1 And Shemuel died; and all the Yisraelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And Dawid arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats; and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3 Now the name of the man was Naval; and the name of his wife Avigail; and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance; but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
4 And Dawid heard in the wilderness that Naval did shear his sheep.
5 And Dawid sent out ten young men, and Dawid said unto the young men, “Get you up to Carmel, and go to Naval, and greet him in my name.
6 And thus shall you say to him that liveth in prosperity, ‘Peace be both to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be unto all that you have!
7 And now I have heard that you have shearers; now your shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there anything missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
8 Ask your young men, and they will shew you. Wherefore let the young men find favor in your eyes; for we come in a good day: Please give whatsoever cometh to your hand unto your servants, and to your son Dawid.’”
9 And when Dawid’s young men came, they spake to Naval according to all those words in the name of Dawid, and ceased.
10 And Naval answered Dawid’s servants, and said, “Who is Dawid? And who is the son of Jesse (Yishai)? There be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.
11 Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?”
12 So Dawid’s young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.
13 And Dawid said unto his men, “Gird you on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and Dawid also girded on his sword; and there went up after Dawid about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
14 But one of the young men told Avigail, Naval’s wife, saying, “Behold, Dawid sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them.
15 But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields.
16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
17 Now therefore know and consider what you wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household; for he is such a scoundrel (beliyaal) son, that a man cannot speak to him.”
18 Then Avigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
19 And she said unto her servants, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.” But she told not her husband Naval.
20 And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, Dawid and his men came down against her; and she met them.
21 Now Dawid had said, “Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good.
22 So and more also do God (Elohim) unto the enemies of Dawid, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.”
23 And when Avigail saw Dawid, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before Dawid on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
24 And fell at his feet, and said: “Upon me, my lord (adoni), upon me let this iniquity be; and please let your handmaid speak in your audience, and hear the words of your handmaid.
25 Please let not my lord (adoni) regard this scoundrel (beliyaal) man, Naval, for as his name is, so is he; Naval is his name, and folly is with him. But I, your handmaid saw not the young men of my lord (adoni), whom you didst send.
26 Now therefore, my lord (adoni), as יהוה liveth, and as your soul liveth, seeing יהוה hath withholden you from coming to shed blood, and from avenging yourself with your own hand, now let your enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord (adoni), be as Naval.
27 And now this blessing which your handmaid hath brought unto my lord (adoni), let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord (adoni).
28 Please forgive the trespass of your handmaid; for יהוה will certainly make my lord (adoni) a sure house; because my lord (adoni) fighteth the battles of יהוה, and evil hath not been found in you all your days.
29 Yet a man is risen to pursue you, and to seek your soul; but the soul of my lord (adoni) shall be bound in the bundle of life with יהוה your God (Elohim); and the souls of your enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
30 And it shall come to pass, when יהוה shall have done to my lord (adoni) according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning you, and shall have appointed you ruler over Yisrael;
31 That this shall be no grief unto you, nor offence of heart unto my lord (adoni), either that you have shed blood causeless, or that my lord (adoni) hath avenged himself; but when יהוה shall have dealt well with my lord (adoni), then remember your handmaid.”
32 And Dawid said to Avigail: “Blessed be יהוה God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael), which sent you this day to meet me!
33 And blessed be your advice, and blessed be you, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
34 For in very deed, as יהוה God of Israel (Elohei Yisrael) liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting you, except you hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Naval by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.”
35 So Dawid received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, “Go up in peace to your house; see, I have hearkened to your voice, and have accepted your person.”
36 And Avigail came to Naval; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Naval’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Naval, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that יהוה smote Naval, that he died.
39 And when Dawid heard that Naval was dead, he said, “Blessed be יהוה, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Naval, and hath kept His servant from evil; for יהוה hath returned the wickedness of Naval upon his own head.” And Dawid sent and communed with Avigail, to take her to him to wife.
40 And when the servants of Dawid were come to Avigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, “Dawid sent us unto you, to take you to him to wife.”
41 And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, “Behold, let your handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord (adoni).”
42 And Avigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of Dawid, and became his wife.
43 Dawid also took Ahinoam of Yizreel; and they were also both of them his wives.
44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, Dawid’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.