2 Samuel 13
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Amnon and Tamar

1After some time, David’s son Amnon fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of David’s son Absalom. 2Amnon was sick with frustration over his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed implausible for him to do anything to her.

3Now Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very shrewd man, 4so he asked Amnon, “Why are you, the son of the king, so depressed morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?”

Amnon replied, “I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”

5Jonadab told him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend you are ill. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare it in my sight so I may watch her and eat it from her hand.’”

6So Amnon lay down and feigned illness. When the king came to see him, Amnon said, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.”

7Then David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Please go to the house of Amnon your brother and prepare a meal for him.”

8So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked them. 9Then she brought the pan and set it down before him, but he refused to eat. “Send everyone away!” said Amnon. And everyone went out.

10Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom, so that I may eat it from your hand.”

Tamar took the cakes she had made and went to her brother Amnon’s bedroom. 11And when she had brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said, “Come, lie with me, my sister!”

12“No, my brother!” she cried. “Do not humiliate me, for such a thing should never be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! 13Where could I ever take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel! Please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.”

14But Amnon refused to listen to her, and being stronger, he violated her and lay with her.

15Then Amnon hated Tamar with such intensity that his hatred was greater than the love he previously had. “Get up!” he said to her. “Be gone!”

16“No,” she replied, “sending me away is worse than this great wrong you have already done to me!”

But he refused to listen to her. 17Instead, he called to his attendant and said, “Throw this woman out and bolt the door behind her!”

18So Amnon’s attendant threw her out and bolted the door behind her. Now Tamar was wearing a robe of many colors,a because this is what the king’s virgin daughters wore. 19And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her robe. And putting her hand on her head, she went away crying bitterly.

20Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has your brother Amnon been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister. He is your brother. Do not take this thing to heart.”

So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in the house of her brother Absalom.

21When King David heard all this, he was furious.b 22And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad, because he hated Amnon for disgracing his sister Tamar.

Absalom’s Revenge on Amnon

23Two years later, when Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons. 24And he went to the king and said, “Your servant has just hired shearers. Will the king and his servants please come with me?”

25“No, my son,” the king replied, “we should not all go, or we would be a burden to you.” Although Absalom urged him, he was not willing to go, but gave him his blessing.

26“If not,” said Absalom, “please let my brother Amnon go with us.”

“Why should he go with you?” the king asked.

27But Absalom urged him, so he sent Amnon and the rest of the king’s sons.

28Now Absalom had ordered his young men, “Watch Amnon until his heart is merry with wine, and when I order you to strike Amnon down, you are to kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and valiant!”

29So Absalom’s young men did to Amnon just as Absalom had ordered. Then all the rest of the king’s sons got up, and each one fled on his mule.

30While they were on the way, a report reached David: “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons; not one of them is left!”

31Then the king stood up, tore his clothes, and lay down on the ground; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.

32But Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, spoke up: “My lord must not think they have killed all the sons of the king, for only Amnon is dead. In fact, Absalom has planned this since the day Amnon violated his sister Tamar. 33So now, my lord the king, do not take to heart the report that all the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead.”

Absalom Flees to Geshur

34Meanwhile, Absalom had fled. When the young man standing watch looked up, he saw many people coming down the road west of him,c along the side of the hill. (And the watchman went and reported to the king, “I see men coming from the direction of Horonaim, along the side of the hill.”)d

35So Jonadab said to the king, “Look, the king’s sons have arrived! It is just as your servant said.”

36And as he finished speaking, the king’s sons came in, wailing loudly. Then the king and all his servants also wept very bitterly.

37Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But David mourned for his son every day.

38After Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, he stayed there three years. 39Then the spirit of the kinge longed to go to Absalom,f for he had been consoled over Amnon’s death.

Footnotes:

18 a Or a robe with long sleeves (compare Genesis 37:3)
21 b DSS and LXX add But he would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, since he was his firstborn.
34 c Or behind him
34 d LXX; Hebrew does not include this sentence
39 e DSS, LXX; Hebrew David the king
39 f Or ceased to go out after Absalom

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