The Death of Samuel
David and Abigail
Then David rose and went down to ythe wilderness of Paran. 2 And there was a man in zMaon whose business was in aCarmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. bHe was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; che was a Calebite. 4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal bwas shearing his sheep. 5 So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. 6 And thus you shall greet him: d‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have. 7 I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us, and we did them no harm, eand they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come fon a feast day. Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 When David’s young men came, they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then they waited. 10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, g“Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse? hThere are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters. 11 Shall I take imy bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to jmen who come from I do not know where?” 12 So David’s young men turned away and came back and told him all this. 13 And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And kabout four hundred men went up after David, kwhile two hundred lremained with the baggage.
14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them. 15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, nand we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them. 16 They were oa wall to us both by night and by day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep. 17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do, pfor harm is determined against our master and against all his house, and he is such qa worthless man that one cannot speak to him.”
18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs1 of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys. 19 And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal. 20 And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain, behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them. 21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, rso that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has sreturned me evil for good. 22 tGod do so to the enemies of David2 and more also, if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”
23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried uand got down from the donkey vand fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground. 24 She fell at his feet and said, w“On me alone, my lord, be the guilt. Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant. 25 Let not my lord regard qthis worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal3 is his name, and folly is with him. But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent. 26 Now then, my lord, xas the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because ythe Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from zsaving with your own hand, now then alet your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. 27 And now let this bpresent that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord. 28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant. For the Lord will certainly make my lord ca sure house, because my lord dis fighting the battles of the Lord, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live. 29 If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life, the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the Lord your God. And the lives of your enemies ehe shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling. 30 And when the Lord has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince4 over Israel, 31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord zworking salvation himself. And when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”
32 And David said to Abigail, f“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! 33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, ywho have kept me this day from bloodguilt zand from working salvation with my own hand! 34 For as surely gas the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, ywho has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.” 35 Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, h“Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.”
36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, ihe was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart jwas merry within him, for he was very drunk. So she told him nothing kat all until the morning light. 37 In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. 38 And about ten days later lthe Lord struck Nabal, and he died.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, f“Blessed be the Lord who has mavenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, nand has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. oThe Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and pspoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife. 40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her, “David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.” 41 And she rose qand bowed with her face to the ground and said, “Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” 42 And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife.
David Spares Saul Again
26 tThen the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, “Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?” 2 So Saul arose and went down to uthe wilderness of Ziph with vthree thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. 3 And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, 4 David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come. 5 Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with wAbner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within xthe encampment, while the army was encamped around him.
6 Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab’s brother yAbishai the son of Zeruiah, z“Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?” And Abishai said, “I will go down with you.” 7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within xthe encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground aat his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. 8 Then Abishai said to David, b“God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice.” 9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand cagainst the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” 10 And David said, d“As the Lord lives, ethe Lord will strike him, or fhis day will come to die, gor he will go down into battle and perish. 11 hThe Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. But take now the spear that is iat his head and the jar of water, and let us go.” 12 So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because ja deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.
13 Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. 14 And David called to the army, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, “Will you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered, “Who are you who calls to the king?” 15 And David said to Abner, “Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord. 16 This thing that you have done is not good. kAs the Lord lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the Lord’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was lat his head.”
17 Saul recognized David’s voice and said, m“Is this your voice, my son David?” And David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.” 18 And he said, n“Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands? 19 Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the Lord who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before the Lord, ofor they have driven me out this day that I should have no share in pthe heritage of the Lord, saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’ 20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the Lord, for the king of Israel has come out to seek qa single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains.”
21 Then Saul said, r“I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake.” 22 And David answered and said, “Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. 23 sThe Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. 24 Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation.” 25 Then Saul said to David, “Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will tsucceed in them.” So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.
32 r“Fear not, little sflock, for tit is your Father’s good pleasure to give you uthe kingdom. 33 vSell your possessions, and wgive to the needy. xProvide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with ya treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34 zFor where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
You Must Be Ready
35 a“Stay dressed for action1 and bkeep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are cwaiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and dknocks. 37 eBlessed are those servants2 whom the master finds eawake when he comes. Truly, I say to you, fhe will dress himself for service and ghave them recline at table, and he will come and serve them. 38 If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants! 39 hBut know this, that if the master of the house had known at what hour ithe thief was coming, he3 would not have left his house to be broken into. 40 You also must be jready, for kthe Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
41 Peter said, “Lord, lare you telling this parable for us or for all?” 42 And the Lord said, “Who then is mthe faithful and mwise nmanager, whom his master will set over his household, to give them their portion of food at the proper time? 43 oBlessed is that servant4 whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you, phe will set him over all his possessions. 45 But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master qis delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and rget drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come son a day when he does not expect him and sat an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces and put him with the unfaithful. 47 tAnd that servant who uknew his master’s will but vdid not get ready uor act according to his will, will receive a wsevere beating. 48 xBut the one who did not know, and did what deserved a beating, ywill receive a light beating. zEveryone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.
Not Peace, but Division
49 a“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled! 50 bI have a baptism to be baptized with, and how cgreat is my distress until it is accomplished! 51 dDo you think that I have come to give peace on earth? eNo, I tell you, but rather division. 52 For from now on in one house there will be five divided, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, ffather against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
Interpreting the Time
54 He also said to the crowds, g“When you see ha cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. 55 And gwhen you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be iscorching heat,’ and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! jYou know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?
Settle with Your Accuser
57 “And why kdo you not judge lfor yourselves what is right? 58 mAs you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. 59 I tell you, nyou will never get out until you have paid the very last openny.”5