Study Notes

2Samuel 13:1-14:33

13:1 Amnon's Love For Tamar

You should recall that David had married many women. In chapter 3, we were told the names of several of his wives and the children born to them.

2Sam. 3:2-3 ...his first-born was Am-NOHN, by Akh-ee-NO-am the Jezreelitess; and his second, Kil-AWB, by Abigail the widow of Naw-BAWL the Carmelite; and the third, Ab-shaw-LOME the son of Mah-ak-AW, the daughter of Tal-MAH-ee, king of Ghesh-OOR

So Am-NOHN was the son of Akh-ee-NO-am, and Ab-shaw-LOME and Taw-MAWR were the children of Mah-ak-AW.

Now Am-NOHN loved Ta-MAWR, his half-sister. But as we're about to see, this was not a giving love, but an infatuation, a selfish lust.

13:2 Tamar Is Unavailable

Am-NOHN's unfulfilled desire for Ta-MAWR made him physically sick. He was depressed and despondent, refusing to eat. Because the virgins of the household were kept in seclusion, and not allowed to even enter the men's living quarters, he could not figure out a way to approach her with his desire.

Parents, here is wisdom: keep your virgin daughters in the safety of seclusion. Don't give any man an opportunity to defile your daughter. Don't let her go to his house, don't let him into her room. Don't let them alone in the car together. Regardless of whether she perceives it as unreasonably strict, you will be doing your best to maintain her purity for marriage.

Make it hard for a man to do anything to your daughter.

13:3-5 Jonadab's Plan

Am-NOHN had a friend and cousin named Yo-naw-DAWB. He was the son of Shim-AW, David's brother. When he asked about Am-NOHN's depression, Am-NOHN admitted that he was in love with his half-sister Ta-MAWR.

Yo-naw-DAWB came up with a plan to let Am-NOHN see Ta-MAWR: "Pretend to be sick and ask for her to make you some food."

13:6-7 Lack Of Parental Protection

When David went to see his sick son, he asked if Ta-MAWR could be allowed to visit him and bring him food. David told Ta-MAWR to do as Am-NOHN had asked.

Parents, I will say it again: we need to protect our daughters. A woman going out unaccompanied can be terribly dangerous. Remember what happened to Jacob's daughter:

Gen. 34:1-2 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the daughters of the land. And when Shek-EM the son of Kham-ORE the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force.

The Law of God (Deut. 22) talks about the punishment for rape for a man who finds a girl alone in the field.

Boaz warned Ruth ,

Ruth 2:8 ..."Listen carefully, my daughter. Do not go to glean in another field; furthermore, do not go on from this one, but stay here with my maids."

Sinful men are violent and driven by their sex drive. Protect your daughter by making sure that she's not alone.

13:8-14 Amnon's Sin

The despicable act is done. Am-NOHN raped his half-sister Ta-MAWR. This was in violation of all decency and morality, as well as the Law of God.

Lev. 18:11 ‘The nakedness of your father's wife's daughter, born to your father, she is your sister, you shall not uncover her nakedness.

No matter how you view it, it was grievous sin.

13:15-17 Amnon's Hatred For Tamar

Now that Am-NOHN has fulfilled his desire, his infatuation turned into hate. He threw Ta-MAWR out of his living quarters.

Now, God had made provision for a woman in this instance.

Deut. 22:28-29 "If a man finds a girl who is a virgin, who is not engaged, and seizes her and lies with her and they are discovered, then the man who lay with her shall give to the girl's father fifty {shekels} of silver, and she shall become his wife because he has violated her; he cannot divorce her all his days.

The provision was that the man had to pay her dowry and marry her. This would not make the sin right, but would prevent her from living in shame and remaining unmarried because she had been violated.

But An-NOHN was not interested in obeying the Law.

13:18-19 Tamar's Long-Sleeved Garment

The Scripture here tells us that Ta-MAWR "had on a long-sleeved garment." This is the same word that is used in Genesis 37:3 in the familiar Sunday School story of Joseph's "coat of many colors."

Actually, Joseph did not have a coat of many colors, but a long-sleeved coat. The expression "coat of many colors" is a mistranslation from the Latin Vulgate. It is actually a robe that went down to the palms and soles of the feet.

Jacob gave this coat to Joseph for a specific purpose: workers wore sleeveless or short-sleeved robes - it was easier to work that way. It was the overseers, the managers, the rulers, who wore long-sleeved robes. Joseph, being the favorite son of Jacob, had been given the job of overseeing his brothers as they worked.

Now, the virgins wore robes like this to cover up their bodies - for the purpose of modesty. But when she was violated, she tore the robe to show that her modesty was compromised, that her virginity had been forcibly taken from her.

She also put her hand on her head. This was not because of a headache or injury - putting your hand on your head was a symbol of shame (see Jer. 2:36-27).

13:20 Absalom's Counsel

When Ab-shaw-LOME discovered what had happened, he told her,

2Sam. 13:20 ..."keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart..."

Ab-shaw-LOME does the typical "man" thing - encourages her to not talk about it, not to think about it. As guys, we feel like this is often the solution to all trauma, but in practicality, it does the woman no good. She can't just "forget about it." She needs someone to listen, to be angry, to grieve, to allow healing to begin to take place over time.

Unfortunately, many women are discouraged from talking about rape because they've seen others accused of it "being their own fault." As if they somehow invited it to happen. But God never places the blame on the woman for being raped. It is the man's fault, the man who was violent, the man who refused to control his desires, the man who committed the crime. And he is supposed to die.

Deut. 22:25-26 "But if in the field the man finds the girl who is engaged, and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lies with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the girl; there is no sin in the girl worthy of death, for just as a man rises against his neighbor and murders him, so is this case."

I'm sure that Ab-shaw-LOME was certain that their father David would certainly have Am-NOHN put to death for this. But he had another thing coming.

13:21-22 David's Inaction

When David discovered what had happened, he got angry, but did nothing. Why? Possibly because Am-NOHN was the first-born, and thus would be the next king of Israel. Possibly because he felt like a hypocrite, having committed both adultery and murder.

For whatever his reasons were, David did nothing, and Ab-shaw-LOME began to plot his revenge against Am-NOHN.

13:23-27 Absalom's Plan

Just as harvest time was a time of celebration for farmers, sheepshearing time was cause for a festival for those who raised sheep.

Two years after Am-NOHN's violation of Ta-MAWR, Ab-shaw-LOME invited all of David's sons to BAH-al Khaw-TSORE for the sheepshearing festival that was taking place.

Initially, David declined the invitation, saying that to feed and provide for all of those people would be a financial burden to his son. Through Ab-shaw-LOME's insistence, David conceded, not going himself, but sending all of his sons to the festival.

13:28-29 Absalom's Revenge

Ab-shaw-LOME had his servants kill Am-NOHN when he had gotten drunk at the festival. When all of David's sons saw this, they were sure that they were next.

It was fairly common for a king's son to kill all of his brothers to insure his position on the throne. Remember that in the book of Judges, Gideon's son Ab-ee-MEL-ek had seventy of his brothers killed in Judges 9 for this purpose.

Thus, it is understandable why all of David's remaining sons hopped onto their mules and took off.

13:30-33 David Hears

Before David's sons reached home, the news reached David that Ab-shaw-LOME had killed all of his sons. When David was grieving, Yo-naw-DAWB (David's nephew, the son of Shim-AW who had given Am-NOHN the idea of pretending to be sick on his bed) told David that is was only An-NOHN that was dead. Ab-shaw-LOME had killed him for violating his sister two years before.

13:34-39 Absalom Flees

Ab-shaw-LOME ran away to Tal-MAH-ee, the son of Am-mee-KHOOD, the king of Ghesh-OOR. Why did he run to the king of Ghesh-OOR? It was his grandfather, his mother's father (2Sam. 3:3). He stayed there for three years.

All the while, David wanted to be reconciled to Ab-shaw-LOME, but his pride prevented him.

14:1-20 Joab's Plan

David's commander was Yo-AWB, the son of Tser-oo-YAW. He knew that David wanted to forgive Ab-shaw-LOME and be restored to him, but needed a push in the right direction.

So he got a woman from Tek-O-ah to pretend that she was in a similar situation to David's. When David showed mercy towards her situation, she pointed out that he was being hypocritical in his own family's situation.

14:21-24 David Brings Absalom Back

David agreed to allow Ab-shaw-LOME back into Jerusalem, but on the condition that he not see him. This was again David's pride. Either you forgive or you don't, but don't try to find some halfway point in between.

Jesus warned of the danger that arises when you do not reconcile matters.

Matt. 5:23-26 "If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, in order that your opponent may not deliver you to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Truly I say to you, you shall not come out of there, until you have paid up the last cent."

He also warned about unforgiveness towards people that have wronged you.

Matt. 6:14-15 "For if you forgive men for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions."

This partial forgiveness and reconciliation is going to come back to haunt David.

14:25-27 Absalom's Appearance

Now, we can only imagine that David married his third wife Mah-ak-AW because of her looks. She must have been stunningly beautiful, for her two children, Ab-shaw-LOME and Ta-MAWR were knockouts.

Ab-shaw-LOME was handsome, no defects at all. His hair was the talk of the town, cutting off about four pounds of it each year!

However, good looks do not make a person wise or mature, as we're about to see.

14:28-33 Absalom Burns Joab's Field

When Ab-shaw-LOME sent to Yo-AWB twice and got no response, he decided that only the squeaky wheel gets the grease. He had his servants set fire to Yo-AWB's field, which brought about a prompt response: that made his neighbor Yo-AWB pay a visit!

Ab-shaw-LOME told him that it would be better for him to live with Grandpa in Ghesh-OOR than to be without family connections in Jerusalem.

Finally, David conceded and called for Ab-shaw-LOME.

But remember: Ab-shaw-LOME stewed over David's inaction towards Am-NOHN for two years. He has spent three more years in exile over his father's unwillingness to forgive him. Then there were two more years in Jerusalem with the king refusing to see him.

Seven years of bitterness grew inside of Ab-shaw-LOME towards a father that never seemed to do the right thing. Now, as his father kisses him, it is too little, too late. Ab-shaw-LOME will never recover from his years of bitterness, and will prove to be one of David's fiercest opponents in the chapters to come.

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