1 Samuel
Chapter 25

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1 And Samuel died, and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And Dauid arose, & went downe to the wildernesse of Paran.

2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel, and the man was very great, and hee had three thousand sheepe, and a thousand goates: and he was shearing his sheepe in Carmel.

3 Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife, Abigail: and shee was a woman of good vnderstanding, and of a beautifull countenance: but the man was churlish and euill in his doings, and hee was of the house of Caleb.

4 And Dauid heard in the wildernesse, that Nabal did sheare his sheepe.

5 And Dauid sent out ten yong men, and Dauid said vnto the young men, Get you vp to Carmel, and goe to Nabal, and greete him in my name;

6 And thus shall ye say to him that liueth in prosperitie, Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be vnto all that thou hast.

7 And now, I haue heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepheards which were with vs, wee hurt them not, neither was there ought missing vnto them, all the while they were in Carmel.

8 Aske thy yong men, and they will shew thee: wherefore let the yong men finde fauour in thine eyes: (for we come in a good day) giue, I pray thee, whatsoeuer commeth to thine hand, vnto thy seruants, and to thy sonne Dauid.

9 And when Dauids yong men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of Dauid, and ceased.

10 And Nabal answered Dauids seruants, and said, Who is Dauid? and who is the sonne of Iesse? There bee many seruants now a daies that breake away euery man from his master.

11 Shall I then take my bread and my water, and my flesh that I haue killed for my shearers, and giue it vnto men, whom I know not whence they bee?

12 So Dauids yong men turned their way, and went againe, and came and told him all those sayings.

13 And Dauid said vnto his men, Gird you on euery man his sword. And they girded on euery man his sword, and Dauid also girded on his sword: and there went vp after Dauid about foure hundred men, and two hundred abode by the stuffe.

14 But one of the yong men told Abigail Nabals wife, saying, Behold, Dauid sent messengers out of the wildernesse to salute our master: and he railed on them.

15 But the men were very good vnto vs, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing as long as wee were conuersant with them, when we were in the fields.

16 They were a wall vnto vs both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping sheepe.

17 Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt doe: for euill is determined against our master, and against all his houshold: for he is such a sonne of Belial, that a man cannot speake to him.

18 Then Abigail made haste, and tooke two hundred loaues, and two bottles of wine, and fiue sheepe readie dressed, and fiue measures of parched corne, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figges, and laid them on asses.

19 And she said vnto her seruants, Goe on before me, behold, I come after you: but she told not her husband Nabal.

20 And it was so as she rode on the asse, that she came downe by the couert of the hill, and behold, Dauid and his men came downe against her, and she met them.

21 (Now Dauid had said, Surely in vaine haue I kept all that this fellow hath in the wildernesse, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained vnto him: and he hath requited me euil for good.

22 So and more also doe God vnto the enemies of Dauid, if I leaue of all that pertaine to him by the morning light, any that pisseth against the wall.)

23 And when Abigail saw Dauid, she hasted, and lighted off the asse, and fell before Dauid on her face, and bowed her selfe to the ground,

24 And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, vpon me let this iniquitie be, and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speake in thine audience, and heare the words of thine handmaid.

25 Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, euen Nabal: for as his name is, so is he: Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: But I thine handmaid saw not the yong men of my lord, whom thou didst send.

26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liueth, and as thy soule liueth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from comming to shed blood, and from auenging thy selfe with thine owne hand: now let thine enemies and they that secke euill to my lord, bee as Nabal.

27 And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought vnto my lord, let it euen be giuen vnto the yong men that follow my lord.

28 I pray thee, forgiue the trespasse of thine handmaide: for the Lord will certainely make my lord a sure house, because my lord fighteth the battels of the Lord, and euill hath not bene found in thee all thy dayes.

29 Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seeke thy soule: but the soule of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God, and the soules of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

30 And it shall come to passe when the Lord shal haue done to my lord, according to all the good that hee hath spoken concerning thee, and shall haue appointed thee ruler ouer Israel;

31 That this shall bee no griefe vnto thee, nor offence of heart vnto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causelesse, or that my lord hath auenged himselfe: But when the Lord shall haue dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmayd.

32 And Dauid sayd to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me.

33 And blessed bee thy aduice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from comming to shed blood, and from auenging my selfe with mine owne hand.

34 For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liueth, which hath kept mee backe from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not bene left vnto Nabal, by the morning light, any that pisseth against the wall.

35 So Dauid receiued of her hand that which shee had brought him, and sayd vnto her, Goe vp in peace to thine house; See, I haue hearkened to thy voyce, and haue accepted thy person.

36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he held a feast in his house like the feast of a king; & Nabals heart was merry within him, for hee was very drunken: wherefore shee tolde him nothing, lesse or more, vntill the morning light.

37 But it came to passe in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

38 And it came to passe about ten dayes after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.

39 And when Dauid heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproch from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his seruant from euil: for the Lord hath returned the wickednesse of Nabal vpon his owne head. And Dauid sent, and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.

40 And when the seruants of Dauid were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake vnto her, saying, Dauid sent vs vnto thee, to take thee to him to wife.

41 And shee arose, and bowed her selfe on her face to the earth, and sayd, Beholde, let thine handmayd bee a seruant to wash the feet of the seruants of my lord.

42 And Abigail hasted, and rose, and rode vpon an asse, with fiue damosels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of Dauid, and became his wife.

43 Dauid also tooke Ahinoam of Iezreel, and they were also both of them his wiues.

44 But Saul had giuen Michal his daughter, Dauids wife, to Phalti the sonne of Laish, which was of Gallim.

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Commentary for 1 Samuel 25

Death of Samuel. (1) David's request; Nabal's churlish refusal. (2-11) David's intention to destroy Nabal. (12-17) Abigail takes a present to David. (18-31) He is pacified, Nabal dies. (32-39) David takes Abigail to wife. (39-44)1 All Israel lamented Samuel, and they had reason. He prayed daily for them. Those have hard hearts, who can bury faithful ministers without grief; who do not feel their loss of those who have prayed for them, and taught them the way of the Lord.

2-11 We should not have heard of Nabal, if nothing had passed between him and David. Observe his name, Nabal, "A fool;" so it signifies. Riches make men look great in the eye of the world; but to one that takes right views, Nabal looked very mean. He had no honour or honesty; he was churlish, cross, and ill-humoured; evil in his doings, hard and oppressive; a man that cared not what fraud and violence he used in getting and saving. What little reason have we to value the wealth of this world, when so great a churl as Nabal abounds, and so good a man as David suffers want!, David pleaded the kindness Nabal's shepherds had received. Considering that David's men were in distress and debt, and discontented, and the scarcity of provisions, it was by good management that they were kept from plundering. Nabal went into a passion, as covetous men are apt to do, when asked for any thing, thinking thus to cover one sin with another; and, by abusing the poor, to excuse themselves from relieving them. But God will not thus be mocked. Let this help us to bear reproaches and misrepresentations with patience and cheerfulness, and make us easy under them; it has often been the lot of the excellent ones of the earth. Nabal insists much on the property he had in the provisions of his table. May he not do what he will with his own? We mistake, if we think we are absolute lords of what we have, and may do what we please with it. No; we are but stewards, and must use it as we are directed, remembering it is not our own, but His who intrusted us with it.

12-17 God is kind to the evil and unthankful, and why may not we be so? David determined to destroy Nabal, and all that belonged to him. Is this thy voice, O David? Has he been so long in the school of affliction, where he should have learned patience, and yet is so passionate? He at other times was calm and considerate, but is put into such a heat by a few hard words, that he seeks to destroy a whole family. What are the best of men, when God leaves them to themselves, that they may know what is in their hearts? What need to pray, Lord, lead us not into temptation!

18-31 By a present Abigail atoned for Nabal's denial of David's request. Her behaviour was very submissive. Yielding pacifies great offences. She puts herself in the place of a penitent, and of a petitioner. She could not excuse her husband's conduct. She depends not upon her own reasonings, but on God's grace, to soften David, and expects that grace would work powerfully. She says that it was below him to take vengeance on so weak and despicable an enemy as Nabal, who, as he would do him no kindness, so he could do him no hurt. She foretells the glorious end of David's present troubles. God will preserve thy life; therefore it becomes not thee unjustly and unnecessarily to take away the lives of any, especially of the people of thy God and Saviour. Abigail keeps this argument for the last, as very powerful with so good a man; that the less he indulged his passion, the more he consulted his peace and the repose of his own conscience. Many have done that in a heat, which they have a thousand times wished undone again. The sweetness of revenge is soon turned into bitterness. When tempted to sin, we should consider how it will appear when we think upon it afterwards.

32-39 David gives God thanks for sending him this happy check in a sinful way. Whoever meet us with counsel, direction, comfort, caution, or seasonable reproof, we must see God sending them. We ought to be very thankful for those happy providences which are the means of keeping us from sinning. Most people think it enough, if they take reproof patiently; but few will take it thankfully, and commend those who give it, and accept it as a favour. The nearer we are to committing sin, the greater is the mercy of a seasonable restraint. Sinners are often most secure when most in danger. He was very drunk. A sign he was Nabal, a fool, that could not use plenty without abusing it; who could not be pleasant with his friends without making a beast of himself. There is not a surer sign that a man has but little wisdom, nor a surer way to destroy the little he has, than drinking to excess. Next morning, how he is changed! His heart overnight merry with wine, next morning heavy as a stone; so deceitful are carnal pleasures, so soon passes the laughter of the fool; the end of that mirth is heaviness. Drunkards are sad, when they reflect upon their own folly. About ten days after, the Lord smote Nabal, that he died. David blessed God that he had been kept from killing Nabal. Worldly sorrow, mortified pride, and an affrighted conscience, sometimes end the joys of the sensualist, and separate the covetous man from his wealth; but, whatever the weapon, the Lord smites men with death when it pleases him.

39-44 Abigail believed that David would be king over Israel, and greatly esteemed his pious and excellent character. She deemed his proposal of marriage honourable, and advantageous to her, notwithstanding his present difficulties. With great humility, and doubtless agreeably to the customs of those times, she consented, being willing to share his trails. Thus those who join themselves to Christ, must be willing now to suffer with him, believing that hereafter they shall reign with him.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Samuel 25

  • BSP
    Verse 13~David's angry response is understandable, but he expressed those feelings in the wrong way.
  • Peter A. Okebukola
    David has begun his wife-taking spree.
  • Jason
    Marietta---I think it amazing how if you stay in the Word, also slow down and take thought how much our Heavenly Father does speak.I hope all turned out well with your fiance' they are fortunate to be with someone who sees truth and has compassion...Also your comment gave me pause to go back and re-read the verse and get more out of it. God Bless in the name of Jesus Christ Amen
  • Irene123
    J. Ekong - "And Samuel died with total neglect of the ark ..... in the house of Abinadab ..... "; where is this? I don't see it in this chapter.
  • James Ekong
    And samuel died with total neglect of the Ark of the covenant of God with israel in the house of Abinadab is worth comment. I think he felt dispite the fact that he ministered before the Ark, the rejection of his master, Eli by God and his establishment as a prophet means the Ark was no more relevant. To some extent there is always a dispensation.
  • Anne
    Thank God for Women like Abigail who are able to prophesy in obedience to God. She was sent for such a time as this.

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