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2 Samuel 13 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The Rape of Tamar

13 After this, David’s son Amnon fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of David’s son Absalom. Amnon was so obsessed with his half sister Tamar that he made himself sick. It seemed impossible for him to be alone with her because she was a virgin.

Amnon had a friend by the name of Jonadab, a son of David’s brother Shimea. Jonadab was a very clever man. He asked Amnon, “Why are you, the king’s son, so worn out morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?”

“I’m in love with Absalom’s sister Tamar,” he answered.

Then Jonadab told him, “Lie down on your bed. Act sick, and when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come to feed me. She can prepare a meal in front of me as I watch her, and she can feed me.’”

So Amnon lay down and acted sick, and the king came to see him. Amnon asked the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make some bread in front of me, and she can feed me.”

David sent for Tamar at the palace. “Please go to your brother Amnon’s home,” he said, “and prepare some food for him.”

So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s home. He was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made flat bread in front of him, and cooked it. Then she took the pan and served him the bread. But he refused to eat.

“Have everyone leave me,” he said. So everyone left him.

10 Amnon told Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom so that you can feed me.”

Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in the bedroom. 11 When she handed it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, Tamar!”

12 “No,” she told him, “don’t rape me! That shouldn’t be done in Israel. Don’t do this godless act! 13 Where could I go in my disgrace? And you will be considered one of the godless fools in Israel! Speak to the king. He won’t refuse your request to marry me.”

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

15 Now, Amnon developed an intense hatred for her. His hatred for her was greater than the lust he had felt for her. “Get out of here,” he told her.

16 She said to him, “No, sending me away is a greater wrong than the other thing you did to me!” But he wouldn’t listen to her.

17 Then he called his personal servant and said, “Get rid of her. Put her out, and bolt the door behind her.” 18 (She was wearing a long-sleeved gown. The king’s virgin daughters wore this kind of robe.) So his servant took her out and bolted the door behind her. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head, tore the long-sleeved gown she had on, put her hands on her head, and went away crying.

20 Her brother Absalom asked her, “Has your brother Amnon been with you? Sister, be quiet for now. He’s your brother. Don’t dwell on this matter.” So Tamar stayed there at the home of her brother Absalom and was depressed.

21 When King David heard about this, he became very angry. But David didn’t punish his son Amnon. He favored Amnon because he was his firstborn son. [a] 22 Absalom wouldn’t speak at all to Amnon. He hated Amnon for raping his sister Tamar.

The Murder of Amnon

23 Two years later Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal Hazor near Ephraim. He invited all the king’s sons. [b] 24 Absalom went to the king and said, “Since I have sheepshearers, Your Majesty and your officials are invited to feast with me.”

25 “No, Son,” the king answered Absalom. “If we all go, we’ll be a burden to you.” Even when Absalom continued to urge[c] him, David did not want to go, though he did give Absalom his blessing.

26 So Absalom said, “If you won’t go, then please let my brother Amnon go with us.”

“Why should he go with you?” the king asked him. 27 But when Absalom urged him, he let Amnon and all the rest of the king’s sons go with him.

28 Then Absalom gave an order to his servants. “Watch now,” he said. “When Amnon begins to feel good from drinking too much wine, I’ll tell you, ‘Attack Amnon.’ Then kill him. Don’t be afraid. I’ve given you the order, haven’t I? Be strong and courageous.”

29 Absalom’s servants did to Amnon as Absalom had 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, tore his clothes, and lay down on the ground. All his servants were standing beside him with their clothes torn to show their grief.

32 Then Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimea, said, “Sir, don’t think that all the young men, all the king’s sons, have been killed. Only Amnon is dead. Absalom decided to do this the day his half brother raped his sister Tamar. 33 You shouldn’t burden your heart with the idea that all the king’s sons are dead, Your Majesty. Only Amnon is dead. 34 Absalom has fled.”

When the servant who kept watch looked up, he saw many people coming down the road beside the mountain west of him. 35 Then Jonadab told the king, “The king’s sons have come. It’s just as I said.” 36 When he finished speaking, the king’s sons arrived and cried loudly. The king and all his men also cried very bitterly.

37 Absalom, however, fled to Geshur’s King Talmai, Ammihud’s son. But the king mourned for his son Amnon every day. 38 Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed there three years. 39 King David began to long for Absalom once people had consoled him over Amnon’s death.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 13:22 Dead Sea Scrolls, Greek, Latin add this sentence.
  2. 2 Samuel 13:24 The time when sheep were sheared was also a time of rejoicing and feasting.
  3. 2 Samuel 13:25 Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text “press,” also in verse 27.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of Baker Publishing Group

2 Samuel 13 New International Version (NIV)

Amnon and Tamar

13 In the course of time, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful sister of Absalom son of David.

Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he made himself ill. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible for him to do anything to her.

Now Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. He asked Amnon, “Why do you, the king’s son, look so haggard morning after morning? Won’t you tell me?”

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

“Go to bed and pretend to be ill,” Jonadab said. “When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I may watch her and then eat it from her hand.’”

So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, “I would like my sister Tamar to come and make some special bread in my sight, so I may eat from her hand.”

David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was lying down. She took some dough, kneaded it, made the bread in his sight and baked it. Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat.

“Send everyone out of here,” Amnon said. So everyone left him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food here into my bedroom so I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the bread she had prepared and brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. 11 But when she took it to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.”

12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel! Don’t do this wicked thing. 13 What about me? Where could I get rid of my disgrace? And what about you? You would be like one of the wicked fools in Israel. Please speak to the king; he will not keep me from being married to you.” 14 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her.

15 Then Amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!”

16 “No!” she said to him. “Sending me away would be a greater wrong than what you have already done to me.”

But he refused to listen to her. 17 He called his personal servant and said, “Get this woman out of my sight and bolt the door after her.” 18 So his servant put her out and bolted the door after her. She was wearing an ornate[a] robe, for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the ornate robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away, weeping aloud as she went.

20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has that Amnon, your brother, been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman.

21 When King David heard all this, he was furious. 22 And Absalom never said a word to Amnon, either good or bad; he hated Amnon because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.

Absalom Kills Amnon

23 Two years later, when Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons to come there. 24 Absalom went to the king and said, “Your servant has had shearers come. Will the king and his attendants please join me?”

25 “No, my son,” the king replied. “All of us should not go; we would only be a burden to you.” Although Absalom urged him, he still refused to go but gave him his blessing.

26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon come with us.”

The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king’s sons.

28 Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I given you this order? Be strong and brave. 29 So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.

30 While they were on their way, the report came to David: “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons; not one of them is left.” 31 The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn.

32 But Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, “My lord should not think that they killed all the princes; only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom’s express intention ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 My lord the king should not be concerned about the report that all the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead.”

34 Meanwhile, Absalom had fled.

Now the man standing watch looked up and saw many people on the road west of him, coming down the side of the hill. The watchman went and told the king, “I see men in the direction of Horonaim, on the side of the hill.”[b]

35 Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons have come; it has happened just as your servant said.”

36 As he finished speaking, the king’s sons came in, wailing loudly. The king, too, and all his attendants wept very bitterly.

37 Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son.

38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. 39 And King David longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 13:18 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain; also in verse 19.
  2. 2 Samuel 13:34 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have this sentence.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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