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

The Woman of Tekoa

14 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that (A)the king’s heart was drawn toward Absalom. So Joab sent a messenger to (B)Tekoa and [a]brought a wise woman from there, and said to her, “Please follow mourning rites, and put on mourning garments now, and do not (C)anoint yourself with oil but be like a woman who has been mourning for the dead for many days. Then go to the king and speak to him in this way.” So Joab put (D)the words in her mouth.

Now when the woman of Tekoa [b]spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and (E)prostrated herself, and said, “(F)Help, O king!” And the king said to her, “What is troubling you?” And she [c]answered, “Truly I am a widow, for my husband is dead. And your servant had two sons, but the two of them fought in the field, and there was no [d]one to save [e]them from each other, so one struck the other and killed him. Now behold, (G)the entire family has risen against your servant, and they have said, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother, so that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed, (H)and eliminate the heir as well.’ So they will extinguish my coal which is left, so as to [f]leave my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.”

Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your home, and I will issue orders concerning you.” The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord, the king, (I)the guilt is on me and my father’s house, but (J)the king and his throne are guiltless.” 10 So the king said, “Whoever speaks to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you anymore.” 11 Then she said, “May the king please remember the Lord your God, (K)so that the avenger of blood will not continue to destroy, otherwise they will destroy my son.” And he said, “(L)As the Lord lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”

12 Then the woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” And he said, “Speak.” 13 The woman said, “(M)Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is like one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back (N)his banished one. 14 For (O)we will surely die and are (P)like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up. Yet God does not take away life, but makes plans so that (Q)the banished one will not be cast out from Him. 15 Now then, [g]the reason I have come to speak this word to my lord the king is that the people have made me afraid; so your servant said, ‘Let me now speak to the king, perhaps the king will perform the [h]request of his slave. 16 For the king will listen, to save his slave from the [i]hand of the man who would eliminate [j]both me and my son from (R)the inheritance of God.’ 17 Then your servant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king be [k]comforting, for as (S)the angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil. And may the Lord your God be with you.’”

18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not hide anything from me that I am about to ask you.” And the woman said, “Let my lord the king please speak.” 19 So the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman replied, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Indeed, it was (T)your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your servant. 20 In order to change the appearance of things your servant Joab has done this thing. But my lord is wise, (U)like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that is on the earth.”

Absalom Returns

21 Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, (V)I [l]will certainly do this thing; go then, bring back the young man Absalom.” 22 And Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself, and blessed the king; then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord the king, in that the king has performed the [m]request of his servant.” 23 So Joab arose and went to (W)Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However, the king said, “He shall return to (X)his own house, but he shall not see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house and did not see the king’s face.

25 Now in all Israel there was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; (Y)from the sole of his foot to the top of his head there was no impairment in him. 26 And when he (Z)cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, because it was heavy on him, so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at [n]two hundred shekels by the king’s weight. 27 And (AA)to Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was (AB)Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance.

28 Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, (AC)yet he did not see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sent word again a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, “See, (AD)Joab’s plot is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the plot on fire. 31 Then Joab got up, came to Absalom at his house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my plot on fire?” 32 Absalom [o]answered Joab, “Behold, I sent for you, saying, ‘Come here, so that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me still to be there.”’ Now then, let me see the king’s face, (AE)and if there is guilt in me, he can have me executed.” 33 So when Joab came to the king and told him, he summoned Absalom. Then Absalom came to the king and prostrated himself [p]with his face to the ground before the king; and (AF)the king kissed Absalom.


  1. 2 Samuel 14:2 Lit took
  2. 2 Samuel 14:4 Many mss and ancient versions came
  3. 2 Samuel 14:5 Lit said
  4. 2 Samuel 14:6 Lit deliverer between
  5. 2 Samuel 14:6 Lit between them
  6. 2 Samuel 14:7 Lit establish for
  7. 2 Samuel 14:15 Lit that I
  8. 2 Samuel 14:15 Lit word
  9. 2 Samuel 14:16 Lit palm
  10. 2 Samuel 14:16 Lit together
  11. 2 Samuel 14:17 Lit for rest
  12. 2 Samuel 14:21 Lit have done
  13. 2 Samuel 14:22 Lit word
  14. 2 Samuel 14:26 About 4 lb. or 1.8 kg
  15. 2 Samuel 14:32 Lit said to
  16. 2 Samuel 14:33 Lit on his

Absalom’s Conspiracy

15 Now it came about after this that (A)Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men [a]to run ahead of him. And Absalom used to rise early and (B)stand beside the road to the gate; and when any man who had a lawsuit was to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call out to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” Then Absalom would say to him, “See, (C)your [b]claims are good and right, but you have no one to listen to you on the part of the king.” Moreover, Absalom would say, “(D)Oh that someone would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has a lawsuit or claim could come to me, and I would give him justice!” And whenever a man approached to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and (E)kiss him. Absalom dealt this way with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; (F)so Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

Now it came about at the end of [c]four years that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have made to the Lord, in (G)Hebron. For your servant (H)made a vow while I was living in Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘(I)If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’” The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he got up and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘(J)Absalom is king in Hebron!’” 11 Then two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, (K)who were invited and (L)went [d]innocently, for they did not know anything. 12 And Absalom sent for (M)Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city (N)Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for (O)the people continually increased with Absalom.

David Flees Jerusalem

13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “(P)The hearts of the people of Israel are [e]with Absalom.” 14 So David said to all his servants who were with him in Jerusalem, “(Q)Arise and let’s flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go quickly, or he will hurry and overtake us, and bring disaster on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants will do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16 So the king left, and all his household [f]with him; but (R)the king left ten concubines behind to take care of the house. 17 The king left, and all the people [g]with him, and they stopped at the last house. 18 Now all of his servants passed by beside him, and (S)all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, (T)six hundred men who had come [h]with him from Gath, passed by before the king.

19 Then the king said to (U)Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you go with us too? Return and stay with [i]your king, since you are a foreigner and an exile as well; return to your own place. 20 You came only yesterday, so should I make you wander with us today, while (V)I go wherever I go? Return and take your brothers back; (W)mercy and [j]truth be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, (X)wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there assuredly shall your servant be!” 22 Then David said to Ittai, “Go and cross over the brook Kidron.” So Ittai the Gittite crossed over with all his men and all the [k]little ones who were with him. 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people were crossing over. The king was also crossing over (Y)the brook Kidron, and all the people were crossing over toward (Z)the way of the wilderness.

24 Now behold, (AA)Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, (AB)carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and (AC)Abiathar came up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 And the king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then (AD)He will bring me back and show me both it and (AE)His habitation. 26 But if He says this: ‘(AF)I have no delight in you,’ then here I am, (AG)let Him do to me as seems good [l]to Him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not (AH)a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your (AI)two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I am going to wait (AJ)at the river crossing places of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there.

30 And David was going up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, and (AK)his head was covered, and he was walking (AL)barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his own head, and they were going up, weeping as they went. 31 Now someone informed David, saying, “(AM)Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “Lord, please (AN)make the advice of Ahithophel foolish.”

32 It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the (AO)Archite met him with his [m]coat torn, and [n]dust on his head. 33 And David said to him, “If you go over with me, then you will become (AP)a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and (AQ)say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; even as I was your father’s servant in time past, so now I will also be your servant,’ then you can foil the advice of Ahithophel for me. 35 Are Zadok and Abiathar the priests not with you there? So it shall be that (AR)whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold (AS)their two sons are there with them, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and (AT)by them you shall send me everything that you hear.” 37 So Hushai, (AU)David’s friend, came into the city, and (AV)Absalom came into Jerusalem.


  1. 2 Samuel 15:1 Lit as runners ahead
  2. 2 Samuel 15:3 Lit words
  3. 2 Samuel 15:7 As in some ancient versions; MT forty
  4. 2 Samuel 15:11 Lit in their integrity
  5. 2 Samuel 15:13 Lit after
  6. 2 Samuel 15:16 Lit at his feet
  7. 2 Samuel 15:17 Lit at his feet
  8. 2 Samuel 15:18 Lit at his feet
  9. 2 Samuel 15:19 Lit the king
  10. 2 Samuel 15:20 Or faithfulness
  11. 2 Samuel 15:22 I.e., children; here, families of the men
  12. 2 Samuel 15:26 Lit in His sight
  13. 2 Samuel 15:32 Or tunic
  14. 2 Samuel 15:32 Lit earth

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