going to Achish, king of Gath.12 But the servants of Achish said, "Is this not David, the king of the land? During their dances do they not sing, 'Saul has slain his thousands, but David his ten thousands'?"13 David took note of these remarks and became very much afraid of Achish, king of Gath.14 So, as they watched, he feigned insanity and acted like a madman in their hands, drumming on the doors of the gate and drooling onto his beard.15 Finally Achish said to his servants: "You see the man is mad. Why did you bring him to me?16 Do I not have enough madmen, that you bring in this one to carry on in my presence? Should this fellow come into my house?"

David and His Followers at Adullam

22 1 David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. When his brothers and the rest of his family heard about it, they came down to him there.2 He was joined by all those who were in difficulties or in debt, or who were embittered, and he became their leader. About four hundred men were with him.3 From there David went to Mizpeh of Moab and said to the king of Moab, "Let my father and mother stay with you, until I learn what God will do for me."4 He left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him as long as David remained in the refuge. 5 But the prophet Gad said to David: "Do not remain in the refuge. Leave, and go to the land of Judah." And so David left and went to the forest of Hereth.

Saul Slaughters the Priests at Nob

6 Now Saul heard that David and his men had been located. At the time he was sitting in Gibeah under a tamarisk tree on the high place, holding his spear, while all his servants were standing by.7 So he said to them: "Listen, men of Benjamin! Will the son of Jesse give all of you fields and vineyards? Will he make each of you an officer over a thousand or a hundred men,8 that you have all conspired against me and no one tells me that my son has made an agreement with the son of Jesse? None of you shows sympathy for me or discloses to me that my son has stirred up my servant to be an enemy against me, as is the case today."9 Then Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with the officers of Saul, spoke up: "I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, in Nob.10 He consulted the LORD for him and gave him supplies, and the sword of Goliath the Philistine as well."11 At this the king sent a summons to Ahimelech the priest, son of Ahitub, and to all his family who were priests in Nob; and they all came to the king.12 Then Saul said, "Listen, son of Ahitub!" He replied, "Yes, my lord."13 Saul asked him, "Why did you conspire against me with the son of Jesse by giving him food and a sword and by consulting God for him, that he might rebel against me and become my enemy, as is the case today?"14 Ahimelech answered the king: "And who among all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard, and honored in your own house?15 Is this the first time I have consulted God for him? No indeed! Let not the king accuse his servant or anyone in my family of such a thing. Your servant knows nothing at all, great or small, about the whole matter."16 But the king said, "You shall die, Ahimelech, with all your family."17 The king then commanded his henchmen standing by: "Make the rounds and kill the priests of the LORD, for they assisted David. They knew he was a fugitive and yet failed to inform me." But the king's servants refused to lift a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.18 The king therefore commanded Doeg, "You make the rounds and kill the priests!" So Doeg the Edomite went from one to the next and killed the priests himself, slaying on that day eighty-five who wore the linen ephod.19 Saul also put the priestly city of Nob to the sword, including men and women, children and infants, and oxen, asses and sheep.
One son of Ahimelech, son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to David.21 When Abiathar told David that Saul had slain the priests of the LORD,22 David said to him: "I knew that day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, that he would surely tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of all your family.23 Stay with me. Fear nothing; he that seeks your life must seek my life also. You are under my protection."

David Saves the City of Keilah

23 1 David received information that the Philistines were attacking Keilah and plundering the threshing floors.2 So he consulted the LORD, inquiring, "Shall I go and defeat these Philistines?" The LORD answered, "Go, for you will defeat the Philistines and rescue Keilah."3 But David's men said to him: "We are afraid here in Judah. How much more so if we go to Keilah against the forces of the Philistines!"4 Again David consulted the LORD, who answered, "Go down to Keilah, for I will deliver the Philistines into your power."5 David then went with his men to Keilah and fought with the Philistines. He drove off their cattle and inflicted a severe defeat on them, and thus rescued the inhabitants of Keilah.6 Abiathar, son of Ahimelech, who had fled to David, went down with David to Keilah, taking the ephod with him.
When Saul was told that David had entered Keilah, he said: "God has put him in my grip. Now he has shut himself in, for he has entered a city with gates and bars."8 Saul then called all the people to war, in order to go down to Keilah and besiege David and his men.9 When David found out that Saul was planning to harm him, he said to the priest Abiathar, "Bring forward the ephod."10 David then said: "O LORD God of Israel, your servant has heard a report that Saul plans to come to Keilah, to destroy the city on my account.11 Will they hand me over? And now: will Saul come down as your servant has heard? O LORD God of Israel, tell your servant." The LORD answered, "He will come down."12 David then asked, "Will the citizens of Keilah deliver me and my men into the grasp of Saul?" And the LORD answered, "Yes."13 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and wandered from place to place. When Saul was informed that David had escaped from Keilah, he abandoned the expedition.
David now lived in the refuges in the desert, or in the barren hill country near Ziph. Though Saul sought him continually, the LORD did not deliver David into his grasp.

David Eludes Saul in the Wilderness

15 David was apprehensive because Saul had come out to seek his life; but while he was at Horesh in the barrens near Ziph,16 Saul's son, Jonathan, came down there to David and strengthened his resolve in the LORD.17 He said to him: "Have no fear, my father Saul shall not lay a hand to you. You shall be king of Israel and I shall be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this."18 They made a joint agreement before the LORD in Horesh, where David remained, while Jonathan returned to his home.
Some of the Ziphites went up to Saul in Gibeah and said, "David is hiding among us, now in the refuges, and again at Horesh, or on the hill of Hachilah, south of the wasteland.20 Therefore, whenever the king wishes to come down, let him do so. It will be our task to deliver him into the king's grasp."21 Saul replied: "The LORD bless you for your sympathy toward me.22 Go now and make sure once more! Take note of the place where he sets foot" (for he thought, perhaps they are playing some trick on me).23 "Look around and learn in which of all the various hiding places he is holding out. Then come back to me with sure information, and I will go with you. If he is in the region, I will search him out among all the families of Judah."24 So they went off to Ziph ahead of Saul. At this time David and his men were in the desert below Maon, in the Arabah south of the wasteland.25 When Saul and his men came looking for him, David got word of it and went down to the gorge in the desert below Maon. Saul heard of this and pursued David into the desert below Maon.26 As Saul moved along one rim of the gorge, David and his men took to the other. David was in anxious flight to escape Saul, and Saul and his men were attempting to outflank David and his men in order to capture them,27 when a messenger came to Saul, saying, "Come quickly, because the Philistines have invaded the land."28 Saul interrupted his pursuit of David and went to meet the Philistines. This is how that place came to be called the Gorge of Divisions.

David Spares Saul's Life

24 1 David then went up from there and stayed in the refuges behind Engedi.2 And when Saul returned from the pursuit of the Philistines, he was told that David was in the desert near Engedi.3 So Saul took three thousand picked men from all Israel and went in search of David and his men in the direction of the wild goat crags.4 When he came to the sheepfolds along the way, he found a cave, which he entered to ease nature. David and his men were occupying the inmost recesses of the cave.5 David's servants said to him, "This is the day of which the LORD said to you, 'I will deliver your enemy into your grasp; do with him as you see fit.'" So David moved up and stealthily cut off an end of Saul's mantle.6 Afterward, however, David regretted that he had cut off an end of Saul's mantle.7 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD'S anointed, as to lay a hand on him, for he is the Lord's anointed."8 With these words David restrained his men and would not permit them to attack Saul. Saul then left the cave and went on his way.
David also stepped out of the cave, calling to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked back, David bowed to the ground in homage10 and asked Saul: "Why do you listen to those who say, 'David is trying to harm you'?11 You see for yourself today that the LORD just now delivered you into my grasp in the cave. I had some thought of killing you, but I took pity on you instead. I decided, 'I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the LORD'S anointed and a father to me.'12 Look here at this end of your mantle which I hold. Since I cut off an end of your mantle and did not kill you, see and be convinced that I plan no harm and no rebellion. I have done you no wrong, though you are hunting me down to take my life.13 The LORD will judge between me and you, and the LORD will exact justice from you in my case. I shall not touch you.14 The old proverb says, 'From the wicked comes forth wickedness.' So I will take no action against you.15 Against whom are you on campaign, O king of Israel? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, or a single flea!
The LORD will be the judge; he will decide between me and you. May he see this, and take my part, and grant me justice beyond your reach!"17 When David finished saying these things to Saul, Saul answered, "Is that your voice, my son David?" And he wept aloud.18 Saul then said to David: "You are in the right rather than I; you have treated me generously, while I have done you harm.19 Great is the generosity you showed me today, when the LORD delivered me into your grasp and you did not kill me.20 For if a man meets his enemy, does he send him away unharmed? May the LORD reward you generously for what you have done this day.21 And now, since I know that you shall surely be king and that sovereignty over Israel shall come into your possession,22 swear to me by the LORD that you will not destroy my descendants and that you will not blot out my name and family."23 David gave Saul his oath and Saul returned home, while David and his men went up to the refuge.

Death of Samuel

25 1 Samuel died, and all Israel gathered to mourn him; they buried him at his home in Ramah.Then David went down to the desert of Maon.

David and the Wife of Nabal

2 There was a man of Maon who had property in Carmel; he was very wealthy, owning three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. At this time he was present for the shearing of his flock in Carmel.3 The man was named Nabal, his wife, Abigail. The woman was intelligent and attractive, but Nabal himself, a Calebite, was harsh and ungenerous in his behavior.4 When David heard in the desert that Nabal was shearing his flock,5 he sent ten young men, instructing them: "Go up to Carmel. Pay Nabal a visit and greet him in my name.6 Say to him, 'Peace be with you, my brother, and with your family, and with all who belong to you.7 I have just heard that shearers are with you. Now, when your shepherds were with us, we did them no injury, neither did they miss anything all the while they were in Carmel.8 Ask your servants and they will tell you so. Look kindly on these young men, since we come at a festival time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can manage.'"9 When David's young men arrived, they delivered this message fully to Nabal in David's name, and then waited.10 But Nabal answered the servants of David: "Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? Nowadays there are many servants who run away from their masters.11 Must I take my bread, my wine, my meat that I have slaughtered for my own shearers, and give them to men who come from I know not where?"
So David's young men retraced their steps and on their return reported to him all that had been said.13 Thereupon David said to his men, "Let everyone gird on his sword." And so everyone, David included, girded on his sword. About four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.14 But Nabal's wife Abigail was informed of this by one of the servants, who said: "David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master, but he flew at them screaming.15 Yet these men were very good to us. We were done no injury, neither did we miss anything all the while we were living among them during our stay in the open country.16 For us they were like a rampart night and day the whole time we were pasturing the sheep near them.17 Now, see what you can do, for you must realize that otherwise evil is in store for our master and for his whole family. He is so mean that no one can talk to him."
Abigail quickly got together two hundred loaves, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of pressed raisins, and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on asses.19 She then said to her servants, "Go on ahead; I will follow you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal.20 As she came down through a mountain defile riding on an ass, David and his men were also coming down from the opposite direction. When she met them,21 David had just been saying: "Indeed, it was in vain that I guarded all this man's possessions in the desert, so that he missed nothing. He has repaid good with evil.22 May God do thus and so to David, if by morning I leave a single male alive among all those who belong to him."23 As soon as Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the ass and, falling prostrate on the ground before David, did him homage.24 As she fell at his feet she said: "My lord, let the blame be mine. Please let your handmaid speak to you, and listen to the words of your handmaid.25 Let not my lord pay attention to that worthless man Nabal, for he is just like his name. Fool is his name, and he acts the fool. I, your handmaid, did not see the young men whom my lord sent. 26 Now, therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as you live, it is the LORD who has kept you from shedding blood and from avenging yourself personally. May your enemies and those who seek to harm my lord become as Nabal! 27 Accept this present, then, which your maidservant has brought for my lord, and let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.28 Please forgive the transgression of your handmaid, for the LORD shall certainly establish a lasting dynasty for my lord, because your lordship is fighting the battles of the LORD, and there is no evil to be found in you your whole life long.29 If anyone rises to pursue you and to seek your life, may the life of my lord be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD your God; but may he hurl out the lives of your enemies as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the LORD carries out for my lord the promise of success he has made concerning you, and appoints you as commander over Israel,31 you shall not have this as a qualm or burden on your conscience, my lord, for having shed innocent blood or for having avenged yourself personally. When the LORD confers this benefit on your lordship, remember your handmaid."
David said to Abigail: "Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today.33 Blessed be your good judgment and blessed be you yourself, who this day have prevented me from shedding blood and from avenging myself personally.34 Otherwise, as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from harming you, if you had not come so promptly to meet me, by dawn Nabal would not have had a single man or boy left alive."35 David then took from her what she had brought him and said to her: "Go up to your home in peace! See, I have granted your request as a personal favor."
When Abigail came to Nabal, there was a drinking party in his house like that of a king, and Nabal was merry because he was very drunk. So she told him nothing at all before daybreak the next morning.37 But then, when Nabal had become sober, his wife told him what had happened. At this his courage died within him, and he became like a stone.38 About ten days later the LORD struck him and he died.39 On hearing that Nabal was dead, David said: "Blessed be the LORD, who has requited the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and who restrained his servant from doing evil, but has punished Nabal for his own evil deeds." David then sent a proposal of marriage to Abigail.40 When David's servants came to Abigail in Carmel, they said to her, "David has sent us to you that he may take you as his wife."41 Rising and bowing to the ground, she answered, "Your handmaid would become a slave to wash the feet of my lord's servants."42 She got up immediately, mounted an ass, and followed David's messengers, with her five maids following in attendance upon her. She became his wife,43 and David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Thus both of them were his wives; but Saul gave David's wife Michal, Saul's own daughter, to Palti, son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

1Samuel (NAB) 18