וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי־כֵן וּלְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בֶּן־דָּוִד אָחוֹת יָפָה וּשְׁמָהּ תָּמָר וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ אַמְנוֹן בֶּן־דָּוִד׃ 13:1
2Sam. 13:1 And it was after this that there was a beautiful sister to Absalom son of David, and her name was Tamar, and Amnon son of David loved her.
To promote understanding of this chapter along the way, it should be noted here that Amnon was David’s eldest son and Absalom was his third son (see 2Sam. 3:2, 3). Apparently Tamar was Absalom’s full sister, although we are not told that explicitly.
וַיֵּצֶר לְאַמְנוֹן לְהִתְחַלּוֹת בַּעֲבוּר תָּמָר אֲחֹתוֹ כִּי בְתוּלָה הִיא וַיִּפָּלֵא בְּעֵינֵי אַמְנוֹן לַעֲשׂוֹת לָה 13:2ּ מְאוּמָה׃
2Sam. 13:2 And there was so much distress for Amnon to become sick because of Tamar, his sister, because she was a virgin, and it was difficult in the eyes of Amnon to do anything to her.
וּלְאַמְנוֹן רֵעַ וּשְׁמוֹ יוֹנָדָב בֶּן־שִׁמְעָה אֲחִי דָוִד וְיוֹנָדָב אִישׁ חָכָם מְאֹד׃ 13:3
2Sam. 13:3 And there was a friend of Amnon’s and his name was Jonadab son of Shimeah, brother of David, and Jonadab was a very cunning man.
וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מַדּוּעַ אַתָּה כָּכָה דַּל בֶּן־הַמֶּלֶךְ בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר הֲלוֹא תַּגִּיד לִי וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַמְנוֹן אֶת־תָּמָר 13:4 אֲחוֹת אַבְשָׁלֹם אָחִי אֲנִי אֹהֵב׃
2Sam. 13:4 And he said to him, “Why are you so much weaker, O son of the king, day by day? Will you tell to me? And Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, the sister of Absalom, my brother.”
וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהוֹנָדָב שְׁכַב עַל־מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְהִתְחָל וּבָא אָבִיךָ לִרְאוֹתֶךָ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו תָּבֹא נָא תָמָר 13:5
אֲחוֹתִי וְתַבְרֵנִי לֶחֶם וְעָשְׂתָה לְעֵינַי אֶת־הַבִּרְיָה לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֶרְאֶה וְאָכַלְתִּי מִיָּדָהּ׃
2Sam. 13:5 Then Jonadab said to him, “Lay down on your bed and make yourself to be sick; when your father comes to see you, then you say to him, ‘Please let Tamar, my sister, come and give me bread to eat, and prepare the food for my eyes in order that I may see it and eat from her hand.’”
וַיִּשְׁכַּב אַמְנוֹן וַיִּתְחָל וַיָּבֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ לִרְאֹתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אַמְנוֹן אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ תָּבוֹא־נָא תָּמָר אֲחֹתִי וּתְלַבֵּב 13:6 לְעֵינַי שְׁתֵּי לְבִבוֹת וְאֶבְרֶה מִיָּדָהּ׃
2Sam. 13:6 So Amnon lay down and made himself to be sick. When the king came to see him, then Amnon said to the king, “Please let Tamar, my sister, bring and make two cakes for my eyes that I may eat from her hand.”
וַיִּשְׁלַח דָּוִד אֶל־תָּמָר הַבַּיְתָה לֵאמֹר לְכִי נָא בֵּית אַמְנוֹן אָחִיךְ וַעֲשִׂי־לוֹ הַבִּרְיָה׃ 13:7
2Sam. 13:7 Then David sent to Tamar to home saying, “Go now to the house of Amnon, your brother, and prepare the food for him.”
וַתֵּלֶךְ תָּמָר בֵּית אַמְנוֹן אָחִיהָ וְהוּא שֹׁכֵב וַתִּקַּח אֶת־הַבָּצֵק וַתָּלוֹשׁ וַתְּלַבֵּב לְעֵינָיו וַתְּבַשֵּׁל אֶת־ 13:8 הַלְּבִבוֹת׃
2Sam. 13:8 So Tamar went to the house of Amnon, her brother, and he lay down. And she took the dough and kneaded, and made cakes for his eyes, and baked the cakes.
וַתִּקַּח אֶת־הַמַּשְׂרֵת וַתִּצֹק לְפָנָיו וַיְמָאֵן לֶאֱכוֹל וַיֹּאמֶר אַמְנוֹן הוֹצִיאוּ כָל־אִישׁ מֵעָלַי וַיֵּצְאוּ כָל־אִישׁ 13:9 מֵעָלָיו׃
2Sam. 13:9 Then she took the pan and set down before him, but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, “Let everyone leave from me.” And everyone went out from him.
וַיֹּאמֶר אַמְנוֹן אֶל־תָּמָר הָבִיאִי הַבִּרְיָה הַחֶדֶר וְאֶבְרֶה מִיָּדֵךְ וַתִּקַּח תָּמָר אֶת־הַלְּבִבוֹת אֲשֶׁר 13:10
עָשָׂתָה וַתָּבֵא לְאַמְנוֹן אָחִיהָ הֶחָדְרָה׃
2Sam. 13:10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, ”Bring the food to the chamber so I can eat from your hand.” So Tamar took the cakes that she had made and came in to Amnon, her brother, to the chamber.
וַתַּגֵּשׁ אֵלָיו לֶאֱכֹל וַיַּחֲזֶק־בָּהּ וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ בּוֹאִי שִׁכְבִי עִמִּי אֲחוֹתִי׃ 13:11
2Sam. 13:11 When she drew near to him to feed, then he lay hold on her and said to her, “Come lay with me, my sister.”
וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַל־אָחִי אַל־תְּעַנֵּנִי כִּי לֹא־יֵעָשֶׂה כֵן בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אַל־תַּעֲשֵׂה אֶת־הַנְּבָלָה הַזֹּאת׃ 13:12
2Sam. 13:12 But she said to him, “No, my brother, do not force me, for this may not be done in Israel. Do not do this folly.”
וַאֲנִי אָנָה אוֹלִיךְ אֶת־חֶרְפָּתִי וְאַתָּה תִּהְיֶה כְּאַחַד הַנְּבָלִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַתָּה דַּבֶּר־נָא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי 13:13 לֹא יִמְנָעֵנִי מִמֶּךָּ׃
2Sam. 13:13 “Then I, where would I take my shame? And you, you would be like one of the wicked in Israel. So now speak, I pray you, to the king, for he would not withhold me from you.”
וְלֹא אָבָה לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹלָהּ וַיֶּחֱזַק מִמֶּנָּה וַיְעַנֶּהָ וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֹתָהּ׃ 13:14
2Sam. 13:14 But he was not willing to listen to her voice, and he was stronger than she, so he forced her, and raped her.
וַיִּשְׂנָאֶהָ אַמְנוֹן שִׂנְאָה גְּדוֹלָה מְאֹד כִּי גְדוֹלָה הַשִּׂנְאָה אֲשֶׁר שְׂנֵאָהּ מֵאַהֲבָה אֲשֶׁר אֲהֵבָהּ וַיֹּאמֶר־ 13:15 לָהּ אַמְנוֹן קוּמִי לֵכִי׃
2Sam. 13:15 Then Amnon hated her, a very great hatred, for greater was the hatred that he had than the love that he had had. And Amnon said to her, “Rise, be gone!”
וַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַל־אוֹדֹת הָרָעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַזֹּאת מֵאַחֶרֶת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתָ עִמִּי לְשַׁלְּחֵנִי וְלֹא אָבָה 13:16
2Sam. 13:16 And she said to him, “Not so, this is a greater wrong than what you did with me, to send me away.” But he was not willing to listen to her.
וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־נַעֲרוֹ מְשָׁרְתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁלְחוּ־נָא אֶת־זֹאת מֵעָלַי הַחוּצָה וּנְעֹל הַדֶּלֶת אַחֲרֶיהָ׃ 13:17
2Sam. 13:17 And he called his servant who waited on him and said, “Put this from me now outside and bolt the gate after her.”
Two remarks about this verse: First, the imperative word for put is plural in form, but his servant, to whom Amnon is speaking, is singular. Apparently this is the scribe’s subtle way of telling us that others came in with the servant when he was called. Second, notice that Amnon refers to Tamar as this. Other translations soften the contempt shown by Amnon by translating the word this as this woman, but that is a gross mistranslation; there is no word for woman in the verse.
וְעָלֶיהָ כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים כִּי כֵן תִּלְבַּשְׁןָ בְנוֹת־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַבְּתוּלֹת מְעִילִים וַיֹּצֵא אוֹתָהּ מְשָׁרְתוֹ הַחוּץ וְנָעַל 13:18 הַדֶּלֶת אַחֲרֶיהָ׃
2Sam. 13:18 Now a coat of colors was upon her, for the daughters of the king who were virgins wore such robes, when his servant led her outside and bolted the gate after her.
וַתִּקַּח תָּמָר אֵפֶר עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ וּכְתֹנֶת הַפַּסִּים אֲשֶׁר עָלֶיהָ קָרָעָה וַתָּשֶׂם יָדָהּ עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ וַתֵּלֶךְ 13:19
2Sam. 13:19 Then Tamar placed ashes on her head and she rent the coat of colors that was on her, and she put her hand on her head and left, walking and crying.
וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ אַבְשָׁלוֹם אָחִיהָ הַאֲמִינוֹן אָחִיךְ הָיָה עִמָּךְ וְעַתָּה אֲחוֹתִי הַחֲרִישִׁי אָחִיךְ הוּא אַל־ 13:20 תָּשִׁיתִי אֶת־לִבֵּךְ לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַתֵּשֶׁב תָּמָר וְשֹׁמֵמָה בֵּית אַבְשָׁלוֹם אָחִיהָ׃
2Sam. 13:20 And Absalom, her brother, said to her, “Has Amnon, your brother, been with you? Yet now my sister, keep silent. He is your brother. Do not set your heart to this thing.” Then Tamar returned to the house of Absalom, her brother, and was desolate.
וְהַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד שָׁמַע אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיִּחַר לוֹ מְאֹד׃ 13:21
2Sam. 13:21 When king David heard all these things, then his anger became great.
וְלֹא־דִבֶּר אַבְשָׁלוֹם עִם־אַמְנוֹן לְמֵרָע וְעַד־טוֹב כִּי־שָׂנֵא אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת־אַמְנוֹן עַל־דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר עִנָּה 13:22 אֵת תָּמָר אֲחֹתוֹ׃
2Sam. 13:22 And Absalom did not speak with Amnon for worse or for better, but Absalom hated Amnon for the reason that he had ravished Tamar, his sister.
וַיְהִי לִשְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים וַיִּהְיוּ גֹזְזִים לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּבַעַל חָצוֹר אֲשֶׁר עִם־אֶפְרָיִם וַיִּקְרָא אַבְשָׁלוֹם לְכָל־בְּנֵי 13:23 הַמֶּלֶךְ׃
2Sam. 13:23 And it came to be two full years that there were sheep shearers for Absalom in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim; Absalom called to all the sons of the king.
וַיָּבֹא אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה־נָא גֹזְזִים לְעַבְדֶּךָ יֵלֶךְ־נָא הַמֶּלֶךְ וַעֲבָדָיו עִם־עַבְדֶּךָ׃ 13:24
2Sam. 13:24 So Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold, now sheep shearers are for your servant. Let come, I pray you, the king and his servants with your servant.”
וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם אַל־בְּנִי אַל־נָא נֵלֵךְ כֻּלָּנוּ וְלֹא נִכְבַּד עָלֶיךָ וַיִּפְרָץ־בּוֹ וְלֹא־אָבָה לָלֶכֶת 13:25 וַיְבָרֲכֵהוּ׃
2Sam. 13:25 And the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, all of us will not go now, so we will not be a burden on you.” Then he pressed on him but he was not willing to go, although he blessed him.
וַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם וָלֹא יֵלֶךְ־נָא אִתָּנוּ אַמְנוֹן אָחִי וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה יֵלֵךְ עִמָּךְ׃ 13:26
2Sam. 13:26 So Absalom said, “Then, no. Let, I pray you, Amnon, my brother, go with us. Then the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”
וַיִּפְרָץ־בּוֹ אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיִּשְׁלַח אִתּוֹ אֶת־אַמְנוֹן וְאֵת כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃ 13:27
2Sam. 13:27 But Absalom pressed on him and he let Amnon go with him, and all the sons of the king.
וַיְצַו אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת־נְעָרָיו לֵאמֹר רְאוּ נָא כְּטוֹב לֵב־אַמְנוֹן בַּיַּיִן וְאָמַרְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם הַכּוּ אֶת־אַמְנוֹן 13:28 וַהֲמִתֶּם אֹתוֹ אַל־תִּירָאוּ הֲלוֹא כִּי אָנֹכִי צִוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם חִזְקוּ וִהְיוּ לִבְנֵי־חָיִל׃
2Sam. 13:28 Then Absalom commanded his servants saying, “Watch you now when the heart of Amnon is merry with wine and I say to you, ‘Smite Amnon’. Then you shall kill him. Do not be afraid. Is it not that I have commanded you? Be brave and be as sons of the valiant.”
וַיַּעֲשׂוּ נַעֲרֵי אַבְשָׁלוֹם לְאַמְנוֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיָּקֻמוּ כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּרְכְּבוּ אִישׁ עַל־פִּרְדּו 13:29ֹ וַיָּנֻסוּ׃
2Sam. 13:29 And the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded, and all the sons of the king rose, each on his mule, and fled.
וַיְהִי הֵמָּה בַדֶּרֶךְ וְהַשְּׁמֻעָה בָאָה אֶל־דָּוִד לֵאמֹר הִכָּה אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת־כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא־נוֹתַר 13:30
2Sam. 13:30 And it happened they were on the way when the news came to David saying, “Absalom has slain all the sons of the king, and not leaving one from them.
וַיָּקָם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּקְרַע אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וַיִּשְׁכַּב אָרְצָה וְכָל־עֲבָדָיו נִצָּבִים קְרֻעֵי בְגָדִים׃ 13:31
2Sam. 13:31 And the king rose and rent his garments and lay down on the ground, and all his servants were standing, rent of clothes.
וַיַּעַן יוֹנָדָב בֶּן־שִׁמְעָה אֲחִי־דָוִד וַיֹּאמֶר אַל־יֹאמַר אֲדֹנִי אֵת כָּל־הַנְּעָרִים בְּנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ הֵמִיתוּ 13:32
כִּי־אַמְנוֹן לְבַדּוֹ מֵת כִּי־עַל־פִּי אַבְשָׁלוֹם הָיְתָה שׂוּמָה מִיּוֹם עַנֹּתוֹ אֵת תָּמָר אֲחֹתוֹ׃
2Sam. 13:32 Then Jonadab son of Shimeah, brother of David, gave account and said, “Let not my lord think that all the servants, the sons of the king, have been slain when Amnon alone has died, for on the sentence of Absalom was it determined from the day of his ravishing of his sister, Tamar.”
וְעַתָּה אַל־יָשֵׂם אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־לִבּוֹ דָּבָר לֵאמֹר כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ מֵתוּ כִּי־אִם־אַמְנוֹן לְבַדּוֹ מֵת׃ 13:33
2Sam. 13:33 “So now let not my lord, the king, set to his heart a thing, thinking, ‘All the sons of the king have died.’ For Amnon alone has died.”
וַיִּבְרַח אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיִּשָּׂא הַנַּעַר הַצֹּפֶה אֶת־ (עֵינוֹ) [עֵינָיו] וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה עַם־רַב הֹלְכִים מִדֶּרֶךְ אַחֲרָיו 13:34
2Sam. 13:34 And Absalom ran away. And the young man who kept the watch lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a great people were coming from the highway behind him, by the side of the hill.
The word in parentheses in this verse is missing a yad, making it singular, his eye, rather than plural, his eyes, as it should be. The correction appears in the brackets.
וַיֹּאמֶר יוֹנָדָב אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הִנֵּה בְנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ בָּאוּ כִּדְבַר עַבְדְּךָ כֵּן הָיָה׃ 13:35
2Sam. 13:35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the sons of the king come. Like the word of your servant, so it is.”
וַיְהִי כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְדַבֵּר וְהִנֵּה בְנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ בָּאוּ וַיִּשְׂאוּ קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ וְגַם־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־עֲבָדָיו בָּכוּ בְּכִי גָּדוֹל 13:36 מְאֹד׃
2Sam. 13:36 And it was with his finishing speaking that, behold, the sons of the king came, and they lifted up their voices and wept. And also the king and all his servants wept very sore tears.
וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בָּרַח וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל־תַּלְמַי בֶּן־ (עמיחור) [עַמִּיהוּד] מֶלֶךְ גְּשׁוּר וַיִּתְאַבֵּל עַל־בְּנוֹ כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃ 13:37
2Sam. 13:37 When Absalom had run away, then he had gone to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And he mourned for his son all the time.
Presumably, the he in the second part of the verse refers to David, not Absalom.
Then we also have what may be an error in this verse. The Hebrew name of Ammihud (in parentheses) is presumed to be misspelled. It allegedly contains two incorrect letters. However, there is no real evidence that the name is indeed misspelled and is not Ammihur. The presumed correction is in the brackets. We know that Talmai was king of Geshur, and he was Absalom’s great uncle, but Talmai’s father’s name doesn’t appear anywhere else in the bible except in this verse.
וְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בָּרַח וַיֵּלֶךְ גְּשׁוּר וַיְהִי־שָׁם שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים׃ 13:38
2Sam. 13:38 So Absalom ran away and went to Geshur, and he was there three years.
וַתְּכַל דָּוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ לָצֵאת אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם כִּי־נִחַם עַל־אַמְנוֹן כִּי־מֵת׃ 13:39
2Sam. 13:39 And David, the king, ceased to go out against Absalom, seeing he was comforted over Amnon that he was dead.
This verse contains what I believe to be an error. The spelling of the word for ceased (first in the verse) makes it feminine, whereas it should rightly be masculine because David is the subject. Other translations have added the word for the soul of, which is feminine. But I avoid adding words that are not present in the Hebrew. Therefore, I assume the error. But I hesitated to flag the error, assuming instead that there may be a message hidden in the form of the word. As one not too remote possibility, the scribe saw the acquiescence of David as being something a woman would do.
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