13[1-5] After this, Absalom, son of David, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon, son of David, loved her. Amnon was so troubled that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar because she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, of Shimeah, David’s brother; and Jonadab was a very sneaky man. He said to him, “Why are you, son of the ruler, becoming thinner by the day? Won’t you tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” Jonadab said to him, “Lay down on your bed, and pretend to be sick; and when your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food to eat, and fix the food for me, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.’”
[6-10] So Amnon lay down, and pretended to be sick; and when the ruler had come to see him, Amnon said to David, “Please let my sister Tamar come, and make me a couple of cakes, that I may eat them from her hand.” Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and fix him some food.” So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laying down. She took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked them. She took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have everyone leave from me. So everyone left from him.Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, that I may eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the room to Amnon, her brother.
[11-16] When she had brought them close to him to eat, he grabbed her, saying to her, “Come, have sex with me, my sister.” She answered him, “No, my brother, don’t force me, because nothing like this should ever be done in Israel. Don’t disgrace me this way. Howwill I stand my shame? and as for you, you’ll be as one of the ungodly people in Israel. So please speak to the ruler because he won’t keep me from you.” But he wouldn’t listen to her; and being stronger than she, he raped her forcefully. Then Amnon hated her very much. The hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her, so Amnon said to her, “Get up, and get out! She said to him, No, this great wrong in putting me out is worse than the other that you did to me! But he wouldn’t listen to her.
[17-20] Then he called his worker who ministered to him, saying, “Put this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.” She had a clothes of various colors on her because with such robes were the ruler’s daughters who were virgins dressed. Then his worker brought her out, and bolted the door after her. Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her colorful clothes that she wore; and she laid her hand on her head, and went home, crying aloud as she went. Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon, your brother, had sex with you? Hold your peace, my sister; he is your brother; don’t take this thing to heart.” So Tamar was left heart broken in her brother Absalom’s house.
[21-27] But when Ruler David heard of all this, he was very angry. Absalom said nothing to Amnon, either good or bad, because he hated Amnon, who had raped his sister Tamar. After two full years, Absalom had his sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim; and Absalom invited all the ruler’s sons. Absalom came to the ruler, saying, “See, I have my sheepshearers here; let the ruler, I ask, and his workers go with me.” The ruler said to Absalom, “No, my son, let’s not all go, in case we are too many for you.” He pressed him, but David wouldn’t go, but blessed him. Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother, Amnon, go with us.” The ruler said to him, “Why should he go with you?” But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the ruler’s sons go with him.
[28-31] Absalom told his workers, saying, “Watch for when Amnon is drunk with wine; and when I tell you, hit him, then kill him; don’t be scared; haven’t I told you to do this? Be brave and heroic.” The workers of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had told them. Then all the ruler’s sons got up, and everyone got on their mules, and ran. While they were on the way, the news came to David that Absalom had killed all the ruler’s sons, and there wasn’t one of them left. Then the ruler got up, and tore his clothes, and lay on the earth; and all his workers stood by with their clothes torn.
[32-39] Jonadab, of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, “Don’t think that they’ve killed all the the ruler’s sons because Amnon only is dead. This has been decided by Absolom from the day that Amnon raped his sister Tamar. So now, don’t take this thing to heart, to think that all the ruler’s sons are dead because Amnon only is dead. But Absalom ran. The young men who kept watch looked up, and saw many people were coming by the road on the hillside behind him. Jonadab said to the ruler, “See, the ruler’s sons have come. It’s just like I said. As soon as he had finished speaking, the ruler’s sons came, and raised their voices, and cried; and the ruler also and all his workers cried very much. But Absalom ran, and went to Talmai of Ammihur, ruler of Geshur. David mourned for his son everyday. So Absalom ran, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. Ruler David really wanted to go to Absalom because he was comforted about Amnon, seeing he was dead.
14[1-11] Now Joab of Zeruiah understood that the ruler’s heart was toward Absalom. Joab sent to Tekoa for a wise woman, saying to her, please, act like a mourner, and put on mourning clothes, and don’t anoint yourself with oil, but be as a woman mourning for a long time for the dead; and go to the ruler, and speak this way to him. So Joab told her what to say. When the woman of Tekoa spoke to the ruler, she fell to the ground, and paid him respect, saying, “Help me, O ruler.” The ruler said to her, “What’s troubling you?” She answered, “Truly, I’m a death survivor, and my husband is dead. Your servant had two sons, and they fought together in a field, and no one was there to separate them, but one killed the other. Now the whole family has turned against your servant, and they say, “Give him who fought his brother, that we may kill him for the life of his brother, whom he killed, and so destroy the heir also. So they would put out my flame that is left, and will leave to my husband neither name nor descendant on the face of the earth.” The ruler said to the woman, “Go home, and I’ll give orders about you.” The woman of Tekoa said to the ruler, “O ruler, let the sin be on me, and on my father’s house; and the ruler and his throne be guiltless.” The ruler said, “Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he won’t touch you anymore.” Then she said, “Please let the ruler remember Yahweh your God, that the avenger of blood destroy not anymore, in case they destroy my child.” He said, “As Yahweh lives, there won’t one hair of your son fall to the earth.”
[12-20] Then the woman said, Please let your servant speak one word to you, O ruler.” He said, “Speak.” The woman said, “Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? In speaking this word the ruler is as one who is guilty, in that you don’t bring home again your son who has been put out. For we will die, and be like water split on the ground, which can’t be gathered up again; neither does God take away life, but makes a way for those who are separated from God to not be put away forever. So now, seeing that I’ve come to speak this word to you sir, the ruler,it’s because the people have made me afraid; and your servant said, I’ll now speak to the ruler; it may be that the ruler will do what I ask. The ruler will hear, and save his worker out of the hand of those who would destroy me and my child together, and take the inheritance of God. Then your servant said, ‘Please let the word of the ruler be comforting, because the ruler knows what’s good and bad like an angel of God; and Yahweh your God be with you.’” Then the ruler said to the woman, “Please don’t hide anything from me that I ask you.” The woman said, “Let the ruler speak now.” The ruler said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?“ The woman answered, “As your soul lives, O ruler, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that the ruler has said because your follower Joab, he told me what to say to you; Your follower Joab has done this thing to change the fact of the matter; and you sir are as wise as an angel of God, to know all things that are in the earth.
[21-24] Then the ruler said to Joab, “See now, I’ll do this thing; so go bring the young man Absalom back home.” Joab fell to the ground on his face, and paid respect to David, and blessed the ruler; and Joab said, “Today I know that I’ve pleased you sir, O ruler, in that you’ve done what I’ve asked.So Joab got up and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. The ruler said, “Let him go to his own house, but don’t let him come to see me.” So Absalom went to his own house, and didn’t come to see the ruler.
[25-30] Now in all Israel, there wasn’t anyone praised as much as Absalom for his beauty; from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no fault in him. When he cut the hair of his head (now it was at each year’s end that he cut it; because it was heavy); he weighed the hair of his head at 200 coins (about 5 lbs), after the ruler’s weight. Absalom had three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar; and she was a beautiful woman. Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and didn’t see the ruler’s face. Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the ruler; but he wouldn’t come to him; and he sent again a second time, but he wouldn’t come. So he said to his workers, “See, Joab’s field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s workers set the field on fire.
[31-33] Then Joab got up, and came to Absalom to his house, saying to him, “Why have your followers set my field on fire?”Absalom answered Joab, “See, I sent to you, saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the ruler, to say, ‘Why am I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still.’ So now, let me see the ruler; and if there be sin in me, let him kill me.” So Joab came to the ruler, and told him; and when he had called for Absalom, he came to the ruler, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the ruler; and the ruler kissed Absalom.
15[1-6] After this, Absalom got a war vehicle ready and horses, and 50 soldiers to run before him. Absalom got up early, and stood beside the road of the gate; and when anyone had a suit which should come to the ruler for judgment, then Absalom called to them, saying, “What city are you from?” They would answer, Your follower is of one of the family groups of Israel; and Absalom would say, “See, your matters are good and right; but there’s no one to act on behalf of the ruler to hear you.” Besides this, Absalom said, “Oh that I were made judge in the land, that everyone who has any suit or cause could come to me, and I’d do him justice!” When anyone came to pay him respect, he reached out, and grabbed them, and kissed them. Absalom did this to all Israel who came to the ruler for judgment; so Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel.
[7-12] After 40 years, Absalom said to the ruler, “Please let me go to keep a promise which I’ve made to Yahweh, in Hebron. I made a promise while I stayed at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If Yahweh will truly bring me home again to Jerusalem, then I’ll serve Yahweh.’” The ruler said to him, “Go in peace.” So he got up, and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout all the family groups of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, then call out, ‘Absalom is ruler in Hebron.’” There were 200 soldiers who went with Absolom out of Jerusalem, who were invited, and went innocently, not knowing anything. Absalom sent for Ahithophel, the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. The conspiracy was strong because the people turned to Absalom more and more.
[13-16] A messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom. David said to all his workers who were with him at Jerusalem, “Get up, and let’s run or else none of us will escape from Absalom; we must quickly leave, in case he overtake us quickly, and fight the city and make war on us. The ruler’s workers said to the ruler, “See, your followers are ready to do whatever you choose.” The ruler went, and all his household followed him. The ruler left ten women, who were his mistresses, to keep the house.
[17-22] The ruler came, and all the people following him; and they stayed in Beth Merhak. All his workers went on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, and 600 soldiers who came after him from Gath went on before the ruler. Then the ruler said to Ittai, the Gittite, “Why do you go with us, too? Go back, and stay with the ruler because you’re a foreigner, and also an exile; go back to your own place. Since you came only yesterday, should I today make you go up and down with us, seeing I go wherever I can? Go back, and take back your family; mercy and truth be with you.” But Ittai answered the ruler, saying, “As Yahweh lives, and as you sir, the ruler lives, truly wherever you go, whether in death or life, I’ll also go. David said to Ittai, “Go and cross over.” So Ittai, the Gittite, crossed over, with all his people, and all the young children with them.
[23-29] All the country cried loudly, and all the people crossed over; the ruler also himself crossed over the Kidron River, and all the people crossed over, toward the road of the countryside. Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him, bearing the Chest of the promised agreement of God; and they set down the Chest of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had left the city. The ruler said to Zadok, “Carry back the Chest of God into the city; if I find favor to Yahweh, he’ll bring me there again, and show me both it, and the Place of Worship; but if God says, I’m not happy with you; here I am, let God do to me whatever is right.” The ruler said also to Zadok, the preacher, “Aren’t you a preacher? Go back into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz, your son, and Jonathan, son of Abiathar. I’ll stay at the fords of the countryside, until word comes from you to inform me.” So Zadok and Abiathar carried the Chest of God back to Jerusalem; and they stayed there.
[30-37] David went up by the road of the Mount of Olives, and cried as he went up; and he had his head covered, and went barefoot; and all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up crying as they went up. Someone told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “Yahweh, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into stupidity.” When David had come to the top of the road where God was worshiped, Hushai, the Archite, came to meet him with his coat torn, and earth on his head. David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you’ll only trouble me; but if you go back to the city, and tell Absalom, ‘I’ll be your worker, O ruler; as I’ve been your father’s worker in the past, so I’ll now be your worker;’ then you’ll defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me. Don’t you have Zadok and Abiathar, the preachers, there with you? So whatever you hear out of the ruler’s house, you’ll tell it to Zadok and Abiathar, the preachers. They have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you’ll send word to me everything you hear. So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city; and Absalom came into Jerusalem.
16[1-4] When David was a little past the top of the mountain, Ziba, the worker of Mephibosheth, met him with a couple of donkeys saddled, and on them 200 loaves of bread, and 100 clusters of raisins, and 100 summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.The ruler said to Ziba, “What does all this mean?” Ziba said, “The donkeys are for the ruler’s household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the soldiers to eat; and the wine, for those who are faint in the countryside, that they may drink. The ruler said, “Where is your boss’s son?” Ziba said to the ruler, “He lives at Jerusalem because he said, “Today, the house of Israel will give back to me the rule of my father.” Then the ruler said to Ziba, “What belongs to Mephibosheth is yours.” Ziba said, “I pay my respect; may I please you sir, O ruler.
[5-8] When Ruler David came to Bahurim, someone of the family of the house of Saul came out, whose name was Shimei, of Gera. He came out, cursing as he came.He threw stones at David, and at all the workers of Ruler David; and all the people and all the soldiers were on his right and on his left.Shimei said when he cursed, Leave, leave, you man of blood, and evil person; Yahweh has left from you for all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you’ve ruled; and Yahweh has given the rule to Absalom, your son; and see, you’re taken in your own misdeeds, because you’re a man of blood.”
[9-14] Then said Abishai of Zeruiah to the ruler, “Why should this dead dog curse you sir, the ruler? Please let me go over and take off his head.” The ruler said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? He curses because Yahweh has told him to curse David; who then will say, “Why have you done this?”ThenDavid said to Abishai, and to all his workers, “See, my child who came from my own body, wants to take my life; how much more may this Benjamite now do it? Let him alone, and let him curse because Yahweh has told him to do it.It may be that Yahweh will look on the wrong done to me, and that Yahweh will repay me good for his cursing of me today.”So David and his men went on up the road; and Shimei went along on the hillside next to him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones and dirt at him.The ruler, and all the people who were with him, came up tired; and he refreshed himself there.
[15-19] Absalom, and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel was with him.When Hushai, the Archite, David’s friend, had come to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the ruler, long live the ruler.” Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your kindness to your friend? Why didn’t you go with your friend?” Hushai said to Absalom, “No; but whom Yahweh, and this people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, I’ll be his, and I’ll stay with him. So whom should I serve? Shouldn’t I serve in the presence of his son? As I’ve served your father, so I’ll serve you.
[20-23] Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “What do you think we should do?”Ahithophel said to Absalom, Go in and have sex with your father’s mistresses, that he has left to keep the house; and all Israel will hear that you’re hated by your father; then all those who are with you will be strong. So they spread Absalom a tent on the top of the house; and Absalom had sex with his father’s mistresses in the sight of all Israel. The counsel of Ahithophel which he gave in those days was as if someone had asked at the inner sanctuary of God; so all the counsel of Ahithophel was with both David and Absalom.