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2 Samuel - Chapter 13

2 Samuel Chapters

1 After this, the following events took place. Absalom son of David had a beautiful sister whose name was Tamar; Amnon son of David fell in love with her.

2 Amnon was so obsessed with his sister Tamar that it made him ill, since she was a virgin and Amnon thought it impossible to do anything to her.

3 But Amnon had a friend called Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother, and Jonadab was a very shrewd man.

4 'Son of the king,' he said, 'tell me why, morning after morning, you look so worn? Won't you tell me?' Amnon replied, 'I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.'

5 Then Jonadab said, 'Take to your bed, pretend to be ill and, when your father comes to visit you, say, "Please let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat; let her prepare the food where I can see. What she gives me I shall eat." '

6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. The king then came to visit him and Amnon said to the king, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and make a cake or two where I can watch. What she gives me, I shall eat.'

7 David then sent word to Tamar at the palace, 'Go to your brother Amnon's house and prepare some food for him.'

8 Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon who was lying there in bed. She took dough and kneaded it, and she made some cakes while he watched, and baked the cakes.

9 She then took the pan and dished them up in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, 'Let everyone leave me!' So everyone withdrew.

10 Amnon then said to Tamar, 'Bring the food to the inner room, so that I can eat what you give me.' So Tamar took the cakes which she had made and brought them to her brother Amnon in the inner room.

11 And as she was offering the food to him, he caught hold of her and said, 'Come to bed with me, sister!'

12 She replied, 'No, brother! Do not force me! This is no way to behave in Israel. Do not do anything so disgraceful!

13 Wherever should I go? I should be marked with this shame, while you would become disgraced in Israel. Why not go and speak to the king? He will not refuse to give me to you.'

14 But he would not listen to her; he overpowered her and raped her.

15 Amnon was then seized with extreme hatred for her; the hatred he now felt for her was greater than his earlier love. 'Get up and go!' he said.

16 She said, 'No, brother! To send me away would be worse than the other wrong you have done me!' But he would not listen to her.

17 He called his personal servant. 'Rid me of this woman!' he said. 'Throw her out and bolt the door behind her!'

18 (She was wearing a magnificent dress, for this was what the king's unmarried daughters wore in days gone by.) So the servant put her out and bolted the door behind her.

19 Tamar put dust on her head, tore the magnificent dress which she was wearing, laid her hand on her head, and went away, crying aloud as she went.

20 Her brother Absalom said to her, 'Has Amnon your brother been with you? Sister, be quiet; he is your brother; do not take the matter to heart!' Tamar, however, went back to her brother Absalom's house inconsolable.

21 When King David heard the whole story, he was very angry; but he had no wish to harm his son Amnon, whom he loved because he was his first-born.

22 Absalom, however, would not so much as speak to Amnon, since he hated Amnon for having raped his sister Tamar.

23 Two years later, when Absalom had the sheep-shearers at Baal-Hazor, which is near Ephraim, he invited all the king's sons.

24 Absalom went to the king and said, 'Now sir, your servant has the sheep-shearers. Will the king and his retinue be pleased to come with your servant?'

25 'No, my son,' the king replied, 'we must not all come and be a burden to you.' And though Absalom was insistent, he would not go but dismissed him.

26 Absalom persisted, 'Then at least let my brother Amnon come with us.' The king said, 'Why should he go with you?'

27 On Absalom's insistence, however, he let Amnon and all the king's sons to go with him. Absalom prepared a royal banquet

28 and then gave this order to the servants, 'Listen carefully; when Amnon's heart is merry with wine and I say, "Strike Amnon down", then kill him. Don't be afraid. Have I not myself given you the order? Use your strength and show your mettle!'

29 Absalom's servants treated Amnon as Absalom had ordered. The king's sons all leapt to their feet, mounted their mules and fled.

30 While they were on the road, word reached David, 'Absalom has killed all the king's sons; not one of them is left.'

31 The king stood up, tore his clothes and threw himself on the ground. All his officers tore their clothes too.

32 Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother, then spoke up and said, 'Do not let my lord take to heart the report that all the young men, the king's sons, have been killed, since only Amnon is dead: for Absalom has been promising himself to do this since the day when Amnon raped his sister Tamar.

33 So my lord the king must not imagine that all the king's sons are dead; only Amnon is dead

34 and Absalom has fled.' The man on sentry duty looked up and saw a large troop coming along the road from Bahurim. The sentry came to tell the king, 'I have seen some people coming down the Bahurim road on the mountainside.'

35 Jonadab then said to the king, 'These are the king's sons arriving: what your servant said is exactly what happened.'

36 He had scarcely finished speaking when the king's sons arrived and wept aloud; the king and all his retinue wept aloud too.

37 Absalom had gone to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. The king mourned for his son every day.

38 When Absalom had gone to Geshur, he stayed there for three years.

39 Once the king was consoled over Amnon's death, his anger against Absalom subsided.

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New Jerusalem Bible

The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is a Catholic translation of the Bible published in 1985. The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) has become the most widely used Roman Catholic Bible outside of the United States. It has the imprimatur of Cardinal George Basil Hume.

Like its predecessor, the Jerusalem Bible, the New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) version is translated "directly from the Hebrew, Greek or Aramaic." The 1973 French translation, the Bible de Jerusalem, is followed only "where the text admits to more than one interpretation." Introductions and notes, with some modifications, are taken from the Bible de Jerusalem.

Source: The Very Reverend Dom (Joseph) Henry Wansbrough, OSB, MA (Oxon), STL (Fribourg), LSS (Rome), a monk of Ampleforth Abbey and a biblical scholar. He was General Editor of the New Jerusalem Bible. "New Jerusalem Bible, Regular Edition", pg. v.

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