1It was after this Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David fell in love with her.
2Amnon was so tormented that he made himself sick because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and in the eyes of Amnon it seemed impossible to do anything to her.
3But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, and Jonadab was a very shrewd man.
4He said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” And Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
5Jonadab 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 nourish me with bread to eat and prepare the nourishing food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’”
6So 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 me a couple of heartcakes in my sight, that I may be nourished from her hand.”
8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was lying down. She took dough and kneaded it and made heartcakes in his sight, and cooked the heartcakes.
9She took the pan and set it out before him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have everyone leave me.” So everyone went out from him.
10And Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the nourishing food into the inner room, so that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes that she had made and brought them into the inner room to Amnon her brother.
11But when she had brought them close to him to eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come! Lie with me, my sister!”
12But she answered him, “No, my brother! Do not humiliate me! For such a thing should never be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing!
13And I, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be as one of the godless fools in Israel. So now, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.”
14But he would not listen to her voice, and being stronger than she, he humiliated her and lay with her.
16But she said to him, “No. Because this wrong…is more than the other that you did to me…sending me away!” But he would not listen to her.
17Then he called his young man who served him and said, “Send this one outside, away from me, and bolt the door after her.”
18So his servant took her out and bolted the door after her. Now she was wearing an ornamented tunic, for with such cloaks the king’s daughters who were virgins were dressed.
19And Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornamental tunic that she had on. And she put her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud as she went.
20And Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? For now, my sister, be quiet. He is your brother. Do not take this thing to heart.” So Tamar stayed—but desolate—in her brother Absalom’s house.
21Now when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
22And Absalom would not speak to Amnon either good or bad, for Absalom hated Amnon because he had humiliated his sister Tamar.
23Then after two full years, Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is in Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons.
24And Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant.”
26Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”
27But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. So Absalom made a banquet like a king’s banquet.b
28now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Mark now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I tell you, ‘Strike down Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have not I myself commanded you? Be courageous and be sons of valor!”
29So 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.
30And while they were on the road a rumor came to David, saying, “Absalom has slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left!”
31Then the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.
32But Jonadab the son of David’s brother Shimeah, answered and said, “Do not let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead; for from the mouth of Absalom this has been planned from the day that he humiliated his sister Tamar.
33So now do not let my lord the king take the thing to his heart, saying all the king’s sons are dead, for only Amnon is dead.”
34But Absalom had fled. And the young man who was standing watch lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming on the road behind him on the side of the hill.
35So Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons are coming! It is as your servant said.”
36As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept. And also the king and all his servants wept bitterly.
37But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day.
38So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years;
39and King David’s spirit for going out against Absalom was spent, for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.