Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, , at sacred-texts.com
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:1
In his house at Ramah - Probably in the court or garden attached to his dwelling-house. (Compare Ch2 33:20; Kg2 21:18; Joh 19:41.)
The wilderness of Paran - The Septuagint has the far more probable reading "Maon." The wilderness of Paran lay far off to the south, on the borders of the wilderness of Sinai Num 10:12; Kg1 11:18, whereas the following verse Sa1 25:2 shows that the scene is laid in the immediate neighborhood of Maon. If, however, Paran be the true reading, we must suppose that in a wide sense the wilderness of Paran extended all the way to the wilderness of Beersheba, and eastward to the mountains of Judah (marginal references).
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:2
Carmel - Not Mount Carmel on the west of the plain of Esdraelon, but the Carmel close to Maon (marginal references).
Shearing his sheep - Which was always a time of open-handed hospitality among flock-masters Gen 38:12-13; Sa2 13:23-24.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:6
That liveth in prosperity - The Hebrew is obscure, and is variously interpreted. The simplest rendering is, "And ye shall say thus about (his) life," i. e., with reference to his life, health, circumstances, etc.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:11
The mention of water indicates a country where water was scarce (compare Jos 15:19). Or "bread and water" may be equivalent to "meat and drink."
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:14
Railed on them - The marginal reading, "flew upon them," is nearer to the original.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:16
A wall - To protect them from the attacks of the Bedouins, etc. They had been as safe with David's men around them as if they had been dwelling in a walled town.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:18
Two bottles - Rather, "two skins," each of which would contain many gallons. These leather vessels varied in size according to the skin they were made of, and the use they were to be put to. The smaller and more portable kind, which may not improperly be called bottles, were made of the skin of a kid: larger ones of the skin of a he-goat. The Arabs invariably to this day carry their milk, water, etc., in such leather vessels. One skin of wine was a handsome present from Ziba, sufficient for David's household Sa2 16:1. The provisions were all ready to Abigail's hand, having been provided for the sheep-shearing feast.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:20
The covert of the hill - Probably a defile or glen, literally a "secret place," as in Sa1 19:2. She was riding down into this glen from one side, while David and his men were descending the opposite hill. It is perhaps mentioned that she came by this "secret place," because she chose this path to escape the observation of her husband or of anyone else.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:21
In vain - i. e., under false expectation.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:22
The concluding phrase denotes the utter destruction of a family, and is rightly explained to mean "every male," perhaps with the idea, "down to the very meanest member of the household."
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:26
The passage should be rendered as follows: "And now my lord, as the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth," it is "the Lord" that "hath withholden thee from coming" into blood-guiltiness (as in Sa1 25:33), "and from saving thyself with thine own hand;" and "now" all "thine enemies" shall be as Nabal (whom she considers as utterly impotent to hurt David, and as already thoroughly humbled before him), and (so shall be) all "that seek evil to my Lord."
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:28
For the Lord will make ... a sure house - Compare Sa1 2:35, and Sa2 7:16; Kg1 11:38. Abigail's firm persuasion of David's kingdom stands upon the same footing as Rahab's conviction of God's gift of Canaan to the Israelites Jos 2:9-13. Both testified to God's revelation and their own faith. This is doubtless the reason why Abigail's speech is recorded.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:29
In the bundle - Rather, "the bag," in which anything precious, or important to be preserved, was put, and the bag was then tied up (compare Gen 42:35).
The souls ... shall he sling out - The comparison is especially appropriate as addressed to David, whose feat with his sling was so celebrated Sa1 17:49.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:37
He became as a stone - Probably his violent anger at hearing it brought on a fit of apoplexy to which he was disposed by the drunken revel of the night before. After lying senseless for ten days he died.
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:40
There is no note of the exact interval that elapsed between Nabal's death and David's hearing of it, or, again, between David's hearing of it and his message to Abigail; nor is there any reason to suppose that the marriage took place with unbecoming haste. The widow of such a husband as Nabal had been could not, however, be expected to revere his memory. After the usual mourning of seven days, she would probably feel herself free to act as custom allowed. (See Sa2 11:26.)
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:43
In the list of David's wives Ahinoam is mentioned first Sa2 3:2; Ch1 3:1. But this may be only because her son was the first-born. David's now taking two wives was an indication of his growing power and importance as a chieftain. The number was increased to six when he reigned in Hebron Ch1 3:1, and still further when he became king of all Israel Sa2 5:12-13. See Sa1 1:2 note.
Of Jezreel - Not the well-known city of Samaria, which gave its name to the plain of Esdraelon, but a town of Judah, near Carmel (marginal reference).
1 Kings (1 Samuel) 25:44
Saul's giving Michal to Phalti was intended to mark the final rupture of his own relations with David (compare Jdg 14:20; Sa2 3:7; Sa2 16:21). Phalti or Phaltiel Was compelled by Abner to restore Michal to David Sa2 3:15.
Gallin - A city of Benjamin, and in the neighborhood of another town called Laish.