Absalom1 ordered his men, "Listen! When Amnon is in high2 spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, 'Strike Amnon down,' then kill him. Don't be afraid. Have not I given you this order? Be strong and brave.3"
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, tore4 his clothes and lay down on the ground; and all his servants 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 expressed 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."a35
Jonadab said to the king, "See, the king's sons are here; 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 servants wept very bitterly.