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The Bible in Living English
13 And after this it befell that David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David’s son Amnon fell in love with her; 2 and Amnon was in such distress on account of his sister Tamar that he made himself sick, because she was a maiden and it seemed to Amnon out of the question to do anything to her. 3 And Amnon had a comrade whose name was Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah; and Jonadab was a very wise man; 4 and he said to him “How is it that you are like this, prince, getting poorer morning by morning? will you not tell me?” and Amnon said to him “I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5 And Jonadab said to him “Take to your bed and pretend to be sick, and when your father comes to see you, say to him ‘Let my sister Tamar come and feed me, and let her make the food before my eyes, so that I may see, and let me eat out of her hand.’” 6* And Amnon went to bed and pretended to be sick, and when the king came to see him Amnon said to the king “Let my sister Tamar come and mold a few heart-cakes before my eyes and let me have my food out of her hand”; 7 and David sent word to Tamar at the palace “Come to your brother Amnon’s house and make his food for him.” 8 And Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, he being abed, and took the dough and kneaded it and molded it before his eyes and fried the heart-cakes, 9 and took the pan and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said “Put the men all out of my presence”; and all the men went out of his presence. 10 And Amnon said to Tamar “Bring the food into the chamber and let me eat out of your hand”; and Tamar took the heart-cakes she had made and brought them into the chamber to her brother Amnon 11 and presented them to him to eat, and he took hold of her and said to her “Come and lie with me, sister.” 12 And she said to him “Don’t, brother, don’t abuse me: it is not done in Israel; don’t commit this scandal. 13 Where should I take my dishonor to? and you would be rated like one of the reprobates in Israel; now speak to the king, for he will not refuse me to you”; 14 but he would not obey, but overpowered her and violated her and lay with her. 15 And Amnon took an aversion to her—a very great aversion, for his aversion to her was greater than the love he felt for her had been; and Amnon said to her “Get up and go.” 16 And she said to him “Don’t, brother: this last injury that you do to me in turning me out is a greater one than the first”; but he would not listen to her, 17* but called his man and said “Do get this out of the house and lock the door after her.” 18 And she had on a long tunic with sleeves, for the king’s maiden daughters dressed so in gowns; and when his attendant put her out and locked the door after her, 19 Tamar took ashes and put them on her head, and tore the long tunic she had on, and put her arms over her head and went along screaming as she went. 20* And her brother Absalom said to her “Has your brother Amnon been with you? now, sister, be quiet; he is your brother; do not take this to heart.” And Tamar lived desolate in her brother Absalom’s house. 21* And King David heard all these things and was very angry; 22 and Absalom did not speak with Amnon either good words or bad, because Absalom hated Amnon for having violated his sister Tamar. 23* And after two years’ time Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-Hasor near ʽEphron, and Absalom invited all the princes. 24 And Absalom went in to the king and said “Your servant has shearers: will the king and his officers please come with your servant?” 25 And the king said to Absalom “No, my son, let us not all go, or we shall burden you.” And he urged him; but he would not go, and said goodbye to him. 26 And Absalom said “If not, let brother Amnon go with’ us”; and the king said to him “Why should he go with you?” 27 but Absalom urged him, and the king sent with him Amnon and all they princes. 28 And Absalom made a wassail like the king’s; and Absalom gave his men the order “Look here: when Amnon is mellow with wine, I will say to you ‘Hit Amnon,’ and you are to kill him; do not be afraid; you have my orders; stand up to your job and show that you amount to something.” 29 And Absalom’s men did to Amnon as Absalom ordered them to; and all the princes sprang to their feet and mounted their mules and fled. 30 And while they were on the road the report came to David “Absalom has killed all the princes, there is not one of them left”; 31 and the king sprang to his feet and tore his clothes and threw himself on the ground, and all his officers who were standing in his presence tore their clothes. 32 But Jonadab the son of David’s brother Shimeah answered “My lord must not think they have killed all the young princes: only Amnon is dead, because there has been an ugly look around Absalom’s mouth since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 Now your majesty must not pay any attention to such talk as that all the princes are dead, because it is only Amnon that is dead, 34 and Absalom has fled.” And the young man who was on the watch raised his eyes and saw that a great number of persons were going along the Beth-Horon road at the descent; and the watchman came and told the king “I saw men in the direction of Beth-Horon, toward the mountainside.” 35 And Jonadab said to the king “Here the princes are coming; it has come out just as your servant said.” 36 And as he finished speaking, up came the princes; and they raised their voices and wept, and the king and all his officers wept too, making a very great weeping. 37 (But Absalom left the country, and went to Talmai the son of ʽAmmihud, the king of Geshur.) And he mourned for his son all the time. 38 But Absalom left the country, and went to Geshur and was there three years. 39* And the king pined away for Absalom when he was reconciled to Amnon’s being dead;