Map of 33 cities the Israelites conquered
Cities the Israelites conquered. 3d Map of 33 cities the Israelites conquered, led by Joshua during the conquest of the Promised Land.
Cities the Israelites conquered
Map of David hiding in Maon Desert
Map of David hiding in the Maon Desert
Badlands of IsraelOn the run from King Saul in Gibeah, David moves his men south to the Maon wasteland. It's not wasted time. He meets and marries a widow, whose husband he almost murdered over an insult. David's men had been voluntarily looking after a team of shepherds caring for a huge flock owned by a rich man named Nabal. That's Hebrew for "fool," and he qualified.
Payday for the shepherdAt a shepherd's payday, which is the sheep-shearing season, David sent messengers to Nabal to ask for some food for the service they provided. Nabal, drunk from celebrating his good luck, essentially called David a runaway slave. When David's messengers returned with the insult, David told his men to arm themselves. They were going to kill Nabal's entire family. Nabal's wife, Abigail, intercepted David. She brought an apology and supplies:
- 200 loaves of bread,
- 2 large animal skins full of wine,
- 5 butchered sheep ready to cook,
- 1 50-pound (23-kg) sack of roasted grain 
- 100 clusters of raisins,
- 200 pressed cakes of dried figs.
I almost killed your familyDavid told Abigail, “Thank God, the LORD of Israel, for sending you to me today. Thanks for coming here and for bringing some common sense with you. You kept me from killing people so I could take revenge and save face. I’ll tell you something. As sure as the LORD lives, if you hadn’t come to meet me like this today, I would have killed every male in Nabal’s family by morning.” When Abigail returned home and told her husband he nearly died, he died. It sounds like he may have had a stroke, because he seemed to become paralyzed, dying so after. David married the widow, "beautiful and intelligent woman" (1 Samuel 25:3). For other Bible versions, see Bible Gateway.
David hides in Maon Desert
Map Persian province of Judah
Map of the Persian province of Judah After the Jewish nation of Judah fell to Babylonian invaders in 586, many survivors lived in exile. Some returned 50 years later, when Persians freed them. It was only a partial freedom. The Jews lived for the next 200 years as a tiny province of Persia: Yehud, which is translated "Judah" or "Judea." It was roughly a 40-mile-wide square plug of ground (60 km), in territory that became known as Palestine. The Jewish province included Jerusalem and beyond, into what are now central parts of Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories. Jerusalem is where Jews sacrificed animals to God. So when the Jews returned, they built a new temple and later restored some of the walls around the city, but not to the larger size it was before the defeat.
Map of Judah as a Persian province