Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!
“ ‘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.
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.’ ”
When David’s men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David’s name. Then they waited.
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.
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?”
David’s men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word.
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.
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.
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.
Night and day they were a wall around us the whole time we were herding our sheep near them.