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1 Samuel Chapter Twenty-five


1 Samuel 25 Outlines

Death of Samuel (v.1)

David and the Wife of Nabal (v.2~44)

New King James Version (NKJV)



This chapter gives an account of the death of Samuel, and of the ill treatment David met with from Nabal; it begins with the death of Samuel, which was greatly lamented in Israel, 1 Samuel 25:1; it draws the character of Nabal, and his wife, 1 Samuel 25:2; records a message of David to him, by his young men, desiring he would send him some of his provisions made for his sheep shearers, 1 Samuel 25:4; and Nabal's ill-natured answer to him reported by the young men, which provoked David to arm against him, 1 Samuel 25:10; and this being told Abigail, the wife of Nabal, and a good character given of David and his men, and of the advantage Nabal's shepherds had received from them, and the danger his family was in through his ingratitude, 1 Samuel 25:14; she prepared a present to pacify David, went with it herself, and addressed him in a very handsome, affectionate, and prudent manner, 1 Samuel 25:18; and met with a kind reception, 1 Samuel 25:32; and the chapter is closed with an account of the death of Nabal, and of the marriage of Abigail to David, 1 Samuel 25:32.


1 Samuel 25:1  Then Samuel died; and the Israelites gathered together and lamented for him, and buried him at his home in Ramah. And David arose and went down to the Wilderness of Paran.[a]

   YLT  1And Samuel dieth, and all Israel are gathered, and mourn for him, and bury him in his house, in Ramah; and David riseth and goeth down unto the wilderness of Paran.

And Samuel died,.... In the interval, when Saul and David were parted, and before they saw each other again; according to the Jewish chronologyF7Seder Olam Rabba, c. 13. p. 37. , Samuel died four months before Saul; but other Jewish writers sayF8In Kimchi & Abarbinel in loc. he died seven months before; Abarbinel thinks it was a year or two before; which is most likely and indeed certain, since David was in the country of the Philistines after this a full year and four months, if the true sense of the phrase is expressed in 1 Samuel 27:7; and Saul was not then dead; and so another Jewish chronologerF9Juchasin, fol. 11. 1. says, that Saul died two years after Samuel, to which agrees Clemens of AlexandriaF11Stromat. l. 1. p. 325. ; and according to the JewsF12Schulchan Aruch, par. 1. c. 580. sect. 2. , he died the twentieth of Ijar, for which a fast was kept on that day:

and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him; his death being a public loss, not only to the college of the prophets, over which he presided, but to the whole nation; and they had reason to lament his death, when they called to mind, the many good offices he had done them from his youth upwards; and when the government was in his hands, which was administered in the most prudent and faithful manner; and after that they had his wise counsel and advice, his good wishes and prayers for them; and the rather they had reason to lament him, since Saul their king proved so bad as he did, and at this time a difference was subsisting between David and him:

and buried him in his house at Ramah; where he lived and died; not that he was buried in his house, properly so called, or within the walls of that building wherein he dwelt; though the GreeksF13Plato in MinoY. and RomansF14Servius in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 6. p. mihi, (?) 1011. used to bury in their own dwelling houses; hence sprung the idolatrous worship of the Lares, or household gods; but not the Hebrews, which their laws about uncleanness by graves would not admit of, see Numbers 19:15; but the meaning is, that they buried him in the place where his house was, as Ben Gersom interprets it, at Ramah, in some field or garden belonging to it. The author of the Cippi Hebraici saysF15P. 30. , that here his father Elkanah, and his mother Hannah, and her two sons, were buried in a vault shut up, with, monuments over it; and here, some sayF16Heldman apud Hottinger in ib. , Samuel's bones remained, until removed by Arcadius the emperor into Thrace; Benjamin of Tudela reportsF17Itinerar. p. 52. , that when the Christians took Ramlah, which is Ramah, from the Mahometans, they found the grave of Samuel at Ramah by a synagogue of the Jews, and they took him out of the grave, and carried him to Shiloh, and there built a large temple, which is called the Samuel of Shiloh to this day:

and David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran; on hearing of the death of Samuel, there to indulge his mourning for him; or rather that he might be in greater safety from Saul, being further off, this wilderness lying on the south of the tribe of Judah, and inhabited by Arabs, and these called Kedarenes; and now it was that he dwelt in the tents of Kedar, Psalm 120:5.


1 Samuel 25:2  2 Now there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel, and the man was very rich. He had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

   YLT  2And [there is] a man in Maon, and his work [is] in Carmel; and the man [is] very great, and he hath three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats; and he is shearing his flock in Carmel.

And there was a man in Maon,.... A city of the tribe of Judah, from whence the wilderness had its name before mentioned; of which place, see Joshua 15:55; though Ben Gersom takes it to signify a dwelling place; and that this is observed to show, that he did not dwell in a city, but had his habitation where his business lay, which was in Carmel, where his fields, gardens, and vineyards were: wherefore it follows:

whose possessions were in Carmel; not Carmel in the tribe of Issachar, but in the tribe of Judah, not far from Maon, and are mentioned together; see Gill on Joshua 15:55; his cattle were there, his sheep particularly, for they are afterwards said to be shorn there; or "his work"F18מעשהו "opus ejus", Montanus, Vatablus; "eujus opus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. ; his agriculture, his farming, where he was employed, or employed others in sowing seed, and planting trees:

and the man was very great; in worldly substance, though not in natural wisdom and knowledge, and especially in true religion and piety:

and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats; so the substance of men in those times was generally described by the cattle they had, whether of the herd or flock, in which it chiefly lay:

and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel; which was the custom in Judea and Syria, and was a very ancient one, as early as the times of Judah, yea, of Laban, see Genesis 31:19; though the old Romans used to pluck off the wool from the sheep's backs; hence a fleece of wool was called "vellus a vellendo", from the plucking it off; and Pliny saysF19Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 48. , in his time, that sheep were not shorn everywhere, but in some places the custom of plucking off the wool continued; and who elsewhere observesF20Ibid. l. 18. c. 27. , that the time of shearing was in June or July, or thereabouts; at which times a feast was made, and it is for the sake of that this is observed.


1 Samuel 25:3  3 The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. And she was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance; but the man was harsh and evil in his doings. He was of the house of Caleb.

   YLT  3And the name of the man [is] Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail, and the woman [is] of good understanding, and of fair form, and the man [is] hard and evil [in] doings; and he [is] a Calebite.

Now the name of the man was Nabal,.... Which signifies a "fool"; one would think his parents should not give him this name, though it is a name proper enough to men in common; and Kimchi thinks this was a nickname, which men gave him agreeably to his genius and conduct, and which is not improbable:

and the name of his wife Abigail; which signifies "my father's joy", he delighting in her for her wit and beauty, as follows:

and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance; she was not only of a good understanding in things natural, civil, and domestic, but in things spiritual, as her speech to David shows, and which, with her external form, completed her character, and greatly recommended her; which is the character AelianusF21Var. Hist. l. 12. c. 1. gives of Aspasia, wise and fair:

but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; morose and ill natured in the temper and disposition of his mind, and wicked in his conversation, and fraudulent and oppressive in his dealings with men:

and he was of the house of Caleb; or he was a CalebiteF23כלבו "keri" כלבי "Calibita", Pagninus, Montanus; "Calebita" Tigurine version, Junius & Tremcilius, Piscator. , a descendant of that great and good man Caleb the son of Jephunneh; which was an aggravation of his wickedness, that he should be the degenerate plant of such a noble vine: some interpret it, he was as his heart, as his heart was bad, so was he; some men, their outside is better than their inside; but this man was no hypocrite, he was as bad outwardly as he was inwardly: the word "Caleb" sometimes signifies a dog; hence the Septuagint version renders it, a doggish man, a cynic; and to the same purpose are the Syriac and Arabic versions; and so some Jewish writers interpret it; but the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi, supply it as we do, that he was of the house or family of Caleb, and so of the tribe of Judah, as David was.


1 Samuel 25:4  4 When David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep,

   YLT  4And David heareth in the wilderness that Nabal is shearing his flock,

And David heard in the wilderness,.... In the wilderness of Paran, where he was, and a wilderness it was to him, being in want of food, as the following relation shows:

that Nabal did shear his sheep; when there was generally good living, and so a proper person, and a proper time, for David to apply for the relief of his wants.


1 Samuel 25:5  5 David sent ten young men; and David said to the young men, “Go up to Carmel, go to Nabal, and greet him in my name.

   YLT  5and David sendeth ten young men, and David saith to the young men, `Go ye up to Carmel, and ye have come in unto Nabal, and asked of him in my name of welfare,

And David sent out ten young men,.... Such persons, and such a number of them, he sent to show honour and reverence to Nabal:

and David said, unto the young men, get ye up to Carmel; which lay higher than the wilderness, in which he was:

and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name; ask him of his peace and welfare, as the Targum; wish all health and happiness in my name, present my service and best respects to him.


1 Samuel 25:6  6 And thus you shall say to him who lives in prosperity: ‘Peace be to you, peace to your house, and peace to all that you have!

   YLT  6and said thus: To life! and thou, peace; and thy house, peace; and all that thou hast -- peace!

And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity,.... That lives, while others, as David and his men, might be rather said to starve than live; they lived in great meanness, but he in great abundance, and therefore in a capacity to give to others, and particularly to relieve them: or the sense is, they should say to him, "thus" shall it be, or may it be "for life": for the time of life, for the year to come; at this time next year, at next sheep shearing, mayest thou be in as great prosperity then as now, and even all the days of thy life:

peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast; that is, all prosperity to thy person in soul and body, to thy family, wife, children and servants, and let the same attend thy estate, cattle, farms, fields, vineyards, and all that belong to thee; and wish for a blessing on him, and his, and all that were his, or he had; a more extensive one could not well be made.


1 Samuel 25:7  7 Now I have heard that you have shearers. Your shepherds were with us, and we did not hurt them, nor was there anything missing from them all the while they were in Carmel.

   YLT  7and, now, I have heard that thou hast shearers; now, the shepherds whom thou hast have been with us, we have not put them to shame, nor hath anything been looked after by them, all the days of their being in Carmel.

And now I have heard that thou hast shearers,.... Men employed in shearing his sheep, which was a time of feasting and gladness, and therefore David sent his young men to him at this time with his compliments upon it; and in order to obtain what he intended by this message to him, he observes the favours he and his men had done to his servants, and the advantages which they had received from them:

now thy shepherds which were with us; feeding their sheep near the wilderness of Paran, which was not far from Carmel and Maon:

we hurt them not; by taking any of their sheep and lambs from them, or by abusing, beating them, or giving them ill language; or "did not put them to shame"F24לא הכלמנום "non affecimus verccundia eos", Montanus; so some in Vatablus. , by denying them anything they asked of them, which was in their power to grant, nor mocked and scoffed at them, and jeered them on account of their occupation:

neither was there ought missing unto them; they did not steal a sheep or lamb from them, as was common for soldiers to do; nor did they suffer any of the Arabs, that dwelt in the wilderness of Paran, to rob them, who lived upon plunder, or any of the wild beasts to hurt them, as much as in them lay; so careful were they of them, and were a wall unto them by night and day, as Nabal's servants owned, 1 Samuel 25:16; and this was the case:

all the while they were in Carmel; or in the fields, 1 Samuel 25:15; which were joining to the wilderness of Paran.


1 Samuel 25:8  8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you. Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day. Please give whatever comes to your hand to your servants and to your son David.’”

   YLT  8`Ask thy young men, and they declare to thee, and the young men find grace in thine eyes, for on a good day we have come; give, I pray thee, that which thy hand findeth, to thy servants, and to thy son, to David.'

Ask thy young men, and they will show thee,.... The shepherds before mentioned, who kept their flocks hard by them:

wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes; the ten young men David sent to Nabal:

for we are come in a good day; a day in which Nabal made a feast for his shearers, as was usual then, and still is, see 2 Samuel 13:23; and at such times as persons are generally cheerful and merry, so free and liberal, and as there were plenty of provisions, not only enough for the guests and shearers, but to spare, and there was no need for an increase of expense, it might upon the whole be concluded it was a proper time for David to apply for accommodations for himself and his men:

give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants,

and to thy son David; he did not request anything extraordinary of him, or to put him to any expense, but what was at hand, and he could spare, he prayed him to deliver to the young men he sent, for their use, and the use of other his servants, and particularly David, who styled himself his son, being of the same tribe with Nabal, and Nabal his senior.


1 Samuel 25:9  9 So when David’s young men came, they spoke to Nabal according to all these words in the name of David, and waited.

   YLT  9And the young men of David come in, and speak unto Nabal according to all these words, in the name of David -- and rest.

And when David's young men came,.... To Carmel:

they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David; they delivered their message punctually and exactly, in the very words, or however according to the purport of them, in David's name, as he enjoined them:

and ceased: from speaking, waiting for Nabal's answer; or "they rested"F25וינוחו "et quieverunt", Pagninus, Montanus, Munster. , from the fatigues of their journey; which they did not until they had delivered their message to Nabal, and then they took the liberty to sit down and rest themselves; but the former sense seems best, and is preferred by MaimonidesF26Moreh Nevochim par. 1. c. 67. .


1 Samuel 25:10  10 Then Nabal answered David’s servants, and said, “Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master.

YLT  10And Nabal answereth the servants of David and saith, `Who [is] David, and who the son of Jesse? to-day have servants been multiplied who are breaking away each from his master;

And Nabal answered David's servants, and said,.... In a very haughty manner, in great wrath, just as churlish covetous persons do, when they do not care to give what is asked of them:

who is David? and who is the son of Jesse; his two questions, which relate to the same person, do not well agree together, since by both he would suggest as if he knew not the person they came from, and whose name they made use of: had he stopped at the first question, it might have gone so, but his second question betrays him, and plainly shows he did know him, though he speaks with contempt of him, calling him "the son of Jesse", as Saul often did, 1 Samuel 20:27. Abarbinel, of all interpreters, is of opinion only, that Nabal did not say this disrespectfully of David, and to his dishonour; he knew he was the Lord's anointed, and the king's son-in-law; but the sense, according to him, is, "who is David? and who is the son of Jesse?" are they not one man? but though he is the son of Jesse, and prides himself saying, I shall be king, I should not regard that, but would send him corn, and bread, and food, as much as is needful for his own use; but what can I do when there are so many servants? for they are six hundred of them, and they are too many to relieve:

there be many servants nowadays that break away every man from his master; which words also the same writer thinks have no reference to David, only to his men; but they seem plainly to strike at David himself, and suggest that he had revolted from and rebelled against Saul his master, as well as received and protected fugitives and renegades, such as fled from their masters and from their creditors; see 1 Samuel 22:2.


1 Samuel 25:11  11 Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers, and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?”

   YLT  11and I have taken my bread, and my water, and my flesh, which I slaughtered for my shearers, and have given [it] to men whom I have not known whence they [are]!'

Shall I then take my bread, and my water,.... Which include all food and liquors, everything eatable and drinkable; and "water" may be particularly mentioned, because very scarce in the wilderness, and so precious; though the Septuagint version has "wine" instead of "water":

and my flesh which I have killed for my shearers; whether oxen, or sheep, or lambs, as there might be of each sort, for an entertainment made on such an occasion:

and give it unto men whom I know not whence they be? which is another argument Abarbinel makes use of that he meant not David, but his men only, because he did not know who and from whence they were.


1 Samuel 25:12  12 So David’s young men turned on their heels and went back; and they came and told him all these words.

   YLT  12And the young men of David turn on their way, and turn back, and come in, and declare to him according to all these words.

So David's young men turned their way,.... Their backs on him, without making any reply; and though they did not return railing for railing, they treated him with silent contempt; and though they did not offer to do any injury to his person, nor to take anything away by force, yet they were determined to report this usage to David, who they doubted not would avenge the affront put on him and them:

and went again; to the wilderness from whence they came:

and came and told him all these sayings; rude and reproachful ones, just as they were delivered.


1 Samuel 25:13  13 Then David said to his men, “Every man gird on his sword.” So every man girded on his sword, and David also girded on his sword. And about four hundred men went with David, and two hundred stayed with the supplies.

   YLT  13And David saith to his men, `Gird ye on each his sword;' and they gird on each his sword, and David also girdeth on his sword, and there go up after David about four hundred men, and two hundred have remained by the vessels.

And David said unto his men,.... Provoked to the last degree to have such a rude churlish answer returned to such a civil and humble message as he had sent:

gird you on every man his sword; and prepare to march and chastise Nabal for his insolence:

and they girded on every man his sword; in obedience to David, and in vindication of his honour and their own:

and David also girded on his sword; in order to march at the head of them, fired with indignation at the affront given him:

and there went up after David about four hundred men; out of the six hundred he had with him, 1 Samuel 23:13,

and two hundred abode by the stuff; the baggage in their camp; the Targum is, they"were left to watch the vessels;'the things necessary for their use, for the dressing of their food, their bedding, &c.


1 Samuel 25:14  14 Now one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, saying, “Look, David sent messengers from the wilderness to greet our master; and he reviled them.

   YLT  14And to Abigail wife of Nabal hath one young man of the youths declared, saying, `Lo, David hath sent messengers out of the wilderness to bless our lord, and he flieth upon them;

But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife,.... Not one of David's young men, as what follows shows, but one of Nabal's young men or servants, one of those David directs him to for the truth of what he said, 1 Samuel 25:8; this was one of those that had been employed in feeding sheep in the wilderness, where David was, and knew him, but was now at Carmel, and was present when David's messengers came to Nabal, and was privy to what passed:

saying, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; in a very kind and handsome manner, to ask of his peace and welfare, and to wish him all happiness and prosperity; or "masters"F25אדנינו "dominus nostros", Malvenda. master and mistress, including both Nabal and Abigail:

and he railed on them; gave them very abusive language, represented David and his men as a parcel of scoundrels, fugitives, and runaway servants, 1 Samuel 25:10; or "he flew at them"F26ויעט בהם "et involavit in eos", Coccei Lex. col. 607. ; or "upon" them, in great wrath and fury, calling them hard names, bidding them begone about their business; the allusion is to a ravenous bird, which will fly at persons when it apprehends its young in any danger.


1 Samuel 25:15  15 But the men were very good to us, and we were not hurt, nor did we miss anything as long as we accompanied them, when we were in the fields.

   YLT  15and the men [are] very good to us, and have not put us to shame, and we have not looked after anything all the days we have gone up and down with them, in our being in the field;

But the men were very good unto us,.... Very kind and civil, yea, very useful and serviceable, even all the messengers David sent and Nabal railed on, yea, all David's men, and therefore deserved better treatment than they met with from Nabal:

and we were not hurt; neither by them nor others:

neither missed we anything: of our flocks, or anything belonging to us; they neither robbed us themselves, nor suffered others to rob us:

as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields; feeding the sheep by them: thus he confirms everything that David said of himself and his men; see Gill on 1 Samuel 25:7, and says even more of them to their commendation, as follows.


1 Samuel 25:16  16 They were a wall to us both by night and day, all the time we were with them keeping the sheep.

   YLT  16a wall they have been unto us both by night and by day, all the days of our being with them, feeding the flock.

They were a wall unto us both by night and day,.... Protecting and defending them against the Philistines, who, as they robbed the threshing floors of Keilah, would have plundered the flocks of Nabal; or it may be rather against the incursions of the Arabs in the wilderness of Paran, the posterity of Ishmael, who lived by plunder, and against the wild beasts of the desert, who otherwise would have carried off many of their sheep and lambs, by night or by day:

all the while we were with them keeping the sheep; all which showed how reasonable it was that Nabal should have used them well, and given them a portion of his entertainment at his sheep shearing; for had it not been for them, he would not have had so many sheep to shear as he had.


1 Samuel 25:17  17 Now therefore, know and consider what you will do, for harm is determined against our master and against all his household. For he is such a scoundrel[b] that one cannot speak to him.”

   YLT  17`And, now, know and consider what thou dost; for evil hath been determined against our lord, and against all his house, and he [is] too much a son of worthlessness to be spoken to.'

Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do,.... For the preservation of her family:

for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household; which he concluded, either from something that dropped from David's messengers, as they turned away from Nabal; or from the martial spirit of David himself, who would never put up such an affront and indignity cast upon him; or from some intelligence he had of David's arming his men, and marching to take vengeance:

for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him; meaning Nabal, who was such a worthless, passionate, and ill natured man, such a lawless and imperious one, that he would not suffer a man to speak to him about anything; and it was to no purpose to attempt it, which was a reason this servant did not choose to speak to him about this affair, but to Abigail; and suggests, that it would signify nothing for her to speak to him about it, but it would be most advisable for her to consider with herself what was to be done immediately, without consulting him: the words may be rendered, "for he is a son of Belial that speaks unto him"F1מדבר אליו "loquens ad cum". ; or when "he speaks unto him", or it is told him; meaning not the servant that reported to David what Nabal said; for Abarbinel observes there were ten of them, and therefore it could not be said of them, he is a son of Belial; but rather David himself, as he and Kimchi observe it may be interpreted of; that though he was so good and upright a man, yet when it should be told him how Nabal had treated him, he would be so provoked at it, that he would become and act like a son of Belial; storm and rage, and vow destruction to Nabal and his family, and come out with his whole army to destroy them; but the first sense is best.


1 Samuel 25:18  18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep already dressed, five seahs of roasted grain, one hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and loaded them on donkeys.

   YLT  18And Abigail hasteth, and taketh two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep, prepared, and five measures of roasted corn, and a hundred bunches of raisins, and two hundred bunches of figs, and setteth [them] on the asses.

Then Abigail made haste,.... As the case required, her family being in imminent danger:

and took two hundred loaves; of bread; of what size or weight they were is not said; though it may be reasonably concluded they were pretty large, since they are not called cakes, but loaves, and since they were to be a present to David and his men, who were numerous:

and two bottles of wine; not such as ours are, which would have borne no proportion to the rest of the provision; but these were leathern bags which held a large quantity, in which they put and carried wine in those times and countries; the Septuagint version is, two vessels or casks of wine:

and five sheep ready dressed; killed and dressed by the butcher, or made ready by the cook, boiled or roasted; the word which the Targum uses, according to the interpretation of Jarchi, from one of their Rabbins, signifies such as were stuffed with small pieces of meat, and eggs in them, or, as it should seem, made into pastries:

and five measures of parched corn; or five seahs, a measure which held, according to Bishop CumberlandF2Of Scripture Weights and Measures, ch. 3. p. 86. , two wine gallons, four bottles, and a little more; of this parched corn; see Gill on 1 Samuel 17:17; where mention is made of an ephah of it; and the Septuagint version has the same measure here, and calls them five ephahs of flour:

and an hundred clusters of raisins; or dried grapes, as the Targum; the Septuagint is, one omer of them, which was the tenth part of an ephah:

and two hundred cakes of figs; which were dried, and pressed, and made into lumps, and she took two hundred of these; or, as the Targum, two hundred pound weight of them:

and laid them on asses; one not being sufficient to carry all this provision.


1 Samuel 25:19  19 And she said to her servants, “Go on before me; see, I am coming after you.” But she did not tell her husband Nabal.

   YLT  19And she saith to her young men, `Pass over before me; lo, after you I am coming;' and to her husband Nabal she hath not declared [it];

And she said to her servants, go on before me,.... With the present, the sight of which she wisely considered would in a great measure pacify David, and prepare him to hear patiently what she had to say to him:

behold, I come after you; signifying it would not be long before she came up to them, and overtook them:

but she told not her husband Nabal; neither the danger he and his family were in through his conduct, nor the preparations she had made to prevent it; knowing his perverse and obstinate disposition, that it would take up too much time to reason with him, and persuade him, and bring him into proper measures; and which may be observed to excuse the conduct of Abigail in doing what she did, and taking and disposing of her husband's gods, without his knowledge and leave; the case required haste, and it was done to preserve him and his family from imminent ruin; and besides, he might not be in a fit condition to be spoken to, being drunk with passion, or with wine, or both, see 1 Samuel 25:36; and no doubt she was directed by the Spirit of God to do what she did; and this being an extraordinary case, is not to be drawn into an example.


1 Samuel 25:20  20 So it was, as she rode on the donkey, that she went down under cover of the hill; and there were David and his men, coming down toward her, and she met them.

   YLT  20and it hath come to pass, she is riding on the ass and is coming down in the secret part of the hill-country, and lo, David and his men are coming down to meet her, and she meeteth them.

And it was so, as she rode on the ass,.... After her servants:

that she came down, by the covert of the hill; by the side of it, which was covered with bushes, and she rode among them, in a way that led through them, and so was not seen by David and his men; or by the shadow of the hill, toward the bottom of it, where by reason of that, and the opposite hill, it was darkish, and they could not see each other:

and, behold, David and his men came down against her; came down a hill opposite to that she came down:

and she met them; in the valley between two hills.


1 Samuel 25:21  21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain I have protected all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belongs to him. And he has repaid me evil for good.

   YLT  21And David said, `Only, in vain I have kept all that this [one] hath in the wilderness, and nothing hath been looked after of all that he hath, and he turneth back to me evil for good;

Now David had said,.... When the messengers returned and told him how they had been used by Nabal; or he "said"F3אמר "ait", V. L. "dixit", Pagninus, Montanus; "dicebat", Vatablus. , or was saying within himself, or to his men, what follows, just as Abigail met him:

surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness; which shows that lie was in a violent passion, and had Nabal in the utmost contempt and indignation, in that he mentions not his name, only says "this", this man or follow; leaving a blank to be filled up with the most ignominious name and character that could be thought of; and repents that he had taken so much care of his flocks when they were feeding by him in the wilderness:

so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him; and seems to have wished he had suffered his flocks to have been robbed by the Arabs, or worried by wild beasts, since he had been such an ungrateful wretch to him:

and he hath requited me evil for good; he had requited evil to him by denying to send him any of his provisions, and by abusing him and his men with opprobrious language; and this was done in return for the good deeds he had done in protecting his servants and his flocks in the wilderness, and for the good words and respectful message he had sent unto him.


1 Samuel 25:22  22 May God do so, and more also, to the enemies of David, if I leave one male of all who belong to him by morning light.”

   YLT  22thus doth God do to the enemies of David, and thus He doth add, if I leave of all that he hath till the light of the morning -- of those sitting on the wall.'

So and more also do God unto the enemies of David,.... Give them as much health and prosperity, as much wealth and riches, as Nabal has, and much more:

if I leave of all that pertain to him, by the morning light, any that pisseth against the wall; which is generally understood of a dog, that he, would not leave him so much as a dog: but it is better, with Ben Gersom, to interpret it of the males in his house, himself, his sons, and servants; and so the Targum paraphrases it of reasonable creatures, of such"that know knowledge,'or are knowing and understanding creatures; it seems to have been towards the evening; of the day when David was marching towards Nabal's house, designing to fall upon him and his, amidst their jollity that night, and cut them all off before morning. This must be imputed to the sudden and violent passion David was thrown into when off his guard, through the necessity he was in, the disappointment he met with, and the opprobrious language he was treated with; but in this his conduct was not as it used to be, and as it was towards Saul his enemy. Nor is his rage and passion to be vindicated, or the rash vow he made to destroy Nabal and his family; his crime, though great, yet not to be published with death; his ingratitude and insolence deserved resentment, but were not capital crimes worthy of death, and especially of the destruction of his whole family; the Jews indeed make him to be guilty of treason, in that he knew that David was anointed king, and yet both abused him, and disobeyed his commands, and therefore being guilty of overt acts of treason, he and his were deserving of death; but David was not yet king.


1 Samuel 25:23  23 Now when Abigail saw David, she dismounted quickly from the donkey, fell on her face before David, and bowed down to the ground.

   YLT  23And Abigail seeth David, and hasteth and cometh down from off the ass, and falleth before David on her face, and boweth herself to the earth,

And when Abigail saw David,.... Whom she either knew personally, or rather supposed who he was by the number of men that followed him:

she hasted, and alighted off the ass; on which she rode:

and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground; in respect to, and reverence of, so great a person as David was.


1 Samuel 25:24  24 So she fell at his feet and said: “On me, my lord, on me let this iniquity be! And please let your maidservant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your maidservant.

   YLT  24and falleth at his feet and saith, `On me, my lord, the iniquity; and let, I pray thee, thy handmaid speak in thine ear, and hear the words of thy handmaid.

And fell at his feet,.... As an humble supplicant, having a favour to ask of him; it is very probable David was on foot:

and said, upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be; which her husband had been guilty of; she desires it might be transferred from him to her, and be reckoned as if done by her; she would have it imputed to herself, and all the blame lie upon her, and the punishment for it be inflicted on her; for iniquity may be put for the punishment of iniquity: this was very artfully said, as well as expressed great affection for her husband, and care of his life; for she knew, if she could get the fault removed from him to her, she would be able to vindicate herself, and her innocence would soon appear; nor would this strong affection for her husband fail of answering some good purpose, as she full well knew:

and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience and hear the words of thine handmaid: as it was but reasonable she should be heard, since she stood now as the criminal, taking all the blame of her husband's conduct on herself.


1 Samuel 25:25  25 Please, let not my lord regard this scoundrel Nabal. For as his name is, so is he: Nabal[c] is his name, and folly is with him! But I, your maidservant, did not see the young men of my lord whom you sent.

   YLT  25`Let not, I pray thee, my lord set his heart to this man of worthlessness, on Nabal, for as his name [is] so [is] he; Nabal [is] his name, and folly [is] with him; and I, thine handmaid, did not see the young men of my lord whom thou didst send;

Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial,

even Nabal,.... He is a worthless man, it must be owned, a weak foolish man, rather to be despised than regarded by him; what either he says or does is unworthy of the notice of any, and much less of so great a person as David was:

for as his name is, so is he; his natural disposition, genius, and conduct, agree with his name; when anyone knows his name, he may judge what is to be expected from him:

Nabal is his name: which signifies a fool:

and folly, in Hebrew, "Nebalah":

is with him; attends all, his words and actions. This character of her husband, though no doubt a just one, yet it would not have been right in her to have given it, whose folly she should rather have concealed, but that it was his well known character; and she observes it not to reproach him with it, but to excuse his sin, his rudeness and ingratitude and preserve his life; and suggests that what he had done was not to be imputed to malice in his heart, but to his stupidity and folly, and so not to be regarded, and was not a peculiar single action of his, but what he was daily more or less guilty of; his folly was with him wherever he went and appeared in everything he said or did, and therefore to be overlooked and despised:

but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send: as she had taken the blame upon herself, now she answers for herself, and pleads ignorance of his messengers, and their message; she had not so much as seen them with her eyes, and much less heard their message when reported; had she, she would have taken care, she intimates, that it should have been attended to; having so much interest in her husband, that she could have prevailed on him to have used them with civility, and granted their request.


1 Samuel 25:26  26 Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord lives and as your soul lives, since the Lord has held you back from coming to bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now then, let your enemies and those who seek harm for my lord be as Nabal.

   YLT  26and now, my lord, Jehovah liveth, and thy soul liveth, in that Jehovah hath withheld thee from coming in with blood, and to save thy hand to thee -- now let thine enemies be as Nabal, even those seeking evil unto my lord.

Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth,.... Which is an oath, and respects either what goes before, that she never saw the young men that were sent to Nabal, or to what follows, the providence of God in preventing David from shedding blood, which she was sure of by an impulse on her own mind, and by observing a change in David's countenance:

seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand; she does not impute this to her prudence, and the provision she made to appease David, and prevent him from shedding the blood he intended, and taking the vengeance he had resolved on; but to the Lord, and the interposition of his providence, which she knew would have its weight on the mind of so good a man as David was; who upon reflection would be thankful that he had been prevented from shedding innocent blood, as the Targum calls it:

now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal; meaning Saul and those with him, wishing they might be as inconsiderable as Nabal; as unable, as weak, and impotent as he to do him any hurt, and as short lived, and cut off by the hand God, as he would be; for, according to Jarchi, she prophesied under the direction of the Holy Spirit. It may be observed that in 1 Samuel 25:24, she frequently gives David the title of "my lord", in reverence of him, and to atone for the rudeness and insolence of her husband, in speaking of him as a runaway servant, 1 Samuel 25:10.


1 Samuel 25:27  27 And now this present which your maidservant has brought to my lord, let it be given to the young men who follow my lord.

   YLT  27`And, now, this blessing which thy maid-servant hath brought to my lord -- it hath been given to the young men who are going up and down at the feet of my lord.

And now this blessing, which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord,.... The present, consisting of the things mentioned in 1 Samuel 25:18; which came as a blessing from God, and with good will from her:

let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord; the servants of David: in the original it is, "that walk at the feet of my lord": and which the Targum paraphrases, "who minister before my lord"; and so Abigail's damsels are called "pedissequae", or "that walked at her feet", 1 Samuel 25:42; and with the Romans, in later times, servants were called a "pedibus" and "pedissequi"F4Vid. Pignorium de Servis, p. 140, 248, 293. . This also is very artfully said, as if the present was not good enough for David, and worthy of his acceptance; might be agreeable to his men, and of service to them.


1 Samuel 25:28  28 Please forgive the trespass of your maidservant. For the Lord will certainly make for my lord an enduring house, because my lord fights the battles of the Lord, and evil is not found in you throughout your days.

   YLT  28`Bear, I pray thee, with the transgression of thy handmaid, for Jehovah doth certainly make to my lord a stedfast house; for the battles of Jehovah hath my lord fought, and evil is not found in thee [all] thy days.

I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid,.... The trespasses, as the Targum, either the sin of her husband, she had taken upon herself, or her boldness in troubling him with her petitions and solicitations, and even with the present she had brought:

for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; or a firm kingdom, as the Targum; would raise him to the kingdom of Israel, and establish it in his posterity, that it should not be taken from him, as it would be from Saul:

because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord; the battles of the people of the Lord, as the Targum, of the people of Israel against the Philistines; which he had often done with success, the Lord being with him, and prospering him and therefore would firmly settle him on the throne, and continue the kingdom in his posterity:

and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days; no unjust action had been committed by him against his king and country, however he had been reproached and calumniated; and she hoped that therefore none would be done by him now to stain so fair a character.


1 Samuel 25:29  29 Yet a man has risen to pursue you and seek your life, but the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living with the Lord your God; and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling.

   YLT  29And man riseth to pursue thee and to seek thy soul, and the soul of my lord hath been bound in the bundle of life with Jehovah thy God; as to the soul of thine enemies, He doth sling them out in the midst of the hollow of the sling.

Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul,.... His life, to take it away, meaning Saul, whom she chose not to name, because he was king:

but the soul of my lord shall be bound up in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; should be dear unto the Lord, precious in his esteem, and be carefully preserved by him, among other his chosen ones, and should be safe with him, in his hands, and under his care and keeping; the Jews refer this to eternal life in the world to come, and the safety and security of his soul hereafter; so the Targum,"the soul of my lord shall be treasured up in the treasury of eternal life, before the Lord thy God:'hence they speak of the souls of the righteous being laid up under the throne of gloryF5T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 152. 2. , in proof of which they produce this text; and so MaimonidesF6Moreh Nevochim, par. 1. c. 41. understands it of what should be after death, see Revelation 6:9,

and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling; that is, remove them swiftly and suddenly, and with force, out of the world, as a stone is slung out of the middle of a sling; see Jeremiah 10:18.


1 Samuel 25:30  30 And it shall come to pass, when the Lord has done for my lord according to all the good that He has spoken concerning you, and has appointed you ruler over Israel,

   YLT  30`And it hath been, when Jehovah doth to my lord according to all the good which He hath spoken concerning thee, and appointed thee for leader over Israel,

And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee,.... Performed his promise, especially with respect to his kingdom, as follows:

and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; that is, actually raised him to be, and settled him as king upon the throne of Israel; for he was both appointed and anointed already; and this Abigail knew, and was now well known in Israel, and the common talk of the people.


1 Samuel 25:31  31 that this will be no grief to you, nor offense of heart to my lord, either that you have shed blood without cause, or that my lord has avenged himself. But when the Lord has dealt well with my lord, then remember your maidservant.”

   YLT  31that this is not to thee for a stumbling-block, and for an offence of heart to my lord -- either to shed blood for nought, or my lord's restraining himself; and Jehovah hath done good to my lord, and thou hast remembered thy handmaid.'

This shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord,.... It would give him no trouble, nor distress of mind, or sit uneasy on his conscience:

either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself; which she suggests it might do, if he had shed the blood of Nabal's family, his children and servants, who were no ways concerned with him in his rudeness and ingratitude; or had avenged himself on him for the same, by taking away his life, which such crimes, however great and aggravated, did not deserve; but, on the contrary, it would be a satisfaction and pleasure to him to reflect upon it, that he had passed over such an offence, and shed no blood on account of it:

but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord; by delivering him out of the hands of all his enemies, and have raised him to, and settled him on the throne of Israel, of which she made no doubt:

then remember thine handmaid; the advice she gave not to shed blood, and take vengeance, for which he would then be thankful, and gratefully remember: some, as Ben Gersom, think she said this under a spirit of prophecy, that Nabal should die quickly, and she should be David's wife; but rather her meaning is, that when he should be king, and she should apply to him on any account, to have justice done her, and to be assisted and relieved when oppressed, that he would then remember her, and show her favour.


1 Samuel 25:32  32 Then David said to Abigail: “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!

   YLT  32And David saith to Abigail, `Blessed [is] Jehovah, God of Israel, who hath sent thee this day to meet me,

And David said to Abigail,.... Having heard her out, and being overcome with her rhetoric and powerful arguments:

blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me; who put it into her heart to come out and meet him, and endeavour to avert him from his bad design, which his heart was set upon; he saw plainly the hand of God in it, and in the first place acknowledges the goodness of divine Providence, in directing her to take the step she did.


1 Samuel 25:33  33 And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.

   YLT  33and blessed [is] thy discretion, and blessed [art] thou in that thou hast restrained me this day from coming in with blood, and to restrain my hand to myself.

And blessed be thy advice,.... Thanks be to God, and to thee for it, being wise, good, and seasonable; or "thy taste"F7טעמך "sapor tuus", Piscator; "discretio tua", Montanus. , thy good sense, knowledge, as the Targum, discretion, prudence, and understanding:

and blessed be thou which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood; he came out with a full resolution to shed the blood of Nabal, and of all the males in his house, but was stopped by Abigail; who by her arguments so prevailed upon him as to cause him to desist from his design, and thankful he was to God for it; for though he had vowed he would destroy Nabal and his family, yet being a rash sinful vow, he saw it was better to break it than to keep it:

and from avenging myself with mine own hand; which to do would have been sinful, vengeance only belonging to God; and now he leaves it to him, and is very thankful that he was prevented doing it himself.


1 Samuel 25:34  34 For indeed, as the Lord God of Israel lives, who has kept me back from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, surely by morning light no males would have been left to Nabal!”

   YLT  34And yet, Jehovah liveth, God of Israel, who hath kept me back from doing evil with thee, for unless thou hadst hasted, and dost come to meet me, surely there had not been left to Nabal till the light of the morning, of those sitting on the wall.'

For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth,.... An oath for the confirmation of what he was about to say:

which hath kept me back from hurting thee: from doing any ill to her family, as he intended, though not to her person, his resolution being only to slay the males; but that would have been an hurt, an evil, an affliction to Abigail, from which the Lord in his providence restrained him, and that through her good advice:

except thou hadst hasted, and come to meet me: if she had not made quick dispatch in preparing her present, or had stayed to persuade her husband into her measures; if she had delayed a little longer, David would have been at Nabal's house, executing his vengeance on him and his:

surely there had not been left unto Nabal, by the morning light, any that pisseth against the wall: See Gill on 1 Samuel 25:22.


1 Samuel 25:35  35 So David received from her hand what she had brought him, and said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have heeded your voice and respected your person.”

   YLT  35And David receiveth from her hand that which she hath brought to him, and to her he hath said, `Go up in peace to thy house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and accept thy face.'

So David received of her hand that which she had brought him,.... Her present, 1 Samuel 25:18; and which he kindly took for his own use, as well as for his men; for it was a present for a prince:

and said to her, go up in peace to thine house; in peace of mind, having her request granted, and nothing to fear from David and his men, and so might return home with the greatest safety in her own person, with those that were with her, and be under no apprehensions of danger and destruction to Nabal and his family:

see, I have hearkened to thy voice; to her arguments and reasonings, which were powerful; to her petitions, which were granted; and to her good counsel and advice, which he took:

and have accepted thy person: done as she desired, forgave the offence, and so lifted her up, as the word signifies, and made her countenance cheerful; received her present kindly, and took well all she said and did; and promised to grant her, for the future, anything that lay in his power, whenever she should apply to him, see Job 42:8.


1 Samuel 25:36  36 Now Abigail went to Nabal, and there he was, holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk; therefore she told him nothing, little or much, until morning light.

   YLT  36And Abigail cometh in unto Nabal, and lo, he hath a banquet in his house, like a banquet of the king, and the heart of Nabal [is] glad within him, and he [is] drunk unto excess, and she hath not declared to him anything, less or more, till the light of the morning.

And Abigail came to Nabal,.... Having sped with David, and taken her leave of him, she returned home to her husband Nabal:

and, behold, he held a feast in his house like the feast of a king; both for the number of dishes on his table and of guests at it though only on the account of sheep shearing; but very probably there were others that were invited to this entertainment besides the shearers; covetous men are generally very profuse when they make feasts:

and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: which was a very ill example for the master of the feast to set, and was one instance among others of his folly, and of his conduct answering to his name:

wherefore she told him nothing less or more until the morning light; where she had been, and what she had been about, the danger that he and the whole family were in through his rude and churlish behaviour towards David and his men, and how she had prevented it by a timely application to David, meeting him when in full march, and in a great passion, and with a firm resolution to destroy him and his; but finding Nabal in such a condition, bereaved of his reason, and incapable of attending to what she should say, said not one word about it till the next morning.


1 Samuel 25:37  37 So it was, in the morning, when the wine had gone from Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became like a stone.

   YLT  37And it cometh to pass in the morning, when the wine is gone out from Nabal, that his wife declareth to him these things, and his heart dieth within him, and he hath been as a stone.

But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal,.... When he had slept, and was become sober, and so capable of attending to and understanding what might be related to him:

and his wife had told him these things; recorded in this chapter, before observed:

that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone; he swooned away, became as cold as a stone, and remained as senseless, spoke not a word, but lay in a stupor; the Jewish writers generally say this was occasioned by the distress and uneasiness the present his wife carried to David gave him; but it is more likely the sense of the danger that was impressed upon his mind, which he had been exposed to through his carriage to David and his men; who, he feared, notwithstanding all his wife said would return and take vengeance on him.


1 Samuel 25:38  38 Then it happened, after about ten days, that the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.

   YLT  38And it cometh to pass, [in] about ten days, that Jehovah smiteth Nabal, and he dieth,

And it came to pass, about ten days after,.... After he had lain in this stupid and senseless manner for ten days:

that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died; with some disease or increased the grief of his heart, and the fears of his mind that he died therewith.


1 Samuel 25:39  39 So when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord, who has pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and has kept His servant from evil! For the Lord has returned the wickedness of Nabal on his own head.” And David sent and proposed to Abigail, to take her as his wife.

   YLT  39and David heareth that Nabal [is] dead, and saith, `Blessed [is] Jehovah who hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and His servant hath kept back from evil, and the wickedness of Nabal hath Jehovah turned back on his own head;' and David sendeth and speaketh with Abigail, to take her to him for a wife.

And when David heard that Nabal was dead,.... As he soon might, Maon and Carmel not being far from the wilderness where David was:

he said, blessed be the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal; not that he rejoiced at the death of Nabal, simply considered, or from a private spirit of revenge; but because of the glory of divine justice, which he had shown to him in vindicating him from the reproach Nabal had cast upon him, and particularly was thankful for what follows:

and hath kept his servant from evil; from slaying Nabal with his own hand, and doing hurt to his family:

for the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head; and upon no other, none of his family suffered but himself, and which was another cause of thankfulness to David; had he been suffered to have done as he in his wrath determined, not only Nabal, but all the males in his house, had been cut off; but now, through the righteous judgment of God, only Nabal suffered, and not any of his family:

and David sent and communed with Abigail; by his messengers to her; or "concerning" herF8באביגיל περι αβιγαιας, Sept. "de Abigail", Vatabulus. , about marrying her:

to take her to him to wife; for being both a beautiful and wise woman, he thought her a proper person to be his wife; which she might lawfully become, Nabal being dead, and Michal, David's wife, being taken from him, and given to another man, with whom she lived in adultery; or as divorced by David, as the Jews say, David by the law of God was free from her. These messengers were sent by David at a convenient time, at a proper distance from the death of Nabal; and he chose rather to send messengers than to go himself, lest being denied he should be put to shame, she being a rich widow, and he a poor persecuted man, and that her answer might be entirely free and unawed by him, and that it might appear that she was not taken to him by force; and besides, such a method has been always reckoned most honourable with great personages.


1 Samuel 25:40  40 When the servants of David had come to Abigail at Carmel, they spoke to her saying, “David sent us to you, to ask you to become his wife.”

   YLT  40And the servants of David come in unto Abigail at Carmel, and speak unto her, saying, `David hath sent us unto thee to take thee to him for a wife.'

And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel,.... For though Nabal lived in Maon, yet having possessions in Camel, he had no doubt an house there also; and here Abigail was, and perhaps chose to be after his death, rather than at Maon:

they spake unto her; delivered the message to her they were sent with by David:

saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife; that is, to treat with her about his marriage to her, to propose it to her, and, if they could prevail upon her, to bring her with them, that David might espouse her.


1 Samuel 25:41  41 Then she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, “Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”

   YLT  41And she riseth and boweth herself -- face to the earth -- and saith, `Lo, thy handmaid [is] for a maid-servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.'

And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth,.... As she did before David, 1 Samuel 25:23; and did as she would have done had he been present, considering his messengers as representing him and therefore showed the same respect and reverence and did the same honour, as if he had been there in person:

and said; expressed herself in such language as if David had been before her:

behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord; which she said through her great humility, this being one of the meanest services she could be put to; intimating, that she was so far from being worthy to be the wife of such a man that she was only fit and it would be honour enough to her to perform the meanest services to those that waited upon him; or her sense is that it would be enough for her to be the wife of one of David's servants, and not his; it being the business of a wife, as Ben Gersom observes to wash the feet of her husband.


1 Samuel 25:42  42 So Abigail rose in haste and rode on a donkey, attended by five of her maidens; and she followed the messengers of David, and became his wife.

   YLT  42And Abigail hasteth and riseth, and rideth on the ass; and five of her young women who are going at her feet; and she goeth after the messengers of David, and is to him for a wife.

And Abigail hasted and arose,.... She had no objection nor hesitation in her mind about marrying David but at once consented, and immediately prepared for her journey, having as high an opinion, and as great an esteem of David, as he of her; and though she was rich and he peer this was no obstacle in the way, she knew and believed he would be king of Israel, 1 Samuel 25:30; and though he could not support her, she had enough to support herself, and supply him, till he came to the throne: and

rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; whom she took with her, partly to wait upon her, and partly for her honour, and the honour of David, whom she was going to marry:

and she went after the messengers of David: not following them directly, but some time after they were gone; partly for the sake of decency, and partly that they going before might acquaint David with the success of their message, and he might prepare to receive Abigail when she came:

and became his wife; he espoused and married her according to the custom of the times.


1 Samuel 25:43  43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and so both of them were his wives.

   YLT  43And Ahinoam hath David taken from Jezreel, and they are -- even both of them -- to him for wives;

And David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel,.... A city in the tribe of Judah, Joshua 15:56; that is, he took her to wife, and as it seems before Abigail became his wife; see 2 Samuel 3:2,

and they were also both of them his wives; polygamy, though not agreeably to the law of nature, nor the law of God, was a custom which prevailed in those times, which good men gave into, though not to be commended for it.


1 Samuel 25:44  44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti[d] the son of Laish, who was from Gallim.

   YLT  44and Saul gave Michal his daughter, wife to David, to Phalti son of Laish, who [is] of Gallim.

But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish,.... Or "for Saul", &c.F9ושאול "Saul enim", Tigurine version; "nam Saul", Junius & Tremcillius, Piscator; so Pool and Patrick. ; which is a reason for his marrying again, but no reason for marrying more wives than one. Michal was his first wife, and they lived lovingly together, until David was obliged to flee from Saul, and then he gave her to another; partly to vex David, and partly if he could to break the relation between him and David, that he might not be thought to be his son in law, and he to persecute one in such a relation to him; and that this might not give David any show of claim, or be the means of his rising to the throne. This Phalti, to whom he gave her, is called Phaltiel, 2 Samuel 3:15,

which was of Gallim; which very probably was a city in the tribe of Benjamin, since it is mentioned with several cities of that tribe, and as near Gibeah of Saul, Isaiah 10:29.


──John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible


New King James Version (NKJV)


  1. 1 Samuel 25:1 Following Masoretic Text, Syriac, Targum, and Vulgate; Septuagint reads Maon.
  2. 1 Samuel 25:17 Literally son of Belial
  3. 1 Samuel 25:25 Literally Fool
  4. 1 Samuel 25:44 Spelled Paltiel in 2 Samuel 3:15