Now Ab'salom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and after a time Amnon, David's son, loved her.
And Amnon was so tormented that he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.
But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jon'adab, the son of Shim'e-ah, David's brother; and Jon'adab was a very crafty man.
And he said to him, "O son of the king, why are you so haggard morning after morning? Will you not tell me?" Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Ab'salom's sister."
Jon'adab said to him, "Lie down on your bed, and pretend to be ill; and when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.'"
So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Pray let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand."
Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him."
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, where he was lying down. And she took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes.
And she took the pan and emptied it out before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, "Send out every one from me." So every one went out from him.
Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the cakes she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
But when she brought them near him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister."
She answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me; for such a thing is not done in Israel; do not do this wanton folly.
As for me, where could I carry my shame? And as for you, you would be as one of the wanton fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray you, speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you."
But he would not listen to her; and being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.
Then Amnon hated her with very great hatred; so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Arise, be gone."
But she said to him, "No, my brother; for this wrong in sending me away is greater than the other which you did to me." But he would not listen to her.
He called the young man who served him and said, "Put this woman out of my presence, and bolt the door after her."
Now she was wearing a long robe with sleeves; for thus were the virgin daughters of the king clad of old. So his servant put her out, and bolted the door after her.
And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent the long robe which she wore; and she laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.
And her brother Ab'salom said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now hold your peace, my sister; he is your brother; do not take this to heart." So Tamar dwelt, a desolate woman, in her brother Ab'salom's house.
When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
But Ab'salom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Ab'salom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
After two full years Ab'salom had sheepshearers at Ba'al-ha'zor, which is near E'phraim, and Ab'salom invited all the king's sons.
And Ab'salom came to the king, and said, "Behold, your servant has sheepshearers; pray let the king and his servants go with your servant."
But the king said to Ab'salom, "No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you." He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing.
Then Ab'salom said, "If not, pray let my brother Amnon go with us." And the king said to him, "Why should he go with you?"
But Ab'salom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
Then Ab'salom commanded his servants, "Mark when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, 'Strike Amnon,' then kill him. Fear not; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant."
So the servants of Ab'salom did to Amnon as Ab'salom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled.
While they were on the way, tidings came to David, "Ab'salom has slain all the king's sons, and not one of them is left."
Then the king arose, and rent his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants who were standing by rent their garments.
But Jon'adab the son of Shim'e-ah, David's brother, said, "Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king's sons, for Amnon alone is dead, for by the command of Ab'salom this has been determined from the day he forced his sister Tamar.
Now therefore let not my lord the king so take it to heart as to suppose that all the king's sons are dead; for Amnon alone is dead."
But Ab'salom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the Horona'im road by the side of the mountain.
And Jon'adab said to the king, "Behold, the king's sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about."
And as soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept; and the king also and all his servants wept very bitterly.
But Ab'salom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammi'hud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son day after day.
So Ab'salom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
And the spirit of the king longed to go forth to Ab'salom; for he was comforted about Amnon, seeing he was dead.
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)