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1 Samuel 25; 1 Samuel 26; 1 Samuel 27

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1 Samuel 25

1 Samuel died. The whole nation of Israel gathered together. They were filled with sorrow because he was dead. They buried his body at his home in Ramah. Then David went down into the Desert of Maon.
2 A certain man in Maon was very wealthy. He owned property there at Carmel. He had 1,000 goats and 3,000 sheep. He was clipping the wool off the sheep in Carmel.
3 His name was Nabal. His wife's name was Abigail. She was a wise and beautiful woman. But her husband was rude and mean in the way he treated others. He was from the family of Caleb.
4 David was staying in the Desert of Maon. While he was there, he heard that Nabal was clipping the wool off his sheep.
5 So he sent for ten young men. He said to them, "Go up to Nabal at Carmel. Greet him for me.
6 Say to him, 'May you live a long time! May everything go well with you and your family! And may things go well with everything that belongs to you!
7 " 'I hear that you are clipping the wool off your sheep. When your shepherds were with us, we treated them well. The whole time they were at Carmel nothing that belonged to them was stolen.
8 Ask your own servants. They'll tell you. We've come to you now at a happy time of the year. Please show favor to my young men. Please give me and my men anything you can find for us.' "
9 When David's men arrived, they gave Nabal the message from David. Then they waited.
10 Nabal answered David's servants, "Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are running away from their masters these days.
11 Why should I give away my bread and water? Why should I give away the meat I've prepared for those who clip the wool off my sheep? Why should I give food to men who come from who knows where?"
12 So David's men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported to David every word Nabal had spoken.
13 David said to his men, "Put on your swords!" So they put their swords on. David put his on too. About 400 men went up with David. Two hundred men stayed behind with the supplies.
14 One of the servants warned Nabal's wife Abigail. He said, "David sent some messengers from the desert to give his greetings to our master. But Nabal shouted at them and made fun of them.
15 "David's men had been very good to us. They treated us well. The whole time we were near them out in the fields, nothing was stolen.
16 We were taking care of our sheep near them. During that time, they were like a wall around us night and day. They kept us safe.
17 "Now think it over. See what you can do. Horrible trouble will soon come to our master and his whole family. He's such an evil man that no one can even talk to him."
18 Abigail didn't waste any time. She got 200 loaves of bread and two bottles of wine. The bottles were made out of animal skins. She got five sheep that were ready to be cooked. She got a bushel of grain that had been cooked. She got 100 raisin cakes. And she got 200 cakes of pressed figs. She loaded all of it on the backs of donkeys.
19 Then she told her servants, "Go on ahead. I'll follow you." But she didn't tell her husband Nabal about it.
20 Abigail rode her donkey into a mountain valley. There she saw David and his men. They were coming down toward her.
21 David had just said, "Everything we've done hasn't been worth a thing! I watched over that fellow's property in the desert. I made sure none of it was stolen. But he has paid me back evil for good.
22 I won't leave even one of his men alive until morning. If I do, may God punish me greatly!"
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey. She bowed down in front of David with her face toward the ground.
24 She fell at his feet. She said, "Please let me speak to you, sir. Listen to what I'm saying. Let me take the blame myself.
25 Don't pay any attention to that evil man Nabal. His name means Foolish Person. And that's exactly what he is. He's always doing foolish things. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to see the men you sent.
26 "Sir, the LORD has kept you from killing Nabal and his men. He has kept you from using your own hands to get even. May what's about to happen to Nabal happen to all of your enemies. May it also happen to everyone who wants to harm you. And may it happen just as surely as the LORD and you are alive.
27 "I've brought a gift for you. Give it to the men who follow you.
28 Please forgive me for what I've done wrong. "The LORD will certainly give you and your family line a kingdom that will last. That's because you fight the LORD's battles. Don't do anything wrong as long as you live.
29 "Someone may chase you and try to kill you. But the LORD your God will keep your life safe like a treasure that is hidden in a bag. And he'll destroy your enemies. Their lives will be thrown away, just as a stone is thrown from a sling.
30 "The LORD will do for you every good thing he promised to do. He'll appoint you leader over Israel.
31 When that happens, you won't have this heavy load on your mind. You won't have to worry about how you killed people without any reason. You won't have to worry about how you got even. The LORD will give you success. When that happens, please remember me."
32 David said to Abigail, "Give praise to the Lord. He is the God of Israel. He has sent you today to find me.
33 May the LORD bless you for what you have done. You have shown a lot of good sense. You have kept me from killing Nabal and his men this very day. You have kept me from using my own hands to get even.
34 "It's a good thing you came quickly to meet me. If you hadn't come, not one of Nabal's men would have been left alive by sunrise. And that's just as sure as the Lord, the God of Israel, is alive. He has kept me from harming you."
35 Then David accepted from her what she had brought him. He said, "Go home in peace. I've heard your words. I'll do what you have asked."
36 Abigail went back to Nabal. He was having a dinner party in the house. It was the kind of dinner a king would have. He had been drinking too much wine. He was very drunk. So she didn't tell him anything at all until sunrise.
37 The next morning Nabal wasn't drunk anymore. Then his wife told him everything. When she did, his heart grew weak. He became like a stone.
38 About ten days later, the LORD struck Nabal down. And he died.
39 David heard that Nabal was dead. So he said, "Give praise to the Lord. Nabal made fun of me. But the LORD stood up for me. He has kept me from doing something wrong. He has paid Nabal back for the wrong things he did." Then David sent a message to Abigail. He asked her to become his wife.
40 His servants went to Carmel. They said to Abigail, "David has sent us to you. He wants you to come back with us and become his wife."
41 Abigail bowed down with her face toward the ground. She said, "Here I am. I'm ready to serve him. I'm ready to wash the feet of his servants."
42 Abigail quickly got on a donkey and went with David's messengers. Her five female servants went with her. She became David's wife.
43 David had also gotten married to Ahinoam from Jezreel. Both of them became his wives.
44 But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David's first wife, to Paltiel. Paltiel was from Gallim. He was the son of Laish.

1 Samuel 26

1 Some people from Ziph went to Saul at Gibeah. They said, "David is hiding on the hill of Hakilah. It faces Jeshimon."
2 So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph. He took 3,000 of the best soldiers in Israel with him. They went to the desert to look for David.
3 Saul set up his camp beside the road. It was on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon. But David stayed in the desert. He saw that Saul had followed him there.
4 So he sent out scouts. From them he learned that Saul had arrived.
5 Then David started out. He went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner were lying down. Saul was lying inside the camp. The army was camped all around him. Abner was commander of the army. He was the son of Ner.
6 Then David spoke to Ahimelech, the Hittite. He also spoke to Joab's brother Abishai, the son of Zeruiah. He asked them, "Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?" "I'll go with you," said Abishai.
7 So that night David and Abishai went into the camp. They found Saul lying asleep inside the camp. His spear was stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him.
8 Abishai said to David, "Today God has handed your enemy over to you. So let me pin him to the ground. I can do it with one jab of my spear. I won't even have to strike him twice."
9 But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! No one can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed king and not be guilty.
10 You can be sure that the LORD lives," he said. "And you can be just as sure that the LORD himself will strike Saul down. Perhaps he'll die a natural death. Or perhaps he'll go into battle and be killed.
11 May the LORD keep me from laying a hand on his anointed king. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head. Then let's leave."
12 So David took the spear and water jug that were near Saul's head. Then he and Abishai left. No one saw them. No one knew about what they had done. In fact, no one even woke up. Everyone was sleeping. That's because the LORD had put them into a deep sleep.
13 David went across to the other side of the valley. He stood on top of a hill far away from Saul's camp. There was a wide space between them.
14 He called out to the army and to Abner, the son of Ner. He said, "Abner! Aren't you going to answer me?" Abner replied, "Who is calling out to the king?"
15 David said, "You are a great soldier, aren't you? There isn't anyone else like you in Israel. So why didn't you guard the king? He's your master, isn't he? Someone came into the camp to destroy him.
16 You didn't guard him. And that isn't good. You can be sure that the LORD lives. And you can be just as sure that you and your men are worthy of death. That's because you didn't guard your master. He's the LORD's anointed king. Look around you. Where are the king's spear and water jug that were near his head?"
17 Saul recognized David's voice. He said, "My son David, is that your voice?" David replied, "Yes it is, King Saul, my master."
18 He continued, "Why are you chasing me? What evil thing have I done? What am I guilty of?
19 "King Saul, please listen to what I'm saying. Was it the LORD who made you angry with me? If it was, may he accept my offering. Was it people who made you angry at me? If it was, may the LORD send down a curse on them. They have now driven me from my share of the LORD's land. By doing that, they might as well have said, 'Go and serve other gods.'
20 "Don't spill my blood on the ground far away from where the LORD lives. King Saul, you have come out to look for nothing but a flea. It's as if you were hunting a partridge in the mountains."
21 Then Saul said, "I have sinned. My son David, come back. Today you thought my life was very special. So I won't try to harm you again. I've really acted like a foolish person. I've made a huge mistake."
22 "Here's your spear," David answered. "Send one of your young men over to get it.
23 "The LORD rewards everyone for doing what is right and being faithful. He handed you over to me today. But I wouldn't lay a hand on you. You are the LORD's anointed king.
24 Today I thought your life had great value. In the same way, may the LORD think of my life as having great value. May he save me from all trouble."
25 Then Saul said to David, "My son David, may the LORD bless you. You will do great things. You will also have great success." So David went on his way. And Saul returned home.

1 Samuel 27

1 David thought, "Some day the powerful hand of Saul will destroy me. So the best thing I can do is escape. I'll go to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will stop looking for me everywhere in Israel. His hand won't be able to reach me."
2 So David and his 600 men left Israel. They went to Achish, the king of Gath. He was the son of Maoch.
3 David and his men settled down in Gath near Achish. Each of David's men had his family with him. David had his two wives with him. They were Ahinoam from Jezreel and Abigail from Carmel. Abigail was Nabal's widow.
4 Saul was told that David had run away to Gath. So he didn't look for David anymore.
5 David said to Achish, "If you are pleased with me, give me a place in one of your country towns. I can live there. I don't really need to live near you in the royal city."
6 So on that day Achish gave David the town of Ziklag. It has belonged to the kings of Judah ever since that time.
7 David lived in Philistine territory for a year and four months.
8 Sometimes David and his men would go up and attack the Geshurites. At other times they would attack the Girzites or the Amalekites. All of those people had lived in the land that reached all the way to Shur and Egypt. They had been there for a long time.
9 When David would attack an area, he wouldn't leave a man or woman alive. But he would take their sheep, cattle, donkeys, camels and clothes. Then he would return to Achish.
10 Achish would ask, "Who did you attack today?" David would answer, "The people who live in the Negev Desert of Judah." Or he would answer, "The people in the Negev Desert of Jerahmeel." Or he would answer, "The people in the Negev Desert of the Kenites."
11 David wouldn't leave a man or woman alive to be brought back to Gath. He thought, "They might tell on us. They might tell Achish who we really attacked." That's what David did as long as he lived in Philistine territory.
12 Achish trusted David. He thought, "David has made himself smell very bad to his people, the Israelites. So he'll serve me forever."