A certain man in Maon,1 who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy.2 He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing3 in Carmel.
His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail.4 She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite,5 was surly and mean in his dealings.
While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep.
So he sent ten young men and said to them, "Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name.
Say to him: 'Long life to you! Good health6 to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!77
" 'Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat8 them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing.
Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my young men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever9 you can find for them.' "
When David's men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David's name. Then they waited.
Nabal answered David's servants, "Who10 is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.
Why should I take my bread11 and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?"
David's men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.
David said to his men12, "Put on your swords!" So they put on their swords, and David put on his. About four hundred men went13 up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.14