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I Samuel Chapter 25

Memory verses for this week: Gen 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Introduction: We continue our study on Samuel this week. In last weekís lesson, we studied about David having a chance to put Saul to death at a cave near Engedi when Saul came in to rest in the very cave where David and his men were hidden. David showed great restraint and told Saul that it would not be his hand that put Saul to death.

  1. The Death of Samuel

1 Sam 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.

The death of perhaps one of the greatest prophets ever had an effect on the entire nation of Israel. All Israel lamented him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah. From what it says in verse 1, we can not determine whether David attended the burial of Samuel. If he attempted to come, he most definitely would be putting his life on the line since he could not trust Saul. He had promised to not pursue him at the end of chapter 24, but it was clear that David did not trust his promise. David did arise and went down to the wilderness of Paran. Paran was in the eastern part of Sinai. This was the area where the Israelites wandered when they came out of Egypt.

II. David is Insulted by Nabal

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 25:4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.

1 Sam 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:

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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 and his men were protecting the desert tribes for this man Nabal. The name Nabal means ďfoolĒ. Nabalís wife was Abigail who was a very beautiful and intelligent woman. At this time, Nabal was sheering his sheep. When David heard he was doing this, he sent ten of his young men to request food for David and his men. In verse six, David says that Nabal lived in prosperity. His young men were to greet Nabal with the words of peace to Nabal, his house, and all those that were with him. They reminded Nabal how that they had protected his shepherds and had received nothing from them in the past. They tell them that they can prove this claim if it was needed.

1 Sam 25:8 Ask thy young men, and they will show 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.

1 Sam 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.

Davidís men simply request that they be given whatever seemed fair to Nabal. He was at total liberty to choose what he would give to David and his men. Davidís men came and did according to the words of David.

1 Sam 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 every man from his master.

1 Sam 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?

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

1 Sam 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.

Nabal answered Davidís men with contempt and accuses him of being an outlaw and rebel against the King. He refuses to give Davidís men any of the supplies they need. When they returned with word of this, it greatly angered David and he commands his men to gird on their swords in verse 13 that they may raid Nabalís camp.

III. Abigail Is used to Stop the Bloodshed

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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:

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

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

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

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

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

One of Nabalís young men anticipated the reaction of David to Nabalís insult, and hurries to Abigail and tells here what has transpired. He tells her of how David and his men had been a wall of protection to them, and reminded her that Nabal had been very unreasonable. Abigail quickly makes up several loads of food and sends them to David. She did all of this without telling her husband. Abigail meets David and falls at his feet taking the blame for what occurred and begged him to listen to her plea.

IV. Abigailís Plea

1 Sam 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,

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

1 Sam 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 his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.

1 Sam 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 enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.

1 Sam 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.

In Abigailís plea, she makes several significant points. She first states that she did not see the young men that came for help with food. In verse 26, she reminds David that God had been with David thus far and had kept him from shedding blood and avenging his enemies. In verse 27, she asks David to accept the gift which she brought for him and his men.

Matthew Henry spoke well of Abigail in his commentary.

We have here an account of Abigailís prudent management for the preserving of her husband and family from the destruction that was just coming upon them; and we find that she did her part admirably well and fully answered her character. The passion of fools often makes those breaches in a little time which the wise, with all their wisdom, have much ado to make up again. It is hard to say whether Abigail was more miserable in such a husband or Nabal happy in such a wife. A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband, to protect as well as adorn, and will do him good and not evil. Wisdom in such a case as this was better than weapons of war. 1. It was her wisdom that what she did she did quickly, and without delay; she made haste, v. 18. It was no time to trifle or linger when all was in danger. Those that desire conditions of peace must send when the enemy is yet a great way off, Lu. 14:32. 2. It was her wisdom that what she did she did herself, because, being a woman of great prudence and very happy address, she knew better how to manage it than any servant she had. The virtuous woman will herself look well to the ways of her household, and not devolve this duty wholly upon others. Abigail must endeavour to atone for Nabalís faults. Now he had been in two ways rude to Davidís messengers, and in them to David: He had denied them the provisions they asked for, and he had given them very provoking language. 1

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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;

1 Sam 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.

In verse 28, Abigail acknowledges that God would make David a sure house in His time. She points out that she knew that David fought the battle of the Lord and evil had not been found in him. She further states that if David will refrain from this useless bloodshed, he will have no cause for later regret.

J. Vernon McGee had a great comment about verse 29 where Abigail said Davidís soul would be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord.

Although she does not mention him by name, Abigail is speaking about Saul as the one who is pursuing David. Then she says one of the most remarkable things about David, ďBut the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God.Ē

Friend, that is exactly the position of the believer in Christ Jesus. John, in his first epistle, calls Christ ďEternal Life.Ē He says, ďFor the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto usĒ (1 John 1:2). When you and I trust Him as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes and takes residence in the body of the believer. Paul says, ďFor by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one SpiritĒ (1 Cor. 12:13). You and I are brought into the family of God by our faith in Christ. We are said to be in Christ. And there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. So we are bound in the bundle of life with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Then Abigail said, ďThe souls of thine enemies God shall sling out.Ē David knew all about slingshots, and what he had done to Goliath was well known in Israel. 2

V. David Utters a Threefold Blessing to Abigail

1 Sam 25:32 And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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 blesses God for sending Abigail to make her plea this day. He believed her advice was based on the righteousness of God. He also asks a blessing on Abigail for keeping him from the bloodshed and vengeance. Had it not been for Abigail, most likely Nabal and all of his men would have met their death this day.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 25:38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.

David accepted the gifts of food and sends her away in peace. Abigail came to Nabal and found him having a great feast, and he was very drunk. So she did not tell him what had transpired until the following morning. When she told Nabal about the meeting, it says his heart died within him and he became as a stone. In 10 days, the Lord took Nabalís life.

VI. Abigail Becomes Davidís Wife

1 Sam 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. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

1 Sam 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.

David acknowledges that it was God that took Nabalís life. After his death, David sends for Abigail and asks her to become his wife. She does not tarry, but goes with the men and becomes Davidís wife.

VII. Abigail Becomes Davidís Wife

1 Sam 25:43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.

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

During this time, Saul had taken his daughter Michal and given here to another man. David takes both Abigail and Ahinoam of Jezreel as his wives. David learned during this time of his life to really look to God for his protection. We see this in Psalm 63 where he penned these words:

Psa 63:1 A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah. O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;

Psa 63:2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.

Psa 63:3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Psa 63:4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.

Psa 63:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:

Psa 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Psa 63:7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.

Psa 63:8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.

Psa 63:9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.

Psa 63:10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

Psa 63:11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

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Prov 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.


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1Henry, Matthew, Matthew Henryís Commentary on the Bible, (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.

2J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.