Day 159 of the Holy Bible One Year Challenge. Amnon rapes Tamar, his sister. Absalom gets revenge. Ananias and Sapphira suddenly die for their greed.
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2 Samuel 13
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2 Samuel 13
Amnon and Tamar
David had a son named Absalom. Absalom had a very beautiful sister named Tamar. Another one of David’s sons, Amnon,** was in love with Tamar. 2 She was a virgin. Amnon wanted her very much, but he did not think it was possible for him to have her. He thought about her so much that he made himself sick.*
3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah. (Shimeah was David’s brother.) Jonadab was a very clever man. 4 He said to Amnon, “You are the king’s son. So why do you always look so sad? Tell me what the trouble is!”
Amnon told Jonadab, “I love Tamar. But she is the sister of my half-brother Absalom.”
5 Jonadab said to Amnon, “Go to bed. Pretend you are sick. Then your father will come to see you. Tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come in and give me food to eat. Let her make the food in front of me. Then I will see it and eat it from her hand.’”
6 So Amnon lay down in bed and pretended to be sick. King David came in to see Amnon. He said to King David, “Please let my sister Tamar come in. Let her make two cakes for me while I watch. Then I can eat them from her hands.”
7 David sent messengers to Tamar’s house. They told her, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house and make some food for him.”
8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon, and he was in bed. Tamar took some dough, pressed it together with her hands, and cooked the cakes. She did this while he watched. 9 Then Tamar took the cakes out of the pan and set them out for him. But he refused to eat. He said to his servants, “Get out of here. Leave me alone!” So all his servants left the room.
Amnon Rapes Tamar
10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the bedroom and feed me by hand.”
So Tamar took the cakes she had made and went into her brother’s bedroom. 11 But when she offered him the food, he grabbed her hand and said, “Come, my sister, let’s have sex!”
12 Tamar said to Amnon, “No, my brother, don’t force me! This should never happen in Israel! Don’t do such a shameful thing! 13 I will never be able to get rid of my shame! And everyone in Is- rael will see you as a useless fool! Please, talk with the king. I’m sure he will let you marry me.”
14 But Amnon refused to listen to Tamar. He was stronger than she was, so he raped her. 15 Then Amnon began to hate Tamar. He hated her much more than he had loved her before. Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out of here!” 16 Tamar said to Amnon, “No! Don’t send me away like this. That would be even worse than what you did before!”
But Amnon refused to listen to Tamar. 17 He called his servant and said, “Get this girl out of this room, now! And lock the door after her.”
18 So Amnon’s servant led Tamar out of the room and locked the door.
Tamar was wearing a long robe with many colors. The king’s virgin daughters wore robes like this. 19 Tamar tore her robe of many colors and put ashes on her head. Then she put her hand on her head and began crying.‡
20 Then Tamar’s brother Absalom said to her, “Did your brother Amnon force you to have sex with him? Well, my sister, since he is your brother, it would be better not to tell anyone. Try to control your feelings.” So Tamar did not say anything. Hurt and all alone, she went to live at Absalom’s house.
21 King David heard the news and became very angry. But Amnon was his oldest son, and he loved him very much. So he did not want to do anything to upset him.* 22 Absalom did not say any- thing, good or bad, to Amnon. But he hated Amnon for raping his sister Tamar.
23 Two years later, Absalom had some men come to Baal Hazor near Ephraim to cut the wool from his sheep. He invited all the king’s sons to come and watch. 24 Absalom went to the king and said, “I have some men coming to cut the wool from my sheep. Please come with your servants and watch.”
25 King David said to Absalom, “No, son. We will not all go. It will be too much trouble for you.”
Absalom begged David to go. David did not go, but he did give his blessing. 26 Absalom said, “If you don’t want to go, please let my brother Amnon go with me.”
King David asked Absalom, “Why should he go with you?”
27 Absalom kept begging David. Finally, David let Amnon and all the king’s other sons go with Absalom. And Absalom had a royal feast prepared for them.
Amnon Is Murdered
28 Then Absalom gave this command to his servants, “Watch Amnon. When
he is drunk and feeling good from the wine, I will give you the command to at- tack Amnon and kill him. Don’t be afraid of being punished. After all, you will only be obeying my command. Now, be strong and brave.”
29 So Absalom’s young soldiers did what he said. They killed Amnon. But all of David’s other sons escaped. Each son got on his mule and escaped.
David Hears About Amnon’s Death
30 While the king’s sons were still on their way to the town, King David got a message about what had happened. The message was, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons! Not one of the sons was left alive.”
31 King David tore his clothes and lay on the ground. All of David’s officers standing near him also tore their clothes. 32 But then Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said, “It’s not true that all the king’s sons were killed! Only Am- non is dead. Absalom has been planning this from the day that Amnon raped his sister Tamar. 33 So, my lord and king, don’t think that all your sons are dead.
Only Amnon is dead. 34 And Absalom has run away.”
There was a guard standing on the city wall. He saw many people coming from the other side of the hill and went to tell the king. 35 So Jonadab said to King David, “Look, I was right! The king’s sons are coming.”
36 The king’s sons came in just after Jonadab said that. They were crying loudly. David and all his officers began crying with them. 37 David cried for his son every day.
Absalom Escapes to Geshur
Absalom ran away to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. 38 After Absalom had run away to Geshur, he stayed there for three years. 39 King David was comforted after Amnon died, but he missed Absalom very much.
Peter and John Return to the Believers
23 Peter and John left the council meeting and went to their own group. They told the group everything that the leading priests and the older leaders had said to them. 24 When the believers heard this, they all prayed to God with one purpose. They said, “Lord of all, you are the one who made the sky, the earth, the sea and everything in the world. 25 Our ancestor David was your
servant. With the help of the Holy Spirit he wrote these words:
‘Why are the nations so proud?
Why are they making such useless plans?
26 These earthly kings and rulers join together
to fight against the Lord and his Messiah.’
27 That’s what actually happened when Herod, Pontius Pilate, the other nations and the people of Israel all came together against Jesus here in Jerusalem. He is your holy Servant, the one you chose to be the Messiah. 28 These people who came together against Jesus made your plan happen. It was done because of your power and your will. 29 And now, Lord, listen to what they are saying. They are trying to make us afraid. We are your servants. Help us to say what you want us to say without fear. 30 Help us to be brave by showing us your power. Make sick people well. Cause miraculous signs and wonders to happen by the authority‡ of Jesus, your holy servant.”
31 After the believers had prayed, the place where they were meeting shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak God’s message without fear.
The Believers Share
32 The whole group of believers was united in their thinking and in what they wanted. None of them said that the things they had were their own. Instead, they shared everything. 33 With great power the apostles were making it known to everyone that the Lord Jesus was raised from death. And God blessed all the believers very much. 34 No one was left in need of anything. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the money 35 to the apostles. Then everyone was given whatever they needed.
36 One of the believers was named Joseph. The apostles called him Barn- abas, a name that means “one who encourages others”. He was a Levite born in Cyprus. 37 Joseph sold a field he owned. He brought the money and gave it to the apostles.
Ananias and Sapphira
There was a man named Ananias. His wife’s name was Sapphira. Ananias sold some land he had, 2 but he
gave only part of the money to the apostles. He secretly kept some of the money for himself. His wife knew this, and she agreed to it.
3 Peter said, “Ananias, why did you let Satan fill your mind with such an idea? You kept part of the money for yourself and lied about it to the Holy Spirit! 4 Before you sold the field, it belonged to you. And even after you sold it, you could have used the money any way you wanted. How could you even think of doing such a thing? You lied to God, not to us!”
5–6 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. Some young men came and wrapped up his body. They carried it out and buried it. And everyone who heard about this was filled with fear.
7 About three hours later his wife came in. Sapphira did not know about what had happened to her husband. 8 Peter said to her, “Tell me how much money you got for your field. Was it this much?”
Sapphira answered, “Yes, that was all we got for the field.”
9 Peter said to her, “Why did you and your husband agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! Do you hear those footsteps? The men who buried your husband are at the door. They will carry you out in the same way.” 10 At that moment Sapphira fell down by his feet and died. The young men came in and saw that she was dead. They carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 The whole church and all the other people who heard about this were filled with fear.
9 Don’t throw me away now that I am old;
don’t leave me as I lose my strength.
10 My enemies are talking about me.
They come together and make plans to kill me.
11 They say, “Go and get him!
God has left him, so there is no one to help him.”
12 God, don’t leave me!
My God, hurry and help me!
13 Defeat and destroy those who attack me.
Cover them with shame and disgrace! They are trying to hurt me.
Let them suffer shame and disgrace.
14 Then I will always trust in you and praise you more and more.
15 I will tell people how good you are.
I will need all day long to tell about the times you saved me
because there were too many times to count.
16 I will come and tell about your greatness, my Lord GOD.
I will talk only about you and your goodness.
17 God, you have taught me since I was
a young boy,
and to this day, I tell people about the wonderful things you do.
18 Now that I am old and grey,
don’t leave me, God.
I must tell the next generation
about your power and greatness.
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