Amnon and Tamar

13 Now it was after this that (A)Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was (B)Tamar, and (C)Amnon the son of David was in love with her. But Amnon was so frustrated on account of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it [a]seemed too difficult to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of [b](D)Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very clever man. And he said to him, “Why are you, the king’s son, so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” So Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.” Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please have my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and have her prepare the [c]food in my sight, so that I may see it and eat from her hand.’” So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please have my sister Tamar come and (E)make me a couple of pastries in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.”

Then David sent a messenger to the house for Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare [d]food for him.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying in bed. And she took dough, kneaded it, made pastries in his sight, and baked the pastries. Then she took the tray and served them to him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “(F)Have everyone leave me.” So everyone left him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the [e]bedroom, so that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the pastries which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11 When she brought them to him to eat, he (G)took hold of her and said to her, “Come, sleep with me, my sister.” 12 But she said to him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for (H)such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this (I)disgraceful sin! 13 As for me, where could I [f]get rid of my shame? And as for you, you will be like one of the [g]fools in Israel. Now then, please speak to the king, for (J)he will not [h]withhold me from you.” 14 However, he would not listen to [i]her; since he was stronger than she, he (K)violated her and slept with her.

15 Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; indeed, the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!” 16 But she said to him, “No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her. 17 Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her!” 18 Now she had on (L)a [j]long-sleeved garment; for this is how the virgin daughters of the king dressed themselves in robes. Then his attendant took her out and locked the door behind her. 19 (M)Tamar took ashes and put them on her head, and (N)tore her [k]long-sleeved garment which was on her; and (O)she put her hand on her head and went on her way, crying out as she went.

20 Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was isolated in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 Now when King David heard about all these matters, he became very angry. 22 But Absalom did not speak with Amnon (P)either good or bad; for (Q)Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.

23 Now it came about after two full years that Absalom (R)had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons to celebrate.

Absalom Avenges Tamar

24 And Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers; may the king and his servants please go with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, so that we will not be a burden to you.” Though he urged him, he would not go; but he blessed him. 26 Then (S)Absalom said, “If not, please have my brother Amnon go with us.” But the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 Nevertheless Absalom urged him, so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Then Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, (T)when Amnon’s heart is cheerful with wine, and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have I not commanded you myself? Be courageous and be [l]valiant.” 29 And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons got up and each mounted (U)his mule and fled.

30 Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck and killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” 31 Then the king stood up, (V)tore his clothes, and (W)lay on the ground; and all his servants were standing by with clothes torn. 32 (X)And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, [m]responded, “Let my lord not [n]assume that they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead; because this has been set up by the [o]intent of Absalom since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 So now, may my lord the king not (Y)take the report to [p]heart, [q]claiming, ‘all the king’s sons are dead’; but only Amnon is dead.”

34 Now (Z)Absalom had fled. And (AA)the young man who was the watchman raised his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. 35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; so it has happened according to your servant’s word.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept [r]very profusely.

37 Now (AB)Absalom had fled and gone to (AC)Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of (AD)Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 (AE)So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there for three years. 39 And the heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for (AF)he was comforted regarding Amnon, since he was dead.


  1. 2 Samuel 13:2 Lit was too difficult in Amnon’s eyes
  2. 2 Samuel 13:3 In 1 Sam 16:9, Shammah; in 1 Chr 2:13, Shimea
  3. 2 Samuel 13:5 I.e., food for the sick
  4. 2 Samuel 13:7 I.e., food for the sick
  5. 2 Samuel 13:10 Or inner room
  6. 2 Samuel 13:13 Lit take away
  7. 2 Samuel 13:13 Or worthless ones
  8. 2 Samuel 13:13 I.e., refuse a marriage
  9. 2 Samuel 13:14 Lit her voice
  10. 2 Samuel 13:18 Or varicolored tunic
  11. 2 Samuel 13:19 Or varicolored tunic
  12. 2 Samuel 13:28 Lit sons of valor
  13. 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit answered and said
  14. 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit say
  15. 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit mouth
  16. 2 Samuel 13:33 Lit his heart
  17. 2 Samuel 13:33 Lit saying
  18. 2 Samuel 13:36 Lit with a very great weeping

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