After this Absalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
Amnon was so distressed over his sister Tamar that he became sick; for she was a virgin. And it was improper for Amnon to do anything to her.
But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David's brother. Now Jonadab was a very crafty man.
And he said to him, "Why are you, the king's son, becoming thinner day after day? Will you not tell me?"
Amnon said to him, "I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister."
So Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food, and prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat it from her hand.'"
Then Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill; and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, "Please let Tamar my sister come and make a couple of cakes for me in my sight, that I may eat from her hand."
And David sent home to Tamar, saying, "Now go to your brother Amnon's house, and prepare food for him."
So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was lying down. Then she took flour and kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes.
And she took the pan and placed them out before him, but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, "Have everyone go out from me." And they all went out from him.
Then Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the bedroom, that I may eat from your hand." And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them to Amnon her brother in the bedroom.
Now when she had brought them to him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, "Come, lie with me, my sister."
But she answered him, "No, my brother, do not force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing!
And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you."
However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he forced her and lay with her.
Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, "Arise, be gone!"
So she said to him, "No, indeed! This evil of sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me."
But he would not listen to her.
Then he called his servant who attended him, and said, "Here! Put this woman out, away from me, and bolt the door behind her."
Now she had on a robe of many colors, for the king's virgin daughters wore such apparel. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her.
Then Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and laid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly.
And Absalom her brother said to her, "Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother; do not take this thing to heart." So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon neither good nor bad. For Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
And it came to pass, after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim; so Absalom invited all the king's sons.
Then Absalom came to the king and said, "Kindly note, your servant has sheepshearers; please, let the king and his servants go with your servant."
But the king said to Absalom, "No, my son, let us not all go now, lest we be a burden to you." Then he urged him, but he would not go; and he blessed him.
Then Absalom said, "If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us."
And the king said to him, "Why should he go with you?"
But Absalom urged him; so he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, "Watch now, when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, 'Strike Amnon!' then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and valiant."
So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and each one got on his mule and fled.
And it came to pass, while they were on the way, that news came to David, saying, "Absalom has killed all the king's sons, and not one of them is left!"
So the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.
Then Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David's brother, answered and said, "Let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king's sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
Now therefore, let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead. For only Amnon is dead."
Then Absalom fled. And the young man who was keeping watch lifted his eyes and looked, and there, many people were coming from the road on the hillside behind him.
And Jonadab said to the king, "Look, the king's sons are coming; as your servant said, so it is."
So it was, as soon as he had finished speaking, that the king's sons indeed came, and they lifted up their voice and wept. Also the king and all his servants wept very bitterly.
But Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.
So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
And King David longed to go to Absalom. For he had been comforted concerning Amnon, because he was dead.
So Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king's heart was concerned about Absalom.
And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, "Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning apparel; do not anoint yourself with oil, but act like a woman who has been mourning a long time for the dead.
Go to the king and speak to him in this manner." So Joab put the words in her mouth.
And when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself, and said, "Help, O king!"
Then the king said to her, "What troubles you?"
And she answered, "Indeed I am a widow, my husband is dead.
Now your maidservant had two sons; and the two fought with each other in the field, and there was no one to part them, but the one struck the other and killed him.
And now the whole family has risen up against your maidservant, and they said, 'Deliver him who struck his brother, that we may execute him for the life of his brother whom he killed; and we will destroy the heir also.' So they would extinguish my ember that is left, and leave to my husband neither name nor remnant on the earth."
Then the king said to the woman, "Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you."
And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, "My lord, O king, let the iniquity be on me and on my father's house, and the king and his throne be guiltless."
So the king said, "Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you anymore."
Then she said, "Please let the king remember the LORD your God, and do not permit the avenger of blood to destroy anymore, lest they destroy my son."
And he said, "As the LORD lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground."
Therefore the woman said, "Please, let your maidservant speak another word to my lord the king."
And he said, "Say on."
So the woman said: "Why then have you schemed such a thing against the people of God? For the king speaks this thing as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring his banished one home again.
For we will surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away a life; but He devises means, so that His banished ones are not expelled from Him.
Now therefore, I have come to speak of this thing to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid. And your maidservant said, 'I will now speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his maidservant.
For the king will hear and deliver his maidservant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the inheritance of God.'
Your maidservant said, 'The word of my lord the king will now be comforting; for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king in discerning good and evil. And may the LORD your God be with you.'"
Then the king answered and said to the woman, "Please do not hide from me anything that I ask you."
And the woman said, "Please, let my lord the king speak."
So the king said, "Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?" And the woman answered and said, "As you live, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right hand or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. For your servant Joab commanded me, and he put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant.
To bring about this change of affairs your servant Joab has done this thing; but my lord is wise, according to the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth."
And the king said to Joab, "All right, I have granted this thing. Go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom."
Then Joab fell to the ground on his face and bowed himself, and thanked the king. And Joab said, "Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, my lord, O king, in that the king has fulfilled the request of his servant."
So Joab arose and went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
And the king said, "Let him return to his own house, but do not let him see my face." So Absalom returned to his own house, but did not see the king's face.
Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
And when he cut the hair of his head--at the end of every year he cut it because it was heavy on him--when he cut it, he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels according to the king's standard.
To Absalom were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar. She was a woman of beautiful appearance.
And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, but did not see the king's face.
Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. And when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
So he said to his servants, "See, Joab's field is near mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire." And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.
Then Joab arose and came to Absalom's house, and said to him, "Why have your servants set my field on fire?"
And Absalom answered Joab, "Look, I sent to you, saying, 'Come here, so that I may send you to the king, to say, "Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me to be there still."' Now therefore, let me see the king's face; but if there is iniquity in me, let him execute me."
So Joab went to the king and told him. And when he had called for Absalom, he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king. Then the king kissed Absalom.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?"
Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
This is the bread which came down from heaven--not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever."
These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?"
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, "Does this offend you?
What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before?
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
But there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him.
And He said, "Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father."
From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
Then Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also want to go away?"
But Simon Peter answered Him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?"
He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son
of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.