2 Samuel 13:1-39, NLT
2 Samuel 13
The Rape of Tamar
1Now David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar. And Amnon, her half brother, fell desperately in love with her.
3But Amnon had a very crafty friend—his cousin Jonadab. He was the son of David’s brother Shimea.*13:3 Hebrew Shimeah (also in 13:32), a variant spelling of Shimea; compare 1 Chr 2:13.
So Amnon told him, “I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.”
5“Well,” Jonadab said, “I’ll tell you what to do. Go back to bed and pretend you are ill. When your father comes to see you, ask him to let Tamar come and prepare some food for you. Tell him you’ll feel better if she prepares it as you watch and feeds you with her own hands.”
6So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. And when the king came to see him, Amnon asked him, “Please let my sister Tamar come and cook my favorite dish*13:6 Or a couple of cakes; also in 13:8, 10. as I watch. Then I can eat it from her own hands.”
8When Tamar arrived at Amnon’s house, she went to the place where he was lying down so he could watch her mix some dough. Then she baked his favorite dish for him.
10Then he said to Tamar, “Now bring the food into my bedroom and feed it to me here.” So Tamar took his favorite dish to him.
12“No, my brother!” she cried. “Don’t be foolish! Don’t do this to me! Such wicked things aren’t done in Israel.
14But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her, and since he was stronger than she was, he raped her.
16“No, no!” Tamar cried. “Sending me away now is worse than what you’ve already done to me.”
But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her.
18So the servant put her out and locked the door behind her. She was wearing a long, beautiful robe,*13:18 Or a robe with sleeves, or an ornamented robe. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. as was the custom in those days for the king’s virgin daughters.
20Her brother Absalom saw her and asked, “Is it true that Amnon has been with you? Well, my sister, keep quiet for now, since he’s your brother. Don’t you worry about it.” So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom’s house.
21When King David heard what had happened, he was very angry.*13:21 Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version add But he did not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn.
Absalom’s Revenge on Amnon
23Two 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.
25The 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.
26“Well, then,” Absalom said, “if you can’t come, how about sending my brother Amnon with us?”
“Why Amnon?” the king asked.
28Absalom 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!”
30As 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!”
32But 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.
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.”*13:34 As in Greek version; Hebrew lacks this sentence.
35“Look!” Jonadab told the king. “There they are now! The king’s sons are coming, just as I said.”
36They soon arrived, weeping and sobbing, and the king and all his servants wept bitterly with them.
Absalom fled to his grandfather, Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur.