1 Samuel 25


    Chapter 25 begins with Samuel’s death.

Then we return to David who has been guarding the shepherds and sheep of Nabal because of their presence in the same area. Therefore, when it comes time to shear the sheep and for feasting, David sends some men to see what Nabal can give them at the time of this feast. Nabal decides they don’t get any of his abundance, no matter how helpful they have been in protecting that abundance. He also criticizes David for having left his master.

When David hears of this he decides to go kill Nabal and all of his men, but at the same time Nabal’s wife Abigail hears of all of this. She grabs as much as she can offer and runs to stop David from the vengeance she is sure is about to fall upon them all. She gives the gifts and David accepts. The next morning Abigail tells her husband what happened and of David’s plans to have killed all the men, and Nabal has a heart attack and goes into a coma for 10 days and then the Lord strikes and kills him.

When David hears that Nabal is dead he praises God for being the one to seek vengeance, and takes Abigail at his wife. In addition we hear of another wife he has taken and that the first wife Saul had given him has been given to another man.


Samuel, all Israel, David, Nabal, David’s men, Nabal’s shearers, Nabal’s shepherds, Nabal’s wife – Abigail, Ahinoam of Jezreel, Michal –Saul’s daughter, Palti

Key Verse

Verse 39 “When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the Lord who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The Lord has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.” Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife.”

Cross References

1 Samuel 25:16, 32-34 “Now then, my lord, as the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, because the Lord has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal. … And David said to Abigail, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand! For as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.””

1 Samuel 24:15 “May the Lord therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you, and see to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.””

1 Kings 2:44 “The king also said to Shimei, “You know in your own heart all the harm that you did to David my father. So the Lord will bring back your harm on your own head.”

Psalm 7:12-16 “If a man does not repent, God will whet his sword; he has bent and readied his bow; he has prepared for him his deadly weapons, making his arrows fiery shafts. Behold, the wicked man conceives evil and is pregnant with mischief and gives birth to lies. He makes a pit, digging it out, and falls into the hole that he has made. His mischief returns upon his own head, and on his own skull his violence descends.”

Ezekiel 17:19 “Therefore thus says the Lord God: As I live, surely it is my oath that he despised, my covenant that he broke. I will return it upon his head.”


    I am sold out for the entire Bible being important and relevant and living and active in our lives. So, I want to see in the tough spots of Scripture how it applies to my life and to those lives around me as well. Many times I hear people claiming that the God in the Old Testament is different than that of the new. Or that God doesn’t inflict suffering on people. Scripture speaks otherwise, and that is my authority. God kills people because we are deserving of death. Sin made us deserving of death. We all were suffering a life threatening disease with a countdown to Hell, but by claiming Jesus as our Healer and Savior, we are rescued from the pit. We have received eternal life. Every day is another day that we have hope for the future. But if someone refuses to acknowledge God, refuses to repent, and continues in their sinful ways, they will receive death. That is the judgment of God. Their blood is on their own heads, but God does the judging.

Jesus in the Old Testament

Since chapter 25 is skipped by the commentary in my ESV Bible, I found a commentary that I think fits very well with seeing the Old Testament with the idea of applying it still and seeing how it looks forward to Christ. CLICK HERE to read the entire thing, which is an amazing study of Abigail and how we are called to be like her. Please take the time to read this as well.

Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.

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Author: Annie Liss

Currently a mother and a wife who loves reading. Formerly a middle school math teacher who kept too busy and stressed out to read. My husband and I are missionaries in Lebanon.

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