Now Samuel died,1 and all Israel assembled and mourned2 for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah.3 Then David moved down into the Desert of Maon.a2
A certain man in Maon,4 who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy.5 He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing6 in Carmel.
His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail.7 She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite,8 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 health9 to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!107
" 'Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat11 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 whatever12 you can find for them.' "
When David's men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David's name. Then they waited.