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Rise & Fall of Israel’s Kingdom

(Category 7 of 16)

page 280

Amnon and Tamar


1 After this aAbsalom the son of David had a lovely sister, whose name was bTamar; and cAmnon the son of David loved her.
2 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.
3 But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab athe son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Now Jonadab was a very crafty man.
4 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.”
5 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.’”
6 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 amake a couple of cakes for me in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.”
7 And David sent home to Tamar,

CHAPTER 13 References

1 a2 Sam. 3:2,
3; 1 Chr. 3:2
b1 Chr. 3:9
c2 Sam. 3:2
3 a1 Sam. 16:9
6 aGen. 18:6
9 aGen. 45:1
11 aGen. 39:12;
[Deut. 27:22];
Ezek. 22:11
12 a[Lev.
20:17] bGen.
34:7; Judg.
19:23; 20:6
1Lit. humble
13 aGen. 20:12
14 aLev. 18:9;
[Deut. 22:25;
27:22]; 2 Sam.
15 1with a
very great
18 aGen. 37:3;
Judg. 5:30;
Ps. 45:13, 14
19 aJosh. 7:6;
2 Sam. 1:2;
Job 2:12; 42:6
bJer. 2:37
22 aGen.
24:50; 31:24
b[Lev. 19:17,
18; 1 John
2:9, 11; 3:10,
12, 15]

saying, “Now go to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.”
8 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.
9 And she took the pan and placed them out before him, but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, a“Have everyone go out from me.” And they all went out from him.
10 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.
11 Now when she had brought them to him to eat, ahe took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”
12 But she answered him, “No, my brother, do not 1force me, for ano such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this bdisgraceful thing!
13 “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; afor he will not withhold me from you.”
14 However, he would not heed her voice; and being stronger than she, he aforced her and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon hated her 1exceedingly, 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!”
16 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.
17 Then he called his servant who attended him, and said, “Here! Put this woman out, away from me, and bolt the door behind her.”
18 Now she had on aa 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.
19 Then Tamar put aashes on her head, and tore her robe of many colors that was on her, and blaid her hand on her head and went away crying bitterly.
20 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.
21 But when King David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
22 And Absalom spoke to his brother Amnon aneither good nor bad. For Absalom bhated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.

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Absalom Murders Amnon

23 And it came to pass, after two full years, that Absalom ahad sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim; so Absalom invited all the king’s sons.
24 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.”
25 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.
26 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?”
27 But Absalom urged him; so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.
28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Watch now, when Amnon’s aheart 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 1valiant.”
29 So the servants of Absalom adid to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each one got on bhis mule and fled.
30 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!”
31 So the king arose and atore his garments and blay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.
32 Then aJonadab 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.
33 “Now therefore, alet 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.”

Absalom Flees to Geshur

34 aThen 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 1him.
35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Look, the king’s sons are coming; as your servant said, so it is.”
36 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

23 aGen. 38:12,
13; 1 Sam.
28 aJudg. 19:6,
9, 22; Ruth
3:7; 1 Sam.
25:36; Esth.
1:10 1Lit. sons
of valor
29 a2 Sam.
12:10 b2 Sam.
18:9; 1 Kin.
1:33, 38
31 a2 Sam.
1:11 b2 Sam.
32 a2 Sam.
33 a2 Sam.
34 a2 Sam.
13:37, 38
1LXX adds
And the
went and told
the king, and
said, “I see
men from the
way of Horonaim,
from the
regions of the
37 a2 Sam. 3:3;
1 Chr. 3:2
38 a2 Sam.
14:23, 32; 15:8
39 aGen. 38:12;
2 Sam. 12:19,
23 1So with
MT, Syr.,Vg.;
LXX the
spirit of the
king; Tg. the
soul of King
David 2So
with MT, Tg.;
ceased to pursue
1 a2 Sam.
2 a2 Sam.
23:26; 2 Chr.
11:6; Amos
1:1 bRuth 3:3
3 aEx. 4:15;
2 Sam. 14:19
4 a1 Sam.
20:41; 25:23;
2 Sam. 1:2
b2 Kin. 6:26,
28 1Many
Heb. mss.,
LXX, Syr.,Vg.
5 a[Zech. 7:10] 7 aNum. 35:19;
Deut. 19:12,
9 aGen. 27:13;
43:9; 1 Sam.
25:24; Matt.
27:25 b2 Sam.
3:28, 29;
1 Kin. 2:33
11 aNum.
35:19, 21;
[Deut. 19:4–10] b1 Sam. 14:45;
1 Kin. 1:52;
Matt. 10:30;
Acts 27:34

2 SAMUEL 14:12

all his servants wept very bitterly.
37 But Absalom fled and went to aTalmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.
38 So Absalom fled and went to aGeshur, and was there three years.
39 And 1King David 2longed to go to Absalom. For he had been acomforted concerning Amnon, because he was dead.

Absalom Returns to Jerusalem


1 So Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was concerned aabout Absalom.
2 And Joab sent to aTekoa and brought from there a wise woman, and said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner, band 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.
3 “Go to the king and speak to him in this manner.” So Joab aput the words in her mouth.
4 And when the woman of Tekoa 1spoke to the king, she afell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself, and said, b“Help, O king!”
5 Then the king said to her, “What troubles you?” And she answered, a“Indeed I am a widow, my husband is dead.
6 “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.
7 “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 afor 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.”
8 Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.”
9 And the woman of Tekoa said to the king, “My lord, O king, let athe 1iniquity be on me and on my father’s house, band the king and his throne be guiltless.”
10 So the king said, “Whoever says anything to you, bring him to me, and he shall not touch you anymore.”
11 Then she said, “Please let the king remember the LORD your God, and do not permit athe avenger of blood to destroy anymore, lest they destroy my son.” And he said, b“As the LORD lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.”
12 Therefore the woman said, “Please, let your maidservant speak

page 282

2 SAMUEL 14:13

another word to my lord the king.” And he said, “Say on.”
13 So the woman said: “Why then have you schemed such a thing against athe people of God? For the king speaks this thing as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring bhis banished one home again.
14 “For we awill surely die and become like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not btake away a life; but He cdevises means, so that His banished ones are not 1expelled from Him.
15 “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.
16 ‘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 ainheritance of God.’
17 “Your maidservant said, ‘The word of my lord the king will now be comforting; for aas the angel of God, so is my lord the king in bdiscerning good and evil. And may the LORD your God be with you.’ ”
18 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.”
19 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 ahe put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant.
20 “To bring about this change of affairs your servant Joab has done this thing; but my lord is wise, aaccording to the wisdom of the angel of God, to know everything that is in the earth.”
21 And the king said to Joab, “All right, I have granted this thing. Go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom.”
22 Then Joab fell to the ground on his face and bowed himself, and 1thanked 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.”
23 So Joab arose aand went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem.
24 And the king said, “Let him return to his own house, but ado not let him see my face.” So Absalom returned to his own house, but did not see the king’s face.

13 aJudg. 20:2
b2 Sam. 13:37,
14 aJob 30:23;
[Heb. 9:27] bJob 34:19;
Matt. 22:16;
Acts 10:34;
Rom. 2:11
cNum. 35:15
1cast out
16 aDeut. 32:9;
1 Sam. 26:19;
2 Sam. 20:19
17 a1 Sam.
29:9; 2 Sam.
19:27 b1 Kin.
19 a2 Sam.
20 a2 Sam.
14:17; 19:27
22 1Lit. blessed
23 a2 Sam.
13:37, 38
24 aGen. 43:3;
2 Sam. 3:13
25 aDeut.
28:35; Job 2:7;
Is. 1:6
27 a2 Sam.
13:1; 18:18
28 a2 Sam.
32 a1 Sam.
20:8; [Prov.
28:13] 33 aGen. 33:4;
45:15; Luke
1 a2 Sam.
12:11 b1 Kin.
2 aDeut. 19:17
1Lit. controversy
3 1Lit. words
2Lit. listener
4 aJudg. 9:29

David Forgives Absalom

25 Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. aFrom the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.
26 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.
27 aTo Absalom were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar. She was a woman of beautiful appearance.
28 And Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, abut did not see the king’s face.
29 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.
30 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.
31 Then Joab arose and came to Absalom’s house, and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?”
32 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 aif there is iniquity in me, let him execute me.”
33 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 akissed Absalom.

Absalom’s Treason


1 After this ait happened that Absalom bprovided himself with chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2 Now Absalom would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate. So it was, whenever anyone who had a alawsuit1 came to the king for a decision, that Absalom would call to him and say, “What city are you from?” And he would say, “Your servant is from such and such a tribe of Israel.”
3 Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your 1case is good and right; but there is no 2deputy of the king to hear you.”
4 Moreover Absalom would say, a“Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.”

page 283

5 And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and akiss him.
6 In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. aSo Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 Now it came to pass aafter 1forty years that Absalom said to the king, “Please, let me go to bHebron and pay the vow which I made to the LORD.
8 a“For your servant btook a vow cwhile I dwelt at Geshur in Syria, saying, ‘If the LORD indeed brings me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the LORD.’ ”
9 And the king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron.
10 Then Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom areigns in Hebron!’ ”
11 And with Absalom went two hundred men ainvited from Jerusalem, and they bwent along innocently and did not know anything.
12 Then Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, aDavid’s counselor, from his city—from bGiloh— while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy grew strong, for the people with Absalom ccontinually increased in number.

David Escapes from Jerusalem

13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, a“The hearts of the men of Israel are 1with Absalom.”
14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us aflee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands.”
16 Then athe king went out with all his household after him. But the king left bten women, concubines, to keep the house.
17 And the king went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts.
18 Then all his servants passed 1before him; aand all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, bsix hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king.
19 Then the king said to aIttai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king. For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place.
20 “In fact, you came only yester-

5 a2 Sam.
14:33; 20:9
6 a[Rom.
16:18] 7 a[Deut.
23:21] b2 Sam.
3:2, 3 1LXX
mss., Syr.,
Josephus four
8 a1 Sam. 16:2
bGen. 28:20,
21 c2 Sam.
10 a1 Kin. 1:34;
2 Kin. 9:13
11 a1 Sam.
16:3, 5 bGen.
12 a2 Sam.
16:15; 1 Chr.
27:33; Ps.
41:9; 55:12–14
bJosh. 15:51
cPs. 3:1
13 aJudg. 9:3;
2 Sam. 15:6
1Lit. after
14 a2 Sam.
12:11; Ps.
16 aPs. 3:title
b2 Sam. 12:11;
16:21, 22
18 a2 Sam.
8:18 b1 Sam.
23:13; 25:13;
30:1, 9 1Lit. by
his hand
19 a2 Sam.
20 a1 Sam.
21 aRuth 1:16,
17; [Prov.
17:17] 23 a2 Sam.
15:28; 16:2
24 a2 Sam.
8:17 bNum.
4:15; 1 Sam.
4:4 c1 Sam.
25 a[Ps. 43:3] bEx. 15:13;
Jer. 25:30
26 aNum. 14:8;
2 Sam. 22:20;
1 Kin. 10:9;
2 Chr. 9:8; Is.
62:4 b1 Sam.
27 a1 Sam.
9:6–9 b2 Sam.
28 aJosh. 5:10;
2 Sam. 17:16
30 a2 Sam.
19:4; Esth.
6:12; Ezek.
24:17, 23 bIs.
20:2–4 cJer.
14:3, 4 d[Ps.
126:6] 31 aPs. 3:1, 2;
55:12 b2 Sam.
16:23; 17:14,
32 aJosh. 16:2
b2 Sam. 1:2
33 a2 Sam.
34 a2 Sam.

2 SAMUEL 15:34

day. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go aI know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you.”
21 But Ittai answered the king and said, a“As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.”
22 So David said to Ittai, “Go, and cross over.” Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over.
23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the awilderness.
24 There was aZadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the bark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and cAbiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city.
25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, He awill bring me back and show me both it and bHis dwelling place.
26 “But if He says thus: ‘I have no adelight in you,’ here I am, blet Him do to me as seems good to Him.”
27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a aseer?1 Return to the city in peace, and byour two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.
28 “See, aI will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”
29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.
30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he ahad his head covered and went bbarefoot. And all the people who were with him ccovered their heads and went up, dweeping as they went up.
31 Then someone told David, saying, a“Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, I pray, bturn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”
32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God— there was Hushai the aArchite coming to meet him bwith his robe torn and dust on his head.
33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you will become aa burden to me.
34 “But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, a‘I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father’s servant previously, so I will now also

page 284

2 SAMUEL 15:35

be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me.
35 “And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall tell to aZadok and Abiathar the priests.
36 “Indeed they have there awith them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear.”
37 So Hushai, aDavid’s friend,went into the city. bAnd Absalom came into Jerusalem.

35 a2 Sam.
17:15, 16
36 a2 Sam.
37 a2 Sam.
16:16; 1 Chr.
27:33 b2 Sam.

page 522


Psalms 90—106


The Eternity of God, and Man’s Frailty

A Prayer aof Moses the man of God.

1 LORD, aYou have been our 1dwelling place in all generations.
2 aBefore the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You 1had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting,You are God.

3 You turn man to destruction, And say, a“Return, O children of men.”
4 aFor a thousand years in Your sight Are like yesterday when it is past, And like a watch in the night.
5 You carry them away like a flood; aThey are like a sleep. In the morning bthey are like grass which grows up:
6 In the morning it flourishes and grows up; In the evening it is cut down and withers.

7 For we have been consumed by Your anger, And by Your wrath we are terrified.
8 aYou have set our iniquities before You, Our bsecret sins in the light of Your countenance.

PSALM 90 References

title aDeut.
1 a[Ezek.
11:16] 1LXX,
Tg.,Vg. refuge
2 a[Prov. 8:25,
26] 1Lit. gave
birth to
3 aGen. 3:19
4 a2 Pet. 3:8
5 aPs. 73:20
bIs. 40:6
8 aPs. 50:21;
[Jer. 16:17] bPs. 19:12;
[Eccl. 12:14] 12 aDeut.
32:29; Ps. 39:4
13 aEx. 32:12;
Deut. 32:36
14 aPs. 85:6
16 a[Deut.
32:4]; Hab. 3:2
17 aPs. 27:4
bIs. 26:12

9 For all our days have passed away in Your wrath; We finish our years like a sigh.
10 The days of our lives are seventy years; And if by reason of strength they are eighty years, Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow; For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11 Who knows the power of Your anger? For as the fear of You, so is Your wrath.
12 aSo teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.

13 Return, O LORD! How long? And ahave compassion on Your servants.
14 Oh, satisfy us early with Your mercy, aThat we may rejoice and be glad all our days!
15 Make us glad according to the days in which You have afflicted us, The years in which we have seen evil.
16 Let aYour work appear to Your servants, And Your glory to their children.
17 aAnd let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And bestablish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.




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