2 Samuel Chapter 13 |
1This happened sometime afterward: Absalom son of David had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and Amnon son of David became infatuated with her. 2Amnon was so distraught because of his [half-]sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. 3Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimah; Jonadab was a very clever man. 4He asked him, “Why are you so dejected, O prince, morning after morning? Tell me!” Amnon replied, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom!” 5Jonadab said to him, “Lie down in your bed and pretend you are sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in front of me, so that I may look on, and let her serve it to me.’”
6Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. The king came to see him, and Amnon said to the king, “Let my sister Tamar come and prepare a couple of cakes in front of me, and let her bring them to me.” 7David sent a message to Tamar in the palace, “Please go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” 8Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was in bed. She took dough and kneaded it into cakes in front of him, and cooked the cakes. 9She took the pan and set out [the cakes], but Amnon refused to eat and ordered everyone to withdraw. After everyone had withdrawn, 10Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food inside and feed me.” Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them to her brother inside. 11But when she served them to him, he caught hold of her and said to her, “Come lie with me, sister.” 12But she said to him, “Don’t, brother. Don’t force me. Such things are not done in Israel! Don’t do such a vile thing! 13Where will I carry my shame? And you, you will be like any of the scoundrels in Israel! Please, speak to the king; he will not refuse me to you.” 14But he would not listen to her; he overpowered her and lay with her by force.
15Then Amnon felt a very great loathing for her; indeed, his loathing for her was greater than the passion he had felt for her. And Amnon said to her, “Get out!” 16She pleaded with him, “Please don’t commit this wrong; to send me away would be even worse than the first wrong you committed against me.” But he would not listen to her. 17He summoned his young attendant and said, “Get that woman out of my presence, and bar the door behind her.”— 18She was wearing an ornamented tunic, for maiden princesses were customarily dressed in such garments.—His attendant took her outside and barred the door after her. 19Tamar put dust on her head and rent the ornamented tunic she was wearing; she put her hands on her head, and walked away, screaming loudly as she went. 20Her brother Absalom said to her, “Was it your brother Amnon who did this to you? For the present, sister, keep quiet about it; he is your brother. Don’t brood over the matter.” And Tamar remained in her brother Absalom’s house, forlorn. 21When King David heard about all this, he was greatly upset. 22Absalom didn’t utter a word to Amnon, good or bad; but Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.
23Two years later, when Absalom was having his flocks sheared at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24And Absalom came to the king and said, “Your servant is having his flocks sheared. Would Your Majesty and your retinue accompany your servant?” 25But the king answered Absalom, “No, my son. We must not all come, or we’ll be a burden to you.” He urged him, but he would not go, and he said good-bye to him. 26Thereupon Absalom said, “In that case, let my brother Amnon come with us,” to which the king replied, “He shall not go with you.” 27But Absalom urged him, and he sent with him Amnon and all the other princes.
28Now Absalom gave his attendants these orders: “Watch, and when Amnon is merry with wine and I tell you to strike down Amnon, kill him! Don’t be afraid, for it is I who give you the order. Act with determination, like brave men!” 29Absalom’s attendants did to Amnon as Absalom had ordered; whereupon all the other princes mounted their mules and fled. 30They were still on the road when a rumor reached David that Absalom had killed all the princes, and that not one of them had survived. 31At this, David rent his garment and lay down on the ground, and all his courtiers stood by with their clothes rent. 32But Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimah, said, “My lord must not think that all the young princes have been killed. Only Amnon is dead; for this has been decided by Absalom ever since his sister Tamar was violated. 33So my lord the king must not think for a moment that all the princes are dead; Amnon alone is dead.”
34Meanwhile Absalom had fled.
The watchman on duty looked up and saw a large crowd coming from the road to his rear, from the side of the hill. 35Jonadab said to the king, “See, the princes have come! It is just as your servant said.” 36As he finished speaking, the princes came in and broke into weeping; and David and all his courtiers wept bitterly, too.
37Absalom had fled, and he came to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And [King David] mourned over his son a long time. 38Absalom, who had fled to Geshur, remained there three years. 39And King David was pining away for Absalom, for [the king] had gotten over Amnon’s death.