2 Samuel 13

1 David had a beautiful daughter named Tamar. She was Absalom’s sister. She was also the half sister of Amnon. Amnon fell in love with her.

2 Tamar was a virgin. Amnon could not think of a way to be alone with her. He was so upset about it that he made himself sick.

3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab usually knew how to get what he wanted.

4 Jonadab said to Amnon: »You are the king’s son. Even so day after day I see you looking sad. What is the problem?« Amnon answered: »I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my half brother Absalom.«

5 Jonadab said: »Pretend that you are sick and go to bed. When your father comes to see you, say to him: ‘Please ask my sister Tamar to come and feed me. I want her to fix the food here where I can see her. Then she can serve it to me.’«

6 So Amnon went to bed and pretended that he was sick. King David went to see him. Amnon said: »Please have Tamar come and make a few cakes here where I can see her. Then she can serve them to me.«

7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: »Go to Amnon’s house and fix him some food.«

8 She went there and found him in bed. She prepared dough and made some cakes there where he could see her. Then she baked the cakes.

9 Tamar emptied them out of the pan for him to eat. But he refused to eat. He said: Send everyone away. So they all left.

10 He said to her: »Bring the cakes here to my bed and serve them to me.« She took the cakes and went over to him.

11 She offered them to him. He grabbed her and said: »Come to bed with me!«

12 She said: »No! Do not force me to do this disgraceful thing. It is evil.

13 »How could I ever hold up my head in public again? And you, you would be completely disgraced in Israel. Please speak to the king. I am sure he will give me to you.«

14 Amnon wouldn’t listen to her. He grabbed his sister and raped her.

15 After that Amnon developed an intense hatred for her. His hatred for her was greater than the lust he felt for her. »Get out of here,« he told her.

16 She said: »No, You do a greater wrong by sending me away than the other thing you did to me!« He would not listen to her.

17 He called his servant and said: »Throw this woman out and lock the door!«

18 The servant forced her to leave. He locked the door behind her. The king’s unmarried daughters used to wear long robes with sleeves.

19 Tamar tore the robe she was wearing. She put ashes on her head. Then she covered her face with her hands. She cried loudly as she walked away.

20 Tamar’s brother Absalom said to her: »How could Amnon have done such a terrible thing to you! But since he is your brother, do not tell anyone what happened. Just try not to think about it.« Tamar soon moved into Absalom’s house. She was always sad and lonely.

21 King David heard what happened and he was furious!

22 Absalom hated Amnon so much because he raped his sister Tamar. He would not speak to him anymore.

23 Two years later Absalom had sheep sheared at Baal Hazor, near the town of Ephraim. He invited all the king’s sons to be there.

24 He went to King David and said: »Your Majesty, I am having my sheep sheared. Will you and your officials take part in the festivities?«

25 The king answered: No, my son. It would be too much trouble for you if we all went. Absalom insisted, but the king would not give in. So he asked Absalom to leave.

26 Absalom said: »Will you at least let my brother Amnon come? Why should he?« The king asked.

27 Absalom insisted until David finally let Amnon and all his other sons go with Absalom. Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king.

28 Absalom gave an order to his servants: »Watch now and when Amnon begins to feel good from drinking too much wine, I will tell you, Attack Amnon. Then kill him. Do not be afraid. I give this order. Be strong and courageous.«

29 Absalom’s servants did to Amnon as Absalom ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules, and fled.

30 While they were on their way, David heard this rumor: »Absalom has killed all the king’s sons, and not a single one is left.«

31 The king stood up and tore his clothes. Then he lay down on the ground. All his servants stood beside him with their clothes torn to show their grief.

32 Jonadab son of David’s brother Shimea, said: »Do not think that all the young men are dead. They have not killed all the king’s sons. Only Amnon is dead. Absalom decided to do this the day his half brother raped his sister Tamar.

33 »You should not burden your heart with the idea that all the king’s sons are dead. Your Majesty, only Amnon is dead.«

34 Absalom has fled. The servant keeping the watch looked outside. He saw many people coming down the road beside the mountain west of him.

35 Jonadab said: »Your Majesty, look! Here come your sons now, just as I told you.«

36 As soon as he finished speaking, the king’s sons arrived. They cried loudly and the king and all his men also cried very bitterly.

37 David was sad for a long time because Amnon was dead.

38 Absalom ran away to Geshur. He stayed there for three years with King Talmai the son of Ammihud.

39 King David longed for Absalom once people had consoled him over Amnon’s death.