Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents

About this Bible Study........The King James Version of the Bible is written in a beautiful form of the English language. It can be hard for modern English readers to understand.  In this study, you will find notes and summaries in brown just above the the verses from the Bible. We recommend that you read the notes and summaries first, and then read the verses in their KJV form. 

The Book of 1 Samuel

This book starts with the birth of Samuel.  Samuel is the last judge of Israel. Samuel is also a prophet--he tells people what God wants them to know.   During Samuel's life, the Israelites decide that they want to have a king. This book tells the story of Samuel's life, the first king of Israel, Saul, and the second king of Israel, David.

Bible Timeline
Here is a good timeline to see the book of 1 Samuel in the history of the Bible


1 Samuel 25 - 27
Samuel dies.
David marries Abigail.
David has another chance to kill Saul.
David goes to hide in the Philistines' land


1Samuel 25

The death of Samuel.

Samuel died. All of the Israelites came together for his funeral. He was buried at Ramah.  Then David went to the area named Paran.
[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.

David and the man named Nabal.

Nabal was a man who lived in the place named Maon.  Nabal's wife's name was Abigail.  Nabal was very rich and owned 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats. He kept the goats and sheep in Carmel.  Nabal was a descendant of Caleb, but he was not a good man. He did bad things. His wife, Abigail, was very pretty, and she was a nice person.
[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.
[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.

David heard that Nabal was in Carmel to shear (cut off wool) his sheep. David sent 10 of his men to Carmel. David wanted his men to see Nabal and tell Nabal that David sent them.
[4] And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.
[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:

Nabal was a rich man.  David wanted Nabal to know that he wished him and his family peace.  When Nabal's shepherds were taking care of his sheep, David's men helped keep them safe. None of the shepherds or sheep were hurt in Carmel.  Nabal's workers would say this was true. During sheep shearing time, there would be a lot of food for Nabal's workers. David wanted to ask if Nabal would share some food with him and his men.
[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.
[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.
[8] Ask thy young men, and they will shew 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.

David's men went and talked to Nabal. They told him everything that David said. They asked Nabal if he would share some food with them.
[9] And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.

Nabal answered no. He said that David was the same as other slaves who escape from their masters. He said that he had food and water for his workers. He asked why he should give it to these strange men. He doesn't know for sure that they are really working for David.

[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.
[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?

David's men went back to David. They told him what Nabal said.
[12] So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.

David told his men to put on their swords.  David got his sword, too. They David and 400 of his men left. 200 of the men stayed to protect the camp.
[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.

One of Nabal's workers told Abigail what happened.  He told her about David's men talking to Nabal. He told her that Nabal talked badly to them.
[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.

Nabal's worker told Abigail that David's men were good to them.  They protected them while they were watching the sheep.  David's men didn't steal anything from them. The worker wanted Abigail to do something. The worker said that David was planning to attack Nabal and his workers.  He said that Nabal was a bad man and that no one could have a good conversation with him.
[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:
[16] They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
[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.

Abigal hurried and got some food.  She got 200 loaves of bread, 2 bottles of wine, the meat of 5 sheep, 5 containers of corn, 100 bunches of grapes, and 200 fig cakes. She loaded them on donkeys.

[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.

Abigail told her workers to go ahead of her. She was coming behind them. But she didn't tell Nabal what she was doing.
[19] And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.

Abigail rode on a donkey. She traveled on the side of the hill. Then David and his men came out to meet her.
[20] And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.

Just before Abigail arrived, David was talking. He said he wasted his time when he protected Nabal's workers. He protected Nabal's workers and sheep, but now Nabal has treated him badly. David said that he will kill Nabal and everyone with him before the next morning.
[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.
[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.


"Abigail and David"
Woodcut Biblical illustration by Julius Schnoor von Carolsfeld, published in the book,
"Das Buch der Bücher in Bilden."
From the World Mission Collection,

When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got off her donkey. She bowed down and put her face on the ground by his feet. She asked if she could talk to him.
[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,
[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.

Abigail asked David not to pay attention to Nabal. She said that Nabal's name means "fool". She said he is a fool.  She said that she didn't see David's workers when they came to ask Nabal for food.
[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.

She said it's true that God lives and David lives. So it is also true that God stopped David from attacking Nabal and his helpers.  She now prays that God will make all of David's enemies weak and foolish like Nabal.
[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.

She said that she brought David food, so she asks him not to hurt Nabal's workers.

[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.

She asked David to forgive her. She knows that God will make David a strong king. David fights for God. He is good and has never done anything wrong.
[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.

David is good, but Saul is trying to catch him. God will protect David. God will hold David's life like a bundle. But God will not hold the souls of David's enemies. God will throw them away fast, like a rock flies out of a sling shot.
[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.

Abigail said that someday in the future, David will be the king of Israel.  If David kills Nabal and his workers, it will be something that David will regret.  He will feel guilty. But if David does not kill them, David will not feel guilty.  When God makes David the king, Abigail prays that he will remember that she helped him.
[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;
[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.

David said that God was blessed for sending Abigail to meet him. David blessed Abigail and her advice. David said that Abigail's advice stopped him from attacking Nabal and his workers. If she hadn't come, he would have killed Nabal and everyone with him before the next morning. .
[32] And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
[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.
[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 accepted the food from Abigail. Then he told her to go home in peace. He will not kill Nabal and his workers. He listened to her and accepted her words.
[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.

Abigail went home to Nabal. He was having a big dinner and drinking alcohol. He was eating like a king and was very drunk.  Abigail didn't tell him anything about her visit to David. She decided to tell him the next morning.
[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.

The next morning, Nabal was sober. Abigail told him about giving food to David. Then Nabal had a heart attack.
[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.

Ten days later, Nabal died.
[38] And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.

David heard that Nabal died. He said that God was blessed for punishing Nabal because Nabal was bad to him and his men. He also said that God was blessed because he did not kill Nabal. David said that Nabal sinned, but no one else got hurt because of that sin. David sent a message to Abigail. He wanted to marry her.
[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.

David's workers went to see Abigail at her home in Carmel. They said David wanted to see her.  Abigail bowed down. She was humble. She said she would even be happy to work for David and wash his workers' feet.  
[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.
[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.

Abigail hurried and rode on a donkey. 5 of the women who helped her went with her and David's workers. Then Abigail and David got married.
[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 now had 2 wives. His other wife was Ahinoam who came from the place called Jezreel.
[43] David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.

In the past, David was married to Saul's daughter, Michal. But Saul gave Michal to another man.  Michal was now living with a man named Phalti. Phalti's father's name was Laish, and he lived in the area named Gallim.
[44] But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

1 Samuel 26

David has another chance to kill Saul.

Some of the Ziphites (people who lived in the area called Ziph) came to Saul.  They told Saul that David was hiding in the hill named Hachilah. Hachilah was near the place called Jeshimon.
[1] And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?

Saul took 3,000 soldiers and went to Ziph. He was looking for David.
[2] Then Saul arose, and went down to the wilderness of Ziph, having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

Saul made his camp in the hill Hachilah. David was close in the wilderness (country, rural) area of Ziph. David heard that Saul and his army were near. David sent spies to see exactly if Saul was really there.
[3] And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
[4] David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

David sneaked over and saw Saul's camp. David could see Saul sleeping in the middle of the camp. The man who led Saul's army, Abner, was sleeping near Saul. Other soldiers were camped around Saul.
[5] And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.

Two of David's men were with him--Ahimelech (from the Hittite group of people) and Abishai (his father was Zeruiah and his brother was Joab). David asked who would go with him to Saul's camp. Abishai said he would go.
[6] Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.

David and Abishai sneaked into the camp at night. Saul was asleep. His spear was stuck in the ground close to him so he could grab it quickly. Abner and the other soldiers were sleeping around Saul.
[7] So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him.

Abishai talked to David. Abishai said that God was giving him Saul now. He wanted to kill Saul. He said he could stab Saul one time with the spear to kill him.
[8] Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not smite him the second time.

David told Abishai no. He should not kill Saul. God picked Saul to the be the king. If someone kills Saul, he will be guilty. David said Saul will die later. Maybe God will kill Saul or maybe Saul will die naturally. Or, Saul may die in a war.  But David said he would not kill Saul. He told Abishai to take Saul's spear and a jar of water. Then they would leave.
[9] And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD's anointed, and be guiltless?
[10] David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.
[11] The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.

David took Saul's spear and jar of water and left.  No one in Saul's camp woke up or saw them. God made them all sleep deeply. Then David went and stood on a hill on the other side. There was a lot of space between Saul's camp and David.
[12] So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul's bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
[13] Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them:

David yelled across the hill. He called to Saul's helper, Abner. Abner heard him.  He asked who it was.

[14] And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king?

David continued to yell. He said that Abner was a great and brave man. Abner was supposed to keep Saul safe. But someone was there to kill the king. Abner should die because he did not protect Saul. David told Abner to look for Saul's spear and jar of water.
[15] And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
[16] This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.

Saul heard David yelling. He yelled back and asked if it was David. He called David his son. David answered and said yes, it was him. He asked Saul why he was chasing him.  David asked what he had done wrong. 

[17] And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.
[18] And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand?

David continued talking.  He said if God made Saul hate David, then Saul should make an offering to God. But if other men made Saul hate David, God should punish the men. It would be the men's fault that David is hiding. It would be the same as telling David to go and worship false gods.
[19] Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.

David told Saul that he did not want to die in there in the wilderness.  David said he is not important. He says he is little like a flea. Saul is hunting him the same as someone hunts partridges (birds) in the mountains.
[20] Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.

Saul said that he has sinned. He told David to come back. He said that he had made a big mistake. He said David saved his life today.  He promised he would not try to hurt David again.
[21] Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

David shows that he has Saul's spear and
jar of water.
Art from

David showed Saul's spear. He told one of Saul's helpers to come and get it.
[22] And David answered and said, Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.

David said that God will reward people who are good and faithful.  God gave Saul to David that day. But David did not kill Saul.  David said that God picked Saul to be the king. David thought that Saul's life was valuable.  David asked God to save his life.
[23] The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD's anointed.
[24] And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.

Saul said that David is blessed. He will do great things. He said David will win.  Then David left, and Saul went home.

[25] Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.


1 Samuel 27

David and his soldiers go to live in the Philistines' land.


Back in 1 Samuel 21, David went to hide in Achish's land of Gath. The people in Gath saw David. They knew who he was. They knew he had won wars. Then David was afraid to be in Achish's land.  So, David pretended to be mentally ill. The people in Gath made him leave.

Now, David and his men want to live in Achish's land. David wants Achish to think he is supporting him. He pretends to attack Israelite towns.

David thought about Saul. He felt that someday, Saul would kill him. He decided to escape and go into the Philistine's land. Then Saul won't be able to find him, and he will stop looking.
[1] And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.

David and his 600 men went into the area named Gath. The king of Gath was named Achish. Achish's father's name was Maoch.
[2] And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

David and his men took their wives and families with them to Gath.  David had 2 wives.  His wife named Ahinoam was from the area named Jezreel.  David's 2nd wife was named Abigail.  She was from the area named Carmel, and her first husband's name was Nabal.
[3] And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal's wife.

Saul heard that David escaped to Gath. Then Saul stopped looking for David.
[4] And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

David talked to the king, Achish. David wanted Achish to give him a town or city. He said he was not important enough to live in the same city with the king.
[5] And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

Achish gave David the city named Ziklag. When this book of the Bible was written, Ziklag continued to be an Israelite city.
[6] Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.

David lived in the Philistines' land for 1 year and 4 months.
[7] And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

David and his men attacked other people. They attacked the groups of people called the Geshurites, Gezrites, and the Amalekites. These groups of people had lived for a long time in the area of Shur (close to Egypt).
[8] And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.

When David attacked these groups, he killed every person. He took all of the sheep, cows, donkeys, camels, and clothing. Then he came back to Achish.
[9] And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.

King Achish asked David where he had been. David said he had attacked people in the south of the Israelite lands. He wanted Achish to think he had attacked Israelites. But he really had attacked and killed other groups of people. 
[10] And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.

When David killed everyone, there was no one to tell Achish the truth. David continued to attack other groups. Achish was happy because he thought David was attacking Israelites.  He thought that the Israelites would hate David. He thought that David would work for him forever.
[11] And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.
[12] And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.


Back to the previous chapters To the next chapters

 Workers For Jesus Online Bible Study Table of Contents