Two years later, Absalom was shearing sheep at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and he invited all the king's sons.
Absalom approached the king and said, "Your servant is shearing sheep. Would the king and his advisors please join me?"
But the king said to Absalom, "No, my son. We shouldn't all go, or we would be a burden on you." Although Absalom urged him, the king wasn't willing to go, although he gave Absalom a blessing.
Then Absalom said, "If you won't come, then let my brother Amnon go with us." "Why should he go with you?" they asked him.
But Absalom urged him until he sent Amnon and all the other princes. Then Absalom made a banquet fit for a king.a28
Absalom commanded his servants, "Be on the lookout! When Amnon is happy with wine and I tell you to strike Amnon down, then kill him! Don't be afraid, because I myself am giving you the order. Be brave and strong men."
So Absalom's servants did to Amnon just what he had commanded. Then all the princes got up, jumped onto their mules, and fled.
While they were on the way, the report came to David: "Absalom has killed all of the princes! Not one remains."
The king got up, tore his garments, and lay on the ground. All his servants stood near him, their garments torn as well.
But Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah, said, "My master shouldn't think that all the young princes have been killed—only Amnon is dead. This has been Absalom's plan ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar.
So don't let this bother you, my master; don't think that all the princes are dead, because only Amnon is dead,
and Absalom has fled." Just then the young man on watch looked up and saw many people coming on the road behind him alongside the mountain.
Jonadab told the king, "Look, the princes are coming, just as I, your servant, said they would."
When Jonadab finished speaking, the princes arrived. They broke into loud crying, and the king and his servants cried hard as well.
Meanwhile, Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur's King Talmai, Ammihud's son. David mourned for his son a long time.
But Absalom, after fleeing to Geshur, stayed there for three years.
Then the king's desire to go out after Absalom faded away because he had gotten over Amnon's death.b