2 Samuel 13:23-39 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
Absalom Avenges the Violation of His Sister
23 After two full years Ab′salom had sheepshearers at Ba′al-ha′zor, which is near E′phraim, and Ab′salom invited all the king’s sons. 24 And Ab′salom came to the king, and said, “Behold, your servant has sheepshearers; pray let the king and his servants go with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Ab′salom, “No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. 26 Then Ab′salom said, “If not, pray let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Ab′salom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 Then Ab′salom commanded his servants, “Mark when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Fear not; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.” 29 So the servants of Ab′salom did to Amnon as Ab′salom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled.
30 While they were on the way, tidings came to David, “Ab′salom has slain all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” 31 Then the king arose, and rent his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants who were standing by rent their garments. 32 But Jon′adab the son of Shim′e-ah, David’s brother, said, “Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead, for by the command of Ab′salom this has been determined from the day he forced his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore let not my lord the king so take it to heart as to suppose that all the king’s sons are dead; for Amnon alone is dead.”
34 But Ab′salom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the Horona′im road[a] by the side of the mountain. 35 And Jon′adab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about.” 36 And as soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept; and the king also and all his servants wept very bitterly.
37 But Ab′salom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammi′hud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son day after day. 38 So Ab′salom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 And the spirit[b] of the king longed to go forth to Ab′salom; for he was comforted about Amnon, seeing he was dead.