2 Samuel 13

Listen to 2 Samuel 13
1 It happened after this, that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her.
2 Amnon was so vexed that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her.
3 But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother; and Jonadab was a very subtle man.
4 He said to him, Why, son of the king, are you thus lean from day to day? Won't you tell me? Amnon said to him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister.
5 Jonadab said to him, Lay you down on your bed, and feign yourself sick: and when your father comes to see you, tell him, Please let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and dress the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.
6 So Amnon lay down, and feigned himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said to the king, Please let her sister Tamar come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.
7 Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to your brother Amnon's house, and dress him food.
8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. She took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes.
9 She took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. Amnon said, Have out all men from me. They went out every man from him.
10 Amnon said to Tamar, Bring the food into the chamber, that I may eat from your hand. Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
11 When she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, Come, lie with me, my sister.
12 She answered him, No, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Don't you do this folly.
13 I, where shall I carry my shame? and as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.
14 However he would not listen to her voice; but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her.
15 Then Amnon hated her with exceeding great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. Amnon said to her, Arise, be gone.
16 She said to him, Not so, because this great wrong in putting me forth is [worse] than the other that you did to me. But he would not listen to her.
17 Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.
18 She had a garment of various colors on her; for with such robes were the king's daughters who were virgins dressed. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her.
19 Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her garment of various colors that was on her; and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went.
20 Absalom her brother said to her, Has Amnon your brother been with you? but now hold your peace, my sister: he is your brother; don't take this thing to heart. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house.
21 But when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry.
22 Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar.
23 It happened after two full years, that Absalom had sheep-shearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons.
24 Absalom came to the king, and said, See now, your servant has sheep-shearers; let the king, I pray you, and his servants go with your servant.
25 The king said to Absalom, No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you. He pressed him: however he would not go, but blessed him.
26 Then said Absalom, If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us. The king said to him, Why should he go with you?
27 But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him.
28 Absalom commanded his servants, saying, Mark you now, when Amnon's heart is merry with wine; and when I tell you, Smite Amnon, then kill him; don't be afraid; haven't I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant.
29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man got him up on his mule, and fled.
30 It happened, while they were in the way, that the news came to David, saying, Absalom has slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left.
31 Then the king arose, and tore his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.
32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother, answered, Don't let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead; for by the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.
33 Now therefore don't let my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead; for Amnon only is dead.
34 But Absalom fled. The young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill-side behind him.
35 Jonadab said to the king, Behold, the king's sons are come: as your servant said, so it is.
36 It happened, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore.
37 But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. [David] mourned for his son every day.
38 So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.
39 [the soul of] king David longed to go forth to Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

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