2 Samuel 13
New American Standard Bible►► 

Amnon and Tamar

1Now it was after this that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar, and Amnon the son of David was in love with her. 2But Amnon was so frustrated on account of his sister Tamar that he made himself ill, for she was a virgin, and it [a]seemed too difficult to Amnon to do anything to her. 3But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of [b]Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very clever man. 4And he said to him, “Why are you, the king’s son, so depressed morning after morning? Will you not tell me?” So Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.” 5Jonadab then said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill; when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please have my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and have her prepare the [c]food in my sight, so that I may see it and eat from her hand.’” 6So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please have my sister Tamar come and make me a couple of pastries in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.”

7Then David sent a messenger to the house for Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare [d]food for him.” 8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying in bed. And she took dough, kneaded it, made pastries in his sight, and baked the pastries. 9Then she took the tray and served them to him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “Have everyone leave me.” So everyone left him. 10Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the [e]bedroom, so that I may eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the pastries which she had made and brought them into the bedroom to her brother Amnon. 11When she brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, sleep with me, my sister.” 12But she said to him, “No, my brother, do not violate me, for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this disgraceful sin! 13As for me, where could I [f]get rid of my shame? And as for you, you will be like one of the [g]fools in Israel. Now then, please speak to the king, for he will not [h]withhold me from you.” 14However, he would not listen to [i]her; since he was stronger than she, he violated her and slept with her.

15Then Amnon hated her with a very great hatred; indeed, the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up, go away!16But she said to him, “No, because this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other that you have done to me!” Yet he would not listen to her. 17Then he called his young man who attended him and said, “Now throw this woman out of my presence, and lock the door behind her!” 18Now she had on a [j]long-sleeved garment; for this is how the virgin daughters of the king dressed themselves in robes. Then his attendant took her out and locked the door behind her. 19Tamar took ashes and put them on her head, and tore her [k]long-sleeved garment which was on her; and she put her hand on her head and went on her way, crying out as she went.

20Then Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” So Tamar remained and was isolated in her brother Absalom’s house. 21Now when King David heard about all these matters, he became very angry. 22But Absalom did not speak with Amnon either good or bad; for Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.

23Now 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 to celebrate.

Absalom Avenges Tamar

24And Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers; may the king and his servants please go with your servant.” 25But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, so that we will not be a burden to you.” Though he urged him, he would not go; but he blessed him. 26Then Absalom said, “If not, please have my brother Amnon go with us.” But the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27Nevertheless Absalom urged him, so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28Then Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is cheerful with wine, and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have I not commanded you myself? Be courageous and be [l]valiant.” 29And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons got up and each mounted his mule and fled.

30Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck and killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” 31Then the king stood up, tore his clothes, and lay on the ground; and all his servants were standing by with clothes torn. 32And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, [m]responded, “Let my lord not [n]assume that they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead; because this has been set up by the [o]intent of Absalom since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33So now, may my lord the king not take the report to [p]heart, [q]claiming, ‘all the king’s sons are dead’; but only Amnon is dead.”

34Now 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. 35And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; so it has happened according to your servant’s word.” 36As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept [r]very profusely.

37Now Absalom had fled and gone to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there for three years. 39And the heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted regarding Amnon, since he was dead.



[a] 2 Lit was too difficult in Amnon’s eyes
[b] 3 In 1 Sam 16:9, Shammah; in 1 Chr 2:13, Shimea
[c] 5 I.e., food for the sick
[d] 7 I.e., food for the sick
[e] 10 Or inner room
[f] 13 Lit take away
[g] 13 Or worthless ones
[h] 13 I.e., refuse a marriage
[i] 14 Lit her voice
[j] 18 Or varicolored tunic
[k] 19 Or varicolored tunic
[l] 28 Lit sons of valor
[m] 32 Lit answered and said
[n] 32 Lit say
[o] 32 Lit mouth
[p] 33 Lit his heart
[q] 33 Lit saying
[r] 36 Lit with a very great weeping

New American Standard Bible
Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995, 2020
by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, Calif. All rights reserved.
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2 Samuel 12
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