1 Samuel 25; 1 Samuel 26; 1 Samuel 27

1 Now Samuel died, and all Israel gathered to mourn for him. They buried him at his home in Ramah. David then left and went down to the Maon wilderness. 2 There was a man in Maon who did business in Carmel. He was a very important man and owned three thousand sheep and one thousand goats. At that time, he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 The man's name was Nabal, and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and attractive woman, but her husband was a hard man who did evil things. He was a Calebite. 4 While in the wilderness, David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 So David sent ten servants, telling them, "Go up to Carmel. When you get to Nabal, greet him for me. 6 Say this to him: ‘Peace to you, your household, and all that is yours! 7 I've heard that you are now shearing sheep. As you know, your shepherds were with us in the wilderness. We didn't mistreat them. Moreover, the whole time they were at Carmel, nothing of theirs went missing. 8 Ask your servants; they will tell you the same. So please receive these young men favorably, because we've come on a special day. Please give whatever you have on hand to your servants and to your son David.'" 9 When David's young men arrived, they said all this to Nabal on David's behalf. Then they waited. 10 But Nabal answered David's servants, "Who is David? Who is Jesse's son? There are all sorts of slaves running away from their masters these days. 11 Why should I take my bread, my water, and the meat I've butchered for my shearers and give it to people who came here from who knows where?" 12 So David's young servants turned around and went back the way they came. When they arrived, they reported every word of this to David. 13 Then David said to his soldiers, "All of you, strap on your swords!" So each of them strapped on their swords, and David did the same. Nearly four hundred men went up with David. Two hundred men remained back with the supplies. 14 One of Nabal's servants told his wife Abigail, "David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master, but he just yelled at them. 15 But the men were very good to us and didn't mistreat us. Nothing of ours went missing the whole time we were out with them in the fields. 16 In fact, the whole time we were with them, watching our sheep, they were a protective wall around us both night and day. 17 Think about that and see what you can do, because trouble is coming for our master and his whole household. But he's such a despicable person no one can speak to him." 18 Abigail quickly took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep ready for cooking, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred raisin cakes, and two hundred fig cakes. She loaded all this on donkeys 19 and told her servants, "Go on ahead of me. I'll be right behind you." But she didn't tell her husband Nabal. 20 As she was riding her donkey, going down a trail on the hillside, David and his soldiers appeared, descending toward her, and she met up with them. 21 David had just been saying, "What a waste of time—guarding all this man's stuff in the wilderness so that nothing of his went missing! He has repaid me evil instead of good! 22 May God deal harshly with me, David, and worse still if I leave alive even one single male belonging to him come morning!" 23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and fell facedown before him, bowing low to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, "Put the blame on me, my master! But please let me, your servant, speak to you directly. Please listen to what your servant has to say. 25 Please, my master, pay no attention to this despicable man Nabal. He's exactly what his name says he is! His name means fool, and he is foolish! But I myself, your servant, didn't see the young men that you, my master, sent. 26 I pledge, my master, as surely as the LORD lives and as you live, that the LORD has held you back from bloodshed and taking vengeance into your own hands! But now let your enemies and those who seek to harm my master be exactly like Nabal! 27 Here is a gift, which your servant has brought to my master. Please let it be given to the young men who follow you, my master. 28 Please forgive any offense by your servant. The LORD will definitely make an enduring dynasty for my master because my master fights the LORD's battles, and nothing evil will be found in you throughout your lifetime. 29 If someone chases after you and tries to kill you, my master, then your life will be bound up securely in the bundle of life by the LORD your God, but he will fling away your enemies' lives as from the pouch of a sling. 30 When the LORD has done for my master all the good things he has promised you, and has installed you as Israel's leader, 31 don't let this be a blot or burden on my master's conscience, that you shed blood needlessly or that my master took vengeance into his own hands. When the LORD has done good things for my master, please remember your servant." 32 David said to Abigail, "Bless the LORD God of Israel, who sent you to meet me today! 33 And bless you and your good judgment for preventing me from shedding blood and taking vengeance into my own hands today! 34 Otherwise, as surely as the LORD God of Israel lives—the one who kept me from hurting you—if you hadn't come quickly and met up with me, there wouldn't be one single male left come morning." 35 Then David accepted everything she had brought for him. "Return home in peace," he told her. "Be assured that I've heard your request and have agreed to it." 36 When Abigail got back home to Nabal, he was throwing a party fit for a king in his house. Nabal was in a great mood and very drunk, so Abigail didn't tell him anything until daybreak. 37 In the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him everything. Nabal's heart failed inside him, and he became like a stone. 38 About ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal, and he died. 39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Bless the LORD, who has rendered a verdict regarding Nabal's insult to me and who kept me, his servant, from doing something evil! The LORD has brought Nabal's evil down on his own head." Then David sent word to Abigail, saying that he would take her as his wife. 40 When David's servants reached Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, "David has sent us to you so you can become his wife." 41 She bowed low to the ground and said, "I am your servant, ready to serve and wash the feet of my master's helpers." 42 Then Abigail got up quickly and rode on her donkey, with five of her young women going with her. She followed David's messengers and became his wife. 43 David also married Ahinoam from Jezreel, so both of them were his wives. 44 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David's wife, to Palti, Laish's son, from Gallim.
1 The Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah. "David is hiding on Hachilah's hill, which faces Jeshimon," they said. 2 So Saul got up and went down to the Ziph wilderness to look for David there. He had three thousand handpicked soldiers from Israel with him. 3 Saul camped on Hachilah's hill opposite Jeshimon beside the road, but David stayed in the wilderness. When David learned that Saul had come after him into the wilderness, 4 he sent spies and discovered that Saul had definitely arrived. 5 So David got up and went to the place where Saul camped, and saw the place where Saul and Abner, Ner's son and Saul's general, were sleeping. Saul was sleeping inside the camp with the troops camped all around him. 6 David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Joab's brother Abishai, Zeruiah's son, "Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?" "I'll go down with you," Abishai answered. 7 So David and Abishai approached the troops at night and found Saul lying there, asleep in the camp, with his spear stuck in the ground by his head. Abner and the army were sleeping all around him. 8 Abishai said to David, "God has handed your enemy over to you today! Let me pin him to the ground with my spear. One stroke is all I need! I won't need a second." 9 But David said to Abishai, "Don't kill him! No one can lift a hand against the LORD's anointed and go unpunished. 10 As surely as the LORD lives," David continued, "it will be the LORD who will strike him down, or his day will come and he will die, or he'll fall in battle and be destroyed. 11 The LORD forbid that I lift my hand against the LORD's anointed! But go ahead and take the spear by Saul's head and the water jug and let's go!" 12 So David took the spear and the water jug that were by Saul's head, and he and Abishai left. No one saw them, no one knew they were there, and no one woke up. All of them remained asleep because a deep sleep from the LORD had come over them. 13 David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of a hill with considerable distance between them. 14 Then David shouted to the army and to Abner, Ner's son, "Abner! Aren't you going to answer me?" "Who are you to shout to the king?" Abner asked. 15 David answered Abner, "You are a man, aren't you? And you have no equal in Israel, right? Then why haven't you kept watch over your master the king? One of the soldiers came to kill your master the king. 16 What you've done is terrible! As surely as the LORD lives, all of you are dead men because you didn't keep close watch over your master, the LORD's anointed. Have a look around! Where are the king's spear and the water jug that were by his head?" 17 Saul recognized David's voice and said, "David, my son, is that your voice?" David said, "Yes it is, my master the king. 18 Why," David continued, "is my master chasing me, his servant? What have I done and what wrong am I guilty of? 19 My master the king, please listen to what your servant has to say. If it is the LORD who has incited you against me, then let him accept an offering! But if human beings have done it, then let them be cursed before the LORD because they have now driven me off, keeping me from sharing in the LORD's inheritance. ‘Go!' they tell me. ‘Worship other gods!' 20 Don't let my blood spill on the ground apart from the LORD's presence, because the king of Israel has come out looking for a single flea like someone hunting a partridge in the mountains." 21 Then Saul said, "I have sinned! David, my son, come back! Because you considered my life precious today, I won't harm you again. I have acted foolishly and have made a huge mistake." 22 "Here is the king's spear," David answered. "Allow one of your servants to come over and get it. 23 Remember: The LORD rewards every person for their righteousness and loyalty, and I wasn't willing to lift a hand against the LORD's anointed, even though the LORD handed you over to me today. 24 And just as I considered your life valuable today, may the LORD consider my life valuable, and may he deliver me from all trouble." 25 Then Saul said to David, "Bless you, David, my son! You will accomplish much and will certainly succeed." Then David went on his way, but Saul went back home.
1 David thought, One day I will be destroyed by Saul's power. The best thing for me to do is to escape to Philistine territory. Then Saul will give up looking for me in Israelite territory, and I will escape his power. 2 So David set out with his six hundred soldiers and went to Achish, Maoch's son and Gath's king. 3 David and his soldiers stayed there at Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives, Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail, Nabal's widow from Carmel. 4 When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he didn't pursue him anymore. 5 Then David said to Achish, "If you approve of me, please give me a place in one of the towns in the country so I can live there. Why should I, your servant, live in the capital city with you?" 6 So Achish gave the town of Ziklag to David at that time. That's why Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah until now. 7 David lived in the Philistine countryside for a total of one year and four months. 8 David and his soldiers went out on raids against the Geshurites, the Girzites, and the Amalekites. They were the people who lived in the land from Telam to Shur all the way to the land of Egypt. 9 When David attacked an area, he wouldn't leave anyone alive, man or woman. He would take the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothes and would then go back to Achish. 10 When Achish asked, "Where did you raid today?" David would say, "The southern plain of Judah," or "The southern plain of the Jerahmeelites," or "The southern plain of the Kenites." 11 David never spared a man or woman so they could be brought back alive to Gath. "Otherwise," he said, "they might talk about us, and say, ‘David did this or that.'" So this was David's practice during the entire time he lived in the Philistine countryside. 12 Achish trusted David, thinking, David has alienated himself so badly from his own people in Israel that he'll serve me forever.
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