New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 13:1-39

Amnon and Tamar

1Some time later, David’s son Amnon fell in love with Tamar. She was the beautiful sister of Absalom. He was another one of David’s sons.

2Amnon wanted his sister Tamar so much that it made him sick. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do what he wanted with her.

3Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very clever man. 4He asked Amnon, “You are the king’s son, aren’t you? So why do you look so worn out every morning? Won’t you tell me?”

Amnon answered, “I’m in love with Tamar. She’s the sister of my brother Absalom.”

5“Go to bed,” Jonadab said. “Pretend to be sick. Your father will come to see you. When he does, tell him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food right here in front of me where I can watch her. Then she can feed it to me.’ ”

6So Amnon went to bed. He pretended to be sick. The king came to see him. Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come here. I want to watch her make some special bread. Then she can feed it to me.”

7David sent a message to Tamar at the palace. He said, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house. Prepare some food for him.” 8So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon. He was lying in bed. She got some dough and mixed it. She shaped the bread right there in front of him. And she baked it. 9Then she took the bread out of the pan and served it to him. But he refused to eat it.

“Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10Then he said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom. Please feed it to me.” So Tamar picked up the bread she had prepared. She brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11She took it to him so he could eat it. But he grabbed her. He said, “My sister, come to bed with me.”

12“No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! An evil thing like that should never be done in Israel! Don’t do it! 13What about me? How could I ever get rid of my shame? And what about you? You would be as foolish as any evil person in Israel. Please speak to the king. He won’t keep me from marrying you.” 14But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was. So he raped her.

15Then Amnon hated Tamar very much. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her before. He said to her, “Get up! Get out!”

16“No!” she said to him. “Don’t send me away. That would be worse than what you have already done to me.”

But he refused to listen to her. 17He sent for his personal servant. He said, “Get this woman out of my sight. Lock the door behind her.” 18So his servant threw her out. Then he locked the door behind her. Tamar was wearing a beautiful robe. It was the kind of robe the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19She put ashes on her head. She tore the beautiful robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away. She was weeping out loud as she went.

20When her brother Absalom saw her, he spoke to her. He said, “Has Amnon, that brother of yours, forced you to go to bed with him? My sister, don’t let it upset you. Don’t let it bother you. He’s your brother.” After that, Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house. She was very lonely.

21King David heard about everything that had happened. So he became very angry. 22And Absalom never said a word of any kind to Amnon. He hated Amnon because he had brought shame on his sister Tamar.

Absalom Kills Amnon

23Two years later, Absalom invited all the king’s sons to come to Baal Hazor. It was near the border of Ephraim. The workers who clipped the wool off Absalom’s sheep were there. 24Absalom went to the king. He said, “I’ve had my workers come to clip the wool. Will you and your attendants please join me?”

25“No, my son,” the king replied. “All of us shouldn’t go. It would be too much trouble for you.” Although Absalom begged him, the king still refused to go. But he gave Absalom his blessing.

26Then Absalom said, “If you won’t come, please let my brother Amnon come with us.”

The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” 27But Absalom begged him. So the king sent Amnon with him. He also sent the rest of his sons.

28Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon has had too much wine to drink, I’ll say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down.’ When I do, kill him. Don’t be afraid. I’ve given you an order, haven’t I? Be strong and brave.” 29So Absalom’s men killed Amnon, just as Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got on their mules and rode away.

30While they were on their way, a report came to David. It said, “Absalom has struck down all your sons. Not one of them is left alive.” 31The king stood up and tore his clothes. Then he lay down on the ground. All his attendants stood near him. They had also torn their clothes.

32Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, spoke up. He said, “You shouldn’t think that all the princes have been killed. The only one who is dead is Amnon. Absalom had planned to kill him ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33You are my king and master. You shouldn’t be concerned about this report. It’s not true that all your sons are dead. The only one who is dead is Amnon.”

34While all of that was taking place, Absalom ran away.

The man on guard duty at Jerusalem looked up. He saw many people coming on the road west of him. They were coming down the side of the hill. He went and spoke to the king. He said, “I see men coming down the road from Horonaim. They are coming down the side of the hill.”

35Jonadab said to the king, “See, your sons are coming. It has happened just as I said it would.”

36As he finished speaking, the king’s sons came in. They were weeping out loud. The king and all his attendants were also weeping very bitterly.

37When Absalom ran away, he went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud. Talmai was king of Geshur. King David mourned many days for his son Amnon.

38So Absalom ran away and went to Geshur. He stayed there for three years. 39After some time the king got over his sorrow because of Amnon’s death. Then King David longed to go to Absalom.

King James Version

2 Samuel 13:1-39

1And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her.13.2 Amnon thought…: Heb. it was marvellous, or, hidden in the eyes of Amnon 3But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. 4And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king’s son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.13.4 lean: Heb. thin13.4 from day…: Heb. morning by morning 5And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand.

6¶ So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand. 7Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon’s house, and dress him meat. 8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.13.8 flour: or, paste 9And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him. 10And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. 12And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly.13.12 force…: Heb. humble me13.12 no such…: Heb. it ought not so to be done 13And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee. 14Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her.

15¶ Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone.13.15 exceedingly: Heb. with great hatred greatly 16And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her. 17Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her. 18And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king’s daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.

19¶ And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying. 20And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.13.20 Amnon: Heb. Aminon13.20 regard…: Heb. set not thy heart13.20 desolate: Heb. and desolate

21¶ But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth. 22And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.

23¶ And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant. 25And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him. 26Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee? 27But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28¶ Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.13.28 have…: or, will you not, since I have commanded you?13.28 valiant: Heb. sons of valour 29And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.13.29 gat…: Heb. rode

30¶ And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left. 31Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. 32And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.13.32 appointment: Heb. mouth13.32 determined: or, settled 33Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead. 34But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him. 35And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king’s sons come: as thy servant said, so it is.13.35 as thy…: Heb. according to the word of thy servant 36And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.13.36 very…: Heb. with a great weeping greatly

37¶ But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.13.37 Ammihud: or, Ammihur 38So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.13.39 longed: or, was consumed