TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

II Samuel 13

1This happened sometime afterward: Avshalom son of David had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and Amnon son of David became infatuated with her.

אוַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי־כֵן וּלְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בֶּן־דָּוִד אָחוֹת יָפָה וּשְׁמָהּ תָּמָר וַיֶּאֱהָבֶהָ אַמְנוֹן בֶּן־דָּוִד׃

2Amnon was so distraught because of his [half-]sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin, and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her.

בוַיֵּצֶר לְאַמְנוֹן לְהִתְחַלּוֹת בַּעֲבוּר תָּמָר אֲחֹתוֹ כִּי בְתוּלָה הִיא וַיִּפָּלֵא בְּעֵינֵי אַמְנוֹן לַעֲשׂוֹת לָהּ מְאוּמָה׃

3Amnon had a friend named Yonadav, the son of David's brother Shimah; Yonadav was a very clever man.

גוּלְאַמְנוֹן רֵעַ וּשְׁמוֹ יוֹנָדָב בֶּן־שִׁמְעָה אֲחִי דָוִד וְיוֹנָדָב אִישׁ חָכָם מְאֹד׃

4He asked him, “Why are you so dejected, O prince, morning after morning? Tell me!” Amnon replied, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Avshalom!”

דוַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ מַדּוּעַ אַתָּה כָּכָה דַּל בֶּן־הַמֶּלֶךְ בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר הֲלוֹא תַּגִּיד לִי וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַמְנוֹן אֶת־תָּמָר אֲחוֹת אַבְשָׁלֹם אָחִי אֲנִי אֹהֵב׃

5Yonadav said to him, “Lie down in your bed and pretend you are sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Let my sister Tamar come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food in front of me, so that I may look on, and let her serve it to me.'”

הוַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ יְהוֹנָדָב שְׁכַב עַל־מִשְׁכָּבְךָ וְהִתְחָל וּבָא אָבִיךָ לִרְאוֹתֶךָ וְאָמַרְתָּ אֵלָיו תָּבֹא נָא תָמָר אֲחוֹתִי וְתַבְרֵנִי לֶחֶם וְעָשְׂתָה לְעֵינַי אֶת־הַבִּרְיָה לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֶרְאֶה וְאָכַלְתִּי מִיָּדָהּ׃

6Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. The king came to see him, and Amnon said to the king, “Let my sister Tamar come and prepare a couple of cakes in front of me, and let her bring them to me.”

ווַיִּשְׁכַּב אַמְנוֹן וַיִּתְחָל וַיָּבֹא הַמֶּלֶךְ לִרְאֹתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר אַמְנוֹן אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ תָּבוֹא־נָא תָּמָר אֲחֹתִי וּתְלַבֵּב לְעֵינַי שְׁתֵּי לְבִבוֹת וְאֶבְרֶה מִיָּדָהּ׃

7David sent a message to Tamar in the palace, “Please go to the house of your brother Amnon and prepare some food for him.”

זוַיִּשְׁלַח דָּוִד אֶל־תָּמָר הַבַּיְתָה לֵאמֹר לְכִי נָא בֵּית אַמְנוֹן אָחִיךְ וַעֲשִׂי־לוֹ הַבִּרְיָה׃

8Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, who was in bed. She took dough and kneaded it into cakes in front of him, and cooked the cakes.

חוַתֵּלֶךְ תָּמָר בֵּית אַמְנוֹן אָחִיהָ וְהוּא שֹׁכֵב וַתִּקַּח אֶת־הַבָּצֵק ותלוש [וַתָּלָשׁ] וַתְּלַבֵּב לְעֵינָיו וַתְּבַשֵּׁל אֶת־הַלְּבִבוֹת׃

9She took the pan and set out [the cakes], but Amnon refused to eat and ordered everyone to withdraw. After everyone had withdrawn,

טוַתִּקַּח אֶת־הַמַּשְׂרֵת וַתִּצֹק לְפָנָיו וַיְמָאֵן לֶאֱכוֹל וַיֹּאמֶר אַמְנוֹן הוֹצִיאוּ כָל־אִישׁ מֵעָלַי וַיֵּצְאוּ כָל־אִישׁ מֵעָלָיו׃

10Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food inside and feed me.” Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them to her brother inside.

יוַיֹּאמֶר אַמְנוֹן אֶל־תָּמָר הָבִיאִי הַבִּרְיָה הַחֶדֶר וְאֶבְרֶה מִיָּדֵךְ וַתִּקַּח תָּמָר אֶת־הַלְּבִבוֹת אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂתָה וַתָּבֵא לְאַמְנוֹן אָחִיהָ הֶחָדְרָה׃

11But when she served them to him, he caught hold of her and said to her, “Come lie with me, sister.”

יאוַתַּגֵּשׁ אֵלָיו לֶאֱכֹל וַיַּחֲזֶק־בָּהּ וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ בּוֹאִי שִׁכְבִי עִמִּי אֲחוֹתִי׃

12But she said to him, “Don't, brother. Don't force me. Such things are not done in Yisrael! Don't do such a vile thing!

יבוַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַל־אָחִי אַל־תְּעַנֵּנִי כִּי לֹא־יֵעָשֶׂה כֵן בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל אַל־תַּעֲשֵׂה אֶת־הַנְּבָלָה הַזֹּאת׃

13Where will I carry my shame? And you, you will be like any of the scoundrels in Yisrael! Please, speak to the king; he will not refuse me to you.”

יגוַאֲנִי אָנָה אוֹלִיךְ אֶת־חֶרְפָּתִי וְאַתָּה תִּהְיֶה כְּאַחַד הַנְּבָלִים בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל וְעַתָּה דַּבֶּר־נָא אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ כִּי לֹא יִמְנָעֵנִי מִמֶּךָּ׃

14But he would not listen to her; he overpowered her and lay with her by force.

ידוְלֹא אָבָה לִשְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹלָהּ וַיֶּחֱזַק מִמֶּנָּה וַיְעַנֶּהָ וַיִּשְׁכַּב אֹתָהּ׃

15Then Amnon felt a very great loathing for her; indeed, his loathing for her was greater than the passion he had felt for her. And Amnon said to her, “Get out!”

טווַיִּשְׂנָאֶהָ אַמְנוֹן שִׂנְאָה גְּדוֹלָה מְאֹד כִּי גְדוֹלָה הַשִּׂנְאָה אֲשֶׁר שְׂנֵאָהּ מֵאַהֲבָה אֲשֶׁר אֲהֵבָהּ וַיֹּאמֶר־לָהּ אַמְנוֹן קוּמִי לֵכִי׃

16She pleaded with him, “Please don't commit this wrong; to send me away would be even worse than the first wrong you committed against me.” But he would not listen to her.

טזוַתֹּאמֶר לוֹ אַל־אוֹדֹת הָרָעָה הַגְּדוֹלָה הַזֹּאת מֵאַחֶרֶת אֲשֶׁר־עָשִׂיתָ עִמִּי לְשַׁלְּחֵנִי וְלֹא אָבָה לִשְׁמֹעַ לָהּ׃

17He summoned his young attendant and said, “Get that woman out of my presence, and bar the door behind her.”—

יזוַיִּקְרָא אֶת־נַעֲרוֹ מְשָׁרְתוֹ וַיֹּאמֶר שִׁלְחוּ־נָא אֶת־זֹאת מֵעָלַי הַחוּצָה וּנְעֹל הַדֶּלֶת אַחֲרֶיהָ׃

18She was wearing an ornamented tunic, for maiden princesses were customarily dressed in such garments.—His attendant took her outside and barred the door after her.

יחוְעָלֶיהָ כְּתֹנֶת פַּסִּים כִּי כֵן תִּלְבַּשְׁןָ בְנוֹת־הַמֶּלֶךְ הַבְּתוּלֹת מְעִילִים וַיֹּצֵא אוֹתָהּ מְשָׁרְתוֹ הַחוּץ וְנָעַל הַדֶּלֶת אַחֲרֶיהָ׃

19Tamar put dust on her head and rent the ornamented tunic she was wearing; she put her hands on her head, and walked away, screaming loudly as she went.

יטוַתִּקַּח תָּמָר אֵפֶר עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ וּכְתֹנֶת הַפַּסִּים אֲשֶׁר עָלֶיהָ קָרָעָה וַתָּשֶׂם יָדָהּ עַל־רֹאשָׁהּ וַתֵּלֶךְ הָלוֹךְ וְזָעָקָה׃

20Her brother Avshalom said to her, “Was it your brother Amnon who did this to you? For the present, sister, keep quiet about it; he is your brother. Don't brood over the matter.” And Tamar remained in her brother Avshalom's house, forlorn.

כוַיֹּאמֶר אֵלֶיהָ אַבְשָׁלוֹם אָחִיהָ הַאֲמִינוֹן אָחִיךְ הָיָה עִמָּךְ וְעַתָּה אֲחוֹתִי הַחֲרִישִׁי אָחִיךְ הוּא אַל־תָּשִׁיתִי אֶת־לִבֵּךְ לַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וַתֵּשֶׁב תָּמָר וְשֹׁמֵמָה בֵּית אַבְשָׁלוֹם אָחִיהָ׃

21When King David heard about all this, he was greatly upset.

v'-ha-ME-lekh da-VID sha-MA AYT kol ha-d'-va-REEM ha-AY-leh va-yi-KHAR LO m'-OD

כאוְהַמֶּלֶךְ דָּוִד שָׁמַע אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה וַיִּחַר לוֹ מְאֹד׃

13:21   When King David heard about all this, he was greatly upset

One of the Bible’s many gifts to the world is its emphasis on sexual morality. Hashem commands the observance of strict standards that elevate sexuality from mere physicality to the realm of holiness (see Leviticus, chapters 18 and 20). In addition to the spiritual benefits of these laws, they serve to protect women from physical and sexual abuse. Therefore, the debased actions of Amnon are a violation of every biblical norm and greatly anger his father, King David.

22Avshalom didn't utter a word to Amnon, good or bad; but Avshalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.

כבוְלֹא־דִבֶּר אַבְשָׁלוֹם עִם־אַמְנוֹן לְמֵרָע וְעַד־טוֹב כִּי־שָׂנֵא אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת־אַמְנוֹן עַל־דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר עִנָּה אֵת תָּמָר אֲחֹתוֹ׃

23Two years later, when Avshalom was having his flocks sheared at Baal-hazor near Efraim, Avshalom invited all the king's sons.

כגוַיְהִי לִשְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים וַיִּהְיוּ גֹזְזִים לְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בְּבַעַל חָצוֹר אֲשֶׁר עִם־אֶפְרָיִם וַיִּקְרָא אַבְשָׁלוֹם לְכָל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

24And Avshalom came to the king and said, “Your servant is having his flocks sheared. Would Your Majesty and your retinue accompany your servant?”

כדוַיָּבֹא אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה־נָא גֹזְזִים לְעַבְדֶּךָ יֵלֶךְ־נָא הַמֶּלֶךְ וַעֲבָדָיו עִם־עַבְדֶּךָ׃

25But the king answered Avshalom, “No, my son. We must not all come, or we'll be a burden to you.” He urged him, but he would not go, and he said good-bye to him.

כהוַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם אַל־בְּנִי אַל־נָא נֵלֵךְ כֻּלָּנוּ וְלֹא נִכְבַּד עָלֶיךָ וַיִּפְרָץ־בּוֹ וְלֹא־אָבָה לָלֶכֶת וַיְבָרֲכֵהוּ׃

26Thereupon Avshalom said, “In that case, let my brother Amnon come with us,” to which the king replied, “He shall not go with you.”

כווַיֹּאמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם וָלֹא יֵלֶךְ־נָא אִתָּנוּ אַמְנוֹן אָחִי וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ הַמֶּלֶךְ לָמָּה יֵלֵךְ עִמָּךְ׃

27But Avshalom urged him, and he sent with him Amnon and all the other princes.

כזוַיִּפְרָץ־בּוֹ אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיִּשְׁלַח אִתּוֹ אֶת־אַמְנוֹן וְאֵת כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ׃

28Now Avshalom gave his attendants these orders: “Watch, and when Amnon is merry with wine and I tell you to strike down Amnon, kill him! Don't be afraid, for it is I who give you the order. Act with determination, like brave men!”

כחוַיְצַו אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת־נְעָרָיו לֵאמֹר רְאוּ נָא כְּטוֹב לֵב־אַמְנוֹן בַּיַּיִן וְאָמַרְתִּי אֲלֵיכֶם הַכּוּ אֶת־אַמְנוֹן וַהֲמִתֶּם אֹתוֹ אַל־תִּירָאוּ הֲלוֹא כִּי אָנֹכִי צִוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם חִזְקוּ וִהְיוּ לִבְנֵי־חָיִל׃

29Avshalom's attendants did to Amnon as Avshalom had ordered; whereupon all the other princes mounted their mules and fled.

כטוַיַּעֲשׂוּ נַעֲרֵי אַבְשָׁלוֹם לְאַמְנוֹן כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיָּקֻמוּ כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּרְכְּבוּ אִישׁ עַל־פִּרְדּוֹ וַיָּנֻסוּ׃

30They were still on the road when a rumor reached David that Avshalom had killed all the princes, and that not one of them had survived.

לוַיְהִי הֵמָּה בַדֶּרֶךְ וְהַשְּׁמֻעָה בָאָה אֶל־דָּוִד לֵאמֹר הִכָּה אַבְשָׁלוֹם אֶת־כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְלֹא־נוֹתַר מֵהֶם אֶחָד׃

31At this, David rent his garment and lay down on the ground, and all his courtiers stood by with their clothes rent.

לאוַיָּקָם הַמֶּלֶךְ וַיִּקְרַע אֶת־בְּגָדָיו וַיִּשְׁכַּב אָרְצָה וְכָל־עֲבָדָיו נִצָּבִים קְרֻעֵי בְגָדִים׃

32But Yonadav, the son of David's brother Shimah, said, “My lord must not think that all the young princes have been killed. Only Amnon is dead; for this has been decided by Avshalom ever since his sister Tamar was violated.

לבוַיַּעַן יוֹנָדָב בֶּן־שִׁמְעָה אֲחִי־דָוִד וַיֹּאמֶר אַל־יֹאמַר אֲדֹנִי אֵת כָּל־הַנְּעָרִים בְּנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ הֵמִיתוּ כִּי־אַמְנוֹן לְבַדּוֹ מֵת כִּי־עַל־פִּי אַבְשָׁלוֹם הָיְתָה שׂוּמָה מִיּוֹם עַנֹּתוֹ אֵת תָּמָר אֲחֹתוֹ׃

33So my lord the king must not think for a moment that all the princes are dead; Amnon alone is dead.”

לגוְעַתָּה אַל־יָשֵׂם אֲדֹנִי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֶל־לִבּוֹ דָּבָר לֵאמֹר כָּל־בְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ מֵתוּ כִּי־אִם־אַמְנוֹן לְבַדּוֹ מֵת׃

34Meanwhile Avshalom had fled. The watchman on duty looked up and saw a large crowd coming from the road to his rear, from the side of the hill.

לדוַיִּבְרַח אַבְשָׁלוֹם וַיִּשָּׂא הַנַּעַר הַצֹּפֶה אֶת־עינו [עֵינָיו] וַיַּרְא וְהִנֵּה עַם־רַב הֹלְכִים מִדֶּרֶךְ אַחֲרָיו מִצַּד הָהָר׃

35Yonadav said to the king, “See, the princes have come! It is just as your servant said.”

להוַיֹּאמֶר יוֹנָדָב אֶל־הַמֶּלֶךְ הִנֵּה בְנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ בָּאוּ כִּדְבַר עַבְדְּךָ כֵּן הָיָה׃

36As he finished speaking, the princes came in and broke into weeping; and David and all his courtiers wept bitterly, too.

לווַיְהִי כְּכַלֹּתוֹ לְדַבֵּר וְהִנֵּה בְנֵי־הַמֶּלֶךְ בָּאוּ וַיִּשְׂאוּ קוֹלָם וַיִּבְכּוּ וְגַם־הַמֶּלֶךְ וְכָל־עֲבָדָיו בָּכוּ בְּכִי גָּדוֹל מְאֹד׃

37Avshalom had fled, and he came to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And [King David] mourned over his son a long time.

לזוְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בָּרַח וַיֵּלֶךְ אֶל־תַּלְמַי בֶּן־עמיחור [עַמִּיהוּד] מֶלֶךְ גְּשׁוּר וַיִּתְאַבֵּל עַל־בְּנוֹ כָּל־הַיָּמִים׃

38Avshalom, who had fled to Geshur, remained there three years.

לחוְאַבְשָׁלוֹם בָּרַח וַיֵּלֶךְ גְּשׁוּר וַיְהִי־שָׁם שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים׃

39And King David was pining away for Avshalom, for [the king] had gotten over Amnon's death.

לטוַתְּכַל דָּוִד הַמֶּלֶךְ לָצֵאת אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם כִּי־נִחַם עַל־אַמְנוֹן כִּי־מֵת׃