Nabal in the Bible

Nabal Bible

Story Warning

Christianity Oasis has provided this Nabal Bible study on the Nabal in the Bible story. We will be looking into that and all aspects of the Christian Walk. This intriguing study reveals truth as to bring forth understanding and then peace within.

Daily Bread Devotional Bible Study
The First Book of Samuel
Chapter 25

Nabal Bible Story

Nabal in the Bible Events

Welcome to our Christianity Oasis Daily Bread study program. This is our thought provoking and concerning, Nabal Bible trek for Truth concerns a man named Nabal in the Bible who had interactions with King David. In the Nabal Bible story we learn of his poor choices and how the end for the Nabal Bible character message affects your be-YOU-tiful Christian walk today.

It is always nice to have you back with us at Daily Bread! Before we begin our Nabal Bible journey, let's start out with what happened the last time we shared Daily Bread together, shall we? Saul was in pursuit of David, and ends up taking refuge for the night.

He and his three thousand men with him, in the very same cave as David. Secretly, David sneaks over to Saul without any of the massive group of soldiers awakening to catch him. David's men believe all of this is a sign that God has delivered David's enemy right to him.

But instead of harming Saul, David cuts off part of Saul's clothing and steals away a safe distance with it, then calls out to Saul, "I coulda gotcha!" Saul relents that David is a more righteous man than himself and recedes that David will indeed be king one day. He then asks for David's assurance that he will not slander his name or cut off his posterity. David humbly agrees, and Saul departs for home, while David leery to return to his home, returns to hiding.

While David was in hiding, Samuel died and all of Israel gathered together, and mourned for him, then buried him at his home in Ramah. Meanwhile, David left Engedi and went to the wilderness of Paran, which is in the Sinai Peninsula.

Who is Nabal in the Bible?

Now, In Maon (a city about fifteen miles east/southeast of Engedi) there lived a rich man named Nabal who owned property in Carmel (which was about a mile north of Maon). Nabal was a cruel and evil man. His wife Abigail, however, was a smart and beautiful woman. Nabal had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats and he took his sheep for shearing to Carmel.

Haven't had a Daily Bread Stick in a while, have we? Let's take a quick Nabal Bible field trip. Let's talk about sheep shearing! This is the third time we've heard about sheep shearing in the Bible. The first time in Genesis 31:19, Jacob fled from Laban while Laban was away shearing his sheep. In Genesis 38:13, Judah went up to his sheepshearers in Timnath after he finished mourning his wife's death. Now we have Nabal taking his sheep up to Carmel to have them sheared. In each instance, the sheep owners took the sheep elsewhere to have them sheared. Perhaps the cities they were taken to were cities of trade, where purchasers of wool, or markets were. Another thing to remember when you picture what's going on in the Bible stories that we share, is the era in which things are happening.

If you think about sheep shearing today, you might automatically think of the shearer holding an electric razor, and you can probably even imagine the sound of it buzzing as the tufts of wool fall from the blades. But they didn't have such luxuries back then. It must have taken much longer to shear a sheep with scissors or knife blades or whatever they used back then. At either rate, it was a time of celebration as well as sort of a harvest time, because the sheep owners would naturally sell the wool and make an abundance of money.

Well ... Imagine how much wool one would get from three thousand sheep! So, one might imagine, just as you would imagine grape harvest time in old Italy, though it was work because they had to stomp the grapes without the modern methods we have today, it was a time of great joy and friends were invited to join in the festivities.

Who is Nabal Bible Study
Nabal in the Bible Story Continues

Now, back when David and his fellas were hiding from Saul in Engedi, they used to hang out with Nabal's shepherds around Carmel and there was a good rapport between Nabal's shepherds and David's men.

Nabal Bible story reminder ... David has since left Nabal's neighborhood and is out in the wilderness of Paran, and he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So David sent ten of his guys to Nabal in Carmel with a message, saying, "Peace to you, your family, and all that you own. I heard you're sheering sheep. We've always treated your shepherds kindly ... Ask your fellas and they'll tell you. So please be generous and allow my men to find favor in your eyes and give to your servants and your son David whatever you can since we've come at a time of celebration."

So to get a better picture of the Nabal Bible events, everyone in Israel knows the skinny on David and Saul and what's going on with that situation. And David, along his travels as a fugitive, gains supporters along the way. Some actually follow him as soldiers, while others back him in mind and heart and if possible help out with food and other provisions.

David and Nabal in the Bible

David's servants had been helping out Nabal's men with the sheep and whatnot ... Why not, there's not much to do out in the wilderness, while you're waiting for Saul's next move, so helping out your countrymen helps pass the time and gain friends. So, David in return asked Nabal if he could hook them up with some food and goods in return. When David's men approached Nabal, they repeated everything David told them to.

But, Nabal's response wasn't what David expected, "Who is this David fellow? The son of who? A lot of servants these days escape their master. So I'm supposed to take my bread and water and meat that I have for my servants and give it to people I don't even know?"

Nice guy, that Nabal, eh? This is the Nabal Bible concern. His men were helped by David's men, yet he refuses to return the favor, and insults David on top of it. Do we ever act like that when someone has helped us, but when it comes time to reciprocate, it seems like an awful inconvenience? Maybe we don't have time, or just don't ... Care. Maybe someone has been a friend to you and in return you gossiped about them or insulted them. Keep reading to find out what happened next ...

David's men returned to David reporting everything Nabal said. This sort of made the hair on the back of David's neck stand up and he said to his men, "Get your swords." And with about 400 men, David went to confront Nabal, while 200 men stayed behind with the supplies.

Nabal Bible Time Out ... What's the big deal, you may be saying to yourself. Certainly Nabal isn't the only guy in Israel that could help out David and the fellas with a little grub ... Why not just leave it be and seek out someone more generous.

Well, it's a little easier to understand if you look at the whole picture. Here's David, the one that God said would be king, living not only like a pauper, but a fugitive. Also, don't forget that David wasn't hiding in the wilderness for a couple of days, or just a few weeks or months, but years. David was the apple of God's eye, but that doesn't mean that David had assurance each and every day that he would pull through these wilderness experiences he was having and someday live in a palace and lead God's people in comfort.

There may have been extremely long periods of time when David may have wondered if God abandoned him. Just because we get to read the adventures in David's life one chapter after another, doesn't mean that these things happened day after day. David and his men could have been out in the wilderness for months or years when this happened. They could have been suffering from starvation or who knows what.

Abigail and Nabal in the Bible

Nabal Bible Point of Interest ... Imagine David in this situation and when what appears might be a blessing turns out to be an insult, it doesn't sit too well, no matter how righteous a soul you are. "Who is this David? Son of who?" Nabal may as well have added, "Your mama wears army boots!" Gettin' the picture now?

It turns out that one young man told Abigail, Nabal's wife, that David sent messengers to talk to Nabal and he just insulted them. The servant told her, "The men were very kind to us. We were never hurt or had anything taken from us as long as we were with them in the fields.

In fact, they protected us day and night while we were keeping the sheep. There's gotta be something you can do about this. Soon bad things will happen to Nabal and his family because he's such a son of a gun that nobody can talk sense to him.

Abigail immediately took 200 loaves of bread, two bottles of wine, 5 sheep, roasted grain, 100 clusters of raisins, and 200 fig cakes and piled them on top of donkeys. Now, I don't know about you, but the way I figure it, David's got six hundred hungry men ... Am I the only one who thinks they might run outta wine?

Okay, let's give Abby a break, not only was she in a hurry, but since Nabal was probably entertaining his friends and family at the sheep shearing celebration, he probably didn't leave enough wine for six hundred soldiers sitting in the pantry, right? Okay then. Now, Abigail told her servants, "Go ahead of me. I'll follow shortly." But she didn't tell her husband what she was doing.

Nabal Bible trivia question ... Do you sense that the Lord is about to use Abigail to remind David that he's acting on his own will without asking God's counsel first? Though Abigail may not agree with how her husband responded, she wanted there to be peace. But David swore that by morning he would destroy Nabal's entire family.

Nabal in the Bible Story Blessing

Now, Abigail follows the caravan of food and drink that she packed up and meets David and his men. She jumps down off her mule, bows to David and begs him not to pay any attention to what Nabal said, since he's a man that lives up to his name. (The name Nabal means 'foolish.' And don't forget that back in those days, the meaning of your name was a big deal. It was supposed to identify what you would become or something about the circumstances that were present around the time of your birth.) She apologizes that she didn't speak to David's men before Nabal because she certainly would have helped them.

She then not only presents the gift of food that she brought, but in very eloquent words assures David of the calling that God has given him and reminds him that the Lord is in control of everything. So, David sees the foolishness in letting Nabal irritate him to the point of doing something rash, and he gives it to God.

David says to Abigail, "Blessed be the Lord God that sent you to me today. Your advice is blessed, as you are blessed. You kept me from avenging myself without asking the Lord. If you hadn't come quickly to meet me, I would've destroyed the house of Nabal, and even you would have never seen another day.

David accepts all the provisions that Abigail brought for them and says, "You can go home without worry. I believe what you've said and I won't do your family any harm."

Abigail returns home to find Nabal having a huge feast. He was drunk and very content, so she waited to speak to him until the morning. The next morning, after Nabal had sobered up, Abigail told him everything that had happened and his heart became like a stone. Ten days later, Nabal died.

When David heard what had happened, he thanked the Lord for avenging him of Nabal while at the same time, keeping his hands clean.

Nabal Bible Story Tidbit of Truth ... You reap what you sow.

Galatians 6:7

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

This Nabal Bible story may raise the question, what made Nabal so evil?

The story doesn't say. It could have been greed. It could have been selfishness. It could have been jealousy. Who knows ... The Lord could have created Nabal for the sole purpose of testing David's resolve. No matter what, it sends a wake up call to those that may know they have evil and bitterness in their heart that they refuse to get rid of.

Nabal in the Bible Warning

One little seed of bitterness can grow into something huge ... And that "something" ended up killing Nabal. Nabal was evil to everyone, and died because of it. Rid of your life and your heart of anything you know may be poison for you. Remember, we reap what we sow.

David's servants went to Carmel to take Abigail to be his wife and she bowed down and said, "Let your handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord."

She quickly got on a mule with five of her maids following her, followed David's messengers back and became his wife. David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel as his wife.

Nabal Bible Study Summary
Nabal in the Bible Story Conclusion

But Saul had given Michal, his daughter, (and David's wife) to another man named Paltiel. What does one say about that? Is that the same Saul that recently admitted that David will indeed be king in his stead one day and begged him to be merciful to his family?

Interesting Nabal Bible saga, huh? We learned that Nabal in the Bible made poor choices and that is why David win the battle of wits. God was on David's side. Be sure to keep God on your side, by making righteous choices. Hurry back now! More exciting stories in the life of David to come, right here at Daily Bread!

There is a force out there that is attempting to overtake us all; it is Satan. There is another force that is protecting us from him; it is the Holy Spirit. It is a battle for souls. This battle is called Spiritual Warfare, and like it or not, you are right in the middle of it.

How to Prepare for Spiritual Warfare