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2 Samuel 13

Amnon and Tamar (13:1–22)

Meanwhile, when David heard of Amnon’s evil act, he was furious (verse 21). But he did nothing about it. David neglected his responsibility as both father and king. His own sexual sin with Bathsheba made it difficult for him to discipline his son for the same kind of sin. Whenever we ourselves sin, we lose some of our moral and spiritual authority, and hence become less effective in God’s service.

Absalom Kills Amnon (13:23–39)

23–27 Two years passed before Absalom was able to take revenge on Amnon. Absalom invited all of David’s sons to join him during the time of sheeps hearing, a festive occasion in ancient Israel. He made sure Amnon was among those who came.

28–29 During the festivities, when Amnon had become intoxicated with wine, Absalom ordered his men to kill him, which they did. David’s other sons, fearing they might be next, immediately got up and fled (verse 29).

Thus, like his brother Amnon before him, Absalom followed in the sinful footsteps of his father. David’s sins of adultery and murder were now being reflected in the lives of his two sons: in the one case, sexual sin; in the other, murder. Let parents take heed: their influence in the lives of their children is enormous—whether for good or for evil.

30–36 Initially David received a report that Absalom had killed all of his sons-possibly including Solomon. But the report proved false, sparing him unbearable grief. But the king still wept very bitterly (verse 36). The murder of Amnon and the flight of Absalom were only the beginnings of the calamity that would be brought upon David “out of his own household” (2 Sam uel 12:11).

37–39 Absalom, fearing his father’s wrath, fled to his mother’s family in Geshur, where his grandfather was king (2 Samuel 3:3).

The writer then adds: But King David mourned for his son every day (verse 37). Which son? Probably Amnon, whom David had just lost. But it is also possible that David cared more for Absalom, who was also lost” in exile in Geshur. Absalom remained in exile for three years, and David increasingly longed to go to him (verse 39).

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