2 Now there was a man in Maʹon,+ and his work was in Carʹmel.*+ And the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats; and he came to be [engaged] in shearing+ his sheep at Carʹmel. 3 And the man’s name was Naʹbal,+ and his wife’s name was Abʹi·gail.+ And the wife was good in discretion+ and beautiful in form, but the husband was harsh and bad in his practices;+ and he was a Caʹleb·ite.+ 4 And David got to hear in the wilderness that Naʹbal was shearing+ his sheep. 5 So David sent ten young men and David said to the young men: “Go up to Carʹmel, and YOU must come to Naʹbal and ask him in my name about his welfare.+ 6 And this is what YOU must say to my brother,* ‘May you be well+ and also your household be well and all that you have be well. 7 And now I have heard that you have shearers. Now the shepherds that belong to you happened themselves to be with us.+ We did not molest them,+ and nothing at all showed up missing of theirs all the days they happened to be in Carʹmel. 8 Ask your own young men, and they will tell you, that my* young men may find favor in your eyes, because it was upon a good day that we came.* Just give, please, whatever your hand may find to your servants and to your son David.’”+
9 Accordingly David’s young men came and spoke to Naʹbal in accord with all these words in the name of David and then waited. 10 At this Naʹbal answered David’s servants and said: “Who is David,+ and who is the son of Jesʹse? Nowadays the servants that are breaking away, each one from before his master,* have become many.+ 11 And do I have to take my bread+ and my water* and my slaughtered meat that I have butchered for my shearers and give it to men of whom I do not even know from where they are?”+
12 Upon that David’s young men turned around on their way and went back and came and reported to him in accord with all these words. 13 Immediately David said to his men: “Gird on every one his sword!”+ So they girded on every one his sword and David also girded on his own sword; and they began to go up after David, about four hundred men, while two hundred sat by the baggage.+
14 Meanwhile, to Abʹi·gail, Naʹbal’s wife, one of the young men reported, saying: “Look! David sent messengers from the wilderness to wish our master well,* but he screamed rebukes+ at them. 15 And the men were very good to us, and they did not molest us, and we did not miss a single thing all the days of our walking about with them while we happened to be in the field.+ 16 A wall+ was what they proved to be around us both by night and by day, all the days that we happened to be with them, shepherding the flock. 17 And now know and see what you are going to do, for calamity has been determined+ against our master and against all his house, as he is too much of a good-for-nothing fellow*+ to speak to him.”
18 At once Abʹi·gail+ hastened and took two hundred loaves of bread and two large jars of wine+ and five sheep dressed+ and five seah* measures of roasted+ grain and a hundred cakes of raisins+ and two hundred cakes of pressed figs+ and put them upon the asses. 19 Then she said to her young men: “Pass on ahead of me.+ Look! I am coming after YOU.” But to her husband Naʹbal she told nothing.
20 And it occurred that while she was riding on the ass+ and secretly going down the mountain, why, there were David and his men coming down to meet her. So she encountered them. 21 As for David, he had said: “It was altogether for disappointment that I guarded everything that belongs to this fellow in the wilderness and not a single thing of all that belongs to him showed up missing,+ and yet he repays me evil in return for good.+ 22 So may God do to the enemies of David* and so may he add to it+ if I shall let anyone of all who are his that urinates against the wall*+ remain until the morning.”+
23 When Abʹi·gail caught sight of David, she at once hastened and got down off the ass and fell upon her face before David and bowed+ to the earth. 24 She then fell at his feet+ and said: “Upon me myself, O my lord, be the error;+ and, please, let your slave girl speak in your ears,+ and listen to the words of your slave girl. 25 Please, do not let my lord set his heart upon this good-for-nothing+ man Naʹbal, for, as his name is, so is he. Naʹbal* is his name, and senselessness* is with him.+ As for me your slave girl, I did not see my lord’s young men that you had sent. 26 And now, my lord, as Jehovah is living+ and as your soul is living,+ Jehovah has held you back+ from entering into bloodguilt*+ and having your own hand come to your salvation.*+ And now let your enemies and those seeking injury to my lord become like Naʹbal.+ 27 And now as regards this gift blessing+ that your maidservant has brought to my lord, it must be given to the young men that are walking about in the steps+ of my lord. 28 Pardon, please, the transgression of your slave girl,+ because Jehovah will without fail make for my lord a lasting house,*+ because the wars of Jehovah are what my lord is fighting;+ and as for badness, it will not be found in you throughout your days.*+ 29 When man rises up to pursue you and look for your soul, the soul of my lord will certainly prove to be wrapped up in the bag of life+ with Jehovah your God;+ but, as for the soul of your enemies, he will sling it forth as from inside the hollow of the sling.+ 30 And it must occur that, because Jehovah will do to my lord the good toward you according to all that he has spoken, he certainly will commission you as leader over Israel.+ 31 And let this not become to you a cause for staggering* or a stumbling block to the heart of my lord, both by the shedding of blood without cause+ and by having [the hand of] my lord* [itself] come to his salvation.+ And Jehovah will certainly do good to my lord, and you must remember+ your slave girl.”
32 At this David said to Abʹi·gail: “Blessed be Jehovah the God of Israel,+ who has sent you this day to meet me! 33 And blessed be your sensibleness,+ and blessed be you who have restrained me this day from entering into bloodguilt+ and having my own hand come to my salvation.+ 34 And, on the other hand, as Jehovah the God of Israel is living, who has held me back from doing injury to you,+ if you had not hastened that you might come to meet me,+ there would certainly not have remained to Naʹbal until the morning light anyone urinating against a wall.”*+ 35 With that David accepted from her hand what she had brought him, and to her he said: “Go up in peace+ to your house. See, I have listened to your voice that I may have consideration+ for your person.”
36 Later Abʹi·gail came in to Naʹbal, and there he was having a feast in his house like the feast of the king;+ and Naʹbal’s heart was feeling good within him, and he was as drunk+ as could be; and she did not tell him a thing, small or great, until the morning light. 37 And it came about in the morning, when the wine had gone out of Naʹbal, that his wife went telling him these things. And his heart+ came to be dead inside him, and he himself became as a stone. 38 After that about ten days elapsed and then Jehovah struck+ Naʹbal, so that he died.
39 And David got to hear that Naʹbal had died, and so he said: “Blessed be Jehovah, who has conducted the legal+ case of my reproach+ [to free me] from Naʹbal’s hand and has kept his servant back from badness,+ and the badness of Naʹbal Jehovah has turned back upon his own head!”+ And David proceeded to send and propose to Abʹi·gail to take her as his wife.+ 40 So David’s servants came to Abʹi·gail at Carʹmel and spoke to her, saying: “David himself has sent us to you to take you as his wife.” 41 Immediately she rose up and bowed with her face to the earth+ and said: “Here is your slave girl as a maidservant to wash the feet+ of the servants of my lord.”+ 42 Then Abʹi·gail+ hastened and rose up and went riding+ on the ass with five maids of hers walking behind her;* and she went accompanying* the messengers of David and then became his wife.