20 July 1 Samuel 25:1-44

20 July.  Samuel dies and David marries Abigail

“Now Samuel died, and all the Israelites met and had a time of sadness for him. Then they buried him at his home in Ramah.”

“David moved to the Desert of Maon. A man in Maon who had land at Carmel was very rich. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats… His name was Nabal, and he was a descendant of Caleb. His wife was named Abigail. She was wise and beautiful, but Nabal was cruel and mean.”

“While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was cutting the wool from his sheep. So he sent ten young men and told them, ‘Go to Nabal at Carmel, and greet him for me. Say to Nabal, “May you and your family and all who belong to you have good health! ... When your shepherds were with us, we did not harm them… We come at a happy time, so be kind to my young men. Please give anything you can find for them and for your son David.”’”

“When David’s men arrived, they gave the message to Nabal, but Nabal insulted them. He answered them, ‘Who is David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many slaves are running away from their masters today! I have bread and water, and I have meat that I killed for my servants who cut the wool. But I won’t give it to men I don’t know.’”

“David’s men went back and told him all Nabal had said. Then David said to them, ‘Put on your swords!’ So they put on their swords, and David put his on also. About 400 men went with David, but 200 men stayed with the supplies.”

“One of Nabal’s servants said to Abigail, ‘David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master, but Nabal insulted them. These men were very good to us… They stole nothing from us during all the time we were out in the field with them. Night and day they protected us… Now think about it, and decide what you can do. Terrible trouble is coming to our master and all his family.’…”

“Abigail hurried. She took 200 loaves of bread, two leather bags full of wine, five cooked sheep, 15 kilogrammes of cooked grain, 100 cakes of raisins and 200 cakes of pressed figs and put all of these on donkeys… But she did not tell her husband.”

“Abigail rode her donkey and came down towards the mountain ravine. There she met David and his men coming down towards here… When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed face down on the ground before him. She fell at David’s feet and said, ‘My master, let the blame be on me! … I have brought a gift to you for the men who follow you. Please forgive my wrong. The LORD will certainly let your family have many kings, because you fight his battles… Please remember me when the LORD brings you success.’”

“David answered Abigail, ‘Praise the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you to meet me. May you be blessed for your wisdom. You have kept me from killing or punishing people today.’… Then David accepted Abigail’s gifts…”

“When Abigail went back to Nabal, he was in the house, eating like a king… In the morning when he was not drunk, his wife told him everything. His heart stopped, and he became like stone. About ten days later the LORD struck Nabal and he died… Then David sent a message to Abigail, asking her to be his wife… Abigail quickly got on a donkey and went with David’s messengers, with her five maids following her. And she became David’s wife.”

“David also had married Ahinoam of Jezreel. So they were both David’s wives. Saul’s daughter Michal was also David’s wife, but Saul had given her to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim.”

          (1 Samuel 25:1-44)



Samuel died in c.1012BC and was buried at his home town of Ramah (see 10 on the map on 8 July).

Following Samuel’s death, David went south to hide in the Desert of Maon (the Desert of Paran), south of Hebron (see 11 on the map). He sent some of his men to request food from Nabal, a wealthy man who lived at Carmel in Judah and owned large flocks of sheep and goats that David’s men had been protecting.

But Nabal refused, and insulted David’s men, accusing David of running away from Saul like a slave escaping his master.

On hearing this, David set out with 400 men to punish Nabal and his household. Fortunately his wife, Abigail, averted further conflict by bringing ample supplies of food for David’s men.

When Nabal died shortly afterwards, David married Abigail. He now had three wives, though Saul had taken his daughter Michal away from David, and had given her to another man.

Although the Bible says that Samuel was buried at his home town of Ramah (see 1 Samuel 25:1), the 'traditional' site of Samuel’s Tomb is about 3 miles / 5 km south west of Ramah at Mizpah.

The photo (by Tamarah) shows the traditional site of Samuel's Tomb at Mizpah. Today, the Tomb of Samuel is a popular place of pilgrimage for both Jews and Muslims.

You can read more about Samuel’s tomb at Mizpah @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/samuel-dies-and-is-buried-at-ramah/

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