NABAL (Heb. נָבָל; connected with the Ar. nabīl, "noble"), man of the town of Maon who owned much livestock near the neighboring town of Carmel, southeast of Hebron on the edge of the desert of Judah; a Calebite (I Sam. 25:3; keri and versions). David extended his protection to Nabal's flocks when he was camping with his men in the desert of Judah (25:14–16). Nabal refused to give him a "gift" out of his produce at the time of the sheep-shearing (25:10–11). *Abigail, Nabal's beautiful wife, appeased David and dissuaded him from taking revenge (25:18ff.). Her husband, she said, punning on his name, "as his name is, so is he; Nabal [נָבָל] is his name and outrage [נְבָלָה] is with him" (25:25). After Nabal's death by a stroke, she became
David's wife (I Sam. 25:42). This tale is one of the finest narratives in the Bible and is a faithful description of the life of the prosperous cattlemen on the border of the desert of Judah.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.