In the latter part of his reign, David became easily manipulated, and sin’s corrosive effects continued to erode his kingdom. Two years after Amnon violated Tamar, her brother Absalom took matters into his own hands by vengefully killing him. Examining the tragic events of 2 Samuel 13, Alistair Begg reminds us that just like David’s sons, we’re all sinners, and judgment and vengeance belong to God alone. Jesus is the only King who can truly set things right. In Him, mercy and justice are perfectly executed.
Sermon Transcript: Print
Our Scripture reading this morning is in 2 Samuel and in chapter 13 and beginning our reading at the twenty-third verse and reading through to the end of the chapter. Two Samuel 13:23:
“After two full years Absalom had sheepshearers at Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. And Absalom came to the king and said, ‘Behold, 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, lest we be burdensome to you.’ He pressed him, but he would not go but gave him his blessing. 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 pressed him until he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. Then Absalom commanded his servants, ‘Mark when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, “Strike Amnon,” then kill him. Do not fear; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.’ So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons [rose], and each mounted his mule and fled.
“While they were on the way, news came to David, ‘Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.’ Then the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the earth. And all his servants who were standing by tore their garments. But Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, said, ‘Let not my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day he violated his sister Tamar. Now therefore let not my lord the king so take it to heart as to suppose that all the king’s sons are dead, for Amnon alone is dead.’
“But Absalom fled. And the young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. And Jonadab said to the king, ‘Behold, the king’s sons have come [out]; as your servant said, so it has come about.’ And as soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and lifted up their voice and wept. And the king also 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 day after day. So Absalom fled and went to Geshur, and was there three years. And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom, because he was comforted about Amnon, since he was dead.”
We recognize that we will not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Grant now that we may hear your Word and, in listening to your voice, be transformed by it. For we pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Perhaps like me, you’re able to remember a time when we listened to or watched what was called “the news.” In fact, if you listen to NPR, as I do from time to time, at certain points around the day, it plays a little jingle from the UK, and then it simply announces things very much in that way: “This is London, and this is the news.” There’s something very sort of reassuring about it, until they start with the actual delivery of the material. Because in those days, to a certain degree, at least, the news could be either good or bad, dull or sad, but it was the news. This was before fake news. This was actually before something that I think is even worse, called breaking news. You know, like, why does it have to be “breaking”? I mean, do the media think that we are so dumb that we just need that “breaking” thing going up there to pay any attention to it at all? “It’s the breaking news.”
So I said to myself, “I wonder how it would go in 2 Samuel 13.” Something like this: “Reports are just coming in of a brutal murder at a large gathering out in the country. The victim is known two years ago to have raped a family member. This is apparently a revenge killing carried out by friends of the rape victim’s brother. Rumors are circulating of more than one death. This, at the moment, is unconfirmed. There will be more details in our next breaking news bulletin.”
Of course, this wasn’t breaking news. This actually was not remotely fake news, but it is part of the biblical record of what is happening in the kingdom that we’ve been discovering for some months now—namely, David’s kingdom. And what we’ve been learning most recently is that the Bible presents all of its heroes warts and all. There’s no airbrushing of the portraiture. We are left to see David not only as that young man ascending the throne but now as an increasingly aging man with his kingdom tumbling into ruin. And as we observe this, we are made painfully aware of the damaging and the corrosive effects of sin—that the implications and applications of man’s rebellion against God is undeniable.
Now, last time, in dealing with the difficult verses of the first half of the chapter, we sought simply to follow the narrative rather than to try and superimpose an outline on it. Having done that in the first half, I want to do it again in the second. And so, as I say, if you have your Bible open, you ought to be able to follow very straightforwardly all that is there for us to consider.
You will notice that our reading begins with the phrase “After two full years…” “After two full years…” Two full years of what, for Tamar? Two full years living distressed and ruined in her brother’s house. We know that, because Absalom had taken her in after this violation. And so, every morning and every evening for two full years, the implications of what had unfolded in her life were undeniable to her.
Two full years for David’s anger to smolder. You remember that David’s reaction to the news was that he was very angry, and anger has a way of smoldering and rising and ebbing and flowing. But you can imagine that even after this time, still that anger lingers. And two years for Absalom to nurse his hatred of Amnon, his brother. Because as we saw at the end of our study last time, he would not speak to Amnon, and presumably, he has chosen never to speak to Amnon, because his hatred continues.
Now, it is at that point that for Absalom—a plan that he has had in mind for some time—opportunity knocks. That’s what I wrote in my notes, just to guide me. Opportunity knocks, here in verse 24. It knocks in the form of an annual event—an annual event called the sheepshearing. We’ve seen this before. I’m not going to rehearse it, but you will remember that it was in this context that we were introduced to Abigail and her husband—Abigail, who would become one of David’s wives. Way back, actually, in the book of Genesis, there is another incident, rather similar to 2 Samuel 13, that, fascinatingly, also takes place within the context of the sheepshearing.
Now, as we read this, are we to assume, as we come just on the text, that Absalom is putting together an event, seizing the opportunity of the event, to let go of things in the past, let the bygones be bygones? Is what he’s trying to do simply bring people together for a time of reconciliation and a time of celebration? Well, of course, we know that that is not the case. And in verse 24, he invites his father along with “all the king’s sons.”
You will notice as you read through the text that that phrase comes a number of times: “all the king’s sons.” And we’ve said before that repetition in our reading of Old Testament narrative is there in order that we might pay attention to it. Doesn’t mean we should divert from where we are, but simply recognizing this: that the future of David’s kingdom lay in “all the king’s sons.” If anything were to happen to “all the king’s sons,” then David’s kingdom is kaput. And so it is mentioned in this way a number of times.
He invites his father, along with a whole entourage, to come. David decides no, he doesn’t want to. You see there, he just says, “I think it would be a burden to you.” What kind of burden would it be? Well, maybe just the numbers. Perhaps expense involved. I don’t know. Absalom decides to press him on it, and he said, “No, I’m not going to go. But I’ll give you my blessing.”
Then Absalom comes to probably what is the real issue here. I don’t know whether he uses the invitation to his father in the hope that his father will not come, but certainly his real interest is in verse 26: “Then Absalom said, ‘If you’re not going to come, then please let my brother Amnon go with me.’” And, of course, it’s almost inevitable that David would reply as he did: “Why should he go with you?” “Why should he go with you? Why are you singling him out?” Well, it’s a fair question, isn’t it, in light of the feud that had gone on now for some two years between Amnon and Absalom? It’d be a strange thing: “I thought you didn’t speak to him. I thought you folks had no relationship with one another. Why would you want him to come to this event?” He couldn’t possibly—that is, David—be unaware of Absalom’s hatred of his brother.
Well, you’ll notice that in verse 27, Absalom actually just dodges that question by pressing him. Maybe he said something like this: “Listen, father, I’m inviting all the king’s sons. If Amnon didn’t come, he’d be the odd man out. No, I think it’s important that Amnon is there.” And so we’re told that David relents. He was pressed, and he “let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.”
Now, let’s just pause and recognize that David is building a bad track record on this front, isn’t he? Once again he is manipulated by one of his sons. He had previously been manipulated into putting Amnon and Tamar together in the one place, and now he is doing the very same thing in putting Absalom and Amnon together in the one place. Remember, Jonadab says, you know, “Get your father David to tell Tamar to go and see Amnon.” So David is inculcated in the process. Now, once again, he wants to make sure that somehow or another David is party to this.
And it is questionable whether the actual original text means he let him go or he actually sent him. Whichever way it is, once again you see that something is happening to David. Something that is disheartening is happening to him. What is happening to David? Well, we remember 11:27: that “the thing that David [did] displeased the Lord.” That David is now no longer living, as it were, under God’s smile; he’s living under God’s frown. That God in his mercy had accepted David’s expression of repentance, but as we’ve said routinely, God did not then prevent the consequences from David’s sin from being set aside.
And so, what we see is that he is a weakened person. He’s no longer resolute. He’s easily manipulated. He’s either unwilling or unable to take control. In short order, he’s not living to a good, old age. Maybe he doesn’t listen to anybody. Maybe now he’s peerless. Maybe now he’s friendless. Maybe now he just doesn’t really care what any of his wives have to say. Maybe he’s just tired. Maybe he’s just fed up.
How different he is from, for example, Caleb. You remember Caleb, one of the two spies, Caleb and Joshua, that go in to see what’s going on in prospect of the entry into the promised land. “Twelve men went to spy in Canaan. Ten were bad, two were good.” And Caleb was one of the two good men. You say, “Well, that was quite super, wasn’t it?” Yes, until you find him later on, still a super soul. You can read it for yourself in Joshua 14, where Caleb says, “I was forty years old then. And the Lord has kept me alive. And I’m still as strong today. And it may be that the Lord will be with me.” It’s wonderful: “I was… I am… I am… I look to him.”
While I was studying this week, I got a letter from one of our friends (an email, actually, but it was not just a jotted note; it had some substance to it), John Shearer, who has preached here for us to our great help and encouragement. And as he wrote to me, he was commenting on the fact that he has now been officially retired from pastoral ministry for ten years. “But,” he writes, “there is much yet to be done, and the race is not finished. I remind myself of the words of Jim Elliot: ‘You cannot surrender your life in an instant. That which is lifelong can only be surrendered in a lifetime.’” You cannot surrender your life in a moment, in an instant. That which is lifetime is lifelong, and vice versa.
Now, I pause on that because let’s just acknowledge that David’s demise is a warning to us all. Somebody just showed me a photograph this morning that was taken, staggeringly, in 1996. I don’t say this to my commendation, but I looked at it, and I said to myself, “That must been taken the year that I arrived,” because the year that I arrived, I was thirty-one. At that point I looked about twenty-two, or maybe fourteen on a better day. But I looked at the thing, and I said, “Goodness gracious, I was forty-four years old there.” And some of you were too. But we’re not anymore.
So the question is, are we gonna go the David route, or are we gonna go the Caleb route? Are we gonna allow ourselves to be jaded, disappointed, disenfranchised, lose our zeal, lose our verve, say to ourselves, “Who cares, it’s all over now”? Nothing left to say, just our dreams and the orchestra playing? Well, I hope not. I hope not.
That’s what it says: he “let” him go. And what happens? Well, in the same way that when he sent Tamar to Amnon, he couldn’t know the disaster that was about to unfold, and when he allowed Amnon to go to the sheepshearing, he couldn’t know what was about to unfold.
Tragically, if you look at verse 28, I wrote in my notes, “Like father, like son.” “Like father, like son.” “Then Absalom commanded his servants, ‘Mark when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine.’” Remember that, with Uriah? What did he do? Tried to get him drunk: “Hey, let’s party.” See if he could ease the slopes. That’s the same thing here. Maybe father and son had even talked about how that unfolded. I don’t know.
And David had given clear instructions on that occasion, hadn’t he? He said to the guy Abner, “Take care of it up there—just one, two, three, dead.” What do you find in the text? Exactly the same: “‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Do not fear; have I not commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.” Amazing, isn’t it? This is a murder we’re talking about here! This is not a launch into battle. This is not Joshua chapter 1: “Be strong and very courageous, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you’re going.” No, this is “We’re gonna kill my brother.”
Isn’t the perversity of the human heart and mind so amazing? I mean, our capacity for deceit is phenomenal. As I suggested to you the last time, when in that horrible act of violation Amnon uses language that is endearing, that is sort of sensitive, at the same time while he is physically overpowering the girl—I mean, it’s horrendous. And now what does Absalom do? He uses the language of honor: “Be strong. Be courageous. I’m the heir to the king. I’ve told you. Get about your business.”
And what happened in the previous incident, the first half of the chapter? Five minutes after, Amnon hated Tamar. And you look there in verse 29b, and essentially five minutes after the servants had done what Absalom told them to do, they made a run for it: “Then all the king’s sons arose, and each mounted his mule and [he] fled.”
Now, it is in that context, then, in verse 30, that the news comes to David. “While they were on [their] way…” So, they’re going one way. Absalom, actually, he’s making a run for it too, but he’s going in a different direction. “And while they were on [their] way…” The picture now takes us back—if this was a movie, we’d cut back to Jerusalem now—and the watchman on the gates is aware of the fact that news is coming of what has been taking place. And the word that comes is that “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.”
Well, this turned out to be fake news, and whoever reported it was ill-informed. Perhaps… And I’ve noticed that when people are given an opportunity with the microphone to describe what happened, I think there is a sort of inherent tendency not just to say, “Well, the truck ran through the light and banged into a lamppost,” but now’s your one moment to explain, “It was coming at a ferocious speed. It skidded to the left, it skidded to the right, it…” Just say what it said! We don’t need all that! And I think this fellow presumably has his moment. And so he decides, “I’ll just embellish it a little bit. What news is there in one murder? Let’s let it be known that all the king’s sons are dead.”
The newspaper that we had in Yorkshire when I was a boy was—you know, it couldn’t find a scoop to save its circulation. I mean, we used to have headlines in the local newspaper that said, like, “Man Had Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast” or “A Tree Fell in the River.” You know, it was like, “Whoa, this is good stuff!”
But the fact that David actually reacts immediately and dramatically, as he does (“Then the king [rose] … tore his garments … lay on the earth”; his servants did the same thing), that speaks to the fact that he was aware of the feud between his sons. He’d questioned Absalom—probably, when he did, suspicious of his motives. But now he doesn’t actually question the reporter. You say, “Well, would he?” Well, yeah, actually, I think he would. And I’ll tell you why. Because if you remember the beginning of 2 Samuel, about a hundred years ago—2 Samuel—and David hears the news of Saul’s death: “And the young man who told him,” 2 Samuel 1:6, “said, ‘By chance I happened to be on [the mountain],’” and so on. And David actually presses the man and says, “Have you really got this accurate?”
Well, here we have it. The news comes to him that there has been a complete loss of his entire lineage. How could this possibly be? Of course, we’re going to discover that it isn’t, but for the time being, you recognize that the promise of God had been that “when your days are fulfilled and you lie down …, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish [your] kingdom.” That was the promise of God. So the promise of God is that through his lineage he will establish his kingdom. And now all the rest of the kingdom is gone, apparently. And David must have had occasion to say, “You know, I have deserted Yahweh’s trust. I have incurred Yahweh’s displeasure.”
But as he stands there in the company of his servants, he’s about to discover that things are not as reported. And that is where we have Mr. Crafty back on the scene—when “Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother,” shows up. He is, of course, Absalom’s cousin. He is officially the spin doctor. He does provide the actual account of what has taken place, but he does it in such a way as to let, if you like, David down lightly: they haven’t killed all the king’s sons, only Amnon. And, of course, he says, “This is something that is a slow train coming.” You see that there in verse 32: “For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day he violated his sister Tamar.” “We’ve been expecting this,” he says.
And it would seem reasonable—reasonable, not a main thing and a plain thing—but it would seem reasonable to suppose that Jonadab’s ability to explain this is because he has been in on it from the very get-go; that he’s been in on it from the start; that he’s the fixer, he’s the get-it-done man. He made it possible for Amnon to violate Tamar, and now he fixes things for Absalom in the killing of Amnon. “Things are not as bad as you seem, king. Don’t be too heartbroken.” You see his language there. “Don’t be too heartbroken. You’re not without an heir. Only Amnon is dead.” And this becomes very clear as the king’s sons return to Jerusalem.
In that context, it allows Jonadab the opportunity to say “I told you so.” You see that in verse : “And Jonadab said to the king, ‘Behold, the king’s sons have come [out]; as your servant said, so it has come about.’” “It hasn’t been a wholesale slaughter. Even if it was a dreadful killing, nevertheless, here are the facts.”
Now, here’s just a thought in passing: it’s even possible, isn’t it, that Absalom is using what happened to Tamar as a mechanism to justify his killing Amnon. Because Amnon is heir to the throne—number two. Number-three heir to the throne, we know nothing of him since 2 Samuel 3, and the presumption is that he is dead. Therefore, Absalom is now clearing his way to assume the throne for himself. And as we go on in our studies, what I’ve just suggested to you may either come to you with a sense of “Yes, I think so,” or you may determine that it isn’t the case.
But here’s the fact: Absalom had no place at all to execute justice in this way. The fact that it was wrong for it to take place (which it was), the fact that it caused such pain to his sister (which it did), the fact that it made him hate his brother (which was also true), none of that legitimized Absalom taking matters into his own hands. And there is a reminder to us here, isn’t there, that when the Scriptures say, “‘Vengeance is mine,’ says the Lord, ‘I am the one who will take care of things’”—eventually, when God sets to right his world, all of the injustices, all of the hatreds, all of the attempts at vengeance meted out by humanity will be dealt with absolutely perfectly. And in the meantime, we need to acknowledge that we very rarely, if ever, get vengeance right. “Well, I’m going to take care of it.” In fact, as my friend says, “In our hands vengeance [just] becomes another expression of our own sinfulness.”
Now, what happens is that “Absalom fled.” In fact, my title this morning was “Amnon Is Dead and Absalom Fled.” You say, “Well, you could have just said that, and we could have had the benediction.” I understand. But I want to try and encourage you to read your Bible: “Absalom fled,” verse 34; “Absalom fled,” verse 37; “Absalom fled,” verse 38. So what do we know? We know that Absalom fled. He fled in another direction. He fled to a place that was beyond David’s jurisdiction. He fled to his maternal grandfather and to his kingdom. He fled in such a way that he put himself beyond the reach of David—which is perhaps the answer to the difficult closing, verse 39, where it says, “And the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom.” But maybe he didn’t go out to him because he was beyond his jurisdiction.
Absalom fled. Tamar’s still somewhere. “And David mourned for his son day after day.” Which son do you think it was? “Well,” you say, “I think it must be Amnon.” Well, surely Amnon. But why not Absalom too? Again, if you know anything of the story that is to come, both of his sons were the occasion of his grief.
I have a picture of David in my mind. He’s just sitting. He’s sitting, gazing. He’s sitting gazing, but not in the way that he gazed when he was up on the top of the building, gazing down at that pretty girl bathing. No, that gaze is long in the past. No, he gazes now. He gazes, really, probably—I don’t think he fixes his eyes on anything. He just gazes. He gazes into the distance. He’s a jumble of reactions, a mixture of emotions. All the glory days are oh-so-far away now, like that picture they just showed me. He’s no longer the handsome, ruddy boy who steps out onto the field of battle, who speaks to the giant and says, “The Lord delivered me, and the Lord will deliver me.” Now he’s a shadow of himself. He can’t get the balance right between being merciful to his sons and executing discipline upon his sons. So when he should say, “No, you’re not doing this,” he says, “Oh, go ahead.”
Well, what are we to do with this? Well, we gotta do with it what we do with it every single time. You say, “Well, this is very repetitive.” No, it’s purposefully repetitive. In fact, I met a lady in the last couple of days, and she came to me, and she said, you know, “I’ve been following along in 2 Samuel, but I’ve also been reading Chronicles.” And she says, “You know, I’m getting thoroughly depressed with the kings of Israel. No matter which one comes up, it’s another disaster, another disaster. It is thoroughly disheartening. What am I supposed to do with this?”
I said, “Oh! I think a member of my congregation could tell you what to do with this. I hope they could. They would say, ‘Oh, listen, madam. The reason for this—the reason that the spotlight is roaming, as it were, all through the pages of the Old Testament, looking for a king, settling on a king, moving on to another king—is because none of those kings is the king that we need. None of those kings is the one for whom we’re looking. And so the whole point of it is, you should feel in a measure that way, in order that you say, “Well, where is there, then, this King who will reign supreme, who will set justice to right, who will magnify the wonder of God’s dealings?”’”
And the answer, of course, is in Jesus. Because only in the work of Jesus do we find mercy and justice executed properly. It is beneath the cross of Jesus that not only do we find a place to stand, but it is beneath the cross of Jesus that love and justice meet one another. How else could it be that God would save sinners, except that he, the Sinless One, bore my sin in his own body on the tree, in order that I might enjoy what it is to be brought into his family and to live in his presence?
And here’s my final observation. I said to myself, “You know, people are gonna sit there and say, ‘Yeah, I kinda get this, but it’s so way out there. I mean, it’s… What has it got to do with me?’” Well, it’s got everything to do with you. Everything to do with you. Because we share Absalom’s nature, even if we don’t duplicate what he did. You say, “Well, where do you get that from?” Well, where do you think we get it from? But particularly, when Paul instructs Titus to make sure that his congregation are eager to do good, to make sure that his congregation are really warm and welcoming to the people on food-drop Sunday, to make sure that his congregation do not engage with people in the community in a spirit of sort of obnoxious piety or with a snooty downlook on the lives of men and women—in order to ensure that, this is what he says: “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities.” (“Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord. “You’re not gonna have to storm the Capitol Building. Just relax. Just relax.”) “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of [nobody], to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, … to show perfect courtesy toward[s] all people. For,” he says—now here’s the punch—“for we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.”
We share Absalom’s nature, even though we do not duplicate his deed. And what’s the distinguishing reality?
But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs [of the King] according to the hope of eternal life.
So he says, “Make sure your congregation gets this. And that way they won’t talk down to people. And neither will you, Titus. And neither must you, Begg. Because this is what you are: a total sinner, apart from the redeeming grace of Christ.” That’s why we sang, “There’s a higher throne.” Because there is. And that’s why in a moment we will end with our closing song.
Just a brief prayer:
Lord, grant that we might hear the voice of Jesus that bids us come to him, so that when we acknowledge what we are by nature, we might become all that he designs by grace. Grant that we might come to the place where love and justice meet and that we might bring others to the same place. For in Christ’s name we ask it. Amen.
 See Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4.
 Joshua 14:7–12 (paraphrased).
 Joshua 1:9 (paraphrased).
 2 Samuel 1:5 (paraphrased).
 2 Samuel 7:12 (ESV).
 Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19 (paraphrased).
 John Woodhouse, 2 Samuel: Your Kingdom Come, Preaching the Word, ed. R. Kent Hughes (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2015), 351.
 1 Samuel 17:37 (paraphrased).
 See 1 Peter 2:24.
 Titus 3:1–3 (ESV).
 Titus 3:4–7 (ESV).
 Keith Getty and Kristyn Getty, “There Is a Higher Throne” (2003). Lyrics lightly altered.
Copyright © 2022, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations for sermons preached on or after November 6, 2011 are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
For sermons preached before November 6, 2011, unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® (NIV®), copyright © 1973 1978 1984 by Biblica, Inc.TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.