New Heart English Bible
1It happened after this, that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2Amnon was so troubled that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her. 3But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very subtle man. 4He said to him, "Why, son of the king, are you so sad from day to day? Won't you tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." 5Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, tell him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and dress the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.'" 6So Amnon lay down and faked being 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 in my sight, that I may eat from her hand."
7Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him." 8So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. She took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9She took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. Amnon said, "Have all men leave me." Every man went out from him. 10Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the room, that I may eat from your hand." Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11When she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister." 12She answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me. For no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Do not do this folly. 13I, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you." 14However he would not listen to her voice; but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.
15Then Amnon hated her with exceeding great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. Amnon said to her, "Arise, be gone." 16She said to him, "Not so, because this great wrong in sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me." But he would not listen to her. 17Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, "Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her." 18She had a garment of various colors on her; for with such robes were the king's daughters who were virgins dressed. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her. 19Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her garment of various colors that was on her; and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went.
20Absalom her brother said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother. Do not take this thing to heart." So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house. 21But when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry. But he did not inflict pain on the spirit of his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn. 22Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
23It happened after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
24Absalom came to the king, and said, "See now, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant." 25The king said to Absalom, "No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you." He pressed him; however he would not go, but blessed him. 26Then Absalom said, "If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us." The king said to him, "Why should he go with you?" 27But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. And Absalom prepared a feast like a king's feast.
28And Absalom commanded his servants, saying, "Mark now, when Amnon's heart is merry with wine; and when I tell you, 'Strike Amnon,' then kill him. Do not be afraid. Haven't I commanded you? Be courageous, and be valiant." 29The servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man got up on his mule, and fled.
30It happened, while they were in the way, that the news came to David, saying, "Absalom has slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left." 31Then the king arose, and tore his garments, and lay on the ground; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother, answered, "Do not let my lord the king 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 has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33Now therefore do not let 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."
34But Absalom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes and looked, and he saw many men coming on the road behind him from the side of the mountain in the descent. And the watchman came and told the king, and said, "I have seen many men coming from the Horonan road by the side of the mountain." 35Jonadab said to the king, "Look, the king's sons are coming. It is as your servant said." 36It happened, as soon as he had finished speaking, that look, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept. The king also and all his servants wept bitterly.
37But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39And the spirit of the king longed to go forth to Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.