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2 Samuel 13:12-39 (The Message)

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12 "No, brother!" she said, "Don't hurt me! This kind of thing isn't done in Israel! Don't do this terrible thing! 13 Where could I ever show my face? And you - you'll be out on the street in disgrace. Oh, please! Speak to the king - he'll let you marry me." 14 But he wouldn't listen. Being much stronger than she, he raped her. 15 No sooner had Amnon raped her than he hated her - an immense hatred. The hatred that he felt for her was greater than the love he'd had for her. "Get up," he said, "and get out!" 16 "Oh no, brother," she said. "Please! This is an even worse evil than what you just did to me!" 17 He called for his valet. "Get rid of this woman. Get her out of my sight! And lock the door after her." 18 The valet threw her out and locked the door behind her. 19 Tamar poured ashes on her head, then she ripped the long-sleeved gown, held her head in her hands, and walked away, sobbing as she went. 20 Her brother Absalom said to her, "Has your brother Amnon had his way with you? Now, my dear sister, let's keep it quiet - a family matter. He is, after all, your brother. Don't take this so hard." Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's home, bitter and desolate. 21 King David heard the whole story and was enraged, 22 but he didn't discipline Amnon. David doted on him because he was his firstborn. Absalom quit speaking to Amnon - not a word, whether good or bad - because he hated him for violating his sister Tamar. 23 Two years went by. One day Absalom threw a sheep-shearing party in Baal Hazor in the vicinity of Ephraim and invited all the king's sons. 24 He also went to the king and invited him. "Look, I'm throwing a sheep-shearing party. Come, and bring your servants." 25 But the king said, "No, son - not this time, and not the whole household. We'd just be a burden to you." Absalom pushed, but David wouldn't budge. But he did give him his blessing. 26 Then Absalom said, "Well, if you won't come, at least let my brother Amnon come." 27 But Absalom was so insistent that he gave in and let Amnon and all the rest of the king's sons go. 28 Absalom prepared a banquet fit for a king. Then he instructed his servants, "Look sharp, now. When Amnon is well into the sauce and feeling no pain, and I give the order 'Strike Amnon,' kill him. And don't be afraid - I'm the one giving the command. Courage! You can do it!" 29 Absalom's servants did to Amnon exactly what their master ordered. All the king's sons got out as fast as they could, jumped on their mules, and rode off. 30 While they were still on the road, a rumor came to the king: "Absalom just killed all the king's sons - not one is left!" 31 The king stood up, ripped his clothes to shreds, and threw himself on the floor. All his servants who were standing around at the time did the same. 32 Just then, Jonadab, his brother Shimeah's son, stepped up. "My master must not think that all the young men, the king's sons, are dead. Only Amnon is dead. This happened because of Absalom's outrage since the day that Amnon violated his sister Tamar. 33 So my master, the king, mustn't make things worse than they are, thinking that all your sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead." 34 Absalom fled. Just then the sentry on duty looked up and saw a cloud of dust on the road from Horonaim alongside the mountain. He came and told the king, "I've just seen a bunch of men on the Horonaim road, coming around the mountain." 35 Then Jonadab exclaimed to the king, "See! It's the king's sons coming, just as I said!" 36 He had no sooner said the words than the king's sons burst in - loud laments and weeping! The king joined in, along with all the servants - loud weeping, many tears. 37 David mourned the death of his son a long time. 38 He was there three years. 39 The king finally gave up trying to get back at Absalom. He had come to terms with Amnon's death.
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