Some time later, David's son Amnon fell in love with Tamar the beautiful sister of Absalom, who was also David's son.
Amnon was so upset over his half sister that he made himself sick. She was a virgin, and it seemed impossible in Amnon's view to do anything to her.
But Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, Shimeah's son, David's brother, who was a very clever man.
"Prince," Jonadab said to him, "why are you so down, morning after morning? Tell me about it." So Amnon told him, "I'm in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom."
"Lie down on your bed and pretend to be sick," Jonadab said to him. "When your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat. Let her prepare the food in my sight so I can watch and eat from her own hand.'"
So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. The king came to see him, and Amnon told the king, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of heart-shaped cakes in front of me so I can eat from her hand."
David sent word to Tamar at the palace: "Please go to your brother Amnon's house and prepare some food for him."
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house where he was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made heart-shaped cakes in front of him, and then cooked them.
She took the pan and served Amnon, but he refused to eat. "Everyone leave me," Amnon said. So everyone left him.
Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the bedroom so I can eat from your hand." So Tamar took the heart-shaped cakes she had made and brought them to her brother Amnon in the bedroom.
When she served him the food, he grabbed her and said, "Come have sex with me, my sister."
But she said to him, "No, my brother! Don't rape me. Such a thing shouldn't be done in Israel. Don't do this horrible thing.
Think about me—where could I hide my shame? And you—you would become like some fool in Israel! Please, just talk to the king! He won't keep me from marrying you."
But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was, and so he raped her.
But then Amnon felt intense hatred for her. In fact, his hatred for her was greater than the love he had felt for her. So Amnon told her, "Get out of here!"
"No, my brother!"a she said. "Sending me away would be worse than the wrong you've already done." But Amnon wouldn't listen to her.
He summoned his young servant and said, "Get this woman out of my presence and lock the door after her."
(She was wearing a long-sleeved robe because that was what the virgin princesses wore as garments.)b So Amnon's servant put her out and locked the door after her.
Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long-sleeved robe she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and walked away, crying as she went.
Her brother Absalom said to her, "Has your brother Amnon been with you? Keep quiet about it for now, sister; he's your brother. Don't let it bother you." So Tamar, a broken woman, lived in her brother Absalom's house.
When King David heard about all this he got very angry, but he refused to punish his son Amnon because he loved him as his oldest child.c22
Absalom never spoke to Amnon, good word or bad, because he hated him for raping his sister Tamar.