1 Samuel 24-25
David Spares Saul’s Life
24 [a]When Saul came back from fighting the Philistines, he was told “Now David is in the desert near En Gedi.” 2 Then Saul took 3,000 of the best-trained men from all Israel and went to search for David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 He came to some sheep pens along the road where there was a cave. Saul went into it to relieve himself while David and his men were sitting further back in the cave.
4 David’s men told him, “Today is the day Yahweh referred to when he said, ‘I’m going to hand your enemy over to you. You will do to him whatever you think is right.’”
David quietly got up and cut off the border of Saul’s robe. 5 But afterward, David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the border of Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “It would be unthinkable for me to raise my hand against His Majesty, Yahweh’s anointed king, since he is Yahweh’s anointed.” 7 So David stopped[b] his men by saying this to them and didn’t let them attack Saul.
Saul left the cave and went out onto the road. 8 Later, David got up, left the cave, and called to Saul, “Your Majesty!” When Saul looked back, David knelt down with his face touching the ground. 9 David asked Saul, “Why do you listen to rumors that I am trying to harm you? 10 Today you saw how Yahweh handed you over to me in the cave. Although I was told to kill you, I spared you, saying, ‘I will not raise my hand against Your Majesty because you are Yahweh’s anointed.’ 11 My master, look at this! The border of your robe is in my hand! Since I cut off the border of your robe and didn’t kill you, you should know and be able to see I mean no harm or rebellion. I haven’t sinned against you, but you are trying to ambush me in order to take my life. 12 May Yahweh decide between you and me. May Yahweh take revenge on you for what you did to me. However, I will not lay a hand on you. 13 It’s like people used to say long ago, ‘Wickedness comes from wicked people.’ But I will not lay a hand on you. 14 Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? One flea? 15 So Yahweh must be the judge. He will decide between you and me. He will watch and take my side in this matter and set me free from you.”
16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that you speaking, my servant David?” and Saul cried loudly. 17 He told David, “You are more righteous than I. You treated me well while I treated you badly. 18 Today you have proved how good you’ve been to me. When Yahweh handed me over to you, you didn’t kill me. 19 When a person finds an enemy, does he send him away unharmed? Yahweh will repay you completely for what you did for me today. 20 Now I know that you certainly will rule as king, and under your guidance the kingdom of Israel will prosper. 21 Swear an oath to Yahweh for me that you will not wipe out my descendants or destroy my name in my father’s family.”
22 So David swore to Saul. Then Saul went home, and David and his men went to their fortified camp.
25 Samuel died, and all Israel gathered to mourn for him. They buried him at his home in Ramah. Then David went to the desert of Paran.
David, Nabal, and Abigail
2 Now, there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. He was a very rich man. He had 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. And he was shearing his sheep in Carmel. 3 This man’s name was Nabal, and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was sensible and beautiful, but he was harsh and mean. He was a descendant of Caleb.
4 While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep. 5 So David sent ten young men and told them, “Go to Carmel, visit Nabal, and greet him for me. 6 Say to him, ‘May you live long! May you, your home, and all you have prosper! 7 I hear that your sheepshearers are with you. Your shepherds have been with us, and we have not mistreated them. Nothing of theirs has been missing as long as they’ve been in Carmel. 8 Ask your young men, and let them tell you. Be kind to my young men, since we have come on a special occasion. Please give us and your son David anything you can spare.’”
9 When David’s young men came to Nabal, they repeated all of this to him for David, and then they waited.
10 “Who is David?” Nabal answered David’s servants. “Who is Jesse’s son? So many servants nowadays are leaving their masters. 11 Should I take my bread, my water, and my meat that I butchered for my shearers and give them to men coming from who knows where?”
12 David’s young men returned and told him all this.
13 “Each of you put on your swords!” David told his men. And everyone, including David, put on his sword. About four hundred men went with David, while two hundred men stayed with the supplies.
14 One of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “David sent messengers from the desert to greet our master, who yelled at them. 15 Those men were very good to us. They didn’t mistreat us, and we found that nothing was missing wherever we went with them when we were in the fields. 16 They were a wall protecting us day and night as long as we were watching the sheep near them. 17 Now, consider what you should do because our master and his whole household are doomed. And he’s such a worthless man that it’s useless to talk to him.”
18 So Abigail quickly took 200 loaves of bread, 2 full wineskins, 5 butchered sheep, a bushel of roasted grain, 100 bunches of raisins, and 200 fig cakes and loaded them on donkeys. 19 “Go on ahead,” she told her young men, “and I’ll follow you.” But she didn’t tell her husband Nabal about it.
20 She was riding on her donkey down a hidden mountain path when she met David and his men coming toward her. 21 David had thought, “I guarded this man’s stuff in the desert for nothing! Not one of his possessions was missing. Yet, he has paid me back with evil when I was good to him. 22 May Elohim punish me[c] if I leave even one of his men[d] alive in the morning.”
23 When Abigail saw David, she quickly got down from her donkey. She immediately bowed down in front of David with her face touching the ground. 24 After she bowed at his feet, she said, “Sir, let me be held responsible for this wrong. Please let me speak with you. Please listen to my words. 25 You shouldn’t take this worthless person Nabal seriously. He is like his name. His name is Nabal [Godless Fool], and he’s foolish. But I didn’t see the young men you sent.
26 “Yahweh has kept you from spilling innocent blood and from getting a victory by your own efforts. Now, sir, I solemnly swear, as Yahweh and you live, may your enemies and those who are trying to harm you end up like Nabal. 27 Here is a gift I am bringing to you. May it be given to the young men who are in your service. 28 Please forgive my offense. Yahweh will certainly give you, sir, a lasting dynasty, because you are fighting Yahweh’s battles. May evil never be found in you as long as you live. 29 Even though someone pursued you and sought your life, your life is wrapped in the bundle of life which comes from Yahweh your Elohim. But he will dispose of the lives of your enemies like stones thrown from a sling. 30 When Yahweh does all the good he promised and makes you ruler of Israel, 31 you shouldn’t have a troubled conscience because you spilled blood for no good reason and claimed your own victory. When Yahweh has given you success, remember me.”
32 David said to Abigail, “Blessed be Yahweh Elohim of Israel, who sent you today to meet me. 33 May your good judgment be blessed. Also, may you be blessed for keeping me from slaughtering people today and from getting a victory by my own efforts. 34 But I solemnly swear—as Yahweh Elohim of Israel, who has kept me from harming you, lives—if you hadn’t come to meet me quickly, Nabal certainly wouldn’t have had one of his men left at dawn.”
35 Then David accepted what she brought him and told her, “Go home in peace. I’ve listened to what you’ve said and granted your request.”
36 When Abigail came to Nabal, he was holding a banquet in his home. It was like a king’s banquet. He was in a good mood and very drunk, so she didn’t tell him anything until dawn. 37 But in the morning, when the effects of the wine had worn off, his wife told him what had happened. Nabal’s heart failed, and he could not move.[e] 38 About ten days later Yahweh made him even more sick, and Nabal died.
39 When David heard Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be Yahweh, who defended me against the insults of Nabal and kept me from doing wrong. Yahweh has turned Nabal’s own wickedness back on him.”
Then David sent men on his behalf to propose marriage to Abigail. 40 When David’s servants came to Abigail at Carmel, they told her, “David has sent us to you so that we can take you to him to be his wife.”
41 She bowed down with her face touching the ground. “I am ready to serve,” she said. “I am ready to wash the feet of my master’s servants.” 42 Then Abigail quickly got up and rode on a donkey with five of her female servants following her. So she went with David’s messengers and became his wife.
43 David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Both she and Abigail were his wives. 44 Saul had given his daughter Michal, David’s wife, to Palti, Laish’s son, who was from Gallim.
- 1 Samuel 24:1 1 Samuel 24:1–22 in English Bibles is 1 Samuel 24:2–23 in the Hebrew Bible.
- 1 Samuel 24:7 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
- 1 Samuel 25:22 Greek; Masoretic Text “To David’s enemies.”
- 1 Samuel 25:22 Hebrew uses a coarse term for “men” here and at verse 34.
- 1 Samuel 25:37 English equivalent difficult.
The Jews Reject Jesus
22 The Festival of the Dedication of the Temple took place in Jerusalem during the winter. 23 Yeshua was walking on Solomon’s porch in the temple courtyard.
24 The Jews surrounded him. They asked him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Yeshua answered them, “I’ve told you, but you don’t believe me. The things that I do in my Father’s name testify on my behalf. 26 However, you don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. 27 My sheep respond to my voice, and I know who they are. They follow me, 28 and I give them eternal life. They will never be lost, and no one will tear them away from me. 29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than everyone else, and no one can tear them away from my Father. 30 The Father and I are one.”
31 The Jews had again brought some rocks to stone Yeshua to death. 32 Yeshua replied to them, “I’ve shown you many good things that come from the Father. For which of these good things do you want to stone me to death?”
33 The Jews answered Yeshua, “We’re going to stone you to death, not for any good things you’ve done, but for dishonoring God. You claim to be God, although you’re only a man.”
34 Yeshua said to them, “Don’t your Scriptures say, ‘I said, “You are gods” ’? 35 The Scriptures cannot be discredited. So if God calls people gods (and they are the people to whom he gave the Scriptures), 36 why do you say that I’m dishonoring God because I said, ‘I’m the Son of God’? God set me apart for this holy purpose and has sent me into the world. 37 If I’m not doing the things my Father does, don’t believe me. 38 But if I’m doing those things and you refuse to believe me, then at least believe the things that I’m doing. Then you will know and recognize that the Father is in me and that I am in the Father.”
39 The Jews tried to arrest Yeshua again, but he got away from them. 40 He went back across the Jordan River and stayed in the place where John first baptized people.
41 Many people went to Yeshua. They said, “John didn’t perform any miracles, but everything John said about this man is true.” 42 Many people there believed in Yeshua.
1 I love Yahweh because he hears my voice, my pleas for mercy.
2 I will call on him as long as I live
because he turns his ear toward me.
3 The ropes of death became tangled around me.
The horrors of the grave took hold of me.
I experienced pain and agony.
4 But I kept calling on the name of Yahweh:
“Please, Yahweh, rescue me!”
5 Yahweh is merciful and righteous.
Our Elohim is compassionate.
6 Yahweh protects defenseless people.
When I was weak, he saved me.
7 Be at peace again, my soul,
because Yahweh has been good to you.
8 You saved me from death.
You saved my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.
9 I will walk in Yahweh’s presence in this world of the living.
10 I kept my faith even when I said,
“I am suffering terribly.”
11 I also said when I was panic-stricken,
“Everyone is undependable.”
12 How can I repay Yahweh
for all the good that he has done for me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation
and call on the name of Yahweh.
14 I will keep my vows to Yahweh
in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of Yahweh
is the death of his faithful ones.
16 O Yahweh, I am indeed your servant.
I am your servant,
the son of your female servant.
You have freed me from my chains.
17 I will bring a song of thanksgiving to you as a sacrifice.
I will call on the name of Yahweh.
18 I will keep my vows to Yahweh
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courtyards of Yahweh’s house,
in the middle of Jerusalem.
A Wise Son Brings Blessings to Others
20 A wise son makes his father happy,
but a foolish child despises its mother.
21 Stupidity is fun to the one without much sense,
but a person who has understanding forges straight ahead.