2 Samuel 13

Amnon Rapes Tamar

1 Some time later, David's son Amnon fell in love with Tamar. She was the beautiful sister of Absalom. He was another one of David's sons.
2 Amnon's sister Tamar was a virgin. It seemed impossible for him to do what he wanted to do with her. But he wanted her so much it almost made him sick.
3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab. He was the son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very clever man.
4 He asked Amnon, "You are the king's son, aren't you? So why do you look so worn out every morning? Won't you tell me?" Amnon answered, "I'm in love with Tamar. She's the sister of my brother Absalom."
5 "Go to bed," Jonadab said. "Pretend to be sick. Your father will come to see you. When he does, tell him, 'I would like my sister Tamar to come and give me something to eat. Let her prepare the food right here in front of me where I can watch her. Then she can feed it to me.' "
6 So Amnon went to bed. He pretended to be sick. The king came to see him. Amnon said to him, "I would like my sister Tamar to come here. I want to watch her make some special bread. Then she can feed it to me."
7 David sent a message to Tamar at the palace. It said, "Go to your brother Amnon's house. Prepare some food for him."
8 So Tamar went to the house of her brother Amnon. He was lying in bed. She got some dough and mixed it. She shaped the bread right there in front of him. And she baked it.
9 Then she took the bread out of the pan and served it to him. But he refused to eat it. "Send everyone out of here," Amnon said. So everyone left him.
10 Then he said to Tamar, "Bring the food here into my bedroom. Please feed it to me." So Tamar picked up the bread she had prepared. She brought it to her brother Amnon in his bedroom.
11 She took it to him so he could eat it. But he grabbed hold of her. He said, "My sister, come and have sex with me."
12 "Don't do this, my brother!" she said to him. "Don't force me to have sex with you. An evil thing like that should never be done in Israel! Don't do it!
13 What about me? How could I ever get rid of my shame? And what about you? You would be as foolish as any evil person in Israel. Please speak to the king. He won't keep me from getting married to you."
14 But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was. So he raped her.
15 Then Amnon was filled with deep hatred for Tamar. In fact, he hated her now more than he had loved her before. He said to her, "Get up! Get out!"
16 "No!" she said to him. "Don't send me away. That would be worse than what you have already done to me." But he refused to listen to her.
17 He sent for his personal servant. He said, "Get this woman out of here. Lock the door behind her."
18 So his servant threw her out. Then he locked the door behind her. Tamar was wearing a beautiful robe. It was the kind of robe the virgin daughters of the king wore.
19 She put ashes on her head. She tore the beautiful robe she was wearing. She put her hands on her head and went away. She was sobbing out loud as she went.
20 When her brother Absalom saw her, he spoke to her. He said, "Has Amnon, that brother of yours, forced you to have sex with him? My sister, don't let it upset you. Don't let it bother you. He's your brother." After that, Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house. She was very lonely.
21 King David heard about everything that had happened. So he became very angry.
22 Absalom never said a word of any kind to Amnon. He hated Amnon because he had brought shame on his sister Tamar.

Absalom Kills Amnon

23 Two years later, Absalom invited all of the king's sons to come to Baal Hazor. It was near the border of Ephraim. The workers who clipped the wool off Absalom's sheep were there.
24 Absalom went to the king. He said, "I've had my workers come to clip the wool. Will you and your officials please join me?"
25 "No, my son," the king replied. "All of us shouldn't go. It would be too much trouble for you." Although Absalom begged him, the king still refused to go. But he gave Absalom his blessing.
26 Then Absalom said, "If you won't come, please let my brother Amnon come with us." The king asked him, "Why should he go with you?"
27 But Absalom begged him. So the king sent Amnon with him. He also sent the rest of his sons.
28 Absalom ordered his men, "Listen! When Amnon has had too much wine to drink, I'll say to you, 'Strike Amnon down.' When I do, kill him. Don't be afraid. I've given you an order, haven't I? Be strong and brave."
29 So Absalom's men killed Amnon, just as Absalom had ordered. Then all of the king's sons got on their mules and rode away.
30 While they were on their way, a report came to David. It said, "Absalom has struck down all of your sons. Not one of them is left alive."
31 The king stood up and tore his clothes. Then he lay down on the ground. All of his servants stood near him. They had also torn their clothes.
32 Jonadab, the son of David's brother Shimeah, spoke up. He said, "You shouldn't think that all of the princes have been killed. The only one who is dead is Amnon. Absalom had planned to kill him ever since the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar.
33 You are my king and master. You shouldn't be concerned about this report. It's not true that all of your sons are dead. The only one who is dead is Amnon."
34 While all of that was taking place, Absalom ran away. The man on guard duty at Jerusalem looked up. He saw many people coming on the road west of him. They were coming down the side of the hill. He went and spoke to the king. He said, "I see men coming down the road from Horonaim. They are coming down the side of the hill."
35 Jonadab said to the king, "See, your sons are coming. It has happened just as I said it would."
36 As he finished speaking, the king's sons came in. They were sobbing out loud. The king and all of his servants were also sobbing very bitterly.
37 When Absalom ran away, he went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud. Talmai was king of Geshur. King David sobbed over his son every day.
38 So Absalom ran away and went to Geshur. He stayed there for three years.
39 After some time the king got over his sorrow because of Amnon's death. Then he longed to go to Absalom.

2 Samuel 13 Commentary

Chapter 13

Ammon's violence to his sister. (1-20) Absalom murders his brother Ammon. (21-29) David's grief, Absalom flees to Geshur. (30-39)

Verses 1-20 From henceforward David was followed with one trouble after another. Adultery and murder were David's sins, the like sins among his children were the beginnings of his punishment: he was too indulgent to his children. Thus David might trace the sins of his children to his own misconduct, which must have made the anguish of the chastisement worse. Let no one ever expect good treatment from those who are capable of attempting their seduction; but it is better to suffer the greatest wrong than to commit the least sin.

Verses 21-29 Observe the aggravations of Absalom's sin: he would have Ammon slain, when least fit to go out of the world. He engaged his servants in the guilt. Those servants are ill-taught who obey wicked masters, against God's commands. Indulged children always prove crosses to godly parents, whose foolish love leads them to neglect their duty to God.

Verses 30-39 Jonadab was as guilty of Ammon's death, as of his sin; such false friends do they prove, who counsel us to do wickedly. Instead of loathing Absalom as a murderer, David, after a time, longed to go forth to him. This was David's infirmity: God saw something in his heart that made a difference, else we should have thought that he, as much as Eli, honoured his sons more than God.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 13

This chapter relates some of the evils that were to arise out of David's house, and which were similar to the evils committed by him; the deflowering of his daughter, and the murder of his eldest son: the story is this; Amnon falls in love with Tamar, his sister, and grew thin upon it, which being observed by a friend of his, inquires the reason of it, which having got out of him, forms a scheme for obtaining his desire, and which succeeded; for by it he had the opportunity of ravishing his sister, 2Sa 13:1-14; the consequences of which were extreme hatred of her, hurrying her out of doors, lamentation and mourning on her part, grief to David, and enmity in the heart of Absalom to Amnon, which put him upon meditating his death, 2Sa 13:15-22; and which was brought about after this manner. Absalom had a sheep shearing, to which he invited the king and all his sons, and to which they all came excepting the king, 2Sa 13:23-27; when Absalom gave orders to his servants to observe Amnon when he was merry, and at his word smite him and kill him, as they did, 2Sa 13:28,29; tidings of which soon came to the ears of David, and these aggravated, that all the king's sons were killed, which threw the king into an agony; but Jonadab endeavoured to pacify him, by assuring him that only Amnon was dead, the truth of which soon appeared by the coming of the king's sons, 2Sa 13:30-36; but Absalom fled to Geshur, where he remained three years, when David's heart began to be towards him, and to long for him, who was to bring more evil against him, 2Sa 13:37-39.

2 Samuel 13 Commentaries