1 Samuel 25:7-17

7 “ ‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing.
8 Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’ ”
9 When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.
10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.
11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”
12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.
13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.
14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.
15 Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.
16 Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them.
17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”

1 Samuel 25:7 in Other Translations

KJV
7 And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
ESV
7 I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel.
NLT
7 I am told that it is sheep-shearing time. While your shepherds stayed among us near Carmel, we never harmed them, and nothing was ever stolen from them.
MSG
7 I heard that it's sheep-shearing time. Here's the point: When your shepherds were camped near us we didn't take advantage of them. They didn't lose a thing all the time they were with us in Carmel.
CSB
7 I hear that you are shearing. When your shepherds were with us, we did not harass them, and nothing of theirs was missing the whole time they were in Carmel.

1 Samuel 25:7-17 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO FIRST SAMUEL 25

This chapter gives an account of the death of Samuel, and of the ill treatment David met with from Nabal; it begins with the death of Samuel, which was greatly lamented in Israel, 1Sa 25:1; it draws the character of Nabal, and his wife, 1Sa 25:2,3; records a message of David to him, by his young men, desiring he would send him some of his provisions made for his sheep shearers, 1Sa 25:4-9; and Nabal's ill-natured answer to him reported by the young men, which provoked David to arm against him, 1Sa 25:10-13,21,22; and this being told Abigail, the wife of Nabal, and a good character given of David and his men, and of the advantage Nabal's shepherds had received from them, and the danger his family was in through his ingratitude, 1Sa 25:14-17; she prepared a present to pacify David, went with it herself, and addressed him in a very handsome, affectionate, and prudent manner, 1Sa 25:18-31; and met with a kind reception, 1Sa 25:32-35; and the chapter is closed with an account of the death of Nabal, and of the marriage of Abigail to David, 1Sa 25:32-44.

1 Samuel 25:7-17 In-Context

5 So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name.
6 Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!
7 “ ‘Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing.
8 Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.’ ”
9 When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.
10 Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days.
11 Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?”
12 David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.
13 David said to his men, “Each of you strap on your sword!” So they did, and David strapped his on as well. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies.
14 One of the servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the wilderness to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.
15 Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.
16 Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them.
17 Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”
18 Abigail acted quickly. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys.
19 Then she told her servants, “Go on ahead; I’ll follow you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

Cross References 12

  • 1. ver 15
  • 2. Nehemiah 8:10
  • 3. Judges 9:28
  • 4. Judges 8:6
  • 5. S 1 Samuel 22:2
  • 6. S 1 Samuel 21:10; 1 Samuel 23:13
  • 7. S Numbers 31:27; 1 Samuel 30:24
  • 8. 1 Samuel 13:10
  • 9. ver 7
  • 10. ver 21
  • 11. Exodus 14:22; Job 1:10; Psalms 139:5
  • 12. S Deuteronomy 13:13; S 1 Samuel 20:7
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.