2Sa 13: David's great sin, although especially forgiven, led
to many severe trials during all his remaining years -- trials involving his son
Amnon (in the matter of Tamar his sister), his son his son Absalom (guilty of
murder and rebellion), Adonijah (the same), and his chief counselor Ahithophel
It seems quite evident that David, with his many wives and
many sons, does not personally teach his children as he should have -- their
characters sometimes bearing witness to this shortcoming. See specifically 1Ki
1:6: "His [Adonijah's] father [David, of course] had never interfered with him
by asking, 'Why do you behave as you do?' "
TAMAR: Sister of Absalom, half-sister of Amnon (2Sa
IT SEEMED IMPOSSIBLE FOR HIM TO DO ANYTHING TO HER:
Unmarried women were kept closely secluded from men -- even from relatives --
and were seen only in the company of witnesses and chaperones.
SON OF SHIMEAH, DAVID'S BROTHER: David showed kindness
to all his relatives, unusual for an ANE monarch. (Kings were usually very
afraid of close relatives, fearing usurpers.)
MY BROTHER ABSALOM'S SISTER: In ANE, where polygamy
prevailed, unmarried women are under the special protection of their full
brothers -- perhaps even more so than of their fathers (cp Gen
MY SISTER: Note the subtle misdirection: Amnon calls
Tamar "my sister" now, when commonly she might be called "my brother's sister"
HE WILL NOT KEEP ME FROM BEING MARRIED TO YOU: A last
desperate appeal, for such marriages were unlawful: Lev 18:9.
Amnon, the firstborn, a spoiled, selfish man of irregular
RICHLY ORNAMENTED ROBE: "A long garment of sleeves" (RV
mg). Heb "ketoneth" = a priestly garment; was Tamar a temple virgin (2Ch
HE IS YOUR BROTHER: So Tamar should not reproach
herself for having visited him alone.
WHEN KING DAVID HEARD ALL THIS: Absalom counsels Tamar
not to report this to David; but he hears any way -- gossip, rumor...
HE WAS FURIOUS: But he did nothing! Note his deep sense
of guilt: we cannot wield the sword when our own arm is maimed. LXX adds: "For
he loved Amnon, because he was his firstborn son" (cp Josephus).
Also, Absalom has his own ulterior motive: Amnon is ahead of
him in line for the throne.
Sheep shearing season: a grand occasion for celebration in
WE WOULD ONLY BE A BURDEN TO YOU: Absalom would be put
to a great expense by the visit of the king.
THEN ALL THE KING'S SONS GOT UP, MOUNTED THEIR MULES AND
FLED: They feared a general massacre, knowing Absalom's vengeance and
Jonadab seems to have been aware of Absalom's intentions from
the very first. A "double agent"!
TALMAI SON OF AMMIHUD: His grandfather: 2Sa 3:3; 1Ch
KING DAVID MOURNED FOR HIS SON EVERY DAY: Bitter fruits
of his own sins, of lust and murder -- reenacted in the next
HE WAS CONSOLED CONCERNING AMNON'S DEATH: He now
realizes that Amnon's death was a just punishment.