Summary 2 Samuel 13:
David’s son, Amnon, falls in love with his sister, Tamar. Amnon tricked Tamar and raped her, despite her pleas. Amnon sent her away, leaving Tamar disgraced. David was furious. Two years later, Absalom, Tamar’s brother, kills Amnon for revenge. Absalom fled to Geshur, while David mourned.
BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1: Lesson 21, Day 2: 2 Samuel 13:
3a) He fell in love with his sister. He planned the rape of his sister, Tamar, and then followed through with it. He wouldn’t listen to her when she offered to marry him. Then he turned her away afterwards, leaving her little options since she was no longer a virgin for marriage. She had been shamed. He lied about being sick. He coveted Tamar (10th commandment).
b) Sin begets sin. Establishing “safeguards” doesn’t mean sin won’t keep happening. The only safeguards I see is becoming more and more like Jesus every day, praying, reading the Word, having a heart for God, and getting closer to God. That’s the only way to try and prevent sin and prevent the spread of sin in this broken world.
4) Absalom, even though he will revenge his sister, tells her to “be quiet” and “not to take this thing to heart.” David was furious, but there were no consequences for what Amnon did. David still mourns Amnon’s death even though Tamar “died” by having her prospects for a good life taken from her 2 years earlier. In Deuteronomy, the verse we need to read is verses 28-29 because Tamar was not engaged to be married. Here, the penalty is stated to be 50 shekels of silver and then the man must marry the girl and can never divorce her. None of this happened to Amnon.
5) Part personal Question. My answer: Psalm 9:9, Psalm 46:1, Psalm 116:1-2, Psalm 119:48-52, Lamentations 3:31-62 and many, many more. All comforting verses do that: comfort us and remind us of God’s goodness and presence in our times of suffering.
Conclusions BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 21 Day 2: 2 Samuel 13:
Question 5 is the first question I’ve seen in 2 or 3 years that are just like the old questions. No verses are given. You’re on your own. Finally.
As sad as this passage is, it is true to life in the ancient world. Women were nothing, used and then discarded, and men could do whatever they wanted (to a point) and have no consequences. Yes, Amnon does get what he deserves and does face consequences, but most men did not in ancient times.
End Notes BSF Study Questions People of the Promised Land 1 Lesson 21, Day 2: 2 Samuel 13:
Absalom and Tamar were the children of David through his wife Maacah, who was the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3).
Amnon was David’s first-born son, born from his wife Ahinoam the Jezreelitess (2 Samuel 3:2). Being the first born, Amnon was the crown prince – first in line for the throne of Israel.
Marriage between half-brother and half-sister was forbidden.
The name Tamar means “Palm Tree,” signifying fruitfulness. The name Absalom means “His Father’s Peace.” The name Amnon means “Faithful, Stable.”
Jonadab was a cousin to Amnon, the son of David’s brother (2 Samuel 13:32)
Did Amnon really love Tamar?
- Amnon lusted after Tamar. Love would never hurt the other person. Referring to her as Absalom’s sister made his lust seem not so bad.
Amnon’s behavior was childish, specifying how he wanted to eat. David indulged him, like he did all his children it seems. David may have felt guilty in having so many wives, children, and responsibilities of state that he didn’t take the time to be a true father to his children. We don’t know why.
Amnon seems to be a spoiled prince who always took what he wanted.
The Law of Moses commanded against any marriage between a half-brother and half-sister (Leviticus 18:11). Tamar probably said she could marry him as a ploy to get away from Amnon.
This is often how the iniquity of the fathers is carried on by the children to the third and fourth generations(Exodus 20:5). A child will often model a parent’s sinful behavior and will often go further in the direction of sin the parent is pointed towards. David’s many marriages and affair with Bathsheba was the kids’ example.
Why does David push Tamar away?
- Amnon didn’t love her, so he immediately felt guilty over his sin. Tamar was simply a reminder of his foolish sin, and he didn’t want to be reminded.
Was it possible for Amnon to redeem Tamar?
- What Amnon did to Tamar was wrong, but he could still somewhat redeem the situation by either marrying her or paying her bride-price in accordance with Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29. The payment was meant to compensate for the fact that Tamar was now less likely to be married because she was no longer a virgin.
Tamar’s robe extended all the way down to the wrists and ankles, as opposed to a shorter one. It was a garment of privilege and status, showing the person did not have to work much. She did not hide what had happened to her.
Tamar was discarded, referred to only as “this woman.”
Sheep shearing was a festive time, and it was natural that Absalom had a great feast and invited Amnon and all the king’s sons.
David gave his permission, just like he did with Amnon to have Tamar serve him
God promised David that the sword shall never depart from your house (2 Samuel 12:10) in judgment of David’s sin. This is definitely a partial fulfillment of this promise.
David had committed adultery, made Uriah drunk, and then murdered him: so Amnon committed incest, is made drunk, and then murdered. Like father, like son.
Jonadab brought the “good” news to David that only Amnon is dead, and dead because he forced his sister Tamar. He was probably hoping to gain favor in David’s eyes.
David’s responsibility for Amnon’s murder
- David is rightly grieved at learning of the death of his eldest son, the Crown Prince Amnon. Yet David’s lack of correction against Amnon contributed to this murder. If David had administered Biblical correction according to Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Absalom would not have felt so free to administer his own brutal correction.
Absalom did not go to a city of refuge because he was guilty, and the cities of refuge were only meant to protect the innocent.
Absalom’s mother’s father was the king of Geshur (2 Samuel 3:3).
After three years, the sting of Amnon’s murder was not as sharp. David simply longed to be reconciled to Absalom again – without correcting his son for his evil. David’s indulgence towards Amnon is repeated towards Absalom and he will meet a similar end when he rebels against his father.