Amnon and Tamar

13 In the course of time, Amnon(A) son of David fell in love with Tamar,(B) the beautiful sister of Absalom(C) 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,(D) 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,”(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.

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

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.

38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. 39 And King David longed to go to Absalom,(W) for he was consoled(X) 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.

Rebellious Israel Purged

20 In the seventh year, in the fifth month on the tenth day, some of the elders of Israel came to inquire(A) of the Lord, and they sat down in front of me.(B)

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to the elders(C) of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Have you come to inquire(D) of me? As surely as I live, I will not let you inquire of me, declares the Sovereign Lord.(E)

“Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their ancestors(F) and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day I chose(G) Israel, I swore with uplifted hand(H) to the descendants of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the Lord your God.(I) On that day I swore(J) to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey,(K) the most beautiful of all lands.(L) And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images(M) you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols(N) of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.(O)

“‘But they rebelled against me and would not listen to me;(P) they did not get rid of the vile images they had set their eyes on, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.(Q) So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in Egypt.(R) But for the sake of my name, I brought them out of Egypt.(S) I did it to keep my name from being profaned(T) in the eyes of the nations among whom they lived and in whose sight I had revealed myself to the Israelites. 10 Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the wilderness.(U) 11 I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, by which the person who obeys them will live.(V) 12 Also I gave them my Sabbaths(W) as a sign(X) between us,(Y) so they would know that I the Lord made them holy.(Z)

13 “‘Yet the people of Israel rebelled(AA) against me in the wilderness. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws(AB)—by which the person who obeys them will live—and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths.(AC) So I said I would pour out my wrath(AD) on them and destroy(AE) them in the wilderness.(AF) 14 But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned(AG) in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.(AH) 15 Also with uplifted hand I swore(AI) to them in the wilderness that I would not bring them into the land I had given them—a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands(AJ) 16 because they rejected my laws(AK) and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts(AL) were devoted to their idols.(AM) 17 Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy(AN) them or put an end to them in the wilderness. 18 I said to their children in the wilderness, “Do not follow the statutes of your parents(AO) or keep their laws or defile yourselves(AP) with their idols. 19 I am the Lord your God;(AQ) follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.(AR) 20 Keep my Sabbaths(AS) holy, that they may be a sign(AT) between us. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.(AU)

21 “‘But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws,(AV) of which I said, “The person who obeys them will live by them,” and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger(AW) against them in the wilderness.(AX) 22 But I withheld(AY) my hand, and for the sake of my name(AZ) I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. 23 Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the wilderness that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter(BA) them through the countries, 24 because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees(BB) and desecrated my Sabbaths,(BC) and their eyes lusted after(BD) their parents’ idols.(BE) 25 So I gave(BF) them other statutes that were not good and laws through which they could not live;(BG) 26 I defiled them through their gifts—the sacrifice(BH) of every firstborn—that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am the Lord.(BI)

27 “Therefore, son of man, speak to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: In this also your ancestors(BJ) blasphemed(BK) me by being unfaithful to me:(BL) 28 When I brought them into the land(BM) I had sworn to give them and they saw any high hill or any leafy tree, there they offered their sacrifices, made offerings that aroused my anger, presented their fragrant incense and poured out their drink offerings.(BN) 29 Then I said to them: What is this high place(BO) you go to?’” (It is called Bamah[a] to this day.)

Rebellious Israel Renewed

30 “Therefore say to the Israelites: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Will you defile yourselves(BP) the way your ancestors did and lust after their vile images?(BQ) 31 When you offer your gifts—the sacrifice of your children(BR) in the fire—you continue to defile yourselves with all your idols to this day. Am I to let you inquire of me, you Israelites? As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will not let you inquire of me.(BS)

32 “‘You say, “We want to be like the nations, like the peoples of the world, who serve wood and stone.” But what you have in mind will never happen. 33 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will reign over you with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm(BT) and with outpoured wrath.(BU) 34 I will bring you from the nations(BV) and gather(BW) you from the countries where you have been scattered—with a mighty hand(BX) and an outstretched arm and with outpoured wrath.(BY) 35 I will bring you into the wilderness(BZ) of the nations and there, face to face, I will execute judgment(CA) upon you. 36 As I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign Lord.(CB) 37 I will take note of you as you pass under my rod,(CC) and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant.(CD) 38 I will purge(CE) you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the Lord.(CF)

39 “‘As for you, people of Israel, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Go and serve your idols,(CG) every one of you! But afterward you will surely listen to me and no longer profane my holy name(CH) with your gifts and idols.(CI) 40 For on my holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel,(CJ) declares the Sovereign Lord, there in the land all the people of Israel will serve me, and there I will accept them. There I will require your offerings(CK) and your choice gifts,[b] along with all your holy sacrifices.(CL) 41 I will accept you as fragrant incense(CM) when I bring you out from the nations and gather(CN) you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will be proved holy(CO) through you in the sight of the nations.(CP) 42 Then you will know that I am the Lord,(CQ) when I bring you into the land of Israel,(CR) the land I had sworn with uplifted hand to give to your ancestors.(CS) 43 There you will remember your conduct(CT) and all the actions by which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves(CU) for all the evil you have done.(CV) 44 You will know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake(CW) and not according to your evil ways and your corrupt practices, you people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.(CX)’”

Prophecy Against the South

45 The word of the Lord came to me: 46 “Son of man, set your face toward(CY) the south; preach against the south and prophesy against(CZ) the forest of the southland.(DA) 47 Say to the southern forest:(DB) ‘Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to set fire to you, and it will consume(DC) all your trees, both green and dry. The blazing flame will not be quenched, and every face from south to north(DD) will be scorched by it.(DE) 48 Everyone will see that I the Lord have kindled it; it will not be quenched.(DF)’”

49 Then I said, “Sovereign Lord,(DG) they are saying of me, ‘Isn’t he just telling parables?(DH)’”[c]

Footnotes

  1. Ezekiel 20:29 Bamah means high place.
  2. Ezekiel 20:40 Or and the gifts of your firstfruits
  3. Ezekiel 20:49 In Hebrew texts 20:45-49 is numbered 21:1-5.

Bible Gateway Recommends