“No, my brother!” she cried. “Don’t be foolish! Don’t do this to me! Such wicked things aren’t done in Israel.
Where could I go in my shame? And you would be called one of the greatest fools in Israel. Please, just speak to the king about it, and he will let you marry me.”
But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her, and since he was stronger than she was, he raped her.
Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. “Get out of here!” he snarled at her.
“No, no!” Tamar cried. “Sending me away now is worse than what you’ve already done to me.” But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her.
He shouted for his servant and demanded, “Throw this woman out, and lock the door behind her!”
So the servant put her out and locked the door behind her. She was wearing a long, beautiful robe, as was the custom in those days for the king’s virgin daughters.
But now Tamar tore her robe and put ashes on her head. And then, with her face in her hands, she went away crying.
Her brother Absalom saw her and asked, “Is it true that Amnon has been with you? Well, my sister, keep quiet for now, since he’s your brother. Don’t you worry about it.” So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in her brother Absalom’s house.
When King David heard what had happened, he was very angry.
And though Absalom never spoke to Amnon about this, he hated Amnon deeply because of what he had done to his sister.
Two years later, when Absalom’s sheep were being sheared at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, Absalom invited all the king’s sons to come to a feast.
He went to the king and said, “My sheep-shearers are now at work. Would the king and his servants please come to celebrate the occasion with me?”
The king replied, “No, my son. If we all came, we would be too much of a burden on you.” Absalom pressed him, but the king would not come, though he gave Absalom his blessing.
“Well, then,” Absalom said, “if you can’t come, how about sending my brother Amnon with us?” “Why Amnon?” the king asked.
But Absalom kept on pressing the king until he finally agreed to let all his sons attend, including Amnon. So Absalom prepared a feast fit for a king.
Absalom told his men, “Wait until Amnon gets drunk; then at my signal, kill him! Don’t be afraid. I’m the one who has given the command. Take courage and do it!”
So at Absalom’s signal they murdered Amnon. Then the other sons of the king jumped on their mules and fled.
As they were on the way back to Jerusalem, this report reached David: “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons; not one is left alive!”
The king got up, tore his robe, and threw himself on the ground. His advisers also tore their clothes in horror and sorrow.
But just then Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimea, arrived and said, “No, don’t believe that all the king’s sons have been killed! It was only Amnon! Absalom has been plotting this ever since Amnon raped his sister Tamar.
No, my lord the king, your sons aren’t all dead! It was only Amnon.”
Meanwhile Absalom escaped. Then the watchman on the Jerusalem wall saw a great crowd coming down the hill on the road from the west. He ran to tell the king, “I see a crowd of people coming from the Horonaim road along the side of the hill.”
“Look!” Jonadab told the king. “There they are now! The king’s sons are coming, just as I said.”
They soon arrived, weeping and sobbing, and the king and all his servants wept bitterly with them.
And David mourned many days for his son Amnon. Absalom fled to his grandfather, Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur.
He stayed there in Geshur for three years.
And King David, now reconciled to Amnon’s death, longed to be reunited with his son Absalom.