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 health1 to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!27
" 'Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat3 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 whatever4 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, "Who5 is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.
Why should I take my bread6 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 men7, "Put on your swords!" So they put on their swords, and David put on his. About four hundred men went8 up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.914
One of the servants told Nabal's wife Abigail: "David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings,10 but he hurled insults at them.
Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat11 us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.12