2 Samuel 13
New American Standard Bible
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. 2 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. 3 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. 4 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.” 5 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.’” 6 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.”
7 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.” 8 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. 9 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.
- 2 Samuel 13:2 Lit was too difficult in Amnon’s eyes
- 2 Samuel 13:3 In 1 Sam 16:9, Shammah; in 1 Chr 2:13, Shimea
- 2 Samuel 13:5 I.e., food for the sick
- 2 Samuel 13:7 I.e., food for the sick
- 2 Samuel 13:10 Or inner room
- 2 Samuel 13:13 Lit take away
- 2 Samuel 13:13 Or worthless ones
- 2 Samuel 13:13 I.e., refuse a marriage
- 2 Samuel 13:14 Lit her voice
- 2 Samuel 13:18 Or varicolored tunic
- 2 Samuel 13:19 Or varicolored tunic
- 2 Samuel 13:28 Lit sons of valor
- 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit answered and said
- 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit say
- 2 Samuel 13:32 Lit mouth
- 2 Samuel 13:33 Lit his heart
- 2 Samuel 13:33 Lit saying
- 2 Samuel 13:36 Lit with a very great weeping
2 Samuel 13
New International Version
Amnon and Tamar
2 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.
3 Now Amnon had an adviser named Jonadab son of Shimeah,(D) David’s brother. Jonadab was a very shrewd man. 4 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.”
5 “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.’”
6 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.”
7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.” 8 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. 9 Then she took the pan and served him the bread, but he refused to eat.
“Send everyone out of here,”(E) 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(F) her and said, “Come to bed with me, my sister.”(G)
12 “No, my brother!” she said to him. “Don’t force me! Such a thing should not be done in Israel!(H) Don’t do this wicked thing.(I) 13 What about me?(J) 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.(K)
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,(L) for this was the kind of garment the virgin daughters of the king wore. 19 Tamar put ashes(M) 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.
Absalom Kills Amnon
23 Two years later, when Absalom’s sheepshearers(Q) 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(R) ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high(S) 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.(T)” 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(U) 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(V) son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son.
2 Samuel 13
13 1-4 Some time later, this happened: Absalom, David’s son, had a sister who was very attractive. Her name was Tamar. Amnon, also David’s son, was in love with her. Amnon was obsessed with his sister Tamar to the point of making himself sick over her. She was a virgin, so he couldn’t see how he could get his hands on her. Amnon had a good friend, Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah. Jonadab was exceptionally streetwise. He said to Amnon, “Why are you moping around like this, day after day—you, the son of the king! Tell me what’s eating at you.”
“In a word, Tamar,” said Amnon. “My brother Absalom’s sister. I’m in love with her.”
5 “Here’s what you do,” said Jonadab. “Go to bed and pretend you’re sick. When your father comes to visit you, say, ‘Have my sister Tamar come and prepare some supper for me here where I can watch her and she can feed me.’”
6 So Amnon took to his bed and acted sick. When the king came to visit, Amnon said, “Would you do me a favor? Have my sister Tamar come and make some nourishing dumplings here where I can watch her and be fed by her.”
7 David sent word to Tamar who was home at the time: “Go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare a meal for him.”
8-9 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house. She took dough, kneaded it, formed it into dumplings, and cooked them while he watched from his bed. But when she took the cooking pot and served him, he wouldn’t eat.
9-11 Amnon said, “Clear everyone out of the house,” and they all cleared out. Then he said to Tamar, “Bring the food into my bedroom, where we can eat in privacy.” She took the nourishing dumplings she had prepared and brought them to her brother Amnon in his bedroom. But when she got ready to feed him, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me, sister!”
12-13 “No, brother!” she said, “Don’t hurt me! This kind of thing isn’t done in Israel! Don’t do this terrible thing! Where could I ever show my face? And you—you’ll be out on the street in disgrace. Oh, please! Speak to the king—he’ll let you marry me.”
14 But he wouldn’t listen. Being much stronger than she, he raped her.
15 No sooner had Amnon raped her than he hated her—an immense hatred. The hatred that he felt for her was greater than the love he’d had for her. “Get up,” he said, “and get out!”
16-18 “Oh no, brother,” she said. “Please! This is an even worse evil than what you just did to me!”
But he wouldn’t listen to her. He called for his valet. “Get rid of this woman. Get her out of my sight! And lock the door after her.” The valet threw her out and locked the door behind her.
18-19 She was wearing a long-sleeved gown. (That’s how virgin princesses used to dress from early adolescence on.) Tamar poured ashes on her head, then she ripped the long-sleeved gown, held her head in her hands, and walked away, sobbing as she went.
20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has your brother Amnon had his way with you? Now, my dear sister, let’s keep it quiet—a family matter. He is, after all, your brother. Don’t take this so hard.” Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s home, bitter and desolate.
21-22 King David heard the whole story and was enraged, but he didn’t discipline Amnon. David doted on him because he was his firstborn. Absalom quit speaking to Amnon—not a word, whether good or bad—because he hated him for violating his sister Tamar.
23-24 Two years went by. One day Absalom threw a sheep-shearing party in Baal Hazor in the vicinity of Ephraim and invited all the king’s sons. He also went to the king and invited him. “Look, I’m throwing a sheep-shearing party. Come, and bring your servants.”
25 But the king said, “No, son—not this time, and not the whole household. We’d just be a burden to you.” Absalom pushed, but David wouldn’t budge. But he did give him his blessing.
26-27 Then Absalom said, “Well, if you won’t come, at least let my brother Amnon come.”
“And why,” said the king, “should he go with you?” But Absalom was so insistent that he gave in and let Amnon and all the rest of the king’s sons go.
28 Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king. Then he instructed his servants, “Look sharp, now. When Amnon is well into the sauce and feeling no pain, and I give the order ‘Strike Amnon,’ kill him. And don’t be afraid—I’m the one giving the command. Courage! You can do it!”
29-31 Absalom’s servants did to Amnon exactly what their master ordered. All the king’s sons got out as fast as they could, jumped on their mules, and rode off. While they were still on the road, a rumor came to the king: “Absalom just killed all the king’s sons—not one is left!” The king stood up, ripped his clothes to shreds, and threw himself on the floor. All his servants who were standing around at the time did the same.
32-33 Just then, Jonadab, his brother Shimeah’s son, stepped up. “My master must not think that all the young men, the king’s sons, are dead. Only Amnon is dead. This happened because of Absalom’s outrage since the day that Amnon violated his sister Tamar. So my master, the king, mustn’t make things worse than they are, thinking that all your sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead.”
34 Absalom fled.
Just then the sentry on duty looked up and saw a cloud of dust on the road from Horonaim alongside the mountain. He came and told the king, “I’ve just seen a bunch of men on the Horonaim road, coming around the mountain.”
35-37 Then Jonadab exclaimed to the king, “See! It’s the king’s sons coming, just as I said!” He had no sooner said the words than the king’s sons burst in—loud laments and weeping! The king joined in, along with all the servants—loud weeping, many tears. David mourned the death of his son a long time.
37-39 When Absalom fled, he went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. He was there three years. The king finally gave up trying to get back at Absalom. He had come to terms with Amnon’s death.