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NABAL (lit. "fool"):

Calebite noble who appears in one of the incidents which marked David's wanderings (I Sam. xxv.). Nabal was a man of great wealth and possessed numerous flocks; but he was of a niggardly and churlish disposition and was referred to as "a man of Belial." His great possessions were in Carmel, though he lived in Maon, and his wife Abigail is styled a Carmelitess (ib. xxvii. 3; in the Septuagint [xxv. 5] Nabal himself is called a Carmelite). Josephus, however, calls him ("Ant." vi. 13, § 6) a Ziphite (comp. I Sam.xxvi. 1). David, having been informed that Nabal was shearing his sheep, sent ten of his men to Nabal with greetings, with the understood purpose of securing from the latter some payment in return for protecting his sheep while grazing. Nabal, however, not only refused to acknowledge the service, but returned an offensive answer, implying that David was a rebellious slave (ib. xxv. 5-11). David was on his way to punish Nabal for his conduct when he met Abigail, who pacified him and paid tribute to him. During that night Nabal drank and became intoxicated, and when on the following morning Abigail told him of the great danger he had escaped and of the gift she had given to David he was thrown into a fit and died ten days later (ib. xxv. 18-38).

E. G. H. M. Sel.
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