23 After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the kings sons. 24Absalom came to the king, and said, Your servant has sheepshearers; will the king and his servants please go with your servant? 25But the king said to Absalom, No, my son, let us not all go, or else we will be burdensome to you. He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. 26Then Absalom said, If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us. The king said to him, Why should he go with you? 27But Absalom pressed him until he let Amnon and all the kings sons go with him. Absalom made a feast like a kings feast.* 28Then Absalom commanded his servants, Watch when Amnons heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, Strike Amnon, then kill him. Do not be afraid; have I not myself commanded you? Be courageous and valiant. 29So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the kings sons rose, and each mounted his mule and fled.
30 While they were on the way, the report came to David that Absalom had killed all the kings sons, and not one of them was left. 31The king rose, tore his garments, and lay on the ground; and all his servants who were standing by tore their garments. 32But Jonadab, the son of Davids brother Shimeah, said, Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the kings sons; Amnon alone is dead. This has been determined by Absalom from the day Amnon* raped his sister Tamar. 33Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take it to heart, as if all the kings sons were dead; for Amnon alone is dead.
34 But Absalom fled. When the young man who kept watch looked up, he saw many people coming from the Horonaim road* by the side of the mountain. 35Jonadab said to the king, See, the kings sons have come; as your servant said, so it has come about. 36As soon as he had finished speaking, the kings sons arrived, and raised their voices and wept; and the king and all his servants also wept very bitterly.
37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son day after day. 38Absalom, having fled to Geshur, stayed there for three years. 39And the heart of* the king went out, yearning for Absalom; for he was now consoled over the death of Amnon.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011