Amnon and Tamar

1 After this, Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 Amnon was so troubled that he became sick because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. 3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4 He said to Absalom, “Why, son of the king, are you so sad from day to day? Won’t you tell me?”

Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”

5 Jonadab said to him, “Lay down on your bed and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ ”

6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make for me, a few cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”

7 Then David sent home for Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying down. She took dough and kneaded it and made cakes in his sight and baked the cakes. 9 She took the pan and poured them out before him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have everyone leave me.” Then everyone went out from him. 10 Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, that I may eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 When she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister!”

12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me! For no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Don’t you do this disgraceful thing. 13 As for me, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.”

14 However he would not listen to her, but being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her. 15 Then Amnon hated her with exceedingly great hatred, for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and be gone!”

16 She said to him, “No, because this great wrong in sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me!”

But he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his servant who ministered to him and said, “Now take this woman away from me and bolt the door after her.”

18 She was wearing a garment of various colors, for the king’s daughters who were virgins dressed in such robes. Then his servant brought her out and bolted the door after her. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her garment of various colors that she was wearing, and she laid her hand on her head and went her way, crying aloud as she went.

20 Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.”

So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22 Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.

Absolom’s Revenge on Amnon

23 After two full years, Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Absalom came to the king and said, “See now, your servant has sheep shearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant.”

25 The king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let’s not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him. However, he would not go, but blessed him.

26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”
The king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”

27 But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “Mark now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I tell you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant!”

29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man got up on his mule and fled. 30 While they were on the way, the news came to David, saying, “Absalom has slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left!”

31 Then the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered, “Don’t let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. By the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore don’t let my lord the king take the thing to heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead, for only Amnon is dead.”

Absalom Flees to Geshur

34 But Absalom fled. The young man who kept the watch lifted his eyes and looked, and many people were coming by way of the hillside behind him. 35 Jonadab said to the king, “The king’s sons are coming! It is as your servant said.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, the king’s sons came and raised their voice and wept. The king also and all his servants wept bitterly.

37 But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 King David desisted from going forth against Absalom, for he was comforted concerning Amnon’s death.

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