2 Samuel 13:23-39

2 Samuel 13:23-39 English Standard Version 2016 (ESV)

After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. And Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant.” But the king said to Absalom, “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. Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. Then Absalom commanded his servants, “Mark when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not fear; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.” So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled. While they were on the way, news came to David, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” Then the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the earth. And all his servants who were standing by tore their garments. But Jonadab the son of Shimeah, 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 Absalom this has been determined from the day he violated his sister Tamar. 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.” But Absalom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about.” 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. But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son day after day. So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom, because he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead.

2 Samuel 13:23-24-37-39 The Message (MSG)

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.” 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. 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. 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!” 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. 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.” 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.” 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. 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.

2 Samuel 13:23-39 New American Standard Bible - NASB 1995 (NASB1995)

Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers; please let the king and his servants go with your servant.” But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, for we will be burdensome to you.” Although he urged him, he would not go, but blessed him. Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” But when Absalom urged him, he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have not I myself commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.” The servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose and each mounted his mule and fled. Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” Then the king arose, tore his clothes and lay on the ground; and all his servants were standing by with clothes torn. Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, responded, “Do not let my lord suppose they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead; because by the intent of Absalom this has been determined since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take the report to heart, namely, ‘all the king’s sons are dead,’ for only Amnon is dead.” Now Absalom had fled. And 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. Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; according to your servant’s word, so it happened.” As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and lifted their voices and wept; and also the king and all his servants wept very bitterly. Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there three years. The heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.

2 Samuel 13:23-39 New Living Translation (NLT)

Two years later, when Absalom’s sheep were being sheared at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, Absalom invited all the king’s sons to come to a feast. He went to the king and said, “My sheep-shearers are now at work. Would the king and his servants please come to celebrate the occasion with me?” The king replied, “No, my son. If we all came, we would be too much of a burden on you.” Absalom pressed him, but the king would not come, though he gave Absalom his blessing. “Well, then,” Absalom said, “if you can’t come, how about sending my brother Amnon with us?” “Why Amnon?” the king asked. But Absalom kept on pressing the king until he finally agreed to let all his sons attend, including Amnon. So Absalom prepared a feast fit for a king. Absalom told his men, “Wait until Amnon gets drunk; then at my signal, kill him! Don’t be afraid. I’m the one who has given the command. Take courage and do it!” So at Absalom’s signal they murdered Amnon. Then the other sons of the king jumped on their mules and fled. As they were on the way back to Jerusalem, this report reached David: “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons; not one is left alive!” The king got up, tore his robe, and threw himself on the ground. His advisers also tore their clothes in horror and sorrow. But just then Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimea, arrived and said, “No, don’t believe that all the king’s sons have been killed! It was only Amnon! Absalom has been plotting this ever since Amnon raped his sister Tamar. No, my lord the king, your sons aren’t all dead! It was only Amnon.” Meanwhile Absalom escaped. Then the watchman on the Jerusalem wall saw a great crowd coming down the hill on the road from the west. He ran to tell the king, “I see a crowd of people coming from the Horonaim road along the side of the hill.” “Look!” Jonadab told the king. “There they are now! The king’s sons are coming, just as I said.” They soon arrived, weeping and sobbing, and the king and all his servants wept bitterly with them. And David mourned many days for his son Amnon. Absalom fled to his grandfather, Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. He stayed there in Geshur for three years. And King David, now reconciled to Amnon’s death, longed to be reunited with his son Absalom.

2 Samuel 13:23-39 King James Version (KJV)

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons. And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant. And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him. Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee? But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled. And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left. Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead. But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him. And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is. And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore. But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

2 Samuel 13:23-39 New Century Version (NCV)

Two years later Absalom had some men come to Baal Hazor, near Ephraim, to cut the wool from his sheep. Absalom invited all the king’s sons to come also. Absalom went to the king and said, “I have men coming to cut the wool. Please come with your officers and join me.” King David said to Absalom, “No, my son. We won’t all go, because it would be too much trouble for you.” Although Absalom begged David, he would not go, but he did give his blessing. Absalom said, “If you don’t want to come, then please let my brother Amnon come with us.” King David asked, “Why should he go with you?” Absalom kept begging David until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with Absalom. Then Absalom instructed his servants, “Watch Amnon. When he is drunk, I will tell you, ‘Kill Amnon.’ Right then, kill him! Don’t be afraid, because I have commanded you! Be strong and brave!” So Absalom’s young men killed Amnon as Absalom commanded, but all of David’s other sons got on their mules and escaped. While the king’s sons were on their way, the news came to David, “Absalom has killed all of the king’s sons! Not one of them is left alive!” King David tore his clothes and lay on the ground to show his sadness. All his servants standing nearby tore their clothes also. Jonadab son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said to David, “Don’t think all the young men, your sons, are killed. No, only Amnon is dead! Absalom has planned this ever since Amnon forced his sister Tamar to have sexual relations with him. My master and king, don’t think that all of the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead!” In the meantime Absalom had run away. A guard standing on the city wall saw many people coming from the other side of the hill. So Jonadab said to King David, “Look, I was right! The king’s sons are coming!” As soon as Jonadab had said this, the king’s sons arrived, crying loudly. David and all his servants began crying also. David cried for his son every day. But Absalom ran away to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. After Absalom ran away to Geshur, he stayed there for three years. When King David got over Amnon’s death, he missed Absalom greatly.

2 Samuel 13:23-39 American Standard Version (ASV)

And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheep-shearers; let the king, I pray thee, and his servants go with thy servant. And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him. Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee? But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. And Absalom commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine; and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon, then kill him; fear not; have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled. And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that the tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left. Then the king arose, and rent his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead; for Amnon only is dead. But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill-side behind him. And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king’s sons are come: as thy servant said, so it is. And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore. But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

2 Samuel 13:23-39 New International Version (NIV)

Two years later, when Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons to come there. Absalom went to the king and said, “Your servant has had shearers come. Will the king and his attendants please join me?” “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. Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon come with us.” The king asked him, “Why should he go with you?” But Absalom urged him, so he sent with him Amnon and the rest of the king’s sons. Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high 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.” So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled. 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.” The king stood up, tore his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his attendants stood by with their clothes torn. 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. My lord the king should not be concerned about the report that all the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead.” 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.” Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons have come; it has happened just as your servant said.” As he finished speaking, the king’s sons came in, wailing loudly. The king, too, and all his attendants wept very bitterly. Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned many days for his son. After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years. And King David longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death.

2 Samuel 13:23-39 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons [to a party]. Absalom came to [his father] the king and said, “Behold, your servant has sheepshearers; please let the king and his servants go with your servant.” But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, for we will be a burden to you.” Although Absalom [strongly] urged David, still he would not go, but he gave him his blessing. Then Absalom said, “If not, then at least let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” But Absalom urged him [again], and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. Now Absalom commanded his servants, “Notice carefully, when Amnon’s heart is joyous with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not be afraid; have I not commanded you myself [and in doing so have I not taken full responsibility for his death]? Be courageous and brave.” So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons got up, and every man mounted his mule and fled. Now it happened while they were on the way [back home], that the [exaggerated] report came to David, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” Then the king stood and tore his clothes and lay on the ground [in mourning]; and all his servants were standing by with their clothes torn. But Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, responded, “Do not let my lord assume that all the king’s sons have been put to death; for only Amnon is dead. This act of revenge has been on Absalom’s mind since the day Amnon violated his sister Tamar. So now, do not let my lord the king take the report to heart that all the king’s sons are dead; for Amnon alone is dead.” Now Absalom fled. And the young man who kept watch looked up, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. And Jonadab said to the king, “Look, the king’s sons are coming. It has turned out just as your servant said.” And when he finished speaking, the king’s sons came, and they raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept very bitterly. But Absalom fled and went to [his mother’s father] Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there for three years. And the heart of King David longed to go to Absalom; for he was comforted regarding Amnon, since he was dead.