¶ And David sware unto Saul, and Saul went home. But David and his men gat up unto an hold.
¶ And then Samuel died, and all Israel gathered together and lamented him, and buried him in his own house at Ramath. And David arose and gat him to the wilderness of Pharan. And there was a man in Maon whose cattle was in Carmel, and the man was exceeding mighty, and had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. The name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife was Abigail, and was a woman of good wisdom and beautiful. But the man was churlish and of shrewd conditions and was a Calebite. And when David heard in the wilderness, that Nabal share his sheep, he sent out ten of his young men, and said unto them: get you up to Carmel and go to Nabal and greet him in my name. And thus wise say unto my friend: peace be to thee, peace be to thine house and peace be unto all that thou hast. I have heard say that thou hast shearers. Now the shepherds were with us, and we did them no spite, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel: ask thy lads, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let these young men find favour in thine eyes (for we come in a good season) and give I pray thee whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants and to thine son David. And David's young men came and told Nabal all those words in the name of David and then stopped. And Nabal answered David's servants and said: What is David? and what is the son of Isai? there is plenty of servants now a days, that break away every man from his master.
¶ I should take my bread, my water and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it men which I wot not whence they be? And David's servants turned their way and went again, and came and told him according to all those sayings. Then David said unto his men: gird every man his sword about him. And they girded every man his sword on, and David thereto girded on his sword. And there followed David upon a four hundredth men, and two hundredth abode by the stuff. But one of the lads told Abigail Nabal's wife saying: see David sent messengers unto our master out of the wilderness to salute him, and he railed on them. And yet the men were very good unto us and did us no displeasure, neither missed we anything, as long as were conversant with them, when we were in the fields. But they were a wall of defence unto us both by night and also by day, all the while we were with them keeping sheep.
¶ Now take heed and see what thou hast to do, for it is concluded to do mischief unto our master and to all his household. And he is ungracious to speak to. Then Abigail made haste and took two hundredth loaves and two bottles of wine and five sheep ready dressed and five measures of parched corn, and an hundredth bundles of raisins and two hundredth frails of figs, and laded them on asses, and said unto her young men: go before me, and see I come after you, and told her husband Nabal nothing thereof. And as she rode on her ass and was coming down in a slade of the hill, David and his men came down against her, and she met them. And David said: in vain have I kept all that this fellow had in the wilderness: so that nought was missed that pertained unto him, for he hath quite me with evil for good. So and so do God unto the enemies of David, as I will not leave of all that pertain to him, by the dawning of the day, ought that pisseth against the wall. When Abigail saw David, she hasted and lighted off her ass and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, and fell at his feet and said: Let this unhappy deed be counted mine, my lord, and let thine handmaid speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thy handmaid. Let not my lord regard this unthrifty man Nabal, for as his name is, so is he. Nabal is his name and folly is with him. But I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord which thou sendest. And now my lord as sure as the LORD liveth and as thy soul liveth, the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood and from avenging thyself with thine own hand. Furthermore I pray God that thine enemies and they that intend to do my lord evil, may be as Nabal. And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought, let it be given unto the young men that follow my lord. Forgive the trespass of thine handmaid that the LORD may make my lord a sure house, because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and there could none evil be found in thee in all thy life. And if any man rise to persecute thee and to seek thy soul, the soul of my lord be bound in a bundle of life with the LORD thy God. And the souls of thy enemies be slung in the middle of a sling.
¶ And moreover when the LORD shall have done to my lord all the good that he hath promised thee, and shall have made thee ruler over Israel: then shall it be no grudge of conscience unto thee or discourage of heart unto my lord, that thou sheddest blood causeless and didst avenge thyself. And moreover when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then think on thine handmaid. Then said David to Abigail: blessed be the LORD God of Israel which sent thee this day to meet me. And blessed be thy behaviour, and blessed be thou which hath kept me this day from coming to shed blood and from avenging myself with mine own hand. For in very deed as sure as the LORD God of Israel liveth which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and met me, there had not been left Nabal by the dawning of the day, a pisser against the wall.
¶ And so David received of her hand that she brought him, and said to her: go in peace to thine house. And see I have obeyed thy voice and have received thee to grace. And when Abigail came to Nabal: behold, he held a feast in his house like the feast of a king, and Nabal's heart was merry within him, and he was drunk a good. Wherefore she told him nought neither little nor more, until the morrow day. But in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, his wife told him these words, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone, and upon a ten days after the LORD smote Nabal, that he died. And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said: Blessed be the LORD that hath judged the cause of my rebuke of the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil, and hath turned the wickedness of Nabal again upon his own head. And David sent to commune with Abigail, to the intent to take her to his wife. And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her saying: David sent us unto thee, to take thee to his wife. And she arose and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said: Behold thy handmaid, to be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord. And Abigail hasted and arose and gat her up upon an Ass, with five damsels of hers that went at her feet, and went after the messengers of David and was his wife. David also took Ahinoam of Iezrahel, and they were both his wives.