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2 Samuel 13 Good News Translation (GNT)

Amnon and Tamar

13 David's son Absalom had a beautiful unmarried sister named Tamar. Amnon, another of David's sons, fell in love with her. He was so much in love with her that he became sick, because it seemed impossible for him to have her; as a virgin, she was kept from meeting men. But he had a friend, a very shrewd man named Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shammah. Jonadab said to Amnon, “You are the king's son, yet day after day I see you looking sad. What's the matter?”

“I'm in love with Tamar, the sister of my half brother Absalom,” he answered.

Jonadab said to him, “Pretend that you are sick and go to bed. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please ask my sister Tamar to come and feed me. I want her to fix the food here where I can see her, and then serve it to me herself.’” So Amnon pretended that he was sick and went to bed.

King David went to see him, and Amnon said to him, “Please let Tamar come and make a few cakes here where I can see her, and then serve them to me herself.”

So David sent word to Tamar in the palace: “Go to Amnon's house and fix him some food.” She went there and found him in bed. She took some dough, prepared it, and made some cakes there where he could see her. Then she baked the cakes and emptied them out of the pan for him to eat, but he wouldn't. He said, “Send everyone away”—and they all left. 10 Then he said to her, “Bring the cakes here to my bed and serve them to me yourself.” She took the cakes and went over to him. 11 As she offered them to him, he grabbed her and said, “Come to bed with me!”

12 “No,” she said. “Don't force me to do such a degrading thing! That's awful! 13 How could I ever hold up my head in public again? And you—you would be completely disgraced in Israel. Please, speak to the king, and I'm sure that he will give me to you.” 14 But he would not listen to her; and since he was stronger than she was, he overpowered her and raped her.

15 Then Amnon was filled with a deep hatred for her; he hated her now even more than he had loved her before. He said to her, “Get out!”

16 “No,” she answered. “To send me away like this is a greater crime[a] than what you just did!”

But Amnon would not listen to her; 17 he called in his personal servant and said, “Get this woman out of my sight! Throw her out and lock the door!” 18 The servant put her out and locked the door.

Tamar was wearing a long robe with full sleeves,[b] the usual clothing for an unmarried princess in those days.[c] 19 She sprinkled ashes on her head, tore her robe, and with her face buried in her hands went away crying. 20 When her brother Absalom saw her, he asked, “Has Amnon molested you? Please, sister, don't let it upset you so much. He is your half brother, so don't tell anyone about it.” So Tamar lived in Absalom's house, sad and lonely.

21 When King David heard what had happened, he was furious. 22 And Absalom hated Amnon so much for having raped his sister Tamar that he would no longer even speak to him.

Absalom's Revenge

23 Two years later Absalom was having his sheep sheared at Baal Hazor, near the town of Ephraim, and he invited all the king's sons to be there. 24 He went to King David and said, “Your Majesty, I am having my sheep sheared. Will you and your officials come and take part in the festivities?”

25 “No, my son,” the king answered. “It would be too much trouble for you if we all went.” Absalom insisted, but the king would not give in, and he asked Absalom to leave.

26 But Absalom said, “Well, then, will you at least let my brother Amnon come?”

“Why should he?” the king asked. 27 But Absalom kept on insisting until David finally let Amnon and all his other sons go with Absalom.

Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king[d] 28 and instructed his servants: “Notice when Amnon has had too much to drink, and then when I give the order, kill him. Don't be afraid. I will take the responsibility myself. Be brave and don't hesitate!” 29 So the servants followed Absalom's instructions and killed Amnon. All the rest of David's sons mounted their mules and fled.

30 While they were on their way home, David was told: “Absalom has killed all your sons—not one of them is left!” 31 The king stood up, tore his clothes in sorrow, and threw himself to the ground. The servants who were there with him tore their clothes also. 32 But Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shammah, said, “Your Majesty, they haven't killed all your sons. Only Amnon is dead. You could tell by looking at Absalom that he had made up his mind to do this from the time that Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 So don't believe the news that all your sons are dead; only Amnon was killed.”

34 In the meantime Absalom had fled.

Just then the soldier on sentry duty saw a large crowd coming down the hill on the road from Horonaim.[e] He went to the king and reported what he had seen.[f] 35 Jonadab said to David, “Those are your sons coming, just as I said they would.” 36 As soon as he finished saying this, David's sons came in; they started crying, and David and his officials also cried bitterly.

37-38 Absalom fled and went to the king of Geshur, Talmai son of Ammihud, and stayed there three years. David mourned a long time for his son Amnon; 39 but when he got over Amnon's death, he was filled with longing for his son Absalom.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 13:16 Probable text To send me … crime; Hebrew unclear.
  2. 2 Samuel 13:18 long robe with full sleeves; or decorated robe (see Gn 37.3).
  3. 2 Samuel 13:18 Probable text in those days; Hebrew garments.
  4. 2 Samuel 13:27 Some ancient translations Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king; Hebrew does not have these words.
  5. 2 Samuel 13:34 Probable text from Horonaim; Hebrew behind him.
  6. 2 Samuel 13:34 One ancient translation He went … had seen; Hebrew does not have these words.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

2 Samuel 13 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Amnon and Tamar

13 Some time passed. David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar; and David’s son Amnon fell in love with her. Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah; and Jonadab was a very crafty man. He said to him, “O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, so that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’” So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.”

Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, where he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. Then she took the pan and set them[a] out before him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Send out everyone from me.” So everyone went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the chamber, so that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11 But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.” 12 She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me; for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do anything so vile! 13 As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the scoundrels in Israel. Now therefore, I beg you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 But he would not listen to her; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her.

15 Then Amnon was seized with a very great loathing for her; indeed, his loathing was even greater than the lust he had felt for her. Amnon said to her, “Get out!” 16 But she said to him, “No, my brother;[b] for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you did to me.” But he would not listen to her. 17 He called the young man who served him and said, “Put this woman out of my presence, and bolt the door after her.” 18 (Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves; for this is how the virgin daughters of the king were clothed in earlier times.[c]) So his servant put her out, and bolted the door after her. 19 But Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore the long robe that she was wearing; she put her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.

20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.” So Tamar remained, a desolate woman, in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 When King David heard of all these things, he became very angry, but he would not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn.[d] 22 But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had raped his sister Tamar.

Absalom Avenges the Violation of His Sister

23 After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Absalom came to the king, and said, “Your servant has sheepshearers; will the king and his servants please go with your servant?” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go, or else we will be burdensome to you.” He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. 26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” The king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. Absalom made a feast like a king’s feast.[e] 28 Then Absalom commanded his servants, “Watch when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not be afraid; have I not myself commanded you? Be courageous and valiant.” 29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons rose, and each mounted his mule and fled.

30 While they were on the way, the report came to David that Absalom had killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them was left. 31 The king rose, tore his garments, and lay on the ground; and all his servants who were standing by tore their garments. 32 But Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons; Amnon alone is dead. This has been determined by Absalom from the day Amnon[f] raped his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take it to heart, as if all the king’s sons were dead; for Amnon alone is dead.”

34 But Absalom fled. When the young man who kept watch looked up, he saw many people coming from the Horonaim road[g] by the side of the mountain. 35 Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, the king’s sons arrived, and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept very bitterly.

37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son day after day. 38 Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed there three years. 39 And the heart of[h] the king went out, yearning for Absalom; for he was now consoled over the death of Amnon.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 13:9 Heb and poured
  2. 2 Samuel 13:16 Cn Compare Gk Vg: Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. 2 Samuel 13:18 Cn: Heb were clothed in robes
  4. 2 Samuel 13:21 Q Ms Gk: MT lacks but he would not punish . . . firstborn
  5. 2 Samuel 13:27 Gk Compare Q Ms: MT lacks Absalom made a feast like a king’s feast
  6. 2 Samuel 13:32 Heb he
  7. 2 Samuel 13:34 Cn Compare Gk: Heb the road behind him
  8. 2 Samuel 13:39 Q Ms Gk: MT And David
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 13 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

13 Now Avshalom the son of David had a beautiful sister named Tamar. Some time after the previous events, Amnon the son of David fell in love with her. Amnon became so obsessed with his sister Tamar that he became ill, for she was a virgin, and Amnon thought it would be impossible to approach her. But Amnon had a friend named Yonadav the son of Shim‘ah David’s brother; and Yonadav was a very shrewd fellow. He asked him, “Why, son of the king, are you growing thinner every day? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon answered him, “I’m in love with Tamar, my brother Avshalom’s sister.” Yonadav said to him, “Lie down on your bed, and pretend you’re sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and have her prepare the food where I can watch. I’ll eat what she serves me.” So Amnon lay down and pretended he was sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of cakes here where I can watch, and I’ll eat what she serves me.” David sent this instruction home to Tamar: “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare him some food.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes while he watched, and baked the cakes. Then she took the pan and turned them out in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have everyone leave me”; and everyone left him. 10 Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, so that I can have you serve me. Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11 But when she brought them near, so that he could eat, he grabbed her and said to her, “Come to bed with me, my sister.” 12 “No, my brother,” she answered him, “don’t force me! Things like this aren’t done in Isra’el; don’t behave so disgracefully! 13 Where could I go with such shame? And as for you, you will be regarded as one of Isra’el’s vulgar brutes. Now therefore, please! Speak to the king, because he won’t keep me from you.” 14 However, he wouldn’t listen to her; and since he was stronger than she, he overpowered her and raped her. 15 But then he was filled with utter revulsion for her — his hatred of her was even greater than the love he had had for her before. Amnon said to her, “Get up, and get out of here!” 16 “No,” she objected, “because throwing me out like this is an even worse thing than what you’ve already done to me!” But he wouldn’t listen to her; 17 he called his personal servant and said, “Get rid of this woman for me! Throw her out, and lock the door after her!” 18 She was wearing a long-sleeved robe (this was how they used to dress the king’s daughters who were virgins). His servant took her out and locked the door after her. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head, tore her long-sleeved robe that she was wearing, laid her hand on her head and went off, crying aloud as she went.

20 Avshalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now, my sister, keep quiet; because he’s your brother. Don’t take the matter to heart.” But Tamar remained desolate in her brother Avshalom’s house.

21 When King David heard about all these things, he became very angry. 22 As for Avshalom, he refused to say a word to Amnon, either good or bad; for Avshalom hated Amnon for having raped his sister Tamar.

23 Two years later, when Avshalom had sheep-shearers in Ba‘al-Hatzor, near Efrayim, Avshalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Avshalom went to the king and said, “Your servant has sheep-shearers; please let the king and his servants come along with your servant.” 25 The king replied to Avshalom, “No, my son, let’s not all go — we don’t want to be a burden to you.” Avshalom pressed him, but he wouldn’t go; however he gave him his blessing. 26 Then Avshalom said, “If you won’t go, then please let my brother Amnon go with us.” The king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Avshalom kept pressing him, so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Avshalom ordered his servants, “Pay close attention: when Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine, and I say to you, ‘Kill Amnon,’ then strike him down. Don’t be afraid — I’m the one ordering you to do it — but take courage, and be bold.” 29 Avshalom’s servants did to Amnon as Avshalom had ordered. At this, all the king’s sons jumped up, mounted their mules and fled.

30 While they were on their way, the news came to David that Avshalom had killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them was left alive. 31 The king got up, tore his clothes and lay on the ground, while all his servants stood by with their clothes torn too. 32 But then Yonadav, the son of Shim‘ah, David’s brother, spoke up; he said, “My lord shouldn’t think they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons. Only Amnon is dead; for Avshalom has meant to do this ever since the day he raped his sister Tamar. 33 So my lord the king shouldn’t take it as seriously as if all the king’s sons are dead; only Amnon is dead.”

34 However, Avshalom took flight. The young man keeping watch looked up and saw many people coming along the road behind him on the hillside. 35 Yonadav said to the king, “Here, the king’s sons have come; it’s just as your servant said.” 36 The moment he finished speaking, the king’s sons came, cried out and wept; and the king too, with all his servants, cried out in great pain. 37 Avshalom fled and went to Talmai the son of ‘Ammihud, king of G’shur. David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Avshalom fled, went to G’shur and stayed there three years. 39 But as King David became reconciled to the death of his son Amnon, he was increasingly filled with longing to see Avshalom.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 13 The Message (MSG)

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.”

“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.’”

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.”

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.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

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