2 Samuel 13

1 And it was done after these things, that Amnon, the son of David, loved the fairest sister, Tamar by name, of Absalom, the son of David. (And it was done after these things, that Amnon, one of David's sons, loved Tamar, the fairest sister of Amnon, and of Absalom, another of David's sons.)
2 And Amnon perished greatly for her, so that he was sick for her love. For since she was a virgin, it seemed hard to him, that he should do anything unhonestly with her. (And Amnon greatly burned for her, so that he was sick for her love. But since she was a virgin, it was hard for him to do anything dishonourable to her.)
3 But there was a friend to Amnon, Jonadab by name, the son of Shimeah, the brother of David; and Jonadab was a full prudent man, [(that is), a full sly man].
4 Which said to Amnon, Son of the king, why art thou made feeble so by leanness, by all days? why showest thou not to me? (And he said to Amnon, Son of the king, why art thou made so weak and thin, day after day? why not tellest thou to me?) And Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.
5 And Jonadab answered to him, Lie thou on thy bed, and feign thou sickness; and when thy father cometh, that he visit thee, say thou to him, I pray, come Tamar, my sister, that she give meat to me, and make a stew, that I eat it of her hand. (And Jonadab answered to him, Do thou this. Lie thou on thy bed, and pretend to be sick; and when thy father cometh to visit thee, say thou to him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give food to me, yea, to make me a stew, and I shall eat it by her hand/and she shall serve it to me.)
6 Therefore Amnon lay down, and feigned to be sick. And when the king had come to visit him, Amnon said to the king, I beseech, come Tamar, my sister, that she make two suppings before my eyes, and that I take of her hand the meat made ready. (And so Amnon lay down, and pretended to be sick. And when the king had come to visit him, Amnon said to the king, I beseech thee, that my sister Tamar come, and make supper for me, and when the food is ready, I shall eat it by her hand/she shall serve it to me.)
7 Therefore David sent to the house of Tamar, and said, Come thou into the house of Amnon, thy brother, and make thou a stew to him. (And so David sent word to Tamar's house, and said, Go thou to thy brother Amnon's house, and make thou a stew for him.)
8 And Tamar came into the house of Amnon, her brother. And he lay down; and she took meal, and mixed (it) together, and made (it) moist before his eyes, and seethed [the] suppings (and boiled the supper);
9 and she took that, that she had sodden, and poured it out, and set it before him, and he would not eat (and she took what she had boiled, and poured it out, and set it before him, but he would not eat it). And Amnon said, Put ye out all men from me. And when they had put out all (the) men,
10 Amnon said to Tamar, Bear the meat into the (bed-)closet, that I eat of thine hand. Therefore Tamar took the suppings which she had made, and brought in to Amnon, her brother, in the (bed-)closet. (Amnon said to Tamar, Bring the food into the bed-chamber, so that I can eat it by thy hand/so that thou can serve it to me. And so Tamar took the supper which she had made, and brought it to her brother Amnon, in the bed-chamber.)
11 And when she had proffered the meat to him, he took her, and said, Come thou, my sister, lie thou with me. (And when she offered him the food, he took hold of her, and said, Come thou, my sister, lie thou with me/sleep with me.)
12 And she answered to him, My brother, do not thou, do not thou oppress me, for this is not leaveful in Israel (for this is not lawful in Israel); do not thou do this folly.
13 For I shall not be able to bear my shame, and thou shalt be as one of the unwise men, (or the fools,) in Israel; but rather speak thou to the king, and he shall not deny me to thee.
14 Soothly he would not assent to her prayers; but he was stronger in mights, and oppressed her, and lay with her.
15 And then (afterward,) with full great hatred Amnon hated her, so that the hatred was greater, by which he hated her, than the love by which he (had) loved her before. And Amnon said to her, Rise thou (up), and go.
16 And she answered to him, This evil is more which thou doest now against me, and puttest me out, than that, that thou didest before. And he would not hear her; (And she answered to him, This evil which thou now doest against me, by putting me out, is worse, than what thou didest before. But he would not listen to her;)
17 but when the servant was called, that ministered to him (who served him), he said, Put thou out this woman from me, and close thou the door after her.
18 And she was clothed with a coat down to the heel; for the king's daughters (who were) virgins used such clothes. Then the servant of Amnon put her out, and closed the door after her.
19 And she sprinkled ashes (on)to her head, and when her long coat was rent, and her hands put on her head, she went entering [in] and crying.
20 And Absalom, her brother, said to her, Whether Amnon, thy brother, hath lain with thee? But now, sister, be still; he is thy brother, and torment thou not thine heart for this thing. Therefore Tamar dwelled mourning in the house of Absalom, her brother (And so Tamar stayed in the house of her brother Absalom, and mourned her state).
21 Forsooth when king David had heard these words, he was full sorry, and he would not make sore the spirit of Amnon, his son (And when King David heard about this, he was very upset, but he would not punish his son Amnon); for he loved Amnon, for he was his first begotten son.
22 And Absalom spake not to Amnon, neither evil nor good; for Absalom hated Amnon, for he had defouled Tamar, his sister (for he had defiled his sister Tamar).
23 And it was done after the time of two years, that the sheep of Absalom were shorn in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim. And Absalom called all the sons of the king (And Absalom invited all the king's sons to be there).
24 And he came to the king, and said to him, Lo! the sheep of thy servant be shorn; I pray (thee), come the king with his servants to his servant.
25 And the king said to Absalom, Do not thou, my son, do not thou pray, that all we come, and charge thee. And when he constrained David, and he would not go, he blessed Absalom. (And the king said to Absalom, Do not thou, my son, do not thou pray, that we all come, and be a burden to thee. And when Absalom pressed David, he still would not go, but he blessed Absalom.)
26 And Absalom said to David, If thou wilt not come, I beseech thee, come namely Amnon, my brother, with us (And Absalom said to David, If thou wilt not come, I beseech thee, then let my brother Amnon come with us). And the king said to him, It is no need, that he go with thee.
27 Therefore Absalom constrained him; and he delivered with him Amnon, and all the sons of the king. (But Absalom pressed him; and so he let Amnon, and all his other sons, go with him.)
28 And Absalom had made a feast as the feast of a king. And Absalom [had] commanded to his servants, and said, Espy ye, when Amnon is drunken of wine, and when I say to you, Smite ye, and slayeth him. Do not ye dread, for I am that command to you; be ye strengthened, and be ye strong men. (And Absalom made a feast like the feast of a king. And Absalom commanded to his servants, and said, Watch ye, so that when Amnon is drunk with wine, and I say to you, Strike ye him! that you kill him. Do not ye fear, for I am the one who command you to do this; be ye of good courage, and be ye strong men.)
29 Therefore the servants of Absalom did against Amnon, as Absalom had commanded to them; and (then) all the sons of the king (swiftly) rose up, and ascended each upon his mule, and fled.
30 And when they went yet in the way, (the) fame came thereof to the king, and it was said, Absalom hath slain all the sons of the king, and namely not one (is) left of them. (And when they were yet on the way, the report came to the king, and it was said, Absalom hath killed all of the king's sons, and not one of them is left alive.)
31 Therefore the king rose up, and rent his clothes, and felled down on the earth (and fell down on the ground); and all his servants that stood nigh to him, rent their clothes.
32 But Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, brother of David, answered and said, My lord the king, guess thou not, that all the young men, and sons of the king, be slain; Amnon alone is dead, for he was set in hatred to Absalom, from the day in which he oppressed Tamar, his sister. (But Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother, said, My lord the king, think thou not, that all of the king's sons be killed; no, only Amnon is dead, for Absalom hath hated him, from the day that he oppressed his sister Tamar.)
33 Now therefore, my lord the king, set not this word on his heart, and say, All the sons of the king be slain; for Amnon alone is dead. (And so now, my lord the king, put not this thing upon thy heart, and say, All the king's sons be killed; for only Amnon is dead.)
34 Forsooth Absalom fled. And a young man, (an) espyer, raised [up] his eyes, and beheld, and lo! much people came by a way out of the common way, by the side of the hill. (And so Absalom fled away. And a young man, a watchman, raised up his eyes, and looked, and lo! a crowd of people came by the road, on the side of the hill behind him.)
35 And Jonadab said to the king, Lo! the sons of the king come; after the word of thy servant, so it is done (yea, so it is done, just as thy servant hath said).
36 And when he had ceased to speak, also the sons of the king appeared; and they entered, and raised up their voice, and wept; but also the king and all his servants wept with full great weeping.
37 Forsooth Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. Therefore David bewailed his son Amnon in many days (And so David bewailed his son Amnon for many days).
38 Forsooth Absalom, when he had fled, and had come into Geshur, was there (for) three years.
39 And [king] David ceased to pursue Absalom, for he was comforted upon the death of Amnon. (And after King David resigned himself to Amnon's death, he longed for his son Absalom.)

2 Samuel 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Ammon's violence to his sister. (1-20) Absalom murders his brother Ammon. (21-29) David's grief, Absalom flees to Geshur. (30-39)

Verses 1-20 From henceforward David was followed with one trouble after another. Adultery and murder were David's sins, the like sins among his children were the beginnings of his punishment: he was too indulgent to his children. Thus David might trace the sins of his children to his own misconduct, which must have made the anguish of the chastisement worse. Let no one ever expect good treatment from those who are capable of attempting their seduction; but it is better to suffer the greatest wrong than to commit the least sin.

Verses 21-29 Observe the aggravations of Absalom's sin: he would have Ammon slain, when least fit to go out of the world. He engaged his servants in the guilt. Those servants are ill-taught who obey wicked masters, against God's commands. Indulged children always prove crosses to godly parents, whose foolish love leads them to neglect their duty to God.

Verses 30-39 Jonadab was as guilty of Ammon's death, as of his sin; such false friends do they prove, who counsel us to do wickedly. Instead of loathing Absalom as a murderer, David, after a time, longed to go forth to him. This was David's infirmity: God saw something in his heart that made a difference, else we should have thought that he, as much as Eli, honoured his sons more than God.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 13

This chapter relates some of the evils that were to arise out of David's house, and which were similar to the evils committed by him; the deflowering of his daughter, and the murder of his eldest son: the story is this; Amnon falls in love with Tamar, his sister, and grew thin upon it, which being observed by a friend of his, inquires the reason of it, which having got out of him, forms a scheme for obtaining his desire, and which succeeded; for by it he had the opportunity of ravishing his sister, 2Sa 13:1-14; the consequences of which were extreme hatred of her, hurrying her out of doors, lamentation and mourning on her part, grief to David, and enmity in the heart of Absalom to Amnon, which put him upon meditating his death, 2Sa 13:15-22; and which was brought about after this manner. Absalom had a sheep shearing, to which he invited the king and all his sons, and to which they all came excepting the king, 2Sa 13:23-27; when Absalom gave orders to his servants to observe Amnon when he was merry, and at his word smite him and kill him, as they did, 2Sa 13:28,29; tidings of which soon came to the ears of David, and these aggravated, that all the king's sons were killed, which threw the king into an agony; but Jonadab endeavoured to pacify him, by assuring him that only Amnon was dead, the truth of which soon appeared by the coming of the king's sons, 2Sa 13:30-36; but Absalom fled to Geshur, where he remained three years, when David's heart began to be towards him, and to long for him, who was to bring more evil against him, 2Sa 13:37-39.

2 Samuel 13 Commentaries