Amnon and Tamar
1Now David had a son named Absalom and a son named Amnon. Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon loved her. 2Tamar was a virgin. Amnon did not think he should do anything bad to her. But he wanted her very much. He made himself sick just thinking about her.
3Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah. (Shimeah was David’s brother.) Jonadab was a very clever man. 4He asked Amnon, “Why do you look so sad day after day? You are the king’s son! Tell me what’s wrong!”
Amnon told him, “I love Tamar. But she is the sister of my half-brother Absalom.”
5Jonadab said to Amnon, “Go to bed. Act as if you are sick. Then your father will come to see you. Tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come in and give me food to eat. Let her make the food in front of me. Then I will see it and eat it from her hand.’”
6So Amnon lay down in bed and acted as if he were sick. King David came in to see him. Amnon said to him, “Please let my sister Tamar come in. Let her make two of her special cakes for me while I watch. Then I will eat them from her hands.”
7David sent messengers to Tamar in the palace. They told her, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house and make some food for him.” 8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house. He was in bed. Tamar took some dough and pressed it together with her hands. She made some special cakes while Amnon watched. Then she baked them. 9Next she took the pan and took out the cakes for Amnon. But he refused to eat.
He said to his servants, “All of you, leave me alone!” So all his servants left the room. 10Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the inner room. Then I’ll eat from your hand.”
Tamar took the cakes she had made. And she brought them to her brother Amnon in the inner room. 11She went to him so he could eat from her hands. But Amnon grabbed her. He said, “Sister, come and have physical relations with me.”
12Tamar said to him, “No, brother! Don’t force me! This should never be done in Israel! Don’t do this shameful thing! 13I could never get rid of my shame! And you will become like the shameful fools in Israel! Please talk with the king. He will let you marry me.”
14But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was. So he raped her. 15After that, Amnon hated Tamar. He hated her much more than he had loved her before. Amnon said to her, “Get up and leave!”
16Tamar said to him, “No! Sending me away would be an even greater evil. That would be worse than what you’ve already done!”
But he refused to listen to her. 17He called his young servant back in. Amnon said, “Get this girl out of here right now! Lock the door after her.” 18So his servant led her out of the room. And he bolted the door after her.
Now Tamar was wearing a special robe with long sleeves. The king’s virgin daughters wore this kind of robe. 19To show how upset she was Tamar took ashes and put them on her head. She tore her special robe. And she put her hand on her head. Then she went away, crying loudly.
20Absalom, Tamar’s brother, said to her, “Has Amnon, that brother of yours, violated you? He is your brother. So for now, sister, be quiet. Don’t let this upset you so much!” So Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house. She was sad and lonely.
21When King David heard the news, he was very angry. 22Absalom did not say a word, good or bad, to Amnon. He hated Amnon for violating his sister Tamar.
23Two years later Absalom had some men come to Baal Hazor, near Ephraim. They were to cut the wool from his sheep. Absalom invited all the king’s sons to come also. 24Absalom went to the king and said, “I have men coming to cut the wool. Please come with your officers and join me.”
25King David said to Absalom, “No, my son. We won’t all go. It would be too much trouble for you.” Absalom begged David to go. David did not go, but he did give his blessing.
26Absalom said, “If you don’t want to go, then please let my brother Amnon go with me.”
King David asked Absalom, “Why should he go with you?”
27Absalom kept begging David. Finally, David let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with Absalom.
28Then Absalom gave a command to his servants. He said, “Watch Amnon. When he is drunk, I will tell you, ‘Kill Amnon.’ Right then, kill him! Don’t be afraid. I have commanded you! Be strong and brave!” 29So Absalom’s young men killed Amnon as Absalom commanded. But all of David’s other sons got on their mules and escaped.
30While the king’s sons were on their way, the news came to David. The message was, “Absalom has killed all of the king’s sons! Not one of them is left alive!” 31King David tore his clothes and lay on the ground to show his sadness. All his servants standing nearby tore their clothes also.
32Jonadab was the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Jonadab said to David, “Don’t think all the young men, your sons, are killed. No, only Amnon is dead! Absalom planned this because Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33My master and king, don’t think that all of the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead!”
34In the meantime Absalom had run away.
There was a guard standing on the city wall. He saw many people coming from the other side of the hill. 35So Jonadab said to King David, “Look, I was right! The king’s sons are coming!”
36As soon as Jonadab had said this, the king’s sons arrived. They were crying loudly. David and all his servants began crying also. They all cried very much. 37David cried for his son every day.
But Absalom ran away to Talmai# He was Absalom’s grandfather. son of Ammihud. Talmai was king of Geshur. 38After Absalom ran away to Geshur, he stayed there for three years. 39When King David got over Amnon’s death, he missed Absalom greatly.