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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.

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:

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.

✓ 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.

9 And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.

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?

12 So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came and told him all those sayings.

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.

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.

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.

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.

?The word “bottles” might be better translated "skins," that is goat skins made into bags to hold the wine.

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And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers.Ruth, 2, 3.

URING the early part of the Book of Ruth,
Naomi with her sorrows and her strength is the

chief figure of the book. But after her return to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth, the younger woman becomes the centre of the story. The problem of finding food was a difficult one for the two wanderers. Fortunately, however, the period of their return was "in the beginning of the barley harvest;" and one of the laws of Moses established the right of the poor to follow after the farmers, gleaning the scattered wisps of grain that had been left behind.

So Ruth in her sore need went out on the sunlit plain where for mile after mile the ripe fields of grain spread out with never a fence between them; and she followed the reapers. She did not, however, wander as chance might lead; for in those rough days there was much danger to a woman who thus went forth alone and unprotected. The men of Israel were rude and wild. But Naomi's husband had been kin to one of the chief men of Judah, Boaz by name, an elderly man, wise, wealthy, and benevolent. So by Naomi's counsel Ruth sought the field of Boaz, feeling that under the eye of such a man she would be safe.

III- 76

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