“While they were on the way, the report came to David that Absalom had killed all of the king’s sons. None of them was left. The king rose. He tore his garments. He lay on the ground. All of his servants who were standing by tore their garments. But Jonadab, the son of David’s brother Shimeah, said. ‘Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons. Amnon alone is dead. This has been determined by Absalom from the day that Amnon raped his sister Tamar. Now therefore do not let my lord, the king, take it to heart, as if all the king’s sons are dead. For Amnon alone is dead.”
Someone reported to King David that Absalom had killed all his sons. David and all his servants tore their garments and prostrated themselves. However, Absalom’s cousin Jonadab, who first instigated this affair, reported that only Amnon was dead, because Absalom had been planning this since Amnon had raped his sister 2 years ago. So the death of all his sons was a false alarm. Jonadab was able to explain everything.