I Samuel Chapter 25

"Actions of Nabal"
"David's Message to Nabal [5-12]."
"Abigail's Pleadings to David [24-35]."
"Nabal Dies, David takes Abigail to Wife [36-44]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

I Samuel 25:1 "And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran."

Upon Samuel the prophets death, we pass from a theocracy to a monarchy. Samuel was the last judge to rule over Israel, and the position of the separation of church [the priesthood], and the state or governmental rule would never be in the hands of the priest again. Of course this doesn't mean that he was buried in his house, but Samuel was buried on his property. Gardens were set aside, and the dead were buried on their own property.

I Samuel 25:2 "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."

The word "Carmel" in the Hebrew tongue means "a pleasant place". This took place during the time of shearing the sheep and taking the wool to market. It was a time of plenty, a time of festivals when everyone celebrated.

I Samuel 25:3 "Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: 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."

The word "Nabal" in the Hebrew tongue is "fool", and through his name we know this man to be very stupid. We will see in the rest of the chapter that he was a fool. This fool was married to a beautiful woman that also had a good head on her shoulders. Abigail was a smart woman, and she loved the Lord. "Churlish" means that Nabal was a cruel man, with evil on his mind.

I Samuel 25:4 "And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep."

Remember that David had spent time in Maon, and he and his men had driven away the Philistines, and protected the people while David were still being chased by Saul's army. David had a claim to the help he is asking for, in feeding these six hundred men that were with him. David protected these people for quite a period of time.

I Samuel 25:5 "And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, "Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:"

Nabal knew David for the protection that he had given him in the past. David and Nabal were not strangers to each other. Even the shepherd's of Nabal's flock knew how good David and his men were to them.

I Samuel 25:6 "And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity, `Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast." "

Nabal's prosperity was in large part due to the protection David had given them, and now David is about to ask a favor of Nabal. David's problem was the feeding of the six hundred men that were with him in the wilderness, and this required a supply of food.

I Samuel 25:7 "And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel."

David is calling attention to the fact that while they were with him and protecting them, David's men worked right along side of Nabal's men without pay. There was no thievery, nor abuse of Nabal's shepherds.

I Samuel 25:8 "Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes: for we come in a good day: give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.' "

On this "good day" that these ten young men came to Nabal, the whole community was having a festival, and every one was sharing their blessings with their neighbors.

I Samuel 25:9 "And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased."

These ten men passed the message on to Nabal exactly as David told them to say. When they were finished with their message, they listened for Nabal's response to them.

I Samuel 25:10 "And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, "Who is David: and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away from his master."

Now after all that David and his men had done for Nabal and this community, Nabal the fool is acting as if he had never knew him. Of course Nabal knew both David and his father Jesse, for all through that prior winter, David was there in Maon to protect the entire community. Nabal knew that David and his men were men were on the run from king Saul and their masters. Now after the fact, and sitting there with all his wealth he chose to turn his back on David and act as if they are nothing but trash. Nabal is calling and treating David as a run-away slave. This definitely will not set well with David.

I Samuel 25:11 "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?" "

Nabal is asking these ten young men, "Should I take my bread, and my wine, and my meat and feed it to these runaways, for I don't even know where they are?" Nabal is asking, what right do they have to my goods that I have worked hard for, and share with them?

I Samuel 25:12 "So David's young men turned their way and went again, and came and told him all those sayings."

The men of David's army were not the beggars and slaves that Nabal had called them, So David's request was received and scorned at. If someone made fun of David, he could take it well; but here it was David's men that were made out to look like a bunch of thieves and beggars, and that made David mad. You could slap David in the face and he would turn his other cheek, but when you hurt his men then that is something entirely different. After hearing Nabal's words, David was planning to go down to Moan and kill the whole town, finish off what the Philistines were trying to do there.

I Samuel 25:13 "And David said unto his men, "Gird ye on every man his sword." And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword: and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff."

David was not going to miss out on the punishment that they were going to inflict on Nabal and his town. David split the camp into thirds, with four hundred of the best to go with him, and the rest to stay behind to guard the goods and baggage in the camp sight. It is just not a fair fight to pit David's four hundred fighting men against Nabal's sheep sheerers, for Nabal and his town just did not stand a chance of survival.

I Samuel 25:14 "But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, "Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he railed on them."

Before the ten young men that carried the message to Nabal left to return to David, the message was passed on to the young men to Nabal's men. One of those workers told Abigail of the treatment that her husband gave to David and his men. Remember she was noted for having a great deal of intelligence, and she knew what David would do to her and her family for such ill treatment. Abigail knew that Nabal unloaded on them without a cause. We are now going to see what this smart kind woman can do when she has an idiot ["churlish"] man for a husband.

I Samuel 25:15 "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:"

The young man is telling Abigail that it was only Nabal that wronged us, for David's men while working with us in the field were very good to us.

I Samuel 25:16 "They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep."

He reminded Abigail that while they were here in Maon, while their men were keeping our sheep, David and his men placed a wall of protection around us to protect us from the Philistines. Abigail knew this, and all the detail that went on at that time.

I Samuel 25:17 "Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household. for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.""

Remember that this person telling this to Abigail use to be one of their own servants, and he is calling his former master a "son of Satan" [Belial]. Nabal was a man that no one could reason with, so this former servant went to his wife to explain the extent of what this denial would mean to them.

I Samuel 25:18 "Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses."

The bottles of wine were not as the bottles are today, but what we would call a keg of wine. With all this food and drink mounted on a parade of asses, it was a offering to David for the way that her husband had treated them in return for the good that David and his men had shown to her community and family.

I Samuel 25:19 "And she said unto her servants, "Go on before me; behold, I come after you." But she told not her husband Nabal."

She knew that with her husband's mouth, he would probably get the whole community killed.

I Samuel 25:20 "And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them."

Notice what is happening here, the servants and asses with all the provision rode to meet David down in this valley, and Abigail rides right into the middle of David and his men. You talk about a brave woman, for she knew that David was coming to do harm to her family. Abigail did not consider David to be her enemy, but a friend that was making a petition to her friend, David. David knew the type of woman she was from when he was in the town defending it from the Philistines. See the brave heart that Abigail had, that she would do this without any hesitation.

I Samuel 25:21 "Now David 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."

David is one mad trooper at Nabal, Abigail's husband. David did not forget that vengeance is the Lord, even so, you should not let people run over you. A Christian is not a second class citizen, but one that can carry his or her own weight of responsibility. He or she follows the path that Christ has set for us to follow. However when it come to the taking of ones life, that is not for us to carry out, "for vengeance is mine I will repay, saith the Lord." [Romans 12:19]

I Samuel 25:22 "So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall."

David is committed to the killing all male person's in Nabal's family or town, and that included the smallest child to the oldest adult. We are now going to see how this little woman settled David and his whole army down to listen to a little common sense.

I Samuel 25:23 "And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,"

Abigail rushed right up to David, jumped off her donkey and fell on her face before David. David is ready for battle and this beautiful little woman is on her face in front of his horse bowing to him.

I Samuel 25:24 "And fell at his feet, and said, "Upon me, my lord, upon me let this inipuity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid."

Notice that Abigail was taking the blame for all that happened to his men, herself. In that she had allowed her husband make the foolish statement that he made, she does partly feel like she is at fault.

I Samuel 25:25 "Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he: Nabal is the name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send."

Abigail is reminding David that her husband is named right, for just as he is named "the fool, the son of Satan" [Nabal], he most definitely was a fool. Abigail knew her husband very well, and she is telling it just as it is. She is reminding David that she did not get to hear all that Nabal said to his young men, and I did not get to talk to all of them.

I Samuel 25:26 "Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemy and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal."

David had not shed blood yet, and she was reminding David that it wasn't to late to change his mind. These people were suppose to be David's friends, yet they had treated him so badly that he was ready to shed blood over it. Abigail is telling David, make those that seek evil against you be as that old fool, her husband. She is speaking the right words to disarm David from these actions. David is starting to see that it is not his right to take vengeance upon Nabal, for it is the Lord's right to take the vengeance. Remember that she is saying all of this before four hundred angry and hungry men, all ready to do battle.

I Samuel 25:27 "And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord."

I Samuel 25:28 "I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days."

Abigail was taking the blame again a second time. She was correcting David in a way while David was quite mad over the situation. She was teaching David that vengeance is not his to take, but it is the Lord to give. To that day, David had never wronged any people without God's direction in his battles. David had allowed the Lord to have control in all his battles. It was not to late to carry on and allow the Lord to take His vengeance on Nabal. Stop and think for a moment, David and his men were hungry and ready to do battle, and this sweet little woman was there with her donkey train load of food, and drink, and teaching these warriors a lesson that should have come from David's mouth. David knew that the Lord was the one that has sent her, for she speaks the truth from God's own Word.

I Samuel 25:29 "Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall He sling out, as out of the middle of a sling."

I Samuel 25:30 "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, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;"

The Holy Spirit is working through Abigail for the words that were coming out of her mouth were the right words for David at that time. Even to the point of reminding David that God has a plan for David's life. David was the anointed one to be the ruler over his people, and having the Messiah come through his lineage, and David was listening to her prophesying these words. David needed these words to be spoken at this time, and God used this little woman to give them to him. It was not necessary to wipe out his friends, just because they had a fool for a master.

In real life it is like taking your frustration out on your family and friends, just because of what happened at work, or you allowed Satan to make you do something stupid and make a fool of yourself.

I Samuel 25:31 "That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid."

She had good words for David; She first dress David down from the evil that he was planning, and then she built him up for the place and duty that he holds in the eyes of the Lord. She told him how wise he was for listening to the Lord [not herself] and not shedding innocent blood. Then after this praise, asks that David remember her in the future. She knew that David will be in a position of leadership, and she now asks only for a position of handmaid working for him. We know that in the future this beautiful woman will become David's wife.

The point to this speech that she is making is that "my lord shed blood causeless, and that he avenge himself." It is the Lord that should avenge his people and if there is any blood shed, it is up to the Lord to do the avenging. It is from this chapter that false teaching has caused many wimps in the world. The point is, that you should not shed blood for no reason, for there must be a crime deserving of death, before blood is shed. Just because vengeance belongeth to God, you are still to protect and defend yourself and your family. You must defend you dignity and your respect, for people like Nabal simply don't respect a wimp, or coward or someone that hides under the guise of religion. We are to pray to the Father as to what we should do, and listen to his leading. It may be that force is required to put evil in it's place.

I Samuel 25:32 "And David said to Abigail, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, Which sent thee this day to meet me:"

I Samuel 25:33 "And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand."

In certain cases we are to avenge ourselves, however in most cases we are to allow God to do the avenging.

I Samuel 25:34 "For in very deed, as the Lord God of Israel liveth, Which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall."

David is reminding Abigail that through her wisdom and courage, she has saved her sons and all the men in their town and her farm from death, for David would have take their lives.

I Samuel 25:35 "So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, "Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person."

David took the peace offering that she brought him, and David sent her home with the assurance that no harm would come to her or her household from them. David liked Abigail, and he was growing fond of her. She was smart and of great beauty.

I Samuel 25:36 "And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light."

This feast was a annual event at shearing time, and Nabal had been drunk and not able to think in his condition. Nabal was looking out for himself, and trying to please himself. Here again it would have done no good to talk to him in his condition. What ever Abigail would have said that night would not have registered in Nabal's mind.

I Samuel 25:37 "But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone."

This is God's way of repaying evil for evil. When Nabal heard the words Abigail told him he had a stroke, and became paralyzed from head to toe. God took vengeance on Nabal for the sake of David. His blood was not shed at the hand of David, but God used natural causes to take the life of Nabal. This death would not be on the conscience of David the rest of his life.

David and his men had protected Nabal and his farm and men from the Philistines and then when David and his men needed a little provision, Nabal turned them away, and insulted them at that same time. God is getting even with Nabal for the treatment that he gave David his servant.

I Samuel 25:38 "And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died."

Ten days after Nabal's stroke, he died. There was a ten day period here, and Nabal was a type of the son of Belial, the devil. This was a type of when Satan would come against the son of David, which is to say Christ. The elect of Christ in the latter days that are of that church of Smyrna will also given a ten day trial before the coming of the Lord.

Revelation 2:8 "And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; these things saith the First and the Last, Which was dead, and is alive;"

Smyrna was a type of one of the seven church types that would be in existance at the end of this earth age. This is a revelation of how things shall be at the time of the end, and Smyrna held fast to the Word.

Revelation 2:9 "I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty (but thou art rich), and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan."

The people of the church of Smyrna in the latter days knew who the Kenites were, what they did, and their intentions. These Kenites were liars that called themselves Jews [Christians], but were not, but were of the church of Satan.

Revelation 2:10 "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give you a crown of life."

After the ten days of tribulation it is over, this age of the flesh is past is finished and all that remain are souls in their spiritual bodies. Then you face the and receive the crown or judgment that you deserve. "Faithful unto death", means that you were faithful through the entire ten day period, right up to the coming of Jesus Christ at the seventh trumpet.

Nabal had his ten days of testing, then he faced the Almighty Father for those things that he had done in his flesh body. God take care of His own, and vengeance belongeth to our Heavenly Father.

I Samuel 25:39 "And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Blessed be the Lord, That hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept His servant from evil: for the Lord hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head." "

I Samuel 25:40 "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 him to wife."

Abigail made quite an impression on David in her intelligence and her beauty. Even to the point of David desiring her for his wife.

I Samuel 25:41 "And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, "Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord."

This was a humble way of Abigail of her accepting David's pledge to her, for as David's wife she would do such to guests in their home. She felt blessed to even have been asked by David.

I Samuel 25:42 "And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife."

Notice that she doesn't fool around when her mind is set on doing something. She got up and made hast to go to David. Remember that Abigail was a very wealthy woman, and now that her husband is dead, it is all hers. The hand of God used her, and saved David from making a great mistake, and then David took her for his wife. Though Nabal was a very wicked man, at the time of his death there was no time to repent and turn from his evil ways.

I Samuel 25:43 "David also took Ahimoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives."

I Samuel 25:44 "But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim."

This points out that even though Saul had corrected his actions, he was still no friend of David. Remember in the prior chapter Saul even called David his son, and considered David part of the family. Yet in the end, Saul took Michal, David's wife, and gave her to be the wife of Phalti. Those spirits of jealousy came back to Saul and he continued to listen to evil spirits, and do the things that made him play the part of the fool.

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